While most email clients such as Outlook and Thunderbird has an option to keep your mails “UNREAD” when you have a preview pane, Apple Mail (that comes with your Mac) does not. If the preview pane is displayed in the message viewer window, as soon as a message is selected and displayed, it is marked as read. Most every other e-mail client on the planet provides an option to delay marking messages as read.
What does it mean ? For example, when you have 10 mails in your email box. When you move to that mail, it is marked as READ. Sometimes that’s not what you want. You might have read the previous mail and delete it and then the application moves to the next mail. In that instant, the NEXT MAIL becomes READ too.
It is a matter of personal preference. My style has always to leave mails unread until I “action them” (read the mail thoroughly, decide what to do, reply the mail, forward the mail, convert to a TO DO, curse the sender, delete the mail). So it is critical to my “workflow” to leave mails UNREAD until I action them (and not PREVIEW them).
However, Apple Mail has no such setting at all. Even that Microsoft Outlook has such a setting. The last time I used Thunderbird, a slight workaround is needed.
Hence came a freeware called TRUEPREVIEW.
Great software. Meets everything you need. After you download the software, quit your Apple Mail completely. Then install the software and open your Apple Mail again. Go to MAIL > PREFERENCES and you should see the TRUEPREVIEW icon (you might need to click on the Expand More signs at the end of the toolbar of the Preferences screen).
Then you should see this:
You can mark a mail as NEVER unread (my style) or after a specified time (e.g. a few seconds). You can set further settings such as automatically mark a mail as READ after you replied it, forwarded it and yes read it. Such common sense. Such logical software.
Wonder why Apple never think of it :(
Too busy making iPads :)