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In this introduction

Understanding Outlook's Scope

What's New in Outlook 2002

Operating System Support

Who Should Read This Book

How This Book Is Organized

Conventions Used in This Book

Author's Final Comment

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 (the release of Outlook 97), adolescence (Outlook 98), the beginning of maturity (Outlook 2000), and now moving into adulthood (Outlook 2002). This book is my attempt to provide a comprehensive, up-to-date account of Outlook 2002 so 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.

Going beyond that, you can use Outlook to send and receive Internet e-mail, as well as to access Web sites and to participate in Internet newsgroups. Within a corporation or workgroup, you can use Outlook as a client for Exchange Server, Microsoft's messaging and collaboration system, to send and receive e-mail and to share information of many types.

The chapters near the beginning of this book describe how you can use Outlook more or less as it comes out of the box, without any customization. Subsequent chapters describe how 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 modify menus and toolbars and create 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.

An additional chapter that's not printed in the book, but available for downloading from http://www.quehelp.com, shows how 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.

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 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 2002

Let me start by saying what isn't new in Outlook 2002. Outlook 2002 uses the same formats for storing data as Outlook 97, Outlook 98, and Outlook 2000. If you've been using a previous version of Outlook, you can switch to Outlook 2002 without modifying data formats. In most cases, you can share data between people who are using the four Outlook versions.

The list of enhancements in Outlook 2002 is too long to list in detail here, so I'll just highlight a few of them. Many of Outlook 2002's enhancements are shared with other applications in the Office XP suite.

One of the first enhancements you'll notice in Outlook 2002 is the integrated e-mail environment. No longer do you have to choose a service option—No E-Mail, Internet Mail Only, or Corporate/Workgroup—when you install Outlook. You can set up accounts to handle Internet, Exchange Server, and Hotmail e-mail. You can also use Outlook as a client for other messaging systems, including Lotus Notes, if you have appropriate transports available from third-party sources.

The preceding paragraph mentioned the ability to send and receive Hotmail e-mail messages, something new in Outlook 2002.

The ability to display appointments in color on Outlook's calendars is now available. You can assign one of 10 predefined colors to each calendar item, using each color to signify a particular type of appointment. You also can use rules to automatically assign colors to appointments.

Reminders are now displayed in a more convenient format. In previous versions of Outlook, each reminder was displayed in a separate window, which meant that if several reminders were current, you had to cycle through a series of reminder windows. In Outlook 2002, all current reminders are displayed in a single window, making it much faster to examine your reminders.

If you use Outlook as a client for Exchange, you probably make frequent use of its ability to help schedule meetings at times when the people who should attend are available. This capability is improved in Outlook 2002. Now, when you receive an invitation to attend a meeting, you can respond by suggesting an alternative time.

The Preview pane, used to preview messages and appointments without having to open them, is improved in several ways. In Outlook 2002, you can double-click an address in the Preview pane to see the properties of that address. The InfoBar, previously displayed only in forms, is now displayed in the Preview pane. If you receive a message with attachments, the Preview pane now displays those attachments as individual icons; you can open attachments directly from the Preview pane. When you receive a message inviting you to attend a meeting, the Preview pane now contains Accept and Decline buttons you can click without having to open the message.

These are just some of the more obvious enhancements you'll notice as you begin working with Outlook 2002. The chapters of this book contain information about many more enhancements.

Operating System Support

Outlook 2002, in common with the other Office XP applications, runs under any of these operating systems:

  • Windows 98

  • Windows Me

  • Windows NT (with Service Pack 6a or later installed)

  • Windows 2000

You can expect Outlook 2002 to be compatible with Windows XP when Microsoft releases that operating system.

Notice that Office XP applications are not designed to run under Windows 3.x, Windows 95, or Windows 3.5x.

→ For more information about system requirements, see System Requirements.

Who Should Read This Book

This book is for almost everyone who uses, or plans to use, Outlook 2002. 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 find. The vast majority of Outlook users who fit somewhere between these extremes will find this book to be an indispensable resource to which they frequently refer.

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

The book assumes you are generally familiar with one or more versions of Windows, and that you have some previous experience working with Office applications, such as Word.

How This Book Is Organized

The book contains seven major parts, six appendices, and a glossary.

Part I, "Outlook Basics"

The two chapters (Chapters 1 and 2) in this part provide a description of how Outlook works and information about the various ways you can run Outlook.

Part II, "Sending and Receiving Messages"

Chapter 3, "Managing E-mail Accounts," describes how to set up accounts with Outlook so you can send and receive e-mail messages by way of various types of servers. Chapter 4, "Sending Messages," is all about creating and sending e-mail messages. Chapter 5, "Receiving Messages," covers receiving e-mail messages. Chapter 6, "Accessing the Internet," contains information about using Outlook to access the Internet.

Part III, "Using Outlook As a Personal Information Manager"

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

  • Chapters 7 and 8—Contacts (people and organizations)

  • Chapters 9 and 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, "Managing Outlook Folders," explains how Outlook saves information in folders, and how you can manage those folders. Chapter 15, "Using Outlook to Manage Your Windows Files," shows how Outlook can manage Windows files.

Part IV, "Organizing Outlook Items"

This part contains five chapters that cover various aspects of managing Outlook on your computer, as well as managing the information Outlook saves:

Part V, "Using Outlook As a Client for Exchanger Server and Other Information Systems"

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

  • Chapter 21—Provides an overview of messaging systems

  • Chapters 22–24—Describe how to set up and use Outlook as a client for Microsoft Exchange Server

Part VI, "Customizing Outlook"

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

Part VII, "Security Considerations"

This part contains a single chapter (Chapter 32) 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.


The book contains six appendixes:


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

Web Content

Most readers of this book will be content to use Outlook exactly as it comes out of the box. Therefore, many chapters deal only with customization that can be done simply by making choices in dialog boxes. But for those using Outlook as a development environment, we have a special introduction chapter to creating custom forms, writing Visual Basic Scripting Edition code to enhance forms, and using Visual Basic for Applications to enhance Outlook's overall capabilities. You can find this information at http://www.quehelp.com.

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 2002.

Text Conventions

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

Type Meaning
Italic A new term or phrase when it is initially defined
Monospace Web addresses and onscreen messages
Bold Monospace Text the reader types
Initial Caps Menu names, dialog box names, and dialog box elements

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 press 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 will help you increase your productivity with Outlook 2002.



Notes highlight things 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 learn how to solve or avoid common problems you might typically face with Outlook 2002.


Cross-references direct you to other locations in this book that provide supplemental or supporting information. They look like:

→ For information about configuring Outlook so the Outlook Today window appears each time you start Outlook, see Other Options.

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


I value all messages I receive and have, so far, been able to respond personally to almost all 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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