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Applying Message Rules

Outlook Express lets you define message rules that answer, redirect, or delete incoming messages automatically, based on subject, sender, message text, size, or other criteria.

To set up message rules:

Choose Tools > Message Rules > Mail (Figure 14.15).

Figure 14.15. This rule, named Resumes, moves a message to my Hiring folder if the message is addressed to fehily directly, contains editorial assistant in the Subject line or message body, and has an attachment (presumably, a résumé).

In the top box, specify selection criteria for messages.

To look for messages from a certain person, for example, check Where the From Line Contains People.

In the second box, specify what happens to messages that meet the selection criteria.

You can define complex rule systems that move, copy, delete, reply to, forward, flag, ignore, or highlight messages automatically.

In the third box, click underlined phrases to specify which people, words, or values the message rules apply to (Figure 14.16).

Figure 14.16. Enter the values to watch for in the dialog box that appears when you click an underlined phrase.

In the bottom text box, type the rule’s name; then click OK.

The Message Rules dialog box appears (Figure 14.17).

Figure 14.17. All the rules that you’ve created appear in this dialog box. Select a rule to see what it does, or double-click it to edit it. Use the Move Up and Move Down buttons to change the order in which rules run.



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