Making OS X Lion Flags more useful

This post assumes that you know about Flags and used them already (if not look in the menu “Message/Flag/…”.

Rename Flags

Surprisingly (at least for me) you can edit those “flag names” just by clicking on text twice (like in Finder):

Edit the flag name:

And save the new name by hitting return.

Add a keyboard shortcut

The next interesting step is to attach a keyboard shortcut to this flag. Open “System Preferences” and go to “Keyboard”. There select the “Keyboard Shortcuts” tab and under “Application Shortcuts you add a new entry (by clicking on the “+” symbol).

Edit the entry. Make sure you use the same name you gave the flag. Here it’s probably getting interesting if you chose a name that already exists somewhere else in the menu… (did not try that).

Result: The renamed Flag along with the new shortcut.

Finally the tagging / labeling feature I used so much in Mozilla Thunderbird is available in as well 🙂


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6 Responses to “Making OS X Lion Flags more useful”

  1. rj zimmerman Says:

    Thanks for your site. It helped me find a bug. I had flagged several messages with “red” I then wanted to change the name, but I had hidden “Reminders” so MacOS help was useless saying only “double click a flag and rename it; except there were none visible!

    After reading your site, I see that they’re under Reminders (why?) and I unhid them. Still, there was no disclosure triangle.

    Here’s a bug then: re-flag one of the messages to “orange” and the disclosure triangle appears. Make it red again, and the triangle remains (making this difficult to reproduce!)

    Regardless, works fine now.

    So…flags are a great improvement, but *tags* would be much better. You can only assign one flag at a time and tags, combined with smart mail boxes would be just perfect. For that we still need a third party plug-in: mail tags.

  2. Allen A Watson Says:

    Tags are where the add-on MailTags comes in (

    • chris Says:

      Thank you. MailTags looks very interesting – if there would not be the somewhat high price tag…
      Btw: I think you might have mixed up something in the URL is the site of Objective Development – the developers of Little Snitch and LaunchBar, other extremely useful tools. is where you can find MailTags 🙂

  3. Apple Mail: Flag Message From Keyboard | Click & Find Answer ! Says:

    […] Article Describing Configuring short cuts: Making OS X Lion Flags more useful […]

  4. Angela Says:

    Thank you so much for posting this!!! VERY helpful!!!

  5. sawai Says:

    very useful tips!

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