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Preface

Preface

Why Another Book on Outlook?

Many dozens of books have been written about using the Microsoft Outlook product. Although many of these books are very good, none of them provided the key element that we, as authors, wanted to focus on with this book: providing a means by which a reader could open the book and very quickly locate an answer to a question. This is because most Outlook books are tutorial in nature, with each chapter designed to be read from beginning to end. But what if you simply have a question about a given feature and don't have the time or inclination to read through an entire chapter or paragraph searching for the answer? This is how we came up with the idea of producing an Outlook book in FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) format.

The FAQ format, made popular in online material, enables the reader to more quickly skim the table of contents or a chapter to locate the needed question/answer without having to read through a lot of unrelated material. In fact, in a usability study in which Outlook users were given several books from which to find answers to common Outlook questions, the users found the answer three times faster using the FAQ format!

Therefore, feel free to skim the table of contents; we're sure you'll find that it's much easier and faster than ever to find just the information you're looking for.

Conventions Used in This Book

To make the book—and specifically the steps to solving each issue—more readable, the book employs the following conventions.

  • Text that you enter— Anytime you see text that is underlined, this represents text that you are to enter verbatim. We chose this method instead of using quotation marks around the text because that's always misleading in terms of whether the reader is to actually type in the quotation marks. By underlining the text, you can see exactly what you need to type.

  • Bold keywords in step-by-step instructions— Studies have shown that most people do not read every word in a list of directions, but instead look for the main words of the sentence that indicate what needs to be done. Therefore, we decided to bold the Outlook keywords, to visually break up large amounts of text and to make following the steps much easier and faster. For example, if the sentence states, “From the Tools menu, click the Options button,” you can easily glance over that sentence and see the words Tools followed by Options and know what to do without reading each word of the sentence.

  • Bold dialog/form elements— Many times an item on the form is named as a fragment, so it makes reading the sentence that refers to it difficult. As an example, one option on the Options dialog box states “Send immediately when connected.” Therefore, for the reader to more easily discern the name of the option from our descriptive text, the option text always appears in bold—for example, “Turn on the option labeled Send immediately when connected.”

  • Keyboard combination— When the reader needs to press multiple keys to carry out a function, the specific text typically shown on the keys is shown in bold. Therefore, if you need to hold the Ctrl button while pressing the letter n, the text would read “Press the Ctrl N combination.”

Author Feedback

As authors, we both have always strived to put our readers first. To that end, you'll often find us in the various Exchange and Outlook support forums and newsgroups helping users find the answers they're searching for. In addition, we've set up a Web site specifically for supporting this book: www.OutlookHacks.com. Therefore, if you have any questions about this book, please feel free to drop by our Web site and post a question/comment. In addition, as with any FAQ, this book will continue to grow as the Outlook product matures and as readers send in questions. Therefore, please feel free to send in questions/answers that you feel should be in our next edition.

The only thing we ask for is a bit of patience in terms of our response. Our Exchange/Outlook training courses and customization services have proven to be extremely popular, which means that we're often at client sites all around the world. Therefore, we will always respond as quickly as we can, but sometimes this can mean a delay of a day or two in getting a reply to your comment or question.

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