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Chapter 19. Communicating with Windows Mail > Taking Control of Your Messages

Taking Control of Your Messages

Windows Mail offers many more options for composing messages than the simple steps outlined in the previous section. Here’s a summary of the other features and techniques you can use to modify your outgoing messages:

  • Choosing the message format— Pull down the Format menu and select either Rich Text (HTML) or Plain Text. If you select the HTML sending format, use any of the formatting options found on the Format menu or the Formatting toolbar. Remember, however, that not all systems will transfer the rich text formatting (although most will).

  • Setting the message priority— Select Message, Set Priority, and then choose the level—High, Normal, or Low—from the submenu that appears. Alternatively, drop down the Set Priority toolbar list and then click the level you want.

  • Attaching a file— Select Insert, File Attachment, or click the Attach File to Message toolbar button, use the Open dialog box to select a file, and then click Open. Windows Mail adds an Attach box below the Subject line and displays the name and size of the file. To remove the attachment, click it in the Attach box and then press Delete.


    Another way to attach a file to a message is to drag the file from Windows Explorer and drop it in the body of the message.

  • Inserting a file into the message— Depending on the type of object you want to work with, Windows Mail gives you two methods of inserting objects (first click the position within the message where you want the file inserted):

    Inserting file text— If you have text in a separate file that you want to add to the message, select the Insert, Text from File command. In the Insert Text File dialog box that appears, select the file and click Open. Windows Mail adds the file’s contents to the message.

    Inserting an image— To insert an image file into the message, select Insert, Picture. In the Picture dialog box that appears, select the image file and click Open. Windows Mail inserts the picture into the message.

  • Applying stationery— Email stationery is a predefined message format that includes a background image and text. This is essentially a web page to which you can also add your own text. You choose stationery by selecting the Format, Apply Stationery command, and then picking out the stationery you want from the submenu that appears. Note that you can also begin a message with specific stationery by selecting the Message, New Message Using command in Windows Mail and then selecting the stationery. (Alternatively, drop down the Create Mail toolbar list and click the stationery you want.)

    Working with Stationery

    To set default stationery, select Tools, Options and then display the Compose tab. In the Stationery group, activate the Mail check box and then click the Select button to the right of that check box. Use the Select Stationery dialog box to choose the default stationery and then click OK. Note that the stationery files are HTML files, so if you know how to create your own web pages, you can also create your own stationery. Be sure to store the web page file in the following folder:

    %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Mail\Stationery

    Another way to create stationery is to click the Create New button in the Compose tab. (This button is also available in the Select Stationery dialog box.) This launches the Stationery Setup Wizard that takes you through the steps required to create custom stationery.

  • Inserting a signature— A signature is text that appears at the bottom of a message. Most people use a signature to provide their email and web addresses, their company contact information, and perhaps a snappy quote or epigram that reflects their personality. If you’ve defined a signature (see the next section), you can insert it into the body of the message at the current cursor position by selecting Insert, Signature. If you’ve defined multiple signatures, select the one you want form the submenu that appears.

  • Requesting a read receipt— To ask the recipient to send you a read receipt, select the Tools, Request Read Receipt command. Note that you can also set up Windows Mail to request a read receipt for all outgoing messages. In the Windows Mail window, select Tools, Options and then display the Receipts tab. Activate the Request a Read Receipt for All Sent Messages check box, and click OK. (Of course, asking for a read receipt is one thing, but actually receiving one is quite another. Unless the recipient’s email client is set up to automatically send read receipts when requested, the decision on whether to send a read receipt is up to the recipient, and most people opt not to send them.)

  • Digitally signing or encrypting a message— I cover these options in Chapter 21.



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