Compass Rose logo The Compass DeRose Guide to Eudora Tricks

Written by Steven J. DeRose, October 29, 2003. Last updated 2003-10-29.

This is a collections of useful things I've discovered about the Eudora email program. Perhaps some of them will save you time.

Recovering from error -5000, re. the In.temp file.

If you switch Mac OS X accounts (for example, to root) and collect your mail, Eudora (5.2, at least) mostly works fine, except that it creates a temp file in Documents/Eudora Folder/Spool Folder/In.temp, and that file has the "other" account as owner. So when you try to run Eudora back on your main account, It complains that it can't open mail.In.temp (which is the wrong name). I've found no doc on this on the Eudora site or anywhere else.

What you have to do is simply change the owner back (once you've found the file -- but now I've told you where it is). You have to do the same thing for any other files that might have been created while you were logged in as the other user (such as any attachments received, possibly Out.temp, a newly-created mailbox, etc.).

Open a terminal window and do this:

cd Documents/Eudora\ Folder
sudo chown -R [your main userid] .

You may notice that the Spool Folder is filled with countless files with names like

Eudora Nicknames.
History List.

I think these are successive backups and can be safely deleted.

Getting at all the hidden settings

There is a huge list of Eudora settings at

They're all numbered, and have terse descriptions. For example,

<x-eudora-setting:11520> Number of seconds to allow dirty windows to be dirty.

(This setting is what anyone else would call the "autosave" interval -- how long a window can go with unsaved changes. If you set a value here, be prepared for Eudora to stop everything for a few seconds at that interval -- I don't know why, but if you click to another application and then back, the wait ends).

If you type the stuff between and including the pointy brackets into a Eudora window, then double-click it, you'll get a box where you see the current setting and can change it. The possible values are not always obvious, so be sure to remember the original value so you can at least get back.

To save time, copy the whole settings file into a mail to yourself, and keep it in a known mailbox -- then you can just open it, scan for the setting you want, and double-click it without having to type anything.

Viewing mail by thread

Option-click on the subject field of any message in the thread, and all the thread-mates will be gathered together for you.

Spam filtering

Most spam comes from email addresses you don't know -- Eudora 5.2 and later have a filter feature that helps with this: create a new filter and set it to catch emails where: the "From" address, "doesn't intersect address book", specifically your "Eudora Nicknames" address book.

Make this filter do something obvious, like filter all such mail into a separate notebook called "Unknown Sender" or "Possible spam"; or perhaps turn it a garish color or set it to low priority. Of course, if you are in a business or other role where you get lots of mail from new people, you'll need to check this folder very often.

When you check, it's quickest to click the head of the "Who" column to sort by sender -- that way you only look at each sender once. When you see mail from someone you expect to get more (desirable) mail from, use Cmd-K to make an address book entry for them; or, you can go to the address book, open the "History" category, and drag desirable nicknames into the Eudora Nicknames area.