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In this chapter

Understanding Outlook's Scope

What's New in Outlook 2000

Who Should Read This Book

How This Book Is Organized

Conventions Used in This Book

Author's Final Comment

Outlook hit the scene a little over two years ago as a new component in Microsoft's Office 97 suite. At that time, Que asked me to write a couple of chapters about Outlook for the book Special Edition Using Microsoft Office 97. I soon realized that Outlook deserved a book of its own, so I proposed that project to Que. Out of that came my first Outlook book Special Edition Using Microsoft Outlook 97. Very soon after that book was published, Microsoft released Outlook 98, a much improved version of Outlook. So, I was back at the keyboard, pounding out Using Microsoft Outlook 98. Now, I'm back at it again, writing about Outlook 2000.

It has been my good fortune to work with Outlook since before Outlook 97 was released. I have seen Outlook develop from pre-birth (the early Outlook 97 betas) through childhood (released Outlook 97), adolescence (Outlook 98), and now into the beginning of maturity (Outlook 2000). This book is my attempt to provide a comprehensive, up-to-date account of Outlook 2000 so that you can take advantage of as much of what Outlook has to offer as helps you be productive.

Understanding Outlook's Scope

It's not easy to write about Outlook because it can be different things to different people. For example, you can choose to use Outlook only as a Personal Information Manager (PIM)—it's one of the best available—to keep track of your calendar, contacts, and tasks. Microsoft calls this No E-mail Outlook.

Going a step beyond that, you can use Outlook to send and receive Internet e-mail. Don't be misled by Microsoft's term Internet Mail Only (IMO) to describe this type of Outlook installation; it can also be used as a PIM as well as to send and receive faxes, to access Web sites, and to participate in Internet newsgroups.

Then, there's what I like to think of as full-blown Outlook. Microsoft calls this Corporate and Workgroup (C/W) because, in addition PIM and IMO capabilities, you can use this Outlook installation within a corporation or workgroup to send and receive e-mail by way of such messaging systems as Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Mail, Lotus cc:Mail, Lotus Notes, and more.

IMO and C/W Outlook both provide extensive information sharing and collaboration capabilities. IMO Outlook makes use of the Internet, or an intranet, for this purpose; C/W Outlook can also use the Internet or an intranet, but is at its most powerful when it acts as a client for Microsoft Exchange Server.

The earlier chapters of this book describe how you can use Outlook more or less as it comes out of the box, without any customization. However, you can customize Outlook in many ways to suit your specific needs and preferences. At a simple, interactive level, you can do such things as modifying menus and toolbars, and creating additional toolbars. At a slightly more advanced level, you can set up Outlook to be your primary desktop environment instead of the normal Windows desktop.

Developers can use Outlook's programmability to create specialized applications that employ Outlook's built-in capabilities and interact with other Office and Office-compatible applications. For example, if Outlook's ability to manage tasks doesn't do all that you need, you can integrate Outlook with Microsoft Team Manager so that team managers and members can plan and keep track of tasks on a project-wide basis.

If you're new to Outlook, you should initially learn how to use it without much customization. When you're comfortable with Outlook at that level, take the time to explore; learn how you can, quite easily in many cases, customize Outlook so that it exactly satisfies your needs. You can, for example, modify Outlook's forms (the screens you use to input and display Outlook information) into customized forms.

Microsoft and other organizations have developed many add-ins and add-ons for Outlook, some available at no charge, some available as shareware for a small amount, and some available as commercial applications. You might well find that some of these provide the extended Outlook capabilities you need, so you don't have to develop your own.

What's New in Outlook 2000

Let me start by saying what isn't new in Outlook 2000. Outlook 2000 uses the same formats for storing data as Outlook 97 or Outlook 98. If you've been using a previous version of Outlook, you can switch to Outlook 2000 without modifying data formats. In most cases, you can share data between people who are using the three Outlook versions.

The list of enhancements in Outlook 2000 is much too long to list in detail here, so I'll just highlight a few of them. Many of Outlook 2000's enhancements are shared with other applications in the Office 2000 suite.

One of the first enhancements you'll notice if you previously have been using Outlook 97 is Outlook Today—a window into your current mail, calendar, and tasks—that first appeared in Outlook 98. You can configure Outlook so that Outlook Today always appears when you start Outlook.

In general, you'll notice that Outlook 2000 starts and shuts down faster than the previous versions. Opening and closing individual screens is also faster.

Outlook 2000's menus and toolbars have been simplified. Many of the symbols in toolbars have been replaced by words, making them easier to identify.

The use of pop-up ScreenTips has been greatly extended to make it easier to understand what you're seeing.

Outlook 98 enhanced the support for Internet standards in Outlook 97. Outlook 2000 contains even more enhancements to this support.

In common with other Office 2000 applications, Outlook 2000 includes enhanced Web page support. You can, for example, publish your personal or team calendar as a Web page.

In Outlook 97 and 98, you had to use a Personal Address Book if you wanted to create distribution lists. In Outlook 2000, you can create distribution lists within your Contacts folder, using items in that folder.

Contact Activity Tracking is also new in Outlook 2000. This provides an easy way to keep track of activities of all kinds on a contact-by-contact basis.

The Outlook Bar in Outlook 2000 can contain shortcuts to any file, folder, or Web page. If you choose a shortcut to a Web page, Outlook displays that page in the Information viewer.

A significant enhancement in Outlook 2000 from a developer's perspective is compatibility with Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), in common with other Office 2000 applications. While Outlook still uses Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBS) for customizing forms, VBA is now available for integrating Outlook with other Office applications.

Who Should Read This Book

This book is for almost everyone who uses, or plans to use, Outlook 2000. If you use Outlook much as it comes out of the box, you'll find many answers to problems that arise from time to time. At the other extreme, if you use Outlook as a development environment you'll find information you need that either isn't available elsewhere or is difficult to mind. The vast majority of Outlook users who fit somewhere between these extremes will find this book to be an indispensable resource that they frequently refer to.

The many detailed examples of the exact steps necessary to achieve what you want to do will make it easy to explore Outlook capabilities you haven't worked with before.

How This Book Is Organized

The book contains eight major parts, each containing several chapters.

Part I: Outlook Basics

The two chapters (Chapters 1 and 2) in this part provide a description of how Outlook works and help you understand Outlook's three service options, No E-mail, Internet Mail Only (IMO), and Corporate and Workgroup (C/W).

Part II: Sending and Receiving E-mail and Faxes

This part contains chapters that deal separately with IMO and C/W Outlook to explain how you can use Outlook to send and receive Internet e-mail, and also to send and receive faxes. Although the end result is the same, the two Outlook service options have significant differences. You probably need to read only the chapters that refer to the service option you're using.

Chapters 3 and 4 cover IMO Outlook. Chapters 5, 6, and 7 cover C/W Outlook. Chapter 8 contains information about both service options.

Part III: Using Outlook as a Personal Information Manager

This part contains separate chapters that describe how to manage specific types of personal information:

  • Chapter 9—Contacts (people and organizations)

  • Chapter 10—Calendar (appointments, events, and meetings)

  • Chapter 11—Tasks (tasks you create for yourself, tasks you create for other people, and tasks other people create for you)

  • Chapter 12—Journal (keeping a record of your daily activities)

  • Chapter 13—Notes (usually temporary information)

In addition, Chapter 14 explains how you can share information with other people; Chapter 15 describes how to organize the folders in which Outlook saves information. Chapter 16 contains information about managing your computer environment.

Part IV: Managing Outlook

This part contains seven chapters that cover various aspects of managing Outlook on your computer, as well as managing the information that Outlook saves. Most of the information in these chapters applies to all service options.

  • Chapter 17—"Using Outlook Templates." By becoming familiar with Outlook templates you can save yourself a lot of time.

  • Chapter 18—"Finding and Organizing Outlook Items." What other reason for saving information is there than you subsequently need to find it? Learn in this chapter about Outlook's powerful tools for retrieving information.

  • Chapter 19—"Importing and Exporting Outlook Items." You can import information saved in many formats into Outlook, and export information from Outlook in many formats.

  • Chapter 20—"Compacting Folders and Archiving Outlook Items." If you don't learn and use the techniques described in this chapter, the space Outlook occupies may soon fill your hard disk.

  • Chapter 21—"Using Categories and Entry Types." You should get into the habit of assigning categories to all Outlook items so that you can subsequently group items by category. Entry types allow you to extend the use of Outlook's Journal.

  • Chapter 22—"Creating and Using Rules." Rules are primarily used to automate the way Outlook handles e-mail you send and receive.

  • Chapter 23—"Managing Outlook for a Workgroup." In this chapter you'll learn how to manage Outlook in a way that simplifies information sharing within a workgroup.

Part V: Using Outlook as a Client for Exchanger Server, Microsoft Mail, and cc:Mail

Separate chapters in this part cover using Outlook as a client for certain e-mail servers.

  • Chapters 24 through 28 describe how to set up and use Outlook as a client for Microsoft Exchange Server.

  • Chapters 29 and 30 describe setting up and using Outlook as a client for a Microsoft Mail postoffice.

  • Chapters 31 and 32 describe setting up and using Outlook as a client for Lotus cc:Mail.

Part VI: Customizing Outlook

The many ways you can customize Outlook interactively (without programming) are described in this part.

  • Chapter 33—"Customizing the Outlook Bar." You can modify Outlook's default Outlook Bar so that it contains shortcut buttons to Outlook folders, Windows, files, and Web pages.

  • Chapter 34—"Customizing Command Bars." You can customize Outlook's menu bar, menus, and toolbars to suit your needs.

  • Chapter 35—"Setting Outlook's Options." This chapter explains what you can do by making choices in the various tabs of the Options dialog box.

  • Chapter 36—"Customizing Outlook Today." Here, you learn about some simple changes you can make to the Outlook Today window. The chapter contains an introduction to working with HTML code to customize Outlook Today.

  • Chapter 37—"Customizing the Folder List." You're not limited to Outlook's ten standard folders. This chapter explains how to create and organize your own folders.

  • Chapter 38—"Creating Views and Print Styles." Learn how to modify the information views that come with Outlook and how to create your own. Also learn how to take control over how Outlook prints information.

Part VII: Security Considerations

This part contains a single chapter (Chapter 39) that provides information about keeping your Outlook information secure. In addition to basic security issues, the chapter provides information about obtaining and using a certificate (Digital ID) to authenticate and encrypt your Internet and intranet e-mail.

Part VIII: Developing Outlook-Based Applications

This part is for people who want to use Outlook as a development environment.

  • Chapter 40—"Creating and Using Custom Forms." Learn how to create new forms based on Outlook's standard forms.

  • Chapter 41—"Creating and Using Custom Fields." You're not limited to Outlook's standard fields. This chapter describes how to create new fields.

  • Chapter 42—"Enhancing Outlook Forms with Visual Basic Script Code." You can use Visual Basic Script to change and enhance Outlook's standard forms and custom forms.

  • Chapter 43—"Creating Application-wide Outlook Visual Basic for Applications Code." New in Outlook 2000, you can use Visual Basic for Applications to create integrated applications based on Outlook.

Part IX: Appendixes

The book contains eight appendices:

  • Appendix A—"Installing Outlook." You'll probably initially install Outlook as a component of Office 2000. This appendix describes how you can modify the initial installation.

  • Appendix B—"Using the Office 2000 Resource Kit." The Microsoft Office 2000 Resource Kit contains a lot of information about Outlook and other Office 2000 applications. This appendix draws your attention to information of interest to Outlook users and developers.

  • Appendix C—"Outlook's Files, Folders, Fields, and Registry Keys." Here, you'll find lists of many of the places where Outlook saves information and settings.

  • Appendix D—"Outlook's Symbols." Outlook uses symbols to identify information about items. Many of these symbols are listed in this appendix.

  • Appendix E—"Outlook Resources." There's a wealth of information and add-on capabilities available for Outlook. Some of these are listed in this appendix.

  • Appendix F—"Working with the Windows Registry." Many of Outlook's settings are saved in the Windows registry. This appendix shows you how to access and change these settings.

  • Appendix G—"Outlook Shortcut Keys." Most of this book explains how to use your mouse to perform operations in Outlook. The shortcut keys listed here can help you to work faster with Outlook.

  • Appendix H—"Outlook Fields and Equivalent Properties." A list of Outlook fields and the related object model properties.


The Glossary contains definitions of acronyms and terms used in Outlook and related subjects.

Conventions Used in This Book

The special conventions used throughout this book are designed to help you get the most from the book as well as Outlook 2000.

Service Option Distinctions

This book contains information that applies, in many cases, to whichever Outlook service option you're using. The paragraphs and sections that apply only to specific service options are marked by icons.

Internet Mail Only (IMO) Service Option

Corporate and Workgroup Service Option

Text Conventions

Different typefaces are used to convey various things throughout the book. They include the following:

ItalicA new term or phrase when it is initially defined. An italic term followed by a page number refers you to the page where that term is first defined.
UnderlineMenu and dialog box options with letters that appear underlined onscreen indicate shortcut keys (hotkeys).
MonospaceWeb addresses, information that you type, or onscreen messages.
Initial CapsMenus, dialog box names, dialog box elements, and commands.

In this book, key combinations are represented with a plus sign. If the action you need to take is to press the Ctrl key and the S key simultaneously, the text tells you to enter Ctrl+S.

Special Elements

Throughout this book, you'll find Tips, Notes, Cautions, Cross References, and Troubleshooting Tips. These elements provide a variety of information, ranging from warnings you shouldn't miss to ancillary information that will enrich your Office experience, but isn't required reading.

"Signature" Tips


Tips point out special features, quirks, or software tricks that you might not necessarily know.



Notes highlight things that you should be aware of. If your time is at a premium, you can skip these notes. Generally, you'll find that they uncover extra information that sheds additional light on a topic.



Cautions are the hazard lights of this book and could save you precious hours in lost work—not to mention any associated headaches or ulcers.


At the end of most chapters, you'll encounter a "Troubleshooting" section. This is where you'll learn how to solve or avoid common problems you might typically face with Outlook 2000.


Cross-references will direct you to other locations in this book (or possibly even other books in the Que family) that will provide supplemental or supporting information. They look like:

→ If Microsoft Exchange Server isn't listed, you'll have to add that information service to your profile. See "Adding the Exchange Server Information Service to a Profile".

Author's Final Comment

As I always do in the books I write, I invite readers to send me their suggestions, comments, and questions. Send e-mail to me at gpadwick@earthlink.net.

I value all messages I receive and have, so far, been able to respond personally to each of them. While it's gratifying when people tell me they've found one of my books useful (some do), I also appreciate comments and questions that prompt me to think about things I've previously missed (many do that).

I hope you enjoy and benefit from this book.

Gordon Padwick

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