Working with mails in Microsoft Outlook 2007 (II)

Posted by: Minal Agarwal , on 7/17/2007, in Category Outlook 2007
Views: 57978
Abstract: In our previous article we have seen some tasks like reading mails, flagging mails and categorizing them. This article is a continuation to our previous article, where I will take you through some more utilities incorporated in the Mail module of Microsoft Outlook 2007.
Working with mails in Microsoft Outlook 2007 (II)
Opening and Previewing Attachments
Some of the e-mails you receive may have attachments. To distinguish such mails Outlook displays a tiny paper clip icon next to the name in the message list. Click on the mail to view it in the reading pane.
MS Outlook 2007 Mail with attachments
In the image above you can see the contents of the mail and the files that are attached. The name, size and icon of the file signify the type of file. If you want some more information about the file then point your mouse pointer on the over the filename and it will tell you the name, type and size of the file. Many times you may see a banner on the top of the mail in the reading pane saying Outlook blocked access to the following potentially unsafe attachments <filename> this is because Outlook feels that in order to keep your system safe from viruses or malware or any other type of harmful programs that you may not want to run, it is necessary to block access to files such as any executables.
TIP: So if you want to receive any executable file, ask the sender to either rename the file to something that is not executable or to compress (zip) it and send it. You can then save this file to your computer, unzip it and run it securely.
How to view the attachments?
Outlook 2007 offers a new feature to preview your attachments without the need to open them. Just click on the filename that is attached and you shall be able to view the attachment in the reading pane itself.
MS Outlook 2007 Preview attachment
This was the case with the picture files. But if you have any documents attached like the excel worksheet or a word document then Outlook throws a warning before it opens the file. Outlook first confirms from you if you want to open the file. Following warning is displayed and when you confirm by clicking Preview File the attachment is previewed in the reading pane.
MS Outlook 2007 Attachment Preview warning
You can turn this option off by un-checking the checkbox ‘Always warn before previewing this type of file.’
You can always open up these attachments instead of previewing by opening up the mail itself. Double click the mail from the message list to open it in its own window. So when the mail is opened in full window you can see the attachments and can preview them from here too in the similar manner. Right click the attachment for a menu of options. The choices available are Preview, Open, Print, Save As, Remove, Copy and Select All. Choose Open to open the attachment. You can download these attachments by choosing ‘Save As’ and save it to your hard disk. Alternativelygo to the Office button and choose Save As, and submenu has one of its options as Save Attachments. If you opt for this you have the option to make a choice to save one or more attachments. By default all the attachments are selected and you can save all of them.
Another method to save attachments is to select the mail in the message list and go to the File menu and choose Save Attachments, the submenu displays the attachments in that mail and lets you choose the same.
Working with folders
We have seen how to read e-mails, flag those, preview and view attachments. Once you have read your e-mails you may want to organize them in meaningful folders to make it easy for you to find them. Let’s take a look at how to arrange your e-mails into folders. In the navigation pane, you find the Mail Folders that contain all the default folders. Under the Personal Folders you will have
·         Deleted Items
·         Drafts
·          Inbox
·          Junk E-mail
·         Outbox
·         RSS Feeds
·         Sent Items
·         Search Folder
NOTE: If you have configured your mailbox to a different exchange server then you may have your ‘Email id Mailbox’ displayed in place of Personal Folders. But all the default folders would remain constant.
You can create your own folders by clicking on the drop down of New button on the standard toolbar and selecting Folder.
MS Outlook 2007 Create New Folder
or right click on any of the folders in the navigation pane and choose New Folder.
MS Outlook 2007 New Folder creation
Either way you will be prompted with Create New Folder dialog box. Give a relevant name to your folder. Then you can choose which items you want to put into the folder, as you can choose to include different types of Contact items, calendar items, etc into a folder. Lastly you have to choose where you want to place this new folder, like a sub folder in your inbox or a sub folder in your Personal folders. Click OK to complete the process.
MS Outlook Create New Folder dialog box
Once you have created the folder, your next task is to sort your mails. There are several ways to do this.
1.    Click and drag the particular mail from the message list to the specific folder in the navigation pane.
2.    Right click on the mail in the message list and choose Move to Folder from the menu. This will prompt Move Items dialog box where you can select the folder you want to move this mail to.
3.    Double click on the mail to open it in its own window and from the ribbon choose Move to Folder. As soon as you click on this button a drop down list displays all the folders you can move this mail to, choose the folder and the mail will be moved.
To check if the mails you have moved have actually moved into that folder, click on the folder in the navigation pane and check for the mails.
You can also create sub folders in your folders, the same way you created a folder. To make it a sub folder you just need to place the folder into another during the creation process.
Creating new Outlook items from existing ones
One of the innovative features provided by Outlook 2007 is the ability to create new outlook item from and existing one. In other words you can generate a calendar item by using an existing e-mail. Doesn’t it sound convenient? Yes it is! Let me take an example to explain you this feature.
If you have an e-mail, which you need to work on tomorrow, you can simply click that mail and drag it from the message list to the Calendar module in the navigation pane. This will copy the e-mail into the calendar, creating a calendar item. You can then set the time and date, save and close the item. The calendar now displays the entry. Note that the e–mail still exists in the mailbox, when you drag it into any other outlook item; it creates another item based on that e-mail and not delete or move the message.
Similarly you can create contacts by dragging the mail into the Contacts module. This will fill in all the details it has, of the sender into the Contact details and you can fill in the rest. In the notes section Outlook puts the contents of the e-mail.
Other items that you can create are tasks, notes; so this is the extra functionality given by Outlook 2007 to drag and drop an item into another to create a new Outlook item.
Searching mails
When the count of e-mails in your mailbox increases, you may feel the need to search for mails you are looking out for. If you are in inbox, click into the Search box and type the keyword that you remember to search the e-mail and Outlook immediately do a search for you.
MS Outlook 2007 Search Inbox
In the above case the search is limited to the inbox, but you can expand this search by clicking on ‘Try searching again in All Mail Items’. This would widen the search to all the folders. The other way of a wider search is to click on the drop down arrow next to the search box and from the menu choose Search All Mail Items.
Deleting mails
Deleting mails is one action that helps you to housekeep your mailbox. There are different ways to delete e-mails.
1.    Choose the mail from the message list pane and from the standard toolbar select the button Delete.
2.    You can also right click on the mail in the message list and choose Delete from the menu.
3.    Simple of them all is to select the mail and hit the delete button on your keyboard.
All the deleted items are stored in the Deleted Items folder. So you can always restore your mails from the Deleted Items folder. To restore the mails back to your inbox or for that matter any other folder, just drag the mail from the message list and drop it into the folder in the navigation pane.
The search function is also available in this folder. The Deleted Items folder can be cleared too, right click on the folder and go for Empty Deleted Items Folder. Outlook asks you to confirm deletion, since once you delete your mails from Deleted Items you cannot restore them.
I hope my articles on working with mails in Outlook have helped you gather enough knowledge about the various old and new actions you can undertake in the Mail module of Outlook 2007. In our upcoming articles I will cover functions related to composing mails, addressing, formatting, proofing and the other fresh features introduced by Outlook 2007.

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 rohit on Friday, October 26, 2007 2:13 AM
Good article,good information,would like to have more of these
Comment posted by ragaa on Thursday, December 2, 2010 2:52 PM
how  to added  attachment in previous   amail but at the same prevouve date