Mail share sheet: What should it look like?

Many people on this forum, including @ismh and @MacSparky themselves, have decried the lack of a share sheet for Mail.

I’d like one too. But thinking about how the share sheet works … it doesn’t seem so simple.

When you envision sharing an email, what are you sharing: Just the body, or the headers and metadata too?

Just the most recent message, or all the previous back and forth that is actually part of the same message document/file?

Do attachments come with the text? In-line images? Signatures and little images embedded in signatures? What about tracking pixels, which can be very hard to differentiate from some kinds of legitimate images used for spacing, etc.?

Do you just get a PDF of the whole mess?

What if you’ve selected part of a message – does any metadata / header material accompany that or not? Attachments, images…?

On iOS especially, Apple has a pretty sophisticated way to offer many versions of a shared item to wherever you are sharing it – plain text, formatted text, pdf, image, etc etc.

In other words, given email’s legacy structure, this may be more challenging than it seems at first.

I don’t doubt Apple has the technical expertise to solve this. But the design challenge seems real to me.

I don’t think it’s insoluble. But I bet if/when they eventually implement it, there’s a ton of disagreement about whether they did it “right.”

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It’s a good question. Doubtless that you’re right: this feature’s design challenges likely stand in its way more than any of the technicalities.

I imagine Apple would want to share a Mail message “object” more than anything else, which is probably why this will never exist, because sharing a message object doesn’t really make sense.

Which makes me sad, because I think the simplest implementation — a similar workflow to what we’ve seen in other email apps, such as Spark and Airmail — would benefit a great many users. That is: when you hit “share”, you share the current message’s subject line and the message: link to it. Or just the message link!

This is literally what happens when you drag and drop a message in Mail:

[The Ergo 49](message://

… which results in The Ergo 49, which I can click on (but it won’t work for you) to open the latest edition of The Ergo from keyboard makers ZSA.

Ironically, that link doesn’t work for me from Safari, but you get the point.

(It goes without saying: gods forbid we should get some configurability over how it would work…)

Simple answer: A URL scheme link to back the message.

Just like x-Devonthink links

also how mail works if you highlight a word in your message and hit share. That is what I do now to share out to Reminders or Notes and it is perfect. Just make it a damn button! :slight_smile:

Do you get a link this way? I’m not seeing one.

it would be better than drag-and-drop finger Pilates…

This is what I do. Then I hit share, reminders. The subject becomes the Reminder and whatever you highlight goes into notes part with a link back to the message. You also can invoke siri and say “remind me about this” and it will also work. (I never do that however)

Ahh, neat, thanks. It’s one of those instances where sharing to Reminders (or Notes) gets different data than if you share to other apps (e.g…, hitting “Copy,” or sharing to Craft or Obsidian, just sends the text you’ve highlighted — no message:// link).

Yup, really only works with the other built in apps. It’s what I use so it works for me, but it’s not a replacement for Airmail or similar.

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For me, I’d be primarily looking for message links and occasionally PDF. But this could absolutely be solved and accounted for by Apple IMO. Indeed, the code is already in there to print to PDF and share a link. They just make it really tedious for the user to trigger.

Another thought. Shortcuts actions for both of these things.


I’d also add exporting as *.eml as well in addition to PDF. But sharing the link would be my first and more desired feature.

I came into this thread knowing you’d be here responding to this post @MacSparky
Completely agree I would be looking for a PDF. iOS Mail is still my iOS mail client of choice, but it’s a complete disgrace that this hasn’t been implemented yet. Apple, are you listening? Please get this done!