Zimbra Web Client Mail Filters

Revision as of 21:27, 6 May 2008 by Cfremon (talk | contribs) (Comparison Field: Adjusting table width)


Zimbra Web Client (ZWC) Mail Filters are an advanced user feature that allow users to perform actions on incoming email before it reaches their Inbox.

Well constructed mail filters can be used to capture spam that has bypassed spam filters, presort mail into designated folders, to apply tags to mail, to forward select messages.

How Do Filters Work?

Mail filters are a set of user defined conditions that are checked against incoming email. When an incoming email meets any of the user defined conditions, the filter performs user defined actions on the email.

In this section we will first take a look at filter conditions, and then at filter actions.

Filter Conditions

Filter conditions are made of two parts:

  • Comparison Field
  • Comparison Operator

A filter condition is constructed by choosing a comparison field and then choosing a comparison operator and completing any operator fields. These two parts instruct the filter what part of an email to check, and for what content to check.

You can create multiple filter conditions. Using multiple filter conditions help refine filters and allow you to look for very specific types of email. Less filter conditions will create broader filters that can catch a variety of different emails.

Comparison Field

The comparison field tells the ZWC Mail Filter which section of the email to check for the comparison operator. Comparison fields can include the From field, the email body, and even email attachments.

The following table lists and describes all comparison fields supported by ZWC.

Comparison Field Description
From Use this option to specify a From name in an email message.
To Same as From, but looks for the specified names in the To header.
CC Same as From, but looks for the specified names in the Cc header.
Subject Use this to specify a Subject header in an email message.
Header Named When this option is selected, an additional text input field appears before the comparison operator (the contains field). This field allows you to specify any email header. You can specify the standard fields of To, From, Date, Reply-To, or other custom fields that may be included in the message header.

You could use this option to filter out email messages that have malformed headers, meaning they do not contain certain information that is normally considered standard for an email message. Sometimes spam, which is automatically generated, omits information such as the Sender or Reply-To fields. Use the second text field (the field immediately to the right of the compariosn operator) to specify for which header to test.

Size Use this option to select email messages that are larger or smaller than a specified size, including any file attachments. You can use this to discard email messages that are too large.
Date Use this option to specify email messages sent before or after a specified date.
Body Use this option to specify words that are contained or not contained in the Body of the email.
Attachments Use this option to filter for email messages with or without attachments.
Address In Use this option to check if an address appearing in a field of an incoming messages (such as From, To, Cc, and Bcc) is or is not in one of your address books.

Comparison Operator

The comparison operator tells the ZWC Mail Filter what to look for in the comparison field. Comparison operators can include exact matches, email size, and even the existance of an attachment.

The following table lists and describes all comparison operators supported by ZWC.

Note: The available comparison operators vary depending on the comparison field you selected.

Comparison Operator Description
Matches exactly/Does not match exactly Specifies an exact match.

For example, specifying Subject matches exactly Banana would only match Banana and not Bananas or A truck full of banana leaves.

Contains/Does not contain Specifies that the subject line must contain the specified substring.

For example, specifying Subject contains Banana would match I’m going bananas.

Matches wildcard condition/Does not match wildcard condition Specifies that the subject must match the specified string, which includes wildcards.

For example, specifying bana* would match banana and banana tree, but not free bananas. For more information about wildcards, see Using Wildcards in Filters.

Exists/Does not exist Specifies that the specified comparison field must exist or must not exist in the message. This comparison operator is used with the Named Header and Attachment comparison fields.
Under/Not under, Over/Not over Used for comparison against the Size field. When specifying the size to check against, you also specify the unit of measurement: B (bytes), KB (kilobytes), and MB.(megabytes).
Before/Not before, After/Not after Used for comparison against the Date field.
In/Not in Used to check if an address appearing in a field of an incoming messages (such as From, To, Cc, and Bcc) is or is not in one of your address books.

Filter Actions

The filter action tells the ZWC Mail Filter what to do with any email that the matches the filter conditions. You can create multiple filter actions, which are applied in the order listed. Filter actions can include deleting, sorting, and even tagging incoming mail.

The following table lists and describes all filter actions supported by ZWC.


Using Wildcards in Filters

Creating and Managing Filters

Creating a Filter

Editing a Filter

To edit a filter

  1. Go to Preferences>Mail Filters.
  2. Click Edit Filter. The Edit Filter dialog displays.
  3. Use the drop-down menus and fields to edit the filter as necessary.
  4. Click OK.

Your filter is now edited. Any changes made to a filter are saved immediately.

Activating and Deactivating a Filter

To activate a filter

To deactivate a filter

  1. Go to Preferences>Mail Filters.
  2. Deselect the Active check box next to the filter you want to deactivate.

The filter is now deactivated. Any changes made to a filter are saved immediately.

Deleting a Filter

Troubleshooting Filters

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