Updated 2015-05-06 05:37:10 by liyang

Keith Vetter 2014-04-08 : I love Gmail, but my biggest complaint is in managing filters. After many years of usage, I've accumulated dozens of filter rules which are a big jumble. I get confused why some messages show up with an unexpected label while others don't go where I expected them too.

Gmail has very limited support in untangling this mess--even just sorting the list of filters by which label gets applied would be a great help.

Thus, I wrote this tool which converts Gmail's exported xml of the filters into a csv file which you can manipulate in a spreadsheet. You can export the filters from the Gmail->Settings->Filters page.


  1. In Gmail: Settings->Filter->export and save to your_exported_filters
  2. tclsh gmailFilters.tsh your_exported_filters > your_filters.csv
  3. open your_filters.csv in Excel

[liyang] 2015-05-06: Alternatively, you might want to write your filters as an EDSL in another language, and delete/re-import them wholesale. Available options include: Haskell, Ruby, or PHP
# gmailFilters.tsh -- parses Gmail filters xml and creates a CSV file
# you can create xml of gmail filters via Gmail->Setting->Filters->Export
# by Keith Vetter 2014-04-08

package require tdom
package require csv

set gmail_namespaces {
    atom "http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom"
    apps "http://schemas.google.com/apps/2006"

# These fields describe who to filter and what to do on a match
# probably missing some
set filterFields  {

proc ParseFilterFile {gmailFilter} {
    set fin [open $gmailFilter]
    set xml [string trim [read $fin]] ; list
    close $fin
    dom parse $xml doc
    $doc selectNodesNamespaces $::gmail_namespaces
    set root [$doc documentElement]

    set data {}
    for {set idx 1} {1} {incr idx} {
        set csvItems [ParseOneEntry $root $idx]
        if {$csvItems eq ""} break
        lappend data $csvItems
    unset doc
    return [CreateCsv $data]
proc ParseOneEntry {root idx} {
    set idNode [$root selectNodes /*/atom:entry\[$idx\]/atom:id]
    if {$idNode eq ""} { return {} }
    set id [[$idNode firstChild] nodeValue]
    set csvItems [list $id]
    foreach name $::filterFields {
        set value [ExtractProperty $root $idx $name]
        lappend csvItems $value

    return $csvItems
proc ExtractProperty {root idx name} {
    set node [$root selectNodes /*/atom:entry\[$idx\]/apps:property\[@name='$name'\]]
    set value ""
    if {[llength $node] == 1} { 
        set value [$node getAttribute value]
    return $value
proc CreateCsv {data} {
    # Sort by label
    set data [lsort -index 1 -command lsortCommand $data]
    set csv "[::csv::join [concat id $::filterFields]]\n"
    foreach datum $data {
        append csv [::csv::join $datum] "\n"
    return $csv
proc lsortCommand {a b} {
    # Sort empty strings last
    if {$a eq ""} { return 1}
    if {$b eq ""} { return -1}
    return [string compare $a $b]

if {$tcl_interactive && $argc == 0} {
    set gmailFilter ~/Downloads/mailFilters.xml
    set argv $gmailFilter

if {[llength $argv] != 1} {
    puts stderr "usage: gmailFilter gmail_exported_filter_file"
    exit 1
set csv [ParseFilterFile [lindex $argv 0]]
puts $csv