Org Link – create Org-mode hyperlinks to Entourage mail messages

Table of Contents

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This hack allows the user to easily copy and paste links to messages from the Entourage mail app into an org-mode file.

Installation & Setup

Create and Save Script In Entourage Scripts Menu Folder

Installation is simple. Create a new Applescript application using the following code:

tell application "Microsoft Entourage"
   set selectedMessages to current messages
   if selectedMessages is {} then
   end if
   repeat with theMessage in selectedMessages
   	set theName to subject of theMessage
   	set theSender to display name of sender of theMessage
   	set theContent to content of theMessage
   	set theID to ID of theMessage as string
   	set theCommand to "mdfind com_microsoft_entourage_recordID==" & theID & " | sed 's/ /\\%20/'"
   	set theMDfile to the first item of paragraphs of (do shell script theCommand)
   	set the clipboard to "[[file:" & theMDfile & "][" & theName & "]]" as string
   end repeat
end tell

and save it into your personal Entourage Scripts Menu Folder. It's file path should be something like:

~/user/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Entourage Script Menu Items

You can also locate this folder by opening Entourage and selecting the Applescript/Automator icon from the main toolbar (looks like a scroll / on the far right). If you select "About This Menu…" and click on the "Open Folder" dialog button it will open the "Entourage Script Menu Items" folder in Finder.

The exact file name will be used as the menu option so if you want it to look pretty be sure and use something like "Copy Org Link" as the file name.

Once you've completed this step you should be able to run the script by selecting the "<file name>" option from the Applescript/Automator icon drop menu.

Create Entourage Shortcut Key

After the first step you should already be able to use the script (see usage below); however, it will probably be easier to use if you assign it a hot key (like the cut and paste shortcut keys).

In order to assign it a hot key, open "System Preferences" and navigate to the following location:

Hardware/Keyboard & Mouse/Keyboard Shortcuts

Scroll to the bottom of the window, highlight "Application Keyboard Shortcuts", and click the "+" sign just to the lower left of the window.

This should open a dialog box. Use the drop menu to select "Entourage" as the application, then enter the exact name that appears in the Entourage script menu. The default is "copy-org-link". Then enter the exact key combination that you would like to use as a shortcut in the "Keyboard Shortcut" window. My default is "<command> l".

When you go back to the scripts menu in Entourage you should now see the shortcut next to the name of the script.

Enable Entourage Message Indexing In Spotlight

In order for the hack to work the user must have enabled the Entourage application preference that allows OS X's built-in Spotlight search engine to index the contents of the Entourage database.

To enable this preference open Entourage and select the following menu items:

Preferences/General Preferences/Spotlight/

Then, simply check the box next to "Include Entourage items in Spotlight search results" to instruct Spotlight to index your messages.

If you haven't previously had this feature enabled it may take it a few minutes to index your messages, but once it has finished you should be able to run the script successfully.

NOTE: This step is required because of the way that Entourage stores its messages (in a single monolithic database). When Spotlight indexes the messages it creates separate files that can be referenced and contain sufficient metadata to link back to the original message in Entoura


Once the hack has been setup simply highlight a message line in the message list window, hold down the <command> key, and press the assigned key. This action will run the Applescript macro which will copy a properly formatted link to the message onto the clipboard. Simply paste the text from the clipboard into a .org document to create the link.

Because of the way Spotlight indexes messages (it assigns each a unique identifier that never changes) the link should still work no matter where you move the original email within Entourage.

Documentation from the website (either in its HTML format or in its Org format) is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License version 1.3 or later. The code examples and css stylesheets are licensed under the GNU General Public License v3 or later.