Millions of people use Outlook Express for the all-important task
of sending and receiving e-mail, but it's a good bet that not even half of them
take advantage of its full functionality. We've put Outlook Express through its
paces for years now, and here are a few tips we'd like to share with you that
will make you an Express power user before you know it.
Set up your e-mail account
Sign your name with Signatures
Create a new Identity
Have it your way with Message Rules
SET UP YOUR E-MAIL ACCOUNT
It may seem a trivial thing, but here's a quick rundown on how to set up your Webbworks Online e-mail account in Express.
1. Click the Tools menu
2. Select Accounts
3. Make sure the Mail tab is active, and click Add/Mail
4. The Internet Connection Wizard will launch.
5. Enter the name you want others to see when they receive e-mail from you, and
6. In the Internet E-mail Address window, select whether you already have
an e-mail address that you want to use; The e-mail address you enter here must
be an existing address you have already setup with Webbworks. You may
sign up for a new Hotmail account from this window as well. Click Next.
7. In the E-mail Server Names window, select the type of server you are
using. The Webbworks' e-mail servers are POP3, which stands for post office
protocol. Next, fill in the incoming (POP3) mail server and the outgoing
(SMTP) server, an acronym for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. These parameters
are the same: mail.webbworks.com. The incoming POP3 server is
used to download your messages, while the outgoing SMTP server is used to send
your e-mail. Click Next.
8. In the Internet Mail Logon window, enter the user name and password
that you chose when you signed up for your Webbworks account. Be sure
to check the box to remember your passwords if you don't want to be prompted to
log in every time you check your e-mail. Click Next.
9. Click Finish. That's it!
If you want to add a new e-mail account, repeat this process with
your other account information.
SIGN YOUR NAME WITH SIGNATURES
If you've ever received an e-mail from someone who includes a bunch of personal
gobbledygook at the close of their message, you've seen what is called a signature.
The equivalent of a signed name in the offline world, e-mail signatures give you
an easy way to include important contact information in your messages.
Creating a signature in Outlook Express 5 is easy.
1. Click on the Tools menu and select Options.
2. Click the Signatures tab and select the New button
to create a new signature.
3. In the Edit Signature box on the bottom, type in the message
and contact information that you want to include in your outgoing mail. Typical
signatures consist of:
- Job title
- Phone number
- Fax number
- E-mail address
- Your favorite quote!
4. When you're satisfied with your signature's appearance, click
the Apply button on the bottom to activate the signature. You may want
to rename the signature, instead of accepting the default name "Signature#1."
Do this by clicking the Rename button in the Signatures field. If
you have multiple accounts set up, you'll definitely want to do this so that you
don't have to guess which signature to include.
Other options include the ability to automatically attach your signature
to all outgoing messages. Click the checkbox at the top of the window to do this.
It may not make sense to do this, however, because if you're e-mailing a close
friend, he or she will already have that information, and it will be just wasted
bits and bytes. Plus, attaching a signature often creates a feeling of formality,
and that's usually unnecessary with close acquaintances.
5. You can also click the Advanced tab at the bottom to choose
which e-mail and newsgroup accounts to which you want to assign your signature.
Finally, if you have your signature stored in a text or HTML file, click the File
radio button at the bottom and browse your desktop to locate and insert it into
6. Now, when you're finished typing a message, go to the Insert
menu and select Signature. If you only have signature set up, it will be
entered by default. If you have multiple signatures, however, you can choose which
to include. Just be sure to name them accurately.
CREATE A NEW IDENTITY
If two people or more share a POP mail account with Outlook Express, you might
want to set up multiple identities. Similar to Netscape's Profiles, multiple identities
allow you to basically have a separate copy of the program on the same computer.
No more sharing your POP mail account with Junior! Here's how to do it:
1. Click the File menu
2. Select Identities > Add New Identity
3. Type a name for this identity and decide whether you want to password-protect
it. Then, choose a password or hit OK.
4. Outlook Express will then prompt you whether you want to switch to your new
identity. If you select Yes, you will be taken through the new Internet
connection wizard, where you can configure the e-mail account that you want to
associate with the new identity. If you hit No, you'll be taken to the
Manage Identities window, where you have the option to create another identity,
remove an Identity, or view the identity's properties. Finally, you can select
the default identity that is used when you launch Outlook Express.
HAVE IT YOUR WAY WITH MESSAGE RULES
Message Rules are an invaluable feature of Outlook Express. Basically,
rules are filters you configure that take action on an incoming message based
on conditions you set.
For example, if you are plagued by spam, you may want to set up a
message rule that will take any message with the word "free" in the subject and
move it to the Deleted Items folder, so that you won't have to deal with
it. It's not a perfect way to combat spam, but it helps.
To set up message rules, highlight Tools > Message Rules >
Mail on the menu bar. This will bring up the New Mail Rule window.
Setting up a message rule is a four-step process:
1. Select the conditions for your rule:
here are several options here, so scroll through the available list. The most
obvious conditions are when the message subject contains a certain word, when
the message is from a certain person and when the body contains certain words.
But, there are other options, such as when the message is marked as a priority.
When you select a condition in section 1, you will notice that in section 3 the
condition appears. You will have the opportunity to specify the condition further
in step 3.
2. Select the actions for your rule:
Once you've selected a condition, you need to tell Outlook Express what to do
with the message. For unwanted mail, you'll probably want to delete it when it
matches your condition. But another useful application is to filter your incoming
mail from friends or colleagues into topical folders. For example, you could have
a folder for messages from your best friend, and have the messages routed into
the folder as soon as they're received. In essence, it's a way to save you time.
3. Rule description:
If your rule contains a word with a blue hyperlink, click it to specify the rule's
properties. For example, if you want to delete all incoming mail with "free" in
the subject, you will click the blue link and enter the word "free" in the text
4. Name of the rule:
Finally, enter a descriptive name for your new message rule, so you can easily
remember what it's used for. Hit OK and your message rule is complete.
You may want to send yourself a test message matching your conditions to see if
it works to your satisfaction; if not, simply revisit Tools > Message Rules
> Mail, and you'll see your message rule on the list. Edit it by clicking
You can also get help direct from Microsoft for Outlook Express 5.x
by going to Outlook Express FAQ's