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Multiple Identities in Apple Mail 5.0 for Lion

Apple’s still does not support multiple sender identities, such as for example "John Doe" and "Johnnie" through the graphical user interface. However, there is a hint how it is done in Apple Mail up to and including Snow Leopard.

In Mac OS X Lion, Mail has reached version 5 and Apple has introduced a new layout for Mail’s Library folder, which is called "V2".

Here’s how you can still use multiple identities in Lion.

The "Mail" folder in the ~/Library folder now contains nothing but a single subfolder aptly called "V2":

% ls ~/Library/Mail/V2

While previously, one had to edit ~/Library/Preferences/, in Lion, the dictionary to edit resides in ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/Accounts.plist.

This file can be edited with Xcode, which is a free download from the App Store but comes in at a hefty 3.5GB. Alternatively, you can edit it in any text editor.

Be sure to quit Mail and make a backup copy of the file first.

To gain access to the ~/Library folder in Finder, hold down the ⌥ (alt) key and choose the menu command Go → Library.

In the end, the file should look similar to the one shown below (in Xcode):  Mail alias accounts in Mac OS X Lion's Mail version 5