Configure filter rules
Email filters allow you to define how your incoming and outgoing messages are handled. The filters classify messages automatically based on the rules you set. You can filter your incoming messages to:
Sort incoming messages into folders.
Tag messages automatically.
Mark a message as read or add a trace mark.
For example, you could create a filter to identify the messages of your immediate boss and send them to a folder called “From the boss” or send the messages of a certain address directly to the Trash. You can filter your outgoing messages to:
Sort the messages that are saved in Sent in other folders.
Tag messages automatically.
Mark a message as read or add a trace mark.
Conditions of the rules
Each filter is a rule with one or more conditions and a destination. Each rule can contain several conditions. For example, if your boss sends you messages from more than one address, for example, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, you can create a filter called “Boss” that includes two conditions, one for each address.
The conditions include:
Specific addresses in the From :, To: and CC: fields in the message header
Words or strings of characters in the subject or text of the message
The inclusion or not of attachments
All conditions allow you to use the “no” as a negative condition. For example, you can specify messages that do not include a certain word. You can combine the conditions you specify to search for messages with
more complex features.
Any one against All
You can group the conditions within a filter using Any or All. The use of these words is the same as the use of “AND” (Y) as opposed to “OR” (O) in searches, with Any functioning as OR and All as AND. If you select Any when defining the conditions of a new filter, if the message meets any of the established conditions, it will be considered as a matching message. However, if you select All, all filter conditions have to be fulfilled in order for that message to be considered to match the filter.
Actions of the filters
Each filter can specify one or more actions. The actions include:
Leave the message in the Inbox (no action).
Move the message to another specified folder.
Label the message.
Mark the message as read or add a tracking mark.
Discard the message. This action causes the message to disappear without making any noise. It is not the same as the Delete option in the menu. When you delete the message, it is sent to the Trash. By discarding the message, it does not reach your mailbox.
Forward the message to another address.
The action Do not process additional filters should be the last action of each filter rule. This action prevents more filter rules from being applied to messages that match the current rule. If you do not specify this option, the message will be analyzed with the following filter rules even if it has already coincided with a previous rule. It is not very likely that you want the same message to coincide with more than one rule and that you will be subject to several actions, probably contradictory.
When filters are applied
Each incoming message is compared to the rules of your filters as soon as it is delivered and the actions specified for the messages that coincide at that same moment are applied. You can also apply the filters to a group of messages already received. In the Preferences section of mail filters, the Run Filter button allows you to select several filters for the mail folders that you indicate.
Order of the filters
The system applies the filters in the order in which they are listed in the Preferences section of the mail filters. You can change this order. Within each filter, the conditions are used to check each email message. If the message meets the conditions collectively (using the option Any or All that you can specify in the rule), the message will be considered to match. The order of the conditions within each filter is not important. If the message matches the conditions, all the actions associated with that rule will be applied and in the order they appear within the filter.
Active filters versus inactive filters
All the filters that you have defined can be found in the Preferences mail filters tab. The Active box allows you to enable or disable filters without having to remove them.
Filter your messages
The filters apply a series of matching rules to incoming mail and then execute the corresponding action.
You can filter incoming messages to send them to certain folders, tag them automatically, forward them or delete them. For example, you can create the following rule:
All the messages you receive from your supervisor will go to the “General Directives” folder.
All messages received from the mailing list “corporate events” will be labeled with “Events”.
To create a new filter or edit an existing one:
1. Click on the Preferences tab.
2. Open Filters and click on New filter.
3. The Add filter dialog box will open. This is where you define the filter rules and their destination.
4. In the Filter Name field, enter a unique name to identify the filter.
5. In section If xxx of the following conditions are met, select a grouping preference.
Any means that, if any condition of the filter is met, the specified action will be applied.
All conditions means that the message has to comply with all filter conditions for the action to be applied. You can repeat the steps below to add more conditions and actions within the same filter. Click on the + link to specify several conditions.
Select what condition to use from the drop-down list.
Select a comparison method. The options you see will depend on your choice in the previous drop-down list. For example, you might see the options “contains” or “does not contain”.
Enter the word or phrase to compare in the text field.
Click on, to add more conditions. You can continue adding more conditions or go to the next step to determine one or more actions to follow.
6. In the Execute the following actions section, select an action from the drop-down list.
Specify a folder or the name of the label if necessary. It will depend on which action you have chosen.
Click on, to add more actions. You can add more actions or click OK to finish.
7. At the top of the Add filter dialog box, you will see the Active check box. Check this box to enable the filter. You can deactivate the box if you do not want that filter to run.
8. Activate the option Do not process additional filters, if this filter is the only one you want to run for messages that comply with the filter conditions. The action Do not process additional filters should be the last action in each filter. This action prevents more filter rules from being applied to messages that match the current rule.
Note: If you do not specify this option, the message will be analyzed with the following rules even if it has already coincided with a previous rule. It is not very likely that you want the same message to match more than one rule and apply it to you
several actions, probably contradictory. The changes you make to the filters are saved immediately. The filter will be automatically applied to all incoming messages as they arrive. You can also apply the filters to messages already received. In the Preferences section of the filters, click Run filter and select the mail folders in which you want to run the selected filter.
Note: You can also create a new filter from the email message. Right-click on the message and select New filter. The Edit Filter dialog box will open with the From, To and Subject fields populated with the message information. If the filter conditions are correct, name the filter and click on
Admitted filter conditions and actions
The rules of the filters do not take into account if you use lowercase or uppercase.
The comparison fields include the following:
From. Use this field to specify a name in the From: field of a message.
To. Same as in the From field, except that it looks for names specified in the To: field.
CC. Same as in the From field, except that you look in the CC: field.
For or CC. Same as in the From field, except that it looks in the To: and CC: header.
Subject. Search in the Subject field of the message.
Header with name. When selecting this option, an additional text box will open in front of the comparison operator (the part that includes “contains”). This option allows you to specify any message header. Not only can you specify the typical fields To: or From: but also the Date, Reply to or other custom fields that can be included in the header. You can use this option to remove messages with “poorly written” headings that do not contain certain data that is considered standard in email messages. Sometimes, the spam generated automatically omits certain data such as the Sender or the Reply to field. Use the second text box (the field to the right of the operator) to specify which heading to search.
Size. Use this option to filter messages according to their size, if they exceed or are smaller than a certain size. The size of the messages includes any attachment. This filter can be used to eliminate messages that are
Date. Use this option to specify messages sent before or after a certain date.
Text of the message. The available options are Contains / Does not contain and allow you to specify the words that should appear in the message text. You can not create filters for specific words included in attachments.
It is a read notification. Read notifications can be filtered.
Attached file. You can filter messages that include and those that do not include attachments.
Address in. Check if an address appears in your contact list. The next field allows you to indicate the address book.
Invitation to the agenda. You can filter messages related to the calendar. The comparison operators include the following:
Matches exactly / Does not match exactly. They serve to specify an exact match. For example, if you specify that the Subject exactly matches – Canarian Banana, you will only find “Banana of the Canary Islands” and
no “Plátanos de Canarias” or “A banana from Costa Rica”.
Contains / Does not contain. It is used to specify that the subject must (or does not) contain the specified string. For example, if you specify that the Subject contains banana, you would find a match in the subject “Green bananas”.
Matches / does not match the wildcard. The wildcard * is a character used in the filter comparison field to represent one or more characters in the filter. For example, if you indicate that the subject coincides with “plantain *” you would find a match with “bananas” or “banana of the Canary Islands” but not “my plantation of bananas”.
Keep in the Inbox. Save the messages in the inbox. If no filter matches the incoming message, by default, it is the action taken.
Archive in the folder. Send the message to the folder you specify.
Discard. Delete the message without delivering it. You will not find the discarded message in any of your folders, not even the Trash.
Resend a. Forward the message to the email address you specify.
Mark. Select As read or As marked.
Label with. You can mark messages that match a specific tag.
You can create a filter consisting of several actions. The combined actions in your filter are interpreted as follows:
Discard. If combined with other actions, the deletion is omitted and the other actions will be executed.
Archive in the folder. Specifying several actions “Archive in the folder” serves to include a copy of the message in several folders. If the indicated folder does not exist, the message will be saved in the inbox.
Label / Mark. These actions are applied to the message returned from the immediately preceding action. If you specify several “Archive in folder” actions, you may see some messages saved with a label and others without that label.
Keep in the Inbox. Even if you specify several “Keep in the inbox” actions, only one copy of the message will be saved in the inbox.
Forward to the address. Messages are forwarded to the email address you specify.
Create filters using the options contains, matches and is
Three of the comparison methods used in the filters are the variables Contains, Matches Pattern and Matches Exactly. You’ll see these options for certain items you’re looking for, for example, if you’re looking in the subject of the message.
Contains means that the specified subject line must include the string of characters you enter somewhere. For example, if you indicate that the subject should include the word “friends”, you would find coincidences with the topics “Only for friends” and “Friends far away”.
Matches pattern is used to indicate that the subject must match the introduced string that includes wildcards. For example, if you enter “amig *”, it will coincide with “friends” and “distant friends but not with” my best friend “.
It indicates that the subject must exactly match the string you enter without jokers or substitutions. For example, if you say that the subject should match “friends”, you would find a match with “friends” but not with “friend”, “my best friend” or “friends?”
Wildcards in the filters
You can use wildcards in comparisons that use the comparison operator “Match pattern.” The two available wildcard characters are * and?
The asterisk * replaces “zero or more characters of any type”. For example, if you are looking for the matter: annual report *
It will coincide with: Matters such as “annual report”, “annual report” and “inter-annual report”, but not with “urgent! -Annual report” For example, if you are looking for the matter: c * blanca It will coincide with: Matters such as “casablanca” or “white folder” but not with “whose is the white folder?”
The question replaces “a single character”. For example, if you look for the matter: sir?
It will coincide with: Matters like “dark-haired lady”, “dark-haired gentleman”, “dark-haired gentleman” and “gentleman-gentleman”
The escape character is the bar:
Sometimes, you may want to specify an exact match for a character string that contains others that would normally be considered wildcards. For example, if you want to find an exact match with an issue that is surrounded on both sides by three asterisks, such as *** MORE MONEY !!! *** or *** FREE GIFT ***
For the wildcard to be included in the search and not as a substitute for other characters, use the forward slash () before the character in question. For example, the string “*******” would indicate a subject with three asterisks before and after the text in between (including spaces).