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Part 6. Using Outlook > Task 11 How to Read an Incoming Message

Task 11 How to Read an Incoming Message

Use the Inbox to view the messages you receive in Outlook. The Inbox displays each message as a single line (called the message header) with a From field that tells you who sent it, a Subject field that gives you an idea about what's in the message, and a Date field that tells you when it was received. The symbol columns at the left provide important information about each message, such as priority level or whether it has a file attachment. Use the Preview Pane below the list of message headers to view message text. You also can open each message in its own window. To hide the Preview Pane, choose View, Preview Pane. You can then use AutoPreview to see the first three lines of a message in the list box before you open it. To turn on AutoPreview, choose View, AutoPreview.

  1. Check for New Mail

    To check for new messages in the Inbox folder, click the Send/Receive button on the Outlook toolbar to pick up your mail. (If you aren't connected, Outlook will dial the connection for you.) New messages appear in bold in your Inbox. A small beep sounds, and an envelope icon appears on the Windows status bar to alert you of the new mail.

  2. View the Message

    To view the contents of the message in the Preview Pane, click the message header in the list. To view the next message in your list of messages, click it or press the down-arrow key. After a message has been viewed, its header changes from bold to regular text and the icon shows up as an opened envelope.

  3. Open a Message

    If the message is long, open it in its own message window by double-clicking the message header. The message opens for you to read. Use the scrollbars, if necessary, to scroll through the message.

  4. Read the Next Message

    To continue reading new mail messages without returning to the Inbox list, click the Next Item button on the message toolbar. To return to the previous message, click the Previous Item button. To close the window, click its Close button.

  5. Perform Message Maintenance

    Whether you're in a Message window or the Inbox, you can perform simple mail maintenance. To print a message, click the Print button. To delete a message, click Delete. If you want to reply to a message or forward it to someone else, see Task 12, "How to Reply to or Forward a Message."

  6. Move Messages

    Keep on top of incoming messages by organizing them in folders—see Task 9, "How to Organize Items," for help. To move a message to a folder, click the Move to Folder button and select a folder from the drop-down list that appears.



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