Outlook Express For quite a few users, Outlook Express is their email browser, and for some users

, specific guidance on some of its features is worthwhile. Comments will not be specific to a particular version. Since the advent of version 4, Internet Explorer became a two-part browser, with Internet Explorer continuing to be the web browser, but now used only for that purpose, and Outlook Express became a separate but linked email browser. Outlook Express installs with Internet Explorer. Since Windows 98, you got Internet Explorer as well as Outlook Express as an integral part of the Windows operating system if your version of Windows is intended for the home user (Windows 98, Windows 98 SE, Windows Me, and Windows XP). Some of these comments will be applicable to other email browsers as well, such as Netscape Messenger, AOL, and Juno. This tutorial will cover most of the basic information a user will need to manage a typical pattern of email usage, and will also cover a few topics not needed by some users. One of the features available in email is that of sending attachments, and since one of the favorite types of attachments is photos, this topic is included with the imaging and photos collection. The browser itself can be selected by double-clicking on the shortcut icon, which looks like a stamped envelope with a blue double-headed arrow that makes a spiral loop around it. Or you may open Outlook Express by locating it in the Start Menu as follows: From the “Desktop,” click on “Start,” then run the pointer up to “Programs,” then find Outlook Express in the program list which appears to the right of “Programs,” and click on it. As part of the computer setup, calling for Outlook Express usually initiates making a connection to the internet service provider. For those with a dial-up phone line connection to your server, it will initiate the dial-up-network, which starts the process of making the connection to your server. The basic screen contains three parts, the left [Folder list] panel, the upper right [Message list] panel, and the lower-right [Preview] panel. The left panel shows the folders in which messages appear, or in which you re-direct messages for storage. The upper-right panel typically shows at least the following data about messages that have been downloaded to your Inbox, and may or may not have been opened or read - senders name, subject, and time received. It may also show a small paper clip to the left of the sender’s name if the message contains an attachment. The lowerright panel shows a header containing the sender’s name and the other key elements shown in the upper-right panel -- the message pane below it shows the body of the

email message. In some cases, an image attachment will appear below a horizontal line at the bottom of the email message. If the message contains an attachment, there will be a paper clip showing at the right side of the header. The left panel shows a hierarchy of folders, with Outlook express at the top, followed by Local Folders, which contains the following folders as an inherent part of the installation [“Inbox,” “Outbox,” “Sent Items,” “Deleted Items,” and “Drafts”]. Other folders may be added at the discretion of the user, which provide a handy means for emptying the Inbox, or for placing message copies of sent items that you may wish to direct to a given folder for storage. These folders are usually named for the individuals or groups that represent a major part of your email traffic. A “catchall” or undesignated “general” folder name may be assigned for storing messages that don’t belong in another specific folder. The user will find that they have a setting that makes Outlook Express go directly to their Inbox. Making custom folders for storing messages There are two ways to bring up a dialog box, which will allow you to name a new folder: 1) Click on “File” in the menu bar, click on “Folder” in the drop-down menu, click on “New” in the menu, which opens after clicking on “Folder.” 2) Right-click on “Local Folders” and click on “New Folder” in the drop-down menu. The blinking cursor will appear at the left of the slot called “Folder Name.” After typing in a name, click on the OK button and a folder with the new name will appear in alphabetical order below “Local Folders.” If you choose to move a message to a storage folder, click–and-drag on the message line in the Upper-right Message list panel into the desired folder. Contents of the Message list (panel) The key message elements found in this panel are “From,” “Subject,” and “Received.” This information indicates the sender’s name, the subject line title and the date and time your service provider received it. For those of you who do not have anti-virus software installed, you should be cautious about what you open, both for your sake and for the sake of others with whom you network. If the sender’s name is unfamiliar, or if the subject line seems out of character for the kinds of messages you expect to receive, you may be at risk for opening a message with a virus. Particularly if the message contains an

attachment, “Beware the virus.” If you are uncertain about the contents, you could delete it. If you have a compelling reason to retain it and examine it further, you may be at risk for inviting a virus into your system. Some have used a procedure for copying the message to a floppy disk, and have used further precautions to safeguard against a suspected virus from invading the rest of their system, while enabling them to see more about the contents of the message. Contents of the Preview panel Some settings may be made to affect the way that a message is presented in this panel. One setting deals with selecting a text font size, which is bigger or smaller than the default size. Another provides for a (pre)view of an image attachment directly below the message. The body of the message is the usually the primary content in the Preview pane. It may or may not have formatted text. There are two ways that a line feed (which forces the text to “wrap” to the line below) may occur for the text seen in a received message. A “hard line ending” which is inherent in the text as it was received, which introduces a “line feed” and a “carriage return” at the spot where such a hard line ending occurs. The other way a line of text “wraps” to a new line is if a word extends near enough to the right edge of the message window that the program forces the line to wrap. A header shows “From,” “To,” and “Subject:” information. If a paper clip appears at the right side of the header, you have two options to choose for working with the contents of the attachment. An attachment is a file, which arrives with an email message and may be removed when forwarding the message only if an action is taken to remove it. In general, the attachment will remain with the received message by default. Attachments have the virtue of conveying a file to the recipient as an intact entity, which contains all of the original formatting, etc. It may be any kind of registered file type that is supported by software at the sending and receiving ends and by the software at intermediate points on it’s journey through the internet. More than one attachment may accompany a message. Creating a message When you create a new message, you bring up a composing [New Message] screen – in Outlook Express, the usual way to bring up this screen is to click on “Create Mail” or “Compose Message” in the toolbar. If you have the recipient’s name and email address in your address book, enter the first few letters of their name in the “To:” slot – a name will appear that may be the name you want, Outlook Express picks the first name in alphabetical order that satisfies the letters you entered. Use the “Tab” key to go down as many lines as you wish before entering the Cc:, Bcc:

and/or Subject data. If you choose not to enter a Subject line, it will ask you if you wish to send it without a subject before the message is sent. Use the tab key again to get the cursor into the message window. Compose the message text. When satisfied that it is complete, click on “Send” in the toolbar of the “New Message” screen. If the recipient’s name is not in your address book, you can enter their email address in the “To:” slot. If you choose a “hard line ending” for a line of text, you can strike the “Enter” key, or you can hold down a “Shift” key while you strike the “Enter” key. While the results may be the same when you are composing, they may not be the same when editing a received message. For single-line spacing, it is preferred to use “Shift” plus “Enter.” Sending an attachment If you choose to have a file sent with the email message as an attached entity that can be either just previewed for content, or copied to a folder by the recipient, sending the file as an attachment is the proper choice. Attaching the selected file is performed while using the composing [New Message] screen. To do this: Click on “Insert” in the menu bar of the “New Message” screen. This will provide an “Insert Attachment dialog box that has three data slots and one larger window in the middle of the dialog box. The top slot is named “Look in:,” and it has a triangular down arrow at the right side of the slot that helps you browse for the folder that contains the selected file to be attached. The other two slots at the bottom of the dialog box are “File name:” and “Files of type:.” Files of type will have a highlighted default entry of All files (*.*). This ensures that all file types of all existing file extensions that are resident within a folder on your computer will appear in the middle window when a folder is selected in the top slot. You browse for the folder that contains the file to be selected by using the down arrow at the right of the top slot, and click on the folder or its parent folder to gain access to the folder you want to examine. When a folder is positioned in the top slot, each of the files within it are displayed in the middle window. If file names overflow the window size, you will be able to scroll sideways by using the scroll bar which will appear at thebottom of this window. When the desired file appears in this window, double-click on it, and it will appear in the “File name:” slot near the bottom of the dialog box. Then click on the Attach nutton and the dialog box will disappear and the file name and its size will be listed in a new slot of the compose screen bleow the “Subject:” slot. This indicates that this file has become attached to the message. Checking an image file for suitability as an attachment

Some of the first things to check are the viewing size, file size and overall presentability of the image file. These are major topics of the file “image files,” which is included in the pages available at this site. There are no hard and fast rules about maximum viewing sizes or maximum file sizes, as these may be different for various individuals. A sender should be aware of the file size, and to know how to check the size and have some knowledge of the ways in which a an image file may be made smaller. File size The file size of an attached file will show in the slot that confirms that it iw attached to a message. Is is good practice to check on its size beforehand, so you can exercise judgement about whether it should become smaller, and what means should be used to accomplish that. A good way to check on file size is to go to Windows Explorer, find the file name in the right panel and place the mouse pointer over it. A usual response to this action is for a small buff-coloered box to appear near the file name which will include the File size in KB. If that information is not available by performing this action, do a right-click on the file name, then click on “Properties,” which will be the bottom menu item of the defaulted “General” tab for the “file name” “Properties” screen that will appear. Read the “File size” value, that is shown nearly half-way down on that page. Means available for reducing file size Cropping – this consists of removing image content that may be considered superfluous portions of margins, that is, not central elements of that portion of the image you want to present. Compressing – this consists of saving the image file in the least number of KB that preserves the image quality. In nearly all cases, an image of family photos or scenery photos will best be served by saving as a JPG file. This may entail converting from another image format such as BMP, which is not compressed. Compressing is a process that removes the bits or bytes associated with picture elements that are not necessary for re-constituting the image. When using the JPG image format, many users have found that a setting of 70 (on a scale of 0 to 100) is usually adequate to preserve image quality while making a small file. When using an Adobe imaging program, a setting of 4 is usually adequate. Viewing size – Here, a user should judge how they would like to see the image on their screen, and ensure that the image file will meet most of those criteria when viewed by the recipient. Things to remember: most users will have their screen resolution set for 800 X 600 pixels. Most viewers will view images in a web

browser. Most image program formats will be displayed at 96 pixels per lineal inch. Digital cameras tend to supply images corresponding to either 2 Megapixels or 4 Megapixels. Even if these images are converted or save in JPG format, they tend to be around 500 KB in file size and 1600 X 1200 pixels in viewing size. If a user simply cuts down the image viewing size to half of the original viewing dimensions, that will cut the file size to one-fourth of the original size. Address book An address book is available in Outlook Express, which has many useful features. It can contain the name of a recipient, along with the email address, and a myriad of other information about that “Contact.” It can be used to identify a group, and can be used to assign the individual “contacts” that are members of that group. This can be used if you regularly make a mailing to the same group of people. Message size There are a few reasons to avoid sending messages and attachments that are “big.” Each user may have a different idea of what constitutes a “big” file. The reasons for limiting the size of a sent message may be primarily that of net etiquette, so that the time for a user to download from their server is not excessive, OR they may be driven by limits placed by a server at either the sender’s end or the recipient’s end of the mail trail. Depending on the recipient’s server, they may have an established size limit in KB or MB for the amount of mail they retain at the Inbox they provided for you at their site. This is the box that accumulates the messages that you receive from them into your Inbox when you download. This limit can be as low as 100 KB, or it can be 10MB, or there may be no limit. Note that a sender may attach a 7.5 MB file to a message and the recipient may find that this message will be rejected and deleted by a server that has a 10 MB size limit on their inbox that serves your account. Generally, the number of bits needed to send a message (and it’s attachment) grows by about 35 percent in the process of being formatted for transmission on the internet. Handling an attachment Assuming that you wish to proceed with viewing the attachment, a few options are available. If the attachment does not automatically appear as a preview along with the body of the email message, and you want to view it without copying it to a folder on your hard drive, do the following: Left click on the paper clip at the right end of the header, highlight the attachment file name, which is shown in the upper half of the drop-down menu. The file name line will have an icon to it’s left which represents the application which is set to open the file, a file extension which follows the dot after the file name, and a file size in KB. If a valid application is available to open the attachment, it will be viewable in the browser, although it may

not be presented well unless the browser screen is maximized. This is okay, as this step is often used simply to preview the attachment. To copy the attachment(s) to a folder: Click on “Save Attachments,” which is in the lower half of the drop-down menu. This will open a “Save Attachments” dialog box. The attachment(s) is (are) highlighted in the upper “Attachments To Be Saved:” window. The bottom “Save To:” slot has a defaulted folder name which will appear, and this will be where the file is saved unless you make another folder selection. A Browse button is provided for making another folder selection: -- click on Browse and get a “Browse for Folder” dialog box which will act similarly to the left panel of Windows Explorer. Find the folder to be selected and highlight it. Next, go to the upper “Attachments To Be Saved” window and re-highlight the file name – then click the “Save” button. Forwarding and repeated forwarding of the same message One of the pesky things that get added to forwarded emails are those little >>> symbols. Also, one may find that the line endings of the original text don’t allow for the text lines to be completed on the same line as they started. There are a number of convenient (and mostly free) program downloads that take care of these problems in most cases. An example of such a program is emailStripper, which is available from downloads.com [C|Net]. A message may be forwarded as follows: highlight the message in the Message list (upper-right panel) click “Forward” in the tool bar, and enter a recipient name in the “To:” slot, then send. When an email contains a URL for a web site A web address is often called a URL (Universal Resource Locator). It has a distinctive format, often containing characters like www.msnbc.com or http://www.att.net. In many viewing applications like Outlook Express, the URL will also be underlined and colored – if it is, all you have to do to open that web site is click on the URL. Your computer will automatically invoke the use of Internet Explorer and will open the corresponding web page. Other features sometimes used It is possible to invoke certain other features of Outlook Express to make messages more interesting. One such feature is the use of HTML format. To allow the extra capabilities of HTML formatting to be used in a message you compose or edit, place the cursor

(blinking vertical bar “ | ”) in the large composing window of the New Message screen by placing the mouse pointer in this window and left-clicking on the mouse. Then click on the “format” tool in the menu bar of the New Message screen, and click on the menu item which says “● Rich text (HTML).” You may not recognize any response to this action, but a few new editing tools will appear in the gray bar above the composing window, and certain other features will become available. Now you will have a few editing tools available to allow the choice of font, font color for selected words, and some basic text formatting capabilities. In addition, you can place a variety of file types into the body of the message by doing a “Paste” of the file into the composing window. File types which can be introduced include DOC, HTML, MHT, JPG, GIF, and BMP. This relieves the user of the need to do further manipulation to see the file. Many users of Outlook Express use a setting that automatically presents any attached images below the body of the email message. Backgrounds A few kinds of additions may be made to a message that serve as enhancements, and which can be considered as “Add-in” background features for a message. These can include background colors, selection of message stationery, inserted images, inserted HTML files, and inserted background music. These features will become available after you select “● Rich text (HTML).” To choose one of these: Click on “Format” in the menu bar, then click on one of the menu items “Picture,” “Color,” or ”Sound.” Specifics of how to use each of these features are left as an exercise for the user. It should be recognized that message text and an image or HTML file can co-exist in the composing window. Further, that the recipient may not be able to separate the embedded background element from the rest of the message, although they may be able to edit and forward the message with its embedded background – and it is usually advisable to remove some of the message content that may no longer apply for the new recipient. Protecting the confidentiality of recipients You’ve all seen messages that have been forwarded many times, which contain the names and email addresses of recipients. It is not a good practice to send this sort of information to recipients if they don’t already know the other recipients and their email addresses, or if the information being sent is not appropriate to share with those for whom the information is not intended. There are techniques for avoiding these pitfalls. When you create a new message, you bring up a composing [New Message] screen – in Outlook Express, the usual way to bring up this screen is to click on “Create

Mail” or “Compose Message” in the toolbar. As a default at installation, three slots will appear in the upper portion of this screen “To:” “Cc:” and “Subject:.” Another slot called “Bcc:” (for Blind Carbon Copy) can be added as follows: Click on “View” in the menu bar of the “New Message” screen, and check on “All Headers” in the drop-down menu. After doing this, you will have the Bcc: slot between Cc: and Subject:. Bcc: has roots in office practice of providing a means for sending a copy to a recipient without letting the To: or Cc: recipients be aware that one or more Bcc: recipients also receive the same message. When hard-copy sheets and carbon sheets were in use, the originator could keep a file copy of those who received copies as Bcc: recipients. However, this information is not retained with message contents when sending email As a practical matter, one should consider the following: In your address book, enter as a new contact a “name” (actually a phrase, something like recipients not disclosed), and use your own email address for this entity. Then if you want to send a blanket message to a few people, and you don’t want to identify any of the recipients or their email addresses to any other of the recipients, place the names (or email addresses) of each recipient in the Bcc: slot, separated by a comma and a space, and enter the “recipients not disclosed” “name” in the To: slot, and proceed normally with composing and sending the message. Note that Outlook Express will not send mail unless it finds an entry in the “To:” slot that is recognized as an email address or is linked to an email address. You will receive the returned message in your “Inbox” folder, and you will also have a copy of this message in your “Sent Items” folder. You won’t have need to retain both. The recipients will probably recognize that this is a blanket message, and they won’t have any information about the names or email addresses of the other recipients. Copying individual email messages There may be occasions where you will want to have a copy of an email message saved in the original format, which can be kept in a folder of their choice on any drive on their computer. The user must make a copy of that message in EML format, and save it where they choose. This is done as follows: Go to the message you want to copy, highlight it with a left-click on the subject line in the upper-right panel – then click on “File” in the Outlook Express menu bar, click on “Save As” in the drop-down menu – you get a “Save Message As” dialog box. The slots near the bottom are “File name:” and “Save as type:” The default file name which appears (as a default) in this slot comes from the first few words in the message subject line – the “Save as type” defaults to “Mail (*.eml).” The name you select for this saved message may be different than that which appears as the default, and when you highlight the eventual name in the “File name” slot, it will appear in the lower slot

with the * having been replaced with the file name of your choice. Then you must select the folder where it will be copied. Note that the upper “Save in:” slot of this dialog box will be the folder where the message file will be saved. There is a browsing capability provided by a triangular down arrow at the right end of the “Save in:” slot which can be used to select any folder on your computer – you may need to recognize the hierarchical nature of how these folders are placed to find the desired folder. When the information in these three slots is satisfactory, click the “Save” button. Archiving messages from Outlook Express You may wish to copy the contents of all or some of your selected email folders. Advanced users can do this if they use MS Outlook as an intermediate repository for the designated messages in the chosen folders. Don’t depend on the attachments to be retained during this process. You can archive the contents of the messages in the folders when they are in MS Outlook. The contents of each folder are saved in a file having a particular format and dile extension determined at the time of copying from MS Outlook. For example, CSV format (Comma Separated Variables) can be chosen. The contents of each message can then be reviewed from an application like MS Outlook or Excel on any computer in which this collection of saved files is resident. There will be a folder name associated with each saved file name that now contains all the messages within the corresponding folder from which it originated. Features not supported by email browsers HTM and MHT files have a scrolling feature that is recognized by web browsers, but is not supported by email browsers. Also, javascript applets will be presented in a web browser, but not in an email browser.