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OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 2: Composing Messages

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The information covered in this article is provided by: Microsoft Press.

This article is part 2 of a series of thirteen articles that explain how to use Outlook 2000 to communicate through e-mail. To view the other articles in this series, please see the "Additional Resources" section later in this article.

This information is an excerpt from the Quick Course in Microsoft Outlook 2000 book, Chapter 3: "Communicating with E-Mail".
More information

Composing Messages

With Outlook, you both send and receive e-mail through the Inbox. You'll practice the sending side of the equation first. For demonstration purposes, you will e-mail a reminder message to yourself, but bear in mind that you would probably use Outlook's Notes or Tasks component for this type of reminder, rather than e-mail. In our examples, we use internal e-mail, but if you are using Internet e-mail, you should have no difficulty following along.

Suppose you are planning a meeting with a client and you want to remind yourself to check on the conference room reservation first thing tomorrow morning. Follow these steps:

 A screen shot shwoing the New Mail Message Button
New Mail Message button
  1. Click the New Mail Message button on the toolbar to display a Message window.

     A screen shot showing blank mail message Message formats

    You can send messages in one of three formats. The simplest is Plain Text, which you use when you don't know which e-mail program your message recipients have. Outlook Rich Text format can handle some text formatting, and can be used to send messages to other Outlook users. HTML format can handle more complex formatting but can't be interpreted by some e-mail programs. To specify a default format, choose Options from the Tools menu, click the Mail Format tab, and make a selection from the Send In This Message Format drop-down list. To change the format of a specific message, choose the relevant command from the Format menu.
  2. In the To edit box, type your own e-mail address. (To send a message to someone else instead, enter his or her address. To send the same message to more than one person, enter their addresses one after the other, separated by semicolons.) Then press TAB to move to the next box.
  3. To send a courtesy copy of the message, you can enter the name of the recipient in the CC edit box. For this message, leave the CC edit box blank by pressing TAB.
  4. Next type Confirm conference room reservation in the Subject edit box and press TAB.
  5. Enter the message itself in the blank area at the bottom of the window. Type the following: Check on conference room B reservation. It should be reserved at 1:00 PM for two hours. Make sure overhead projector is set up. The window now looks like this:

     A screen shot showing typed message				Message options

    When composing a new message, you can set options by clicking the Options button on the Message window's toolbar. In the Message Settings section, specify the importance and sensitivity levels of the message. Specifying the importance level as high displays an exclamation mark in the message's header. (You can also set the importance level by clicking the Importance: High or Importance: Low buttons on the toolbar.) You can set the sensitivity level to Normal, Personal, Private, or Confidential. In the Security section, select Encrypt Contents And Attachments to make a message's contents readable only by its recipients and select Add Digital Signature to verify that you are the sender of the message. (You need a digital ID to implement security; see the Help feature.) In the Voting And Tracking Options section, set voting options (see the tip on the next page) and specify notification options. In the Delivery Options section, specify locations for replies and for the sent message, and set a delivery date/time and an expiration date for the message. (The message is deleted if not opened by this date.) Also on this tab, you can assign a message to a category by clicking the Categories button and making a selection. A screen shot showing the Send button
    The Send button
  6. Send the message by clicking the Send button. Outlook closes the Message window and does one of two things:
    • If you are connected to your e-mail server, Outlook transfers the message to the Outbox and then sends it to the server. The server then sends the message to the recipient. In this case, it will send the message back to you because your own e-mail address is in the To edit box.
    • If you are not connected to your e-mail server, Outlook stores the message in the Outbox, where it waits until your next connection is made. A screen shot showing the Outbox icon
      The Outbox icon
  7. If you are in the latter group, confirm that the message is waiting to be sent by clicking the My Shortcuts button on the Outlook bar and then clicking the Outbox icon to display its contents in the workspace. Then redisplay the Inbox's contents by displaying the Outlook Shortcuts group and clicking the Inbox icon on the Outlook bar.

    Adding a signature

    To have information, such as your name, job title, company name, or slogan, automatically added to the end of all of your messages, you can create a signature. (Avoid cutesy pictures or sayings as they become tiresome rather quickly.) Choose Options from the Tools menu. On the Mail Format tab, click the Signature Picker button, and click New. Enter a name for the signature and click Next. Type your information in the text box, format it, and click Finish. Click OK in the Signature Picker dialog box, verify the default signature, and click OK. You can set up different signatures for different types of messages. To change the default signature for a specific message, click the Signature button and make your selection.

    Using virtual business cards (vcards)

    You can pass on the information in a contact's address card via e-mail with a virtual business card, or vcard. First display the contents of Contacts, and then select the contact whose information you want to pass on. Choose Forward As Vcard from the Actions menu, and Outlook displays a Message window with an icon for the contact. Enter the recipient and subject information as usual, type your message, and then send it on its way. Anyone who opens the message can double-click the icon to display the address card for the contact, add any additional information, and click Save And Close to save the information in their own contact list.


    You can send e-mail messages with voting buttons to get input from your colleagues about anything from officer elections to the venue for the company picnic. Display a new Message window and then click the Options button on the toolbar. Click the Use Voting Buttons check box in the Voting And Tracking Options section, and click the arrow to the right of its edit box to select voting button names. To use your own names, type them in the edit box, separating them with semicolons. Click Close and then send the message. When the message is opened, Outlook shows the voting buttons at the top of the window. Recipients click the desired button and send the response with or without editing it.


For additional information, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
307377 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 1: Using the Inbox
310485 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 3: Addressing Messages Quickly
310486 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 4: Attaching Files to Messages
310491 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 5: Sending and Retrieving Messages
310487 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 6: Replying to Messages
310488 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 7: Forwarding Messages
310489 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 8: Deleting Messages
307438 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 9: Organizing Messages
310580 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 11: Using Folders
310581 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 12: Moving Messages
310582 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 13: Organizing Messages with the Rules Wizard
The information in this article is an excerpt from the Quick Course in Microsoft Outlook 2000 book, published by Microsoft Press.

A screen shot showing Quick Course book

For more information about this publication and other Microsoft Press titles, see .
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Article ID: 310484 - Last Review: 01/12/2015 19:03:44 - Revision: 3.0

Microsoft Outlook 2000 Standard Edition

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