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- [ Team LiB ] Using Your Email Accounts [ Team LiB ] Choosing an Email Editor Outlook has two email
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Using Your Email Accounts
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Choosing an Email Editor
Outlook has two email editors to choose from, with Word set as the default email editor.
The Outlook editor, which is included with Outlook, offers basic editing and word
processing capabilities. The Word Editor, which has all the editing features of Word,
including grammar and spell check as you type, and signatures that automatically change
with the account type.
To select an email editor, choose Tools, Options, Mail Format (see Figure 5.1). To make
Outlook your email editor, clear the check box labeled Use Microsoft Office Word 2003
to Edit Email Messages.
Figure 5.1. Choose your email editor and message format using the Tools, Options,
Mail Format dialog.
- With the exception of features found only in Word, such as spell checking as you type,
the Outlook Editor and Word have the same basic features, although they're often found
on different menus.
One example is Options. In Word, the Option button includes options for E-mail
Signature, Stationery, and Show/Hide the From and BCC headers. Using the Outlook
editor, these options are on the View menu (headers) and the Insert menu (signatures). A
second example is message format. Using Word, you can choose between HTML, RTF,
and plain text from a toolbar button and can quickly change formats on the fly (see Figure
5.2). With the Outlook editor, you have to use the Format menu and switch to Plain Text
when switching between HTML and Rich Text options.
Figure 5.2. Although there are many minor differences between Outlook's editor
and Word's interfaces and the location of menus and options, there are many
similarities as well.
- Using Outlook's Email Editor
Outlook's editor is generally believed to be faster and to use fewer resources, although
most people won't notice any difference in speed. This editor has limited spelling and
AutoCorrect capabilities. You have to check your spelling using F7 or configure Outlook
to spell check before sending; it doesn't spell check as you type. AutoCorrect works only
with plain text and RTF, not HTML-formatted messages.
The Outlook editor provides basic email signatures, including the ability to assign
different signatures to different email accounts, but it doesn't automatically change the
signature when you select a new sending account.
You have to use the Outlook editor when designing custom forms.
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Outlook supports several common email protocols, including POP3, IMAP, HTTP, and
Exchange Services. Many times you don't have a choice in the type of email account
you'll use with your Internet access account, but you might have access to other account
- types through a Web hosting company or free email services.
The majority of Internet email accounts use POP3, which is short for Post Office Protocol
version 3. POP3 is the Internet standard for email, and is supported by almost all mail
server software. POP3 mail is typically downloaded from the email server and stored
locally on your PC. IMAP, or Internet Mail Access Protocol, is a server-based mailbox
store that is growing in popularity and, like POP3, has support from many mail servers.
Copies of the messages are downloaded to your email client and you can access your
messages from anywhere. Although many mail servers support both POP3 and IMAP
protocols, most Internet service providers configure only one, usually POP3, for
subscribers to use.
Several years ago, Microsoft developed HTTP, a proprietary email protocol to use with
Web-based email accounts. Like IMAP, messages are stored on the email server and a
user downloads copies of her messages to her local machine. The difference is that HTTP
uses port 80 to access the mailbox and IMAP uses port 143. Because port 80 is also used
for Web browsing, only one port needs to be opened on the firewall, which increases
network security. At this time, only Hotmail and MSN support HTTP access to email
using an email program.
Exchange Services encompasses two types of access to your mailbox. Traditional MAPI
access is typically used within LANs and supports special Outlook folders, such as
Contacts and Calendars, which are not supported by IMAP and POP3. Security-conscious
companies prevent access to mailboxes across the Internet, except when using a VPN
(Virtual Private Network) connection. Outlook 2003 supports a new protocol: RPC over
HTTP (Remote Procedure Call over Hypertext Transfer Protocol). RPC over HTTP
provides MAPI (Messaging Application Programming Interface) access to your mailbox
using port 80, the same port used by Web servers, thus providing the same email
experience to remote users that is enjoyed by local users. Although RPC over HTTP
sounds great, it has one major limitation. It's supported only in Exchange 2003 and
Windows Server 2003 and requires Outlook 2003 to be installed on Windows XP SP2.
Simple Mail Transport Protocol, or SMTP, is the protocol that POP3
and IMAP accounts use to send email.
Set up the Send/Receive settings for your accounts using Tools, Options, Mail Setup,
Send/Receive (see Figure 4.1). You can also access your Account Properties from the
Figure 4.1. Use the Mail Setup tab to configure Outlook to send messages
immediately when connected, to control how Outlook connects to dial-up accounts,
- and to access the Send/Receive settings.
If you don't know what type of email account you have, you'll need to
ask your ISP or email administrator.
All POP3 accounts share your default PST for message storage. IMAP and HTTP
accounts each use a local PST for local message storage because items stored locally are
synchronized with the IMAP or HTTP server—sharing one local folder would result in
messages from all accounts being stored on one or more servers. IMAP and HTTP
accounts require a second local PST to store calendar, contacts, and tasks because IMAP
and HTTP servers don't support the special folders.
Outlook uses a PST, or Personal Store, to store your messages, calendar, contacts, and
other Outlook items in one file on your hard drive. The PST file also contains forms,
- views, and rules, which are stored as hidden messages in the PST. You can have any
number of PSTs in your Outlook profile. The default PST contains the special folders
used by the calendar, contacts, journal, tasks and notes and is where messages from POP3
email accounts are delivered. Because a PST is a database, Outlook must have read/write
access to it. For this reason, you can't store a PST on a CD-R disc.
Using a POP3 Mail Account
If your Internet email account is POP3, select POP3 as the account type in the Tools,
Email Accounts Wizard. Enter your account information, including the display name you
use on outgoing email, your email address, your POP3 server name, and your outgoing
You might need to configure advanced options for your account, including outgoing
server authentication and the Leave Mail on Server setting. If so, choose the More
Settings button on the Internet E-mail Settings dialog.
You typically use POP3 to download messages to your local message store, and each
time Outlook checks for new email, it deletes the messages from the server after it has
finished downloading them. However, if you need to access your email on more than one
computer, you can leave your messages on the server. Open the Internet E-mail Settings
dialog using Tools, E-mail Accounts, View or Change Existing E-mail Accounts. Select
the account by name and choose Change, and then choose More Settings.
Select the Advanced tab and add a check to Leave a Copy of Messages on the Server (see
Figure 4.2). You should always add a check to Remove from Server When Deleted from
"Deleted Items" to help keep the size of your mailbox under control. Unless you have a
large mailbox and receive very little mail, you'll also want to check Remove from Server
After nn Days. Without these settings, copies of your messages remain on the server and
cause your mailbox to reach its maximum size, preventing the delivery of new messages.
Figure 4.2. Configure Outlook to leave messages on the server after downloading so
that you can access them from other computers.
- If you're on a slow Internet connection, you might want to download only headers for
your messages, shortening the time you need to remain connected. After the headers are
downloaded, mark the messages for download or deletion and process the marked
From Tools, Options, Mail Setup, click the Send/Receive button and then the
Send/Receive group the account uses. Unless you created additional groups, your account
is in the All Accounts group. Choose Edit and select your account in the Send/Receive
settings dialog, shown in Figure 4.3.
Figure 4.3. Use the Send/Receive Settings dialog to choose headers only or complete
items. You can choose Headers Only for large messages.
- Finally, you should configure Outlook's send and receive settings. You can do this by
account or by all accounts, if you have more than one account and want them to share the
same settings. Open the Send/Receive Groups dialog using Tools, Options, Mail Setup,
Send/Receive (see Figure 4.4).
Figure 4.4. Outlook can check for new messages on a regular basis, when you are
online or offline. For best results, you should use check for new mail no more than
every 8 to 10 minutes.
- Choose Schedule an Automatic Send/Receive Every nn Minutes and Outlook will check
for new mail when you open it and every nn minutes while it remains open.
After your account is configured, click Send/Receive to check for new email if you aren't
using automatic send and receive.
Checking for mail too frequently causes excessive server load for your
ISP. If you're downloading large messages, Outlook might stop
collecting new mail if a send and receive is attempted before the
current send and receive is finished.
If you're downloading only headers, right-click on the messages and choose Mark to
Download or Delete to delete messages you want to remove from the server (see Figure
4.5). When you're ready to get the full message, choose Send/Receive.
Figure 4.5. Using the Download Headers Only option, headers are marked to
download later or marked for deletion. The next time you check for new mail, the
messages are downloaded or deleted.
- The Junk E-mail filter removes spam from your inbox when you
download the full message. See Hour 14, "Organizing Outlook," to
learn more about junk email filtering.
You can access your account settings from the Tools, E-mail
Accounts dialog. You can also access them by selecting Tools,
Options, Mail Setup, Send/Receive button. Choose the Send/Receive
group your account is in, choose Edit, select the account and then
select Account Properties.
Using Your IMAP Account
When you use an IMAP account, select it as the account type in the E-mail Accounts
Wizard. Enter your display name, email address, and server names in the appropriate
If your Internet email account is IMAP, select IMAP as the account type in the Tools,
Email Accounts Wizard. Enter your account information, including the display name you
use on outgoing email, your email address, your IMAP server name, and your outgoing
- (SMTP) email server (see Figure 4.6).
Figure 4.6. Configure the required fields for your IMAP account before you use it.
IMAP accounts generally don't require additional configuration, except for outgoing
server authentication. If your email server requires authentication, enter the username and
password information on the More Settings, Outgoing Server tab found in the Internet E-
mail Settings dialog.
Hour 2, "Outlook Configuration Basics," contains detailed
instructions on setting up each type of email account.
Outlook downloads copies of IMAP messages to a local message store and the messages
remain on the server until you delete and purge the folders.
When you're configuring a new IMAP account, you have to subscribe some folders for
download before you can configure the send and receive settings for your IMAP folders.
If you previously used the IMAP account with another email program, the subscribed
folders should display in Outlook after you add the account. You can change the list of
subscribed folders by right-clicking on any IMAP folder and choosing IMAP Folders.
- Choose Query to show all available folders or enter a keyword to search for folders by
name (see Figure 4.7).
Figure 4.7. Use the IMAP Folders dialog to query the IMAP server for your email
folders and subscribe or unsubscribe from them. The folder icon identifies
subscribed folders. Select the option to show only subscribed folders in your folder
list to restrict the size of your folder list.
If checked, remove the check from When Displaying Hierarchy in Outlook, Show Only
Subscribed Folders to show all folders in the list in the Send/Receive Settings dialog.
When you add a check to any folder in the Send/Receive Settings folder list, as shown in
Figure 4.8, the folder is automatically subscribed and the contents are downloaded
according to your send and receive settings.
Figure 4.8. Send and receive settings control how Outlook handles automated sends
and receives for your IMAP accounts.
- Each folder in your IMAP mailbox may have different send and receive settings, based
on your needs. Regardless of the settings, selecting a folder while Outlook is online
refreshes the folder contents and downloads the selected item.
When you use IMAP to access an Exchange Server mailbox, you can
view public folders if you subscribe to all folders in the path. For
example, I need to subscribe to Public Folders, My Folder, and Old
Email before I can access the folder located at \Public Folders\My
You can choose to download either headers only or full messages from any folder stored
in an IMAP mailbox. However, Outlook's IMAP transport does not support downloading
only the first xx KB of a message.
After subscribing to folders, choose Send/Receive to download your IMAP messages. If
you're working online (File, Work Offline), selecting a downloaded message downloads
the message body. When working offline, right-click and choose Mark to Download
Message(s) and the message body will be downloaded the next time Outlook checks for
new mail. Choose Delete to mark messages for deletion. However, messages aren't
actually deleted from the IMAP server until you purge the messages using Edit, Purge
- Outlook's rules, including the junk email rule, will process messages and delete junk
email received in IMAP Inbox folders, after the message body is downloaded.
Outlook does not have an option to automatically purge deleted items from your folders,
so you must remember to manually purge the folders occasionally.
The default view for the IMAP folder uses AutoPreview. A
recommended view is Group by Deleted Group Messages marked for
Deletion. This puts the deleted items out of sight, but not completely
hidden from view, lessening the chances that you'll forget to purge
IMAP doesn't support Outlook's special folders, including Calendar, Contacts, Tasks,
Notes, and Journal. Exchange Server users can view the folders, but editing the contents
converts the items to mail items and results in data loss.
A third-party application, InsightConnector, is available from Bynari
(http://www.bynari.net/) and works with any IMAP server. InsightConnector stores
Outlook's special folders on the IMAP server, enabling you to synchronize the special
folders with the IMAP server.
Using HTTP Accounts
An HTTP account uses HTTP port 80 to connect to a mailbox that you normally access
using a Web browser. Not all Web-based email accounts support the HTTP protocol by
using WebDAV, which is required for HTTP support. At this time, only Hotmail and
MSN are accessible using HTTP.
Using the HTTP protocol is a convenient way to access Hotmail and MSN accounts
because it removes the need to log on to a Web page to read your mail. Copies of the
messages are stored locally, so you can read them offline at any time after downloading
the full message.
Set up your HTTP account using Tools, E-mail Accounts and selecting HTTP. Enter your
display name and email address. When Outlook detects a Hotmail or MSN address, it
completes the server URL automatically (see Figure 4.9).
Figure 4.9. When you choose HTTP and enter a Hotmail or MSN address, Outlook
selects the correct server URL for you.
- Configure send and receive options for the HTTP account using Tools, Options, Mail
Setup, Send/Receive. Outlook's default configuration is to check for new mail on the
accounts every few minutes and download the headers to a local message store. The
messages remain on the server, accessible from any computer, until you delete the
message from the local store.
Junk mail filters remove junk mail from your mailbox after you download the message
body. Junk filters are unable to filter messages using headers only.
The Rules Wizard is not supported using the HTTP protocol. Some third-party rules add-
ins might move your email to local folders, provided that you download the message
bodies before running the rules. My personal favorite is ExLife (www.ornic.com). A
complete set of current applications is at
Although Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003 do not officially
support the HTTP protocol, you can use the Outlook Web Access
(OWA) URL to access your email using Outlook. Enter your OWA
URL in the Server field, including your mailbox username in the
URL, as shown in this example:
- Working with Exchange Server
Outlook was designed to work with Exchange Server accounts. In fact, many of
Outlook's features work best with Exchange Server.
Set up your account using the instructions you received from your administrator. In many
cases, your profiles are created for you when you log on to your computer. If not, select
Exchange Server as the email account type in the E-mail Account Wizard. In most cases,
the default account settings are suitable. However, if you need to open additional
mailboxes, you have to select More Settings, Advanced tab and add the mailboxes to
Under most circumstances, you don't need to configure send and receive settings for your
Exchange account. However, if you're using Offline mode, you'll need to select the
folders you want available offline and set up filters and a synchronization schedule.
Cached Exchange mode doesn't require send and receive configuration. However, you
could create filters for folders, just as you do for Offline mode (see Figure 4.10). I don't
recommend filters unless you routinely use two different profiles or computers and use
filters only with the second profile; otherwise, you might forget the filters are on.
Figure 4.10. Use the Synchronization settings to set up filters for Offline mode.
- Using Exchange Server's RPC over HTTP
Outlook 2003 supports a new feature called RPC over HTTP, which allows Outlook to
connect to Exchange mailboxes over the Internet, using HTTP port 80. By using port 80,
administrators can leave the ports closed that are normally needed by Outlook for a
normal MAPI connection to Exchange Server.
You need to speak with your administrator to find out whether RPC over HTTP is
supported. You might be able to use RPC over HTTP if you connect to Exchange 2003,
which is installed in a Windows Server 2003 network.
In most cases, your administrator configures your Exchange
accounts for you. Always speak to your administrator before
changing your account information.
Unfortunately, just because your company has migrated to Exchange 2003 doesn't mean
that you can use RPC over HTTP. A number of other conditions must be met; for
- example, all the servers Outlook needs to communicate with must run on Windows
If your network supports RPC over HTTP, the next requirement is Outlook 2003 must be
installed on Windows XP SP2. You cannot use RPC over HTTP with Outlook 2003
installed on Windows 2000. See http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=331320 for more
If your network supports RPC over HTTP and your computer has Windows XP SP2, you
need to enable RPC support in your Exchange Server profile.
Check for your version of Windows by typing winver in the Start
menu, Run dialog. You can get more detailed information about your
computer by selecting System Information in the Help, About menu
choice of any Office application.
Open your account settings using Tools, E-mail Accounts, View or Change Existing
Email Accounts. Select the Exchange account and choose Change, More Settings to open
the Microsoft Exchange Server dialog.
On the Connection tab, add a check to Connect to My Exchange Mailbox Using HTTP.
Then choose Exchange Proxy Settings to set up your server information (see Figure
Figure 4.11. Ask your administrator for the correct settings to enable on the
Exchange Proxy Settings dialog, including the URL to your Exchange server.
- Rules, junk rules, and all other features that work with Exchange Server accounts work
with RPC over HTTP.
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