Safari 4 beta not allowing Mail to save as RTF or TXT

A quick head's up to those of you looking to save messages in Apple's Mail.app program as a rich text formatted (RTF) file: If you are using Safari 4 beta as well, this action will not work. Although Mail exhibits no error messages, the file never appears

A quick head's up to those of you looking to save messages in Apple's Mail.app program as a rich text formatted (RTF) file: If you are using Safari 4 beta as well, this action will not work. Although Mail exhibits no error messages, the file never appears as saved.

I confirmed this issue using my MacBook Pro running Mac OS X 10.5.6 Leopard, Mail 3.5, and Safari 4 beta. I navigated to a message in my Inbox and selected File > Save as... using RTF as my chosen file format. I chose to save to my Desktop to get immediate confirmation of this issue. Upon clicking Save, Mail closed the dialogue box and returned to my Inbox, just as expected. However, no file appeared on my Desktop.

Using Spotlight and Finder's searching techniques I could not locate the file anywhere on my computer. According to a post on OS X Hints, the issue may be related to a WebKit incompatibility. Currently, there does not appear to be a fix for this issue.

Upon further testing on my part, it appears as though the problem exists for the Plain Text format as well. Currently, the only format that actually produces a file from the Save as... menu is Raw Message Source. The issue seems to only affect systems running a combination of Mac OS X 10.5.6 Leopard, Mail 3.5, and Safari 4 beta. When tested on a Mac running 10.4.11 and Safari 4 beta, RTF files were able to be saved.

If you have to have your e-mail messages in RTF or TXT format, your best work around option may be to copy/paste the message contents into a simple text editor (TextEdit comes with your Mac):

1. Highlight the text you wish to save.
2. Press Command C or select from the Mail menu bar > Edit > Copy
3. Open TextEdit (or another word processing program).
4. Press Command V or select from the TextEdit menu bar > Edit > Paste
5. Save your file.
Note: You can also open the Raw Message Source file with TextEdit, but it produces some code remnants that may hamper your workflow.

You can also save your messages as PDF formatted files. To save as a PDF:

1. Select the message you would like to save.
2. Select from the Mail menu bar > File > Print...
3. In the bottom left corner of the Print dialogue box click PDF
4. Select "Save as PDF..." from the drop down menu.
5. Name your file (the default name is the message's subject line) and click save.
Note: By saving as a PDF file you will not be able to edit the contents of the e-mail without the use of a third-party PDF editor.

Resources
Read the Mac OS X Hints article about Safari 4 beta disabling Apple Mail's ability to save RTF and TXT files.

Experiencing problems? Have feedback? Let us know!

Resources
  • Read the Mac OS X Hints article about Safari 4 beta disabling Apple Mail's ability to save RTF and TXT files.
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