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Communicating with Internet Email : Sending Messages (part 1) - Taking Control of Your Messages, Creating a Signature, Creating an Email Shortcut for a Recipient

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1/11/2013 3:43:06 PM

1. Taking Control of Your Messages

Outlook Express offers many more options for composing messages than the simple steps outlined in the previous section. Here’s a summary of the other features and techniques you can use to modify your outgoing messages:

  • Choosing the message format— Pull down the Format menu and select either Rich Text (HTML) or Plain Text. If you select the HTML sending format, use any of the formatting options found on the Format menu or the Formatting toolbar. Remember, however, that not all systems will transfer the rich text formatting.

  • Setting the message priority— Select Tools, Set Priority, and then choose the level—High, Normal, or Low—from the submenu that appears. Alternatively, drop down the Priority toolbar list and then click the level you want.

  • Attaching a file— Select Insert, File Attachment, or click the Attach toolbar button, use the Insert Attachment dialog box to select a file, and then click Attach. Outlook Express adds an Attach box below the Subject line and displays the name and size of the file. To remove the attachment, click it in the Attach box and then press Delete.

    Tip

    Another way to attach a file to a message is to drag the file from Windows Explorer and drop it in the body of the message.


  • Inserting a file into the message— Depending on the type of object you want to work with, Outlook Express gives you two methods of inserting objects:

    Inserting file textIf you have text in a separate file that you want to add to the message, select the Insert, Text from File command. In the Insert Text File dialog box that appears, select the file and then click Open. Outlook Express adds the file’s contents to the message.
    Inserting an imageTo insert an image file into the message, select Insert, Picture. In the Picture dialog box that appears, use the Picture Source text box to enter the path and filename (or click Browse).

  • Applying stationery— Email stationery is a predefined message format that includes a background image and text. This is essentially a web page to which you can also add your own text. You choose a stationery by selecting the Format, Apply Stationery command, and then picking out the stationery you want from the submenu that appears. Note that you can also begin a message with a specific stationery by selecting the Message, New Message Using command in Outlook Express and then selecting the stationery. (Alternatively, drop down the Create Mail toolbar list and click the stationery you want.)

    Working with Stationery

    To set a default stationery, select Tools, Options and then display the Compose tab. In the Stationery group, activate the Mail check box and then click the Select button to the right of that check box. Use the Select Stationery dialog box to choose the default stationery and then click OK. Note that the stationery files are HTML files, so if you know how to create your own web pages, you can also create your own stationery. Another way to create stationery is to click Create New in the Compose tab. (This button is also available in the Select Stationery dialog box.) This launches the Stationery Setup Wizard that takes you through the steps required to create a custom stationery.


  • Inserting a signature— A signature is text that appears at the bottom of a message. Most people use a signature to provide their email and web addresses, their company contact information, and perhaps a snappy quote or epigram that reflects their personality. If you’ve defined a signature (see the next section), you can insert it into the body of the message at the current cursor position by selecting Insert, Signature. If you’ve defined multiple signatures, select the one you want from the submenu that appears.

  • Requesting a read receipt— To ask the recipient’s email client to send you a read receipt, select the Tools, Request Read Receipt command. Note that you can also set up Outlook Express to request a read receipt for all outgoing messages. In the Outlook Express window, select Tools, Options and then display the Receipts tab. Activate the Request a Read Receipt for All Sent Messages check box, and then click OK.

  • Digitally signing or encrypting a message.


2. Creating a Signature

As I mentioned in the previous section, a signature is a few lines of text that provide contact information and other data. Outlook Express enables you to define a signature and then have it appended to the bottom of every outgoing message (or you can insert it by hand in individual messages). To do this, you must first follow these steps to define a signature:

1.
In the main Outlook Express window, select Tools, Options to open the Options dialog box.

2.
Display the Signatures tab.

3.
Click New to add a new signature to the Signatures list.

4.
The default name for each new signature (such as Signature #1) is not very informative. To define a new name, click the signature, click Rename, type the new name, and then press Enter.

5.
You now have two choices:

Type the signature text by handActivate the Text option and then type your signature in the box provided.
Get the signature from a text fileActivate the File option and then enter the full path to the file in the box provided. (Or click Browse to choose the file from a dialog box.)

6.
If you want Outlook Express to add the signature to all of your messages, activate the Add Signatures to All Outgoing Messages check box.

7.
If you’d rather use the signature only on original messages, leave the Don’t Add Signature to Replies and Forwards check box activated.

8.
The default signature is the one that’s added automatically if you activated the Add Signatures to All Outgoing Messages check box. To set a signature as the default, select it in the Signatures list and then click Set as Default.

9.
To associate a signature with one or more accounts, select the signature in the Signatures list and then click Advanced. In the Advanced Signature Settings dialog box, activate the check box beside each account that you want to use the signature. Click OK.

10.
Click OK to put the signature options into effect.

3. Creating an Email Shortcut for a Recipient

If you don’t leave Outlook Express open all day, when you need to send a message it can seem like a lot of work to start the program, compose the new message, send it, and then close Outlook Express. You can save yourself a couple of steps by creating an email shortcut on your desktop or in a folder such as Quick Launch for a particular recipient. When you open the shortcut, a new email message window appears, already addressed to the recipient. You then fill in the rest of the message and send it, all without starting Outlook Express.

Follow these steps to create an email shortcut:

1.
Display the desktop or open the folder in which you want to create the shortcut.

2.
Right-click the desktop or folder and then select New, Shortcut. The Create Shortcut dialog box appears.

3.
In the text box, type the following (where address is the email address of the recipient; see the example in Figure 1):

   mailto:address



Figure 1. Type mailto: address to create an email shortcut for an email recipient.


4.
Click Next.

5.
Type a title for the shortcut (such as the person’s name or email address).

6.
Click Finish.

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