By Ken Slovak
Date: Nov 7, 2003
With the skills you'll acquire in this sample book chapter, you'll be able to work with E-mail messages in Outlook 2003, from setting preferences to dealing with attachments.
Chapter 3: Sending and Receiving E-mail
In this chapter
- Learning about what is shown in the Inbox and how to work in the Inbox.
- Learning about sending and receiving e-mail.
- Knowing about reading e-mail.
- Understanding how to answer and forward e-mail.
- Knowing how to create a new e-mail message.
- Knowing how to set e-mail preferences.
E-mail has become a major communications medium, and much of the time you spend in Outlook will be e-mailrelated time. Of course, the first thing you need to know about e-mail is how to send and receive it; otherwise, you have no e-mail. You also need to know how to read, create, reply to, and forward e-mails. The Inbox is the place where you receive e-mails, so you also need to understand about working in the Inbox. In this chapter, you will learn the ways to work in the Inbox and the basics of working with e-mail.
Working with the Inbox
Before we start working with e-mail, let's take a look at the Inbox folder, shown in Figure 3.1. The Inbox is the folder where your e-mails are delivered, and you will be spending a lot of time working in the Inbox folder, so it's good to know what you will be seeing.
Figure 3.1 The Inbox view is laid out in three panes; the Navigation Pane, Folder Pane, and Reading Pane.
The normal view of the Inbox shows the width of the Outlook window divided into three panes below a menu bar and a toolbar. The toolbar is the Standard toolbar, which contains frequently used commands from the different Outlook menus. The three panes, from left to right, are the Navigation Pane, the Folder Pane, and the Reading Pane.
The Navigation Pane
The Navigation Pane is used to navigate from one folder to another in Outlook. It has buttons for different groups of folders, such as Mail and Calendar. Clicking one of these buttons displays a list of folders related to that button. The Inbox is an e-mail folder, so it is displayed in the Mail group. All folders of every type are displayed if the Folder List button is clicked. Above the All Mail Folders group of folders is the Favorite Folders area, which provides shortcut links to various e-mail folders.
To select a folder to view, click on the desired folder in the list of folders. To view the Inbox, click on the Inbox in the All Mail Folders group or in the Favorite Folders area. You will learn more about working with the Navigation Pane throughout this book, and you will learn about customizing it in Chapter 11, "Customizing the Navigation Pane."
The Folder Pane
The Folder Pane displays all the items in the current folder, based on the folder view being used. The default view of the Inbox shows all items in the folder, grouped by the date the items were received. You can learn more about folder views in Chapter 14, "Outlook Views."
The Folder Pane shows quite a bit of additional information about the items in the folder, such as the date/time the items were received, the person who sent the items, and the status of the items. Figure 3.1 shows four e-mails in the Inbox; each item shown illustrates one or more pieces of status information.
The items are grouped by when they were received; the groupings shown are Today, Yesterday, and Thursday. Other groupings you might see in the Inbox include Last Week, Two Weeks Ago, Three Weeks Ago, Last Month, and Older. Groupings are set up to show more detail for newer items and less for older items. You might care when an item was received this week but probably wouldn't care which day three months ago an item was received.
The first item in the Inbox shows the icon for an e-mail that hasn't been marked as read at the left. This icon, called the Unread icon, is a closed envelope symbol. The sender of the e-mail and the time it was received appear next in the first line. At the right of the e-mail is a flag, known as a Quick Flag, that is colored red. Quick Flags are used to mark e-mails so they stand out, and also can provide reminders with alarms and pop-up dialogs to remind you to take some action related to the e-mail. You will find more details on Quick Flags and reminders in Chapter 4, "Advanced E-mail Techniques." The second line of the first e-mail shows part of its subject, and a High importance icon, which is a red-colored exclamation mark.
The second item in the Inbox, in the Yesterday grouping, shows the icon for an e-mail that has been replied to. This icon is an open envelope symbol with a maroon-colored arrow pointing toward the envelope.
The third item in the Inbox, in the Yesterday grouping, shows the icon for an e-mail that has been forwarded to someone. This icon is an open envelope symbol with a blue-colored arrow pointing away from the envelope. This e-mail shows a paper clip icon to the right of the e-mail subject, which indicates that the e-mail has an attachment. An attachment can be a file, document, picture, or other object that is attached to an e-mail. This e-mail shows a green-colored Quick Flag.
The final item shown in the Inbox, in the Thursday grouping, shows the icon for an e-mail that has been marked as read. This icon is an open envelope. This item also shows the icon for an item with Low importance at the right of the second line, a blue-colored down-pointing arrow symbol.
To review, here is a list of the most common pieces of information displayed about items in the Folder Pane:
Date groupings, which organize e-mails based on the dates they were received. The date groupings become less specific as the dates get further and further in the past.
E-mail status, which can be read or unread, replied to, and forwarded.
Flag status, which can be unflagged or show a colored Quick Flag.
Importance, which can be High, Normal, or Low. E-mails with Normal importance don't show any importance icon.
Attachment status. E-mails with attachments display a paper clip icon.
Subject and date/time received. In date groupings that use a day, such as Yesterday, the day of the week and time received are shown. In less specific groupings, such as Last Month, the date the item was received is shown, but not the time. It's more important to show what time an item was received today than it is for an item received months ago.
The Reading Pane
The Reading Pane, the rightmost pane shown in the Inbox, enables you to preview e-mails so you can read them without having to open them. Just below the subject of the e-mail and the sender is the InfoBar, a gray-colored bar that shows additional information about an item in the Reading Pane. In the item shown in the Reading Pane in Figure 3.1, the InfoBar indicates that a follow-up flag is set on the e-mail, and the e-mail was sent with High importance.
Below the InfoBar, you can see the person the e-mail was addressed to, followed by the message in the e-mail.
Now that you are familiar with the layout of the Inbox and what information is displayed for e-mails in the Inbox, you will learn about sending and receiving e-mails.
Sending and Receiving E-mail
In Chapter 2, "Outlook from the Beginning," you learned how to configure e-mail accounts, send/ receive groups, and Outlook profiles. Now you are ready to send and receive e-mail.
If you set up your send/receive group to automatically poll for new e-mails, your e-mail will arrive at regular intervals. If you didn't configure automatic polling for e-mail, you will have to check for e-mail manually. You also can check for new e-mails manually whenever you choose, whether or not an automatic polling interval was set. To manually check for new e-mail messages, do the following:
To send and receive e-mail manually, press the keyboard shortcut F9, which performs the same function as selecting Tools, Send/Receive, Send/Receive All.
To send only (and not receive) e-mail from all your e-mail accounts, select Tools, Send/Receive, Send All.
In addition to the commands for sending or sending/ receiving for all accounts, you can send/receive for specific e-mail accounts in a send/receive group or for specific send/receive groups. Figure 3.2 shows the Send/ Receive menu for an Outlook setup that has one send/receive group with two e-mail accounts defined in that group.
Figure 3.2 The Send/ Receive menu shows your send/receive groups as well as individual e-mail accounts.
On this menu, you can see that the default All Accounts Group is listed, followed by a menu commands for each e-mail account in the All Accounts Group. If you have more than one send/receive group defined, that group is listed next, followed by the accounts in that group and so on.
Now that you know how to send and receive e-mail, you will learn how to read e-mail in the next section.
The most important thing about receiving e-mails is reading them, of course. Outlook provides two methods of reading e-mails. You can read them in the Reading Pane, or you can open individual e-mails.
Working with the Reading Pane
By default, the Reading Pane is shown at the right of mail folder views but optionally can be displayed below the folder view or can be turned off entirely. You saw how the Reading Pane looks on the right of the folder view in Figure 3.1; the Reading Pane displayed at the bottom of the folder view is shown in Figure 3.3. This arrangement displays more information for each e-mail in the folder but shows less of the message text in the e-mail selected in the Reading Pane.
Figure 3.3 Displaying the Reading Pane at the bottom of the folder view shows less text than displaying the Reading Pane on the right of the folder view.
Figure 3.4 shows the Inbox with the Reading Pane turned off.
To change the position of the Reading Pane or to turn it off, do the following:
Select View, Reading Pane.
Click Right to display the Reading Pane on the right, Bottom to display it on the bottom, or Off to turn it off.
Figure 3.4 When the Reading Pane is turned off, you must open an e-mail to be able to read it.
Using the Reading Pane makes it easy to read e-mails without having to open them. If there is more message text than will fit in the Reading Pane screen, you can use the scrollbars to scroll down the message text so that you can read it all. I use the Reading Pane to work with e-mails the vast majority of the time and rarely open an e-mail to read it.
Opening an E-mail
To open an e-mail, either double-click on the e-mail, or right-click on it and select Open from the context menu. Opening an e-mail automatically marks it as having been read.
The advantage to reading an e-mail by opening it is that you can view more text at one time in a long e-mail without having to scroll, especially if the e-mail window is maximized. If you prefer to keep the Reading Pane closed, you will have to open your e-mails from the Inbox to be able to read them.
Answering and Forwarding E-mail
You answer e-mails by replying to them, and you can also forward them to other people. Replying to an e-mail automatically addresses the reply to the e-mail's sender. If the original e-mail was sent to more than one person, you can choose to reply to only the sender or to all the original recipients of the e-mail in addition to the sender. You can also add or remove recipients from the e-mail after you begin the reply or forward.
When you are finished entering any text or changing settings for the e-mail, send the replied to or forwarded e-mail by clicking Send on the toolbar of the open e-mail or press the key combination Ctrl+Enter.
Using Reply and Reply to All
To reply to an e-mail, click Reply on the Standard toolbar when the e-mail is selected in the Inbox or select Actions, Reply. Another way to reply to an e-mail is to right-click a selected e-mail in the Inbox and then select Reply. To reply to an open e-mail, select Reply in the open e-mail's toolbar. Figure 3.5 shows a reply to an e-mail with the subject Work on the RM project - Important.
RE: is always added in front of the original subject of an e-mail when you reply. If the e-mail you reply to is part of a conversation (where related messages are passed back and forth between sender and receiver multiple times), still only one RE: appears in the subject line no matter how many times the e-mail is replied to.
To reply to all the recipients of an e-mail, click Reply to All on the Standard toolbar when the e-mail is selected in the Inbox or select Actions, Reply to All. Another way to reply to all recipients of an e-mail is to right-click a selected e-mail in the Inbox and then select Reply to All. To reply to all recipients of an open e-mail, select Reply to All in the open e-mail's toolbar. Figure 3.6 shows an e-mail being answered using the Reply to All feature. The original e-mail was addressed to two recipients, and the reply is addressed to the other original recipient as well as to the sender of the original e-mail. The subject of the reply shows the addition of the RE: modifier.
When you have a reply message open, you can add or remove addressees, change the format of the message, select which e-mail account is used to send the reply if you have more than one e-mail account, and change the message options just as you can with a new e-mail message. You will learn about these topics in later sections of this chapter, as well as in Chapter 4. You will learn to work with e-mail formats in "Working with E-mail Formats" later in this chapter.
Figure 3.5 The reply to the original e-mail is already addressed to its sender, and the subject has been modified by the addition of RE: in front of the original subject.
Figure 3.6 Reply to All opens a reply e-mail addressed to all the recipients of the original e-mail.
E-mails that are replies don't include any attachments that were included in the original e-mail. This makes sense because all the original recipients of the e-mail received the attachments when they received the original e-mail. The same rule applies to reply to all e-mails.
To forward an e-mail to someone else, select the e-mail in the Inbox and click Forward on the Standard toolbar. You also can select Actions, Forward, or right-click on an item selected in the Inbox and select Forward. In an open e-mail, select Forward on the toolbar in the open e-mail.
When a message is forwarded to other people, the text FW: is added to the message's subject to indicate the message was forwarded. Figure 3.7 shows an e-mail message opened for forwarding.
In most other respects, a forwarded e-mail message is the same as a reply, except that forwarded messages include any attachments that came in the original e-mail. You can add addressees to forwarded messages and change their format and message options just as you can with replies. You will learn about working with e-mail formats later in this chapter, and about setting and changing message options in Chapter 4.
Figure 3.7 Forwarded e-mails include any attachments that were included in the original e-mail.
Creating a New E-mail Message
You can create a new e-mail message in a number of ways. The simplest way is to press the key combination Ctrl+N when the current Outlook folder is an e-mail folder. The menu option for creating a new message is Actions, New Mail Message. Selecting this option opens a new e-mail message using the default e-mail editor and e-mail format. You will learn how to set your default e-mail editor and e-mail format in "Setting E-mail Preferences" later in this chapter.
If you are currently in a Contacts folder and have a contact selected, you can select Actions, New Message to Contact to open a new e-mail message already addressed to that contact. You will learn more about addressing e-mails later in this chapter.
Working with E-mail Formats
Outlook provides three formats in which you can send e-mails:
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)An Internet standard for formatted messages and the default format for Outlook 2003 e-mails.
Plain TextUnformatted e-mails that can be read by any e-mail client.
Rich Text Format (RTF)A proprietary Microsoft format for formatted messages that can be understood only by Outlook, and another e-mail client named Eudora.
Outlook can use one of two editors for working with e-mail: Microsoft Word and the Outlook editor. Word provides more text formatting options and has the full power of a word processor. The Outlook editor is certainly adequate but doesn't offer the full set of features provided by Word. Both Word and the Outlook editor support all three e-mail formats.
So, which format should you use, and when should you select other formats for specific e-mail messages? Each format has advantages and disadvantages, as shown in Table 3.1.
You can open a new e-mail message using a specific e-mail format by selecting Actions, New Mail Message Using, and clicking on Plain Text, Rich Text, or HTML.
Some Outlook features that you will learn about later in this book, such as sending an e-mail with voting buttons used to return the recipient's vote to approve or reject a proposal, work only when using Rich Text format. Rich Text format is also required for sending Outlook items such as contacts and tasks correctly to other people. Some people use e-mail clients that don't understand HTML messages; you will want to send e-mail to those people using Plain Text format. You can change the format of an open e-mail message, to send the message to people who use different e-mail clients or to remove or add formatting for messages. If you change the format from HTML or Rich Text to Plain Text, you will be warned that all message formatting will be lost. Select Yes to continue with the format change or No to cancel changing the message format.
Table 3.1 E-mail Format Advantages and Disadvantages
Formatted text. Internet standard Can show pictures in the body of an e-mail. Can use stationery to provide background images or patterns for formatted e-mails.
Larger size e-mails produced using HTML than the other formats. Older style e-mail readers such as Pine can't understand HTML. Possible to exploit HTML formatting tags to send viruses for spam techniques.
Smallest message size. Cannot be used for inline viruses or spam techniques.
Unformatted text layout.
Rich Text (RTF)
Formatted text. Used for sending custom Outlook forms and Outlook items such as contacts and tasks. Small size for formatted text messages. Can show pictures in the body of an e-mail.
Understood only by Outlook and Eudora.
You change an existing e-mail format differently depending on which e-mail editor you are using:
Word editorSelect the format drop-down in the E-mail toolbar and choose the desired format for this message.
Outlook editorSelect the format from the Format menu.
Figure 3.8 shows the format drop-down in the E-mail toolbar in an e-mail using Word as the editor.
Figure 3.8 The Format drop-down in an e-mail using Word as the editor enables you to change message format.
Table 3.2 shows the alternate formats available in the Format menu in the Outlook editor for each e-mail format.
Table 3.2 Alternate Formats with the Outlook Editor
Available Alternate Formats
HTML, Rich Text
When you send e-mails to people who do not use Outlook, never use Rich Text Format (RTF). Use only HTML or Plain Text formats. If the recipient of a Rich Text e-mail is using an e-mail client that doesn't understand Rich Text, he or she will receive a Plain Text message with an attached Winmail.dat file. This attachment contains the Rich Text formatting and cannot be deciphered unless the recipient is using Outlook or Eudora.
Addressing and Sending an E-mail
Each e-mail has three address fields that you can use to address the e-mail to other people. An e-mail can be addressed directly to one or more people, it can be carbon copied (Cc), or it can be blind carbon copied (Bcc). You will learn about carbon copying and blind carbon copying in a later section of this chapter.
To address an e-mail to one or more people, either type the e-mail address in the To field or select the To button. Selecting the To button opens the Select Names dialog, shown in Figure 3.9.
Figure 3.9 The Select Names dialog enables you to address e-mails using existing contact e-mail addresses.
Highlight the desired recipient or recipients from the address book shown in the Select Names dialog and click on the To button to add the selected e-mail addresses to the To field of the e-mail. You can also double-click one or more highlighted recipients to add them to the To field. When you are finished adding e-mail addresses to the To field, click OK to close the Select Names dialog and return to the e-mail.
When you are finished composing and addressing the e-mail, you can set options for the e-mail, which you will learn about in Chapter 4, before you send it. You can also attach files or Outlook items to the e-mail, which you will learn how to do later in this chapter.
To send the finished e-mail, click Send on the toolbar or press the key combination Ctrl+Enter.
You can resend an e-mailfor example, if the recipient doesn't originally receive it. To resend an e-mail, open the e-mail and select Actions, Resend This Message. A new copy of the original message is opened in which you can add or remove recipients, change the subject or message text, add or remove attachments, and change any other message settings or options just as you can with a new e-mail.
Sending Rich Text Messages Over the Internet
Sending a Rich Text Formatted (RTF) message over the Internet, required when sending Outlook items such as contacts and tasks, can be difficult to do successfully, especially when you are using Exchange server. Outlook has a tendency to convert Rich Text messages sent over the Internet into HTML messages, which prevents an Outlook item from being received correctly. Some of the settings necessary for correct transmission of Rich Text can be set only by the Exchange administrator.
One setting that is under your control is the format setting for the contact in the contact record. To see this setting in an e-mail message, right-click a recipient in To field and select Outlook Properties to open the recipient's contact record. Right-click the e-mail address in the contact record and select Outlook Properties again to open the dialog shown in Figure 3.10. If you entered an e-mail address instead of selecting a contact, you have to select Outlook Properties only once to display the E-mail Properties dialog.
Figure 3.10 The E-mail Properties dialog enables you to change how e-mails are sent to the contact over the Internet.
The default setting for Internet format is Let Outlook decide the best sending format. Often, using this setting can lead to the e-mail being converted to HTML. To ensure that Rich Text Format is used for the selected contact, select the Send using Outlook Rich Text Format option. Click OK to close the E-mail Properties dialog, and if a contact record was opened, select Save and Close to save the change and ensure the e-mail is sent in Rich Text Format.
There is a similar setting in the dialog opened by selecting Tools, Options, Mail Format, Internet Options. The drop-down for the format used when sending Rich Text messages is a global setting for all messages sent over the Internet by Outlook. The setting you just learned to set is a per e-mail account setting, which gives you much greater control over the way messages are sent.
If you don't want to always use Rich Text Format for that contact, change the setting back to Let Outlook decide the best sending format after the e-mail is sent.
If the global setting is changed from Convert to HTML format to Send using Outlook Rich Text format, all Rich Text messages are sent to everyone as Rich Text. The global setting overrides the default Let Outlook decide the best sending format setting in the contact's e-mail address properties. This can result in accidentally sending Rich Text messages to people whose e-mail clients can't understand Rich Text, with possible loss of information or formatting. The best way to control who gets Rich Text formatted messages is on a per e-mail account basis, as you learned how to do in this section.
Carbon Copying and Blind Carbon Copying
In addition to sending e-mails directly to people on the To address line, you also can carbon copy and blind carbon copy an e-mail to people.
Carbon copying people in an e-mail is similar to sending interoffice memos in business, with the memo sent directly to some people and with other people in the Cc (carbon copy) address field. The distinction between sending directly to someone and sending a Cc of a message is that people in the To field are expected to take some action as a result of the message, such as replying to it. People who are carbon copied with the message aren't expected to take any action; they are copied so they are aware of the message.
Blind carbon copying (Bcc for blind carbon copy) is a method of copying someone with a message without enabling any of the other recipients of the message to know the person was copied. The only person who can see the Bcc address field in a message is the person who sent the message. Although Bcc has many legitimate uses, you should be aware that it is also a technique used by spammers. Many of the spam e-mails you receive won't show that the message was addressed to you, an indication the message was Bcc'd to your e-mail address.
The Cc address field is always shown in an e-mail message. The Bcc address field is not shown by default. The method for showing the Bcc address field in an e-mail message depends on which e-mail editor you're usingWord or the Outlook editor:
For e-mails using Word as the e-mail editor, show the Bcc address field by clicking the down arrow to the right of the Options button on the E-mail toolbar in an open e-mail and selecting Bcc, as shown in Figure 3.11.
For e-mails using the Outlook editor, show the Bcc address field by selecting View, Bcc Field in an open e-mail.
Figure 3.11 To show the Bcc Address field in an e-mail using Word as the e-mail editor, you use the Options drop-down.
Showing the Bcc address field is a toggle setting. After you show the Bcc address field, it will continue to be displayed in all e-mail messages until you toggle the setting again.
Adding a recipient to the Cc or Bcc address fields follows the same procedure as adding a recipient to the To field, which you learned how to do earlier in this chapter. You either type a valid e-mail address in the Cc or Bcc address field or select Cc or Bcc to open the Select Names dialog. In the Select Names dialog, highlight the Cc or Bcc recipient and click on either the Cc or Bcc button.
If you blind carbon copy someone in an e-mail, and the Bcc'd recipient doesn't realize he or she was Bcc'd on a message and then uses Reply to All, the rest of the original recipients will also receive a copy of the reply. They will then know that person was copied without the other recipients' knowledge. If an e-mail contains extremely sensitive content, you might consider sending a separate e-mail to the person instead of blind carbon copying him or her.
E-mail messages can have attachments, which can be either files or Outlook items. Some examples of Outlook items are tasks, contacts, and other e-mails. You should attach Outlook items only when you are sending to people who also use Outlook. Other e-mail software applications don't know how to handle Outlook items, so it is useless to send Outlook items to people who do not use Outlook. If you attach Outlook items, you also must send the e-mail in Outlook Rich Text Format, which you learned about earlier in this chapter.
You can't add an attachment to a received e-mail message; you can only add an attachment to new e-mails or to open e-mails that are being replied to or forwarded.
The Paperclip icon in the toolbar enables you to attach files (not Outlook items) to an open e-mail. Selecting the Paperclip icon in an open e-mail opens the Insert File dialog, shown in Figure 3.12.
Figure 3.12 The Insert File dialog enables you to attach files to e-mails.
To send Outlook contacts and calendar entries to people not using Outlook, use the Internet standard vCard and iCalendar or vCalendar formats, which you will learn how to do in Chapter 6, "Contacts and Address Books," and Chapter 7, "The Calendar."
Select the file to attach to the e-mail in this dialog and then select Insert to insert the file as an attachment.
To attach an Outlook item to an e-mail, click the down arrow next to the Paperclip icon and select Insert Item to open the Insert Item dialog, shown in Figure 3.13. If you are using the Outlook editor, select Insert, Item to open the Insert Item dialog.
In the Look In section at the top of the dialog, select the folder where the item you want to insert is located. Scroll through the Items section at the bottom of the dialog and select the item to insert; then click OK to attach the Outlook item to the e-mail.
If you are using the Outlook editor, you can choose to insert the item as an attachment, as text only, or as a shortcut. Selecting Attachment attaches the Outlook item to the e-mail message just as it does when you attach a file. Selecting Text Only inserts information from the Outlook item as text in the e-mail. Selecting Shortcut inserts a shortcut link to the item and is not useful unless you are using Exchange server and the Outlook item is in a folder accessible to the recipient of the e-mail message.
Figure 3.13 The Insert Item dialog enables you to attach Outlook objects to e-mails.
Attachments are shown differently depending on which e-mail format you are using. Attachments in HTML or Plain Text format are shown in a separate attachments area just below the message subject. Attachments in Rich Text messages are shown in the message text area.
Setting E-mail Preferences
Outlook provides many settings for configuring e-mail, your default e-mail format and editor, and your e-mail options. Most of these settings are available when you select Tools, Options, click on the Preferences tab, and then select E-mail Options. Some other e-mailrelated settings are located on the Mail Setup, Mail Format, Spelling, and Other tabs. You learned about the settings in the Mail Setup tab in Chapter 2.
The E-mail Options Dialog
In the top section of the E-mail Options dialog, shown in Figure 3.14, you set message handling options. In the bottom section, you set the appearance of e-mails you reply to or forward. Two buttons in this dialog, Advanced E-mail Options and Tracking Options, open additional dialogs.
Message Handling Options
The top section of the E-mail Options dialog is the Message handling options section. These options control how messages are handled when you move or delete, read, send, reply, or forward e-mails.
For the After moving or deleting an open item setting, you can choose the following:
Open the previous item in the folder. This is the default setting.
Open the next item in the folder.
Return to the Inbox.
Figure 3.14 In the E-mail Options dialog, you set most of the e-mail handling and sending appearance options.
The Close original message on reply or forward setting selects whether to close an open e-mail after you reply to it or forward it.
If Save copies of messages in Sent Items folder is checked, copies of all messages you send are saved in the Sent Items folder. This setting interacts with the In folders other than the Inbox, save replies with original message setting in the Advanced E-mail Options dialog. Table 3.3 shows how these two settings interact.
The name and description of the After moving or deleting an open item setting are deceptive; the setting also applies when you move or delete e-mail items that aren't open but are visible in an e-mail folder. After you delete the e-mail item, the selected item in the folder view will be either the previous or next item in the folder, depending on this setting. If you select return to the Inbox, the next item in the folder will be highlighted when you move or delete an e-mail item in a folder view.
Table 3.3 Interaction of Save Copies Setting with Save Replies Setting
Save copies checked, save replies checked
Original messages, replies to items in Inbox saved to Sent Items. Replies to items in other folders saved in the original folder.
Save copies checked, save replies not checked
Original messages, replies from any folder saved in Sent Items.
Save copies not checked
Original messages, replies from any folder not saved at all.
If Automatically save unsent messages is checked, messages that haven't been saved or sent are automatically saved to the Drafts folder or another folder selected in the Advanced E-mail Options dialog. The autosave frequency is set in the Advanced E-mail Options dialog.
The Remove extra line breaks in plain text messages setting is used to condense Plain Text messages by removing extra blank spaces between lines of the messages. Extra line breaks are not shown but are not actually removed from the message. If extra line breaks are removed from an e-mail, the InfoBar for the e-mail notes the removal. To show the e-mail with the extra line breaks, click on the InfoBar and select Restore line breaks.
The Read all standard mail in plain text setting displays e-mails in Plain Text format. This option removes formatting and inline pictures from the display of HTML and Rich Text messages. The formatting is still there in the messages; it just isn't shown. If you remove this setting, the messages will be displayed with their original formatting. This option is used mostly to prevent active content such as links to Web sites in messages that might carry viruses from executing the active content.
The Read all digitally signed mail in plain text setting is enabled only if the setting to read all standard e-mail in plain text is checked. This setting is similar to the one for standard e-mails but applies to secure digitally signed e-mails only. The reason for a separate setting is that, because signed e-mails carry traceability to the originator and can be checked for forgery and tampering, they are less likely to be carrying a virus than unsigned e-mails. You will learn more details about digitally signed and secure e-mails in Chapter 18, "Secure E-mail."
On Replies and Forwards Options
When you reply to or forward a message, you can select whether to include the original message text in your reply or forward, and you can choose how the original text is inserted in the reply or forward. The following settings can be used for replies and/or forwards:
Attach original messageThis setting includes the original message as an attachment to the reply or forward. This is similar to the way forwards received from AOL (America Online) users appear.
Include original message textThis setting places the original message below the text for the reply or forward. Include and indent original message text is similar, but the original text is indented from the left margin of the reply or forward. Both settings place a separator line between the original text and the reply or forward text, and also list the sender, the date/time the original message was sent, and the person to whom it was sent below the separator line.
Prefix each line of original messageThis setting includes the original message below a separator line with the sending information the same as in the previous settings, but it also places a prefix character at the beginning of each line of the original message.
You use the Mark my comments with setting when you use Word as the e-mail editor, and you enter comments mixed into the original text of a message that is replied to or forwarded. The text entered is placed between brackets and serves to identify comments that are interspersed with the original text.
Click OK to save the E-mail Options settings.
Advanced E-mail Options
Select Advanced E-mail Options to open the Advanced E-mail Options dialog, as shown in Figure 3.15.
Figure 3.15 The Advanced E-mail Options dialog has additional, advanced e-mail settings.
The settings in the Advanced E-mail Options dialog are broken into groups for message-saving settings, actions to take when new e-mail messages are delivered to the Inbox, and settings used when sending messages. The first group of settings is for saving messages.
Save Message Settings
The Save unsent messages in setting enables you to choose to save unsent messages in the Drafts, Inbox, Outbox, or Sent Items folder. The default is to save unsent messages in the Drafts folder.
The AutoSave unsent every setting enables you to set how often to save unsent messages. The default setting is to save unsent messages every 3 minutes.
The effects of the In folders other than the Inbox, save replies with original message setting, combined with the Save copies of messages in Sent Items folder setting on the E-mail Options tab, are shown in Table 3.3.
The Save forwarded messages setting also works with the Save copies of messages in Sent Items folder setting on the E-mail Options tab. If both settings are checked, forwarded messages are saved in the Sent Items folder.
The next group of settings is for actions to take when new e-mail messages are delivered to your Inbox.
Actions Taken on Arrival of New Messages
The Play a sound setting in the Advanced E-mail Options dialog plays the Windows New Mail Notification sound when new e-mails arrive in the Inbox. The new mail sound doesn't play every time a new e-mail arrives; it plays at intervals of approximately 5 minutes. If new mail arrives more often than at 5-minute intervals, the new mail sound may not play for each new mail arrival.
To change the sound used for the New Mail Notification sound, follow these steps:
Select Start, Control Panel and then Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices. If Control Panel is not shown in the Start menu, open the Control Panel by selecting Start, My Computer, and from the Address drop-down, select Control Panel.
Select Sounds and Audio Devices; then in the Sounds and Audio Devices Properties dialog, select the Sounds tab.
Scroll the sounds listed under Program events until New Mail Notification is selected, as shown in Figure 3.16.
Select the sound you want played in the Sounds drop-down, or if the desired sound isn't shown in the Sounds drop-down, select Browse and navigate to the sound you want to use and click OK. The sound must be in a .WAV file. Click OK to save the selection for the new mail sound.
The Briefly change the mouse cursor setting in the Advanced E-mail Options dialog displays a visual signal that a new e-mail has arrived in the Inbox. If you have a relatively fast computer, you may not see the cursor change; it happens too fast to notice.
The Show an envelope icon in the notification area setting shows an envelope signaling a new e-mail has arrived in the Inbox. The envelope icon is displayed until an e-mail is marked as read, is replied to, forwarded, or deleted. Figure 3.17 shows the envelope icon signaling new mail has arrived.
Figure 3.16 The default sound played when new e-mails arrive is Windows XP Notify.wav.
Figure 3.17 The envelope icon is shown in the notification area when new e-mails arrive in the Inbox, as is a Desktop Alert.
The Display a New Mail Desktop Alert setting shows an alert message when a new e-mail arrives; this alert shows the subject of the message and part of its text. Desktop Alerts are shown only when e-mail arrives as a result of a scheduled e-mail send/receive. E-mails that arrive after you manually send/receive do not trigger a Desktop Alert. Select the X in the alert to close it. Select the down arrow in the alert to open the incoming e-mail. A Desktop Alert for an incoming e-mail message is shown in Figure 3.17.
Select Desktop Alert Settings to open the Desktop Alert Settings dialog, shown in Figure 3.18, to change the configuration of Desktop Alerts.
You can set the length of time a Desktop Alert is displayed, its degree of transparency, and whether it should be hidden behind applications running in full-screen mode in the Desktop Alert Settings dialog. Experiment with the settings and select Preview to see how your settings appear. When you are satisfied with the Desktop Alert settings, click OK to save them.
The final group of settings in the Advanced E-mail Options dialog control settings used when sending e-mails. These settings are the defaults used for all e-mails, although you can change many of these settings in an e-mail before you send it.
Figure 3.18 The Desktop Alert Settings dialog enables you to configure how the alert appears and how long it is displayed.
Send Message Settings
The Set importance setting in the bottom section of the Advanced E-mail dialog enables you to set the default importance of e-mails to Low, Normal, or High. The Set sensitivity setting enables you to set the default sensitivity of e-mails to Normal, Personal, Private, or Confidential. You will learn about e-mail importance and sensitivity in Chapter 4.
The Messages expire after setting enables you to set how long sent messages exist before they expire. Expired messages are shown as crossed out but otherwise remain available.
The Allow comma as address separator setting enables you to use a comma as well as a semicolon as a separator when you enter e-mail addresses in the To, Cc, or Bcc fields of an e-mail. The default is that only semicolons are acceptable as separators for e-mail addresses.
The Automatic name checking setting enables you to make sure an e-mail address is entered in an acceptable format. Automatic name checking is performed after you tab out of the e-mail address fields. This feature also checks names entered in e-mail address fields to verify they match a name that has an e-mail address in your contacts. Automatic name checking doesn't check for the validity of an e-mail address, only that it is formatted correctly. If you enter an e-mail address that does not exist but is in the correct format, it will pass automatic name checking. Names and e-mail addresses that pass automatic name checking are underlined.
The Delete meeting requests from Inbox when responding setting determines whether meeting requests you respond to are deleted or remain in the Inbox. You will learn more about meetings and meeting requests in Chapter 7.
The Suggest names when completing To, Cc, and Bcc fields setting presents suggestions for completing names after you start typing in the e-mail address fields. This Outlook feature is called autocompletion. You can do the following:
To accept a suggestion, press Tab or Enter when the highlighted suggestion is correct.
To accept alternate suggestions, use the arrow keys to highlight the suggestion you want to use.
To use none of the suggestions, continue typing to complete the name you want to enter.
The Add properties to attachments to enable Reply with Changes setting enables you to add tracking information to Office documents sent as attachments to e-mails. When the attachments are edited by the e-mail recipient and sent back using Reply with Changes, the changes are tracked in the attached document.
Click OK to save your advanced e-mail settings.
Autocompletion suggestions are made based on a most recently used (MRU) basis. If you type the letter m and you recently sent an e-mail to your friend Mark, his e-mail addresses will be at the top of the suggestion list.
Select Tracking Options to open the Tracking Options dialog, as shown in Figure 3.19.
Figure 3.19 The Tracking Options dialog enables you to configure options for read and delivery receipts and for meeting requests.
When Outlook receives meeting and other requests, the requests can be processed automatically during free time when Outlook isn't doing anything else, or they can be processed only when you open the items. The same is true for requests for read and delivery receipts. Delivery receipts are similar to certified mail that you must sign for when it is delivered by the postman, and read receipts are similar but are generated when you read an e-mail.
After a receipt is processed, you can have it automatically deleted or moved to a folder. Check After processing, move receipts to and then select Browse to open the Select Folder dialog. Select a folder to move receipts to and then click OK.
The next setting, Delete blank voting and meeting responses after processing, determines whether voting and meeting responses are deleted if you don't enter a reply message in the response.
The For all messages I send, request setting enables you to request read and/or delivery receipts for all e-mails you send. The use of receipt requests is generally encouraged only for important items, and some e-mail clients don't support sending delivery or read receipts. Consequently, even if you request receipts, they may not be returned to you. Some e-mail clients also enable you to prevent receipts from being sent. If a recipient using one of those e-mail clients doesn't want a receipt to be sent out, it won't be.
The final setting in the Tracking Options dialog controls whether you return receipts requested over Internet e-mail. You can select to always send back a receipt, never send one, or decide each time a receipt is requested whether you want to send it back.
Click OK to save the tracking settings.
The first two settings in the Tracking Options dialog control whether requests and receipts are processed automatically or only when the items are opened.
Junk E-mail Options
Select Tools, Options, click on the Preferences tab, and then select Junk E-mail to open the Junk E-mail Options dialog, shown in Figure 3.20. The Junk E-mail Options dialog has four tabs: Options, Safe Senders, Safe Recipients, and Blocked Senders. You will learn about using the Safe Senders, Safe Recipients, and Blocked Senders tabs in Chapter 4.
Figure 3.20 The Junk E-mail Options dialog enables you to configure how the junk e-mail filter works.
The Options tab enables you to select the degree of Junk E-mail filtering you want Outlook to use. You can choose from the following settings:
No automatic filteringThis setting completely turns off the junk e-mail filtering.
LowThis setting moves obvious junk e-mail into the Junk E-mail folder. Microsoft estimates that this setting catches between 50% and 70% of all junk e-mails.
HighThis setting is a more restrictive filter. Microsoft estimates that it catches 90% or more of all junk e-mail and moves it to the Junk E-mail folder.
Safe lists onlyThis setting moves all e-mails except those from people or domains listed in your safe senders list to the Junk E-mail folder. You can select to trust anyone in your contacts in the safe senders list, but this setting is the most restrictive and will probably filter a significant number of nonjunk e-mails into the Junk E-mail folder.
The checkbox for deleting suspected junk e-mail doesn't permit you a second chance to decide that an e-mail isn't junk, so check this setting only if you haven't had e-mail you want to keep filtered into the Junk E-mail folder for a while.
Click OK or Apply to save the junk e-mail settings.
Even if you haven't had false positives filtered into the Junk E-mail folder in a long time, the last setting on the Options tab can cause deletion of e-mails you wanted to keep, so be very careful before you enable it.
Mail Format Tab Settings
Select Tools, Options and then click on the Mail Format tab to display the tab shown in Figure 3.21; it contains options for setting your default e-mail format, e-mail editor, Internet format, and international options. You will learn about the remaining tab settings for stationery, fonts, and signatures in Chapter 4.
Figure 3.21 The Mail Format tab enables you to set your default e-mail format and editor.
On this tab, you can do the following:
Select your default e-mail message format from the message format drop-down. Your choices are HTML, Rich Text, or Plain Text.
Check the Use Microsoft Office Word 2003 to edit e-mail messages checkbox to enable Word as your editor for all new e-mail messages. This setting also applies to messages you reply to or forward.
Check the Use Microsoft Office Word 2003 to read Rich Text e-mail messages checkbox to enable Word as your editor when you open Rich Text format messages.
Select Internet Format to open the Internet Format dialog, as shown in Figure 3.22. This dialog has settings for sending copies of pictures over the Internet instead of sending links to the pictures, converting Outlook Rich Text messages to HTML format when sending the messages over the Internet, and using line wrapping for Plain Text messages and encoding attachments in Plain Text messages. Generally, you should leave these settings at their defaults. You can restore the defaults by clicking Restore Defaults. To save any changes in this dialog, click OK.
Select International Options to open the International Options dialog, shown in Figure 3.23. You should generally leave these settings at their defaults.
Figure 3.22 The Internet Format dialog enables you to control how messages sent over the Internet are sent out.
Figure 3.23 The International Options dialog controls how messages are encoded when using languages other than English.
Usually, you should not change the settings for international e-mail options. Changes in these settings can make your e-mails unreadable in English.
Select Tools, Options and then click on the Spelling tab to display the tab shown in Figure 3.24; this tab contains options for spell checking in e-mails. The settings are similar to those used for setting spell checking options in Microsoft Word and won't be covered in any detail in this book. The spelling options are somewhat misleading because, except for the Always check spelling before sending and Ignore original message text in reply or forward settings, these settings apply only when the Outlook editor is used for e-mail, not when Word is used as the e-mail editor.
The custom dictionary supplements the standard dictionary and enables you to add words that otherwise would be flagged as misspelled. Select Edit to open the Custom.dic file in Notepad to add, remove, or edit words in your custom dictionary. This custom dictionary is shared with Word. When you select Edit, you see a dialog saying that changes may not be reflected in open messages. Click OK to close this dialog and check Please do not show me this dialog again to never display the dialog when you edit your custom dictionary. When you are finished editing the custom dictionary, select File, Save to save your changes and File, Exit to close the editor and return to Outlook.
Figure 3.24 Spelling settings control spell checking when you send e-mail.
You can select the primary dictionary used for spell checking by selecting your preferred language from the Language drop-down in the Spelling tab.
Click OK or Apply to save the spelling settings.
E-mail Options on the Other Tab
Some additional e-mail or e-mail related settings are located in the Other tab of the Tools, Options dialog.
Reading Pane Options
Select Tools, Options, click on the Other tab, and select Reading Pane to open the dialog shown in Figure 3.25. In this dialog, you can set how the Reading Pane works.
Figure 3.25 The Reading Pane enables you to read messages without opening them and can automatically mark messages as read.
When an e-mail is selected in the Reading Pane, it can be marked as having been read after a certain amount of time has passed and/or when you select a different item in the Reading Pane. To mark items as read after a time interval, check the first checkbox in the Reading Pane dialog and enter a time to wait before marking the message as read.
If you select a different item before the time interval has expired, and you haven't checked the second checkbox for marking items as read when the selection changes, the e-mail will not be marked as having been read.
If the Single key reading using space bar checkbox is checked, you can move from one message in the Reading Pane to another message by pressing the spacebar. The setting for moving or deleting an open item in the E-mail Options dialog controls whether the next or previous message becomes selected after you press the spacebar.
Click OK to save your Reading Pane settings.
Person Names Options
Select Tools, Options, click on the Other tab, and use the Person Names settings at the bottom of the tab to control whether a Person Names Smart Tag is enabled when you use Word as the Outlook editor. The Person Names Smart Tag recognizes a name in an address field of an e-mail and provides a context menu for that person.
The Display Messenger Status in the From field checkbox controls whether a sender's Instant Messaging status is displayed in the From field of an open e-mail. Messenger status can be displayed for Windows Messenger.
Click OK or Apply to save the Person Names settings.
E-mail Options in the Advanced Options Dialog
Select Tools, Options, click on the Other tab, and then select Advanced Options to display the remaining e-mail settings.
Check When selecting text, automatically select entire word to enable this option. This setting is enabled only when you are using Word as the e-mail editor.
Paste Options buttons are Smart Tags that are similar to the Paste Special button in Word; they enable easy text layout and formatting options. This option applies only when you are using Word as the Outlook editor.
Click OK to save these settings.
The feedback with sound option requires installation of the Office Sounds add-in, which you can download from the Office Update Web site.
Posting Items to Folders
Outlook includes a feature called a Post item. Post items can't be sent by e-mail but are "posted" in e-mail folders. Post items typically are used for discussions in Exchange public folders and for other collaborative work, as you will learn in Chapter 21, "Collaborating with Outlook and Exchange." However, you can use Post items to place notes and reminders to yourself in e-mail folders and to serve as containers for such files as Word documents or Excel worksheets.
To add a Post item to a folder, select File, New, Post in This Folder to open a new Post item, as shown in Figure 3.26.
Figure 3.26 Post items can be used for discussions, notes in folders, and containers for attachments.
Enter a subject and select Categories to open the Categories dialog if you want to add a category to the Post. If you add a category, click OK to close the Categories dialog. Enter any text you want in the message area and add any attachments, as you learned in "Sending Attachments" earlier in this chapter. Select Post in the toolbar of the open Post item to add it to the current e-mail folder.
You will learn about posting replies to Post items and replying directly to the original poster in Chapter 21.
The Absolute Minimum
In this chapter, you learned about the basics of working with e-mails in Outlook 2003. To review, you now know how to
Send and receive e-mails.
Reply to e-mails and forward them to other people.
Create a new e-mail message and select its format.
Carbon copy and blind carbon copy people in outgoing e-mails.
Attach files and Outlook items to e-mails.
Set e-mail preferences.
Work with Post items.
With the skills you acquired in this chapter, you now know how to work with Outlook e-mails. In the next chapter, you will learn advanced e-mail techniques such as using signatures and stationery and flagging e-mails with Quick Flags and reminders.