Printing multiple emails to pdf

Is there a way to get Mail to print an entire mailbox full of messages to individual pdf files with the title being the subject line of the email? Selecting multiple messages in Mail and doing print then pdf results in a single pdf…and with 1300 messages in the mailbox doing them individually is way too hard. I looked at Automator and the Mail dictionary in Script Editor and didn’t see anything obvious that would do it.

Essentially I’m trying to turn a mailbox full of filed recipes on an IMAP server into individual pdf files…searching on my iPad is way too slow and my spouse can’t get to them and I’m trying to turn them into pdf files on Dropbox so that they can be easily searched via Files or Dropbox or GoodReader or whatever from multiple devices.


Is each email just one page long? It might be easier to script if you first created that one 1300-page PDF and then simply saved each page of that PDF as its own PDF file.

“Save as” each email into a folder and then combine them into one pdf using the create pdf by “combing files” feature of Acrobat?


Nope…some are more than one page but only rarely do they go to 3. It’s beyond my scripting ability anyway.

Save as has the same problem as pdf printing…either I have to do it individually 1300 times or I end up with a single file…and trying to break up the file into separate files including extracting the right filename from the subject line is way beyond my scripting ability.

I might just have to do it the hard way and do like 100 a day. I shoulda thought of this long ago and did it the right way to begin with. Searching is fine on the Mac as there’s a local copy of the IMAP folders but the iPad and iPhone have to go out and search over the internet which takes way too long and doesn’t always find what you’re actually looking for.

I tried printing a half dozen or so of them into a single pdf file hoping that each would start on a fresh page and then figured I could maybe figure out how to script finding the subject line and extracting pages via AppleScript…but that didn’t work as they don’t start each message on a fresh page. I’ll take another look at Automator and ScriptEditor to see if there’s something I missed.

Essentially if I had a script that said “start with the oldest message in the mailbox and print to pdf then move to another folder, then repeat until done” I think it would work for what I need but I fear that even that is beyond my scripting ability.

I’d recommend asking about this in the Keyboard Maestro forum. People there are excellent automatons, er, Automators, er, maestros?

I will do that. I have an older version and maybe they can help.

You could look at importing the emails into DEVONthink and once there, converting all to PDF.

I recommend to have a look at Mail Archiver X.

It can import an IMAP-folder directly into its database.
Export to PDF lets you choose the formatting of the title (subject, date).

If you need more customization you can import into a Filemaker database.

The trial version lets you test all functions.
I discovered Mail Archiver X about 2 weeks ago and am already a very happy user of the import-to-FM-variant.

I will take a look at both Mail Archiver X and DevonThink which I have as well…Mail Steward Lite doesn’t do the trick without a dialog box for every email I tried to print and/or save.

Just tried the full version of Mail Steward and it worked reasonably well. I just did a search for all emails to a particular client and it found 1000. Then I chose to print the search list and selected PDF as the output. It then created a 3304 page PDF (which I promptly deleted). However it did not do a page break for each new email.
In hindsight, aren’t I lucky it didn’t create 1000 PDFs on my Desktop!

Mail Steward failed …and the author concurred that it won’t make individual PDFs. Mail Archiver X worked like a charm though…and with a free trial I did what I needed to do. If I ever decide to archive all of my saved email they will get my money. DevonThink a,so worked…although it imported all the emails as .eml files which neither DropBox, Fils, or GoodReader on iOS would read. However, it did convert them to rtf file which worked fine to export although the images were lost.

Mail Archiver X did the trick wonderfully though.

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Take a look at Hazel.

Hazel is a powerful program that may be suitable for your needs.

Thanks, I have Hazel but I didn’t see anything in there useful…it works on individual folders on your Mac but not on Mail messages unless there was something I missed. No matter though…Mail Steward X did the trick for me.