In Snow Leopard holding option-up arrow (for > 1s) will select the first message and option-down arrow will select the last message in Mail.app (see: What Is the Keyboard Shortcut for Moving to Last Message in Mac OS X Mail.app?) but this no longer works in Lion. Does anyone know if there is a new shortcut?
Unfortunately, I can only offer workarounds...
You can deselect all messages e.g. by clicking the empty area if the list doesn't fill all vertical space, then press
To get the last message, press
If you don't use Mail's full screen mode, you can do the following:
Open Automator and create a new Service that receives no input in Mail. From the Utilities library, add a Run AppleScript action by double-clicking. Then use the following script code:
This script has been developed for the new three-column view. If you use the classic pre-Lion view, remove "
Save as Select first row and assign a keyboard shortcut, e.g.
Create a new Service and repeat this, but replace
These services will only be available in Mail, and select the first and last row respectively when you press the assigned keyboard shortcuts.
An alternative AppleScript, that works even in full screen mode and doesn't require the Accessibility API (UI scripting):
If you are in threaded view, select View » Expand all Conversations first, as single messages that are part of a thread cannot be selected, and it cannot easily be determined which messages belong to a thread.
The alternative script below will select the bottom-most non-threaded message in the list, bounded by 50 attempts to not run forever: