Working with mails in Microsoft Outlook 2007 (I)

Posted by: Minal Agarwal , on 7/16/2007, in Category Outlook 2007
Views: 63873
Abstract: By now you all know that Outlook 2007 is more than just an accomplished e-mail program. But still Outlook 2007 has taken care that justice is done in improvising the e-mail module along with the other modules. In this article we will take a look at some improved features of mail in Outlook 2007.
Working with mails in Microsoft Outlook 2007 (I)
When and How to read an email?
In the Navigation pane, choose the module as Mail. Whenever you receive a new mail, or you have any unread mails in your inbox, the Inbox folder in the navigation pane in both the folders – Favorite Folders as well as the Mail Folders is highlighted in bold; for example ‘Inbox (5)’. This number represents the count of unread mail in the inbox. To read one of them, simply click on the mail in the Message list pane next to the navigation pane, where all the mails are listed along with few lines of information about them. This would open the mail in the reading pane.
MS Outlook 2007 Inbox
If you want to open the mail in a bigger space then double click on the mail in the message list, this would open the mail in its own window. The advantage to this other than getting more room to read is that you can access the ribbon from here and it has all the common controls and actions you may want to do with the mail like Reply, Delete, Move to Folder or mark for follow up.
Sometimes a gold bar appears above the message contents, which is known as the InfoBar. This bar provides some information about the mail, such as whether it contains unwanted attachments or image files that were blocked thinking they may cause problems to your system. It says Click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download od some pictures in this message. You can use the same InfoBar to download audio or image files in mails that were blocked. Right click and choose Download Pictures to download the images. You can also Add Sender to Safe Senders List. This would allow you to view and download content from mails received from the particular sender. Other tasks such as reply, forward, delete, move etc can be performed from the same window.
MS Outlook 2007 Blocked image
You also have rights to perform same common actions by right clicking the mail in message list near reading pane. From the menu choose the action.
MS Outlook 2007
Flagging mails
One of the good features of Microsoft Outlook 2007 is the ability to incorporate mails with the calendars and task list. When you get an email, you can mark it so that you remember to work on it or perform some task; later. Let us see how to flag your mails.
1.    Locate the mail you want to flag from the message list.
2.    Click on the flag icon next to the mail, to flag it into your to do list. Once you flag the mail the message list displays the mail as follows:
MS Outlook 2007 Flagged mail
3.    Notice in the reading pane, at the top of the mail the follow up information is highlighted in light blue color. It mentions Follow up Start date and Due date. For details see the image above.
4.    By default the mail is flagged for Today since thatis set as the Quick Click flag. You can change the default flag by using the right click of your mouse over the flag, and choosing Set Quick Click… This would display the Set Quick Click dialog box where you can set the default flag from the list. The list contains values like Today, Tomorrow, This Week, Next Week, No Date, Custom…, Add Reminder, Mark Complete or Clear Flag.
MS Outlook 2007 Set Quick Click dialog box
5.    If you want to flag it for a later day or week just right click on the flag besides the mail and choose the flag from the list displayed.
MS Outlook 2007 Flag List
As you can make out the color of the flags lightens as you delay the action on the flag. So if you have different mails with different due dates it will be effortless for you to make out which mails are urgent, based on the color of the flag.
6.    The other way to flag your mail is to open it in its own window and from the ribbon choose Follow Up. If you click on the down arrow on the Follow Up button the list of flag options will be displayed.
7.    Adding flags to your mails add the mails to your To-Do list. Click on Tasks and you will find the mails you flagged are added as tasks to your To-Do list.
8.    If you don’t want to open the tasks in the reading pane, you can click on the To-Do Bar that is present on the extreme right of the Outlook window. This will show you all the upcoming tasks.
Categorize mails
In addition to flagging mails you can categorize them. This would help you to search your mails by their category and also organize your inbox. Just besides the flag button in the message list, you have a button to categorize an e-mail.  If you click on it, the default Quick Click category is set. You can pick the default category and can also rename it. This can be done in two ways:
1.    Right click on the category icon and choose the category from the list of:
Blue Category, Orange Category, Personal, Purple Category, Red Category, Travel and All Categories… You can choose multiple categories for your mail either by choosing different categories one at a time from the list generated by right clicks on the category icon.
MS Outlook 2007 Category List
2.    Right click on the category icon and choose All Categories from the menu. or by selecting All Categories. This will open the Color Categories dialog box. From this dialog box, you can check the multiple check boxes associated with the categories and also rename the category names as per your convenience. Apart from assigning categories, you can create new categories and rename them too. In addition to this you can also assign new colors to the categories.
MS Outlook 2007 Color Categories dialog box
When you see the mail in the reading pane, above the message header you can see the category or categories of the mail. It will be highlighted with the same color as the category; along with the name of the category. This helps you make out which category your mail falls into.
The same thing can also be done by selecting the mail from the message list and choosing All Categories button from the standard toolbar. To categorize an e-mail opened in its own window, choose the Categorize button on the ribbon. You can choose a category from the list of available options for categories.
NOTE: You can not only categorize your mails but other items in Outlook 2007 too.
We have explored some of the actions we can do with the e-mails and shall cover some more in the coming articles.

This article has been editorially reviewed by Suprotim Agarwal.

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Minal Agarwal, Expression Web MVP, MCDST, works as a freelance web designer (SaffronStroke) working on Expression Web, Photoshop and other Graphical tools. As a hobby, she also runs a famous Food site called Follow her on twitter @ saffronstroke

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Feedback - Leave us some adulation, criticism and everything in between!
Comment posted by sara on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 1:02 AM
how do i  modify the reading pane of outlook or atleast bring in a new reading pane using C#.NET outlook add-in?


Comment posted by shahzad on Friday, May 1, 2009 12:01 PM
Dear Sir.
how how i make outlook box account
Comment posted by shahzadi on Monday, April 18, 2011 11:23 AM
Dear Sir,
what does outlook do ?