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Lesson 3. Email Basics > Reading and Previewing Your Mail

Reading and Previewing Your Mail

To read a mail message, double-click the message in the View pane or press the Enter key on a selected message. Figure 3.2 shows an open mail message.

Figure 3.2. When you create a mail message you use the Mail Memo form.

Every mail message, or memo, contains the following elements:

  • Heading— The heading contains the name of the person who sent the message, as well as the date and time it was sent. You might also see a domain name, company name, or other information next to the sender’s name.

  • To:— The To: line shows the name of the person to whom the message is being sent. Again, the domain name might be included. If the message is coming to you, your name is displayed in the To: line.

  • cc:— The cc: (carbon copy) line displays a list of anyone who received a copy of the message, as determined by the sender.

  • bcc:— The bcc: (blind carbon copy) line contains a list of anyone who received a blind copy of the message, as determined by the sender; however, only the sender sees the entire contents of the bcc: field. For example, if Jane sends an email and lists Dorothy and Rob in the bcc: field, Dorothy will see only her name in that field, and Rob will see only his name in the field, but Jane (the originator of the email) sees both names in that field.

  • Subject— The subject describes the topic of the message, as defined by the sender of the message.

The rest of the email message form is the body field. The mail body field in Lotus Notes is a rich text field, which means that you can read and create text with attributes such as bold and italics, and you can view and create images in your email. If you cannot view an entire message onscreen at once, use the vertical scroll bar, or use the Page Up, Page Down, and arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate.

You can press Ctrl+End to go to the end of a long message or Ctrl+Home to go to the beginning of a message.

Information that is stored in Lotus Notes is stored in fields. A rich text field is the only type of field that can accept multiple data types: text, numbers, graphics, file attachments, and so forth. It is also the only kind of field in which you can assign text and paragraph attributes such as changing the font, bolding or italicizing text, or changing the spacing between paragraphs and creating numbered lists.

When you finish reading a message, press the Esc key to return to your Inbox, or click on the X at the top right of the message window tab.

Understanding Read Marks

You can tell with a glance at your Inbox which messages you’ve read and which you haven’t read or opened. Mail messages you haven’t read appear in red and have a red star located in the selection bar to the left of the mail message. After you open and read the message, the star disappears, and the mail message appears in black. Figure 3.3 shows both read and unread messages in the Inbox, as well as messages that are marked, or selected.

Figure 3.3. Red stars display in your Inbox indicating which messages have not been opened (read), and checkmarks appear next to messages that have been marked (or selected).

Using the Preview Pane

The Preview pane enables you to read most of your messages from the Inbox view without opening them in a new window. To see the Preview pane, click on the Preview triangle at the bottom of your View pane; the Inbox view splits into three panes (see Figure 3.4).

Figure 3.4. The Preview pane enables you to read most mail messages quickly. If you prefer, press the Enter key to view your mail message, and use the Navigate View buttons on the toolbar to navigate through your mail.

Once the Preview pane is open, you can resize it by placing your cursor at the top of the pane, and when the cursor turns into a double-headed arrow, drag the mouse up or down the screen to obtain the size pane you prefer.

With the Preview pane activated, the mail message that is selected in the View pane is the message that displays in the Preview pane. To navigate through mail while using the Preview pane, you can do the following:

  • Use the up and down arrow keys on your keyboard

  • Use the Navigate View buttons (Next, Previous, Next Unread, Previous Unread) on the toolbar

  • Use your mouse to select a mail message

By default, Lotus Notes does not consider previewed mail as having been read. Unread marks continue to display until you open individual mail messages. You can change this default setting but be warned; by changing the default if you use your keyboard arrow keys to quickly pass over messages in your inbox, each one you pass will be marked as “read” even though you didn’t take the time to read the actual message, but merely cursored over it. To change this default, choose File, Preferences, User Preferences from the menu. In the Additional Options box, place a check mark next to Mark documents read when opened in preview pane. Click OK.

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