Outlook Express 5.0 for Mac

Getting Started



 Home | Setup | Get Started | Prefs | New Mail | Address Bk | Filters |Sorting & Scripts | Multi | Maint | Stuff | FAQ


Now that you have gotten OE5 set up its time to get started reading and composing your email.

This is the 3-pane "main window" you will be working with. It consists of 4 parts, Tool Bar, Folder List, Message List and Preview Pane. You can view or hide all but the Message List from the "View" menu.

Notice the red highlight in the folder list. This tells you that the folder list is active. Depending on which pane is active you have many choices of actions to perform. You can access those actions from the menu bar and from the contextual menus. The contextual menus are available with ctrl+click.



You can adjust the size of the panes by placing the cursor in the bar with the 5 little dots until your cursor changes. Then you can adjust the size of the panes.





  • Test the contextual menus, they will be of great value as you get more familiar with OE5.
  • Cmd+\ will toggle on and off the preview pane. This is a valuable shortcut for viewing folders with many messages. This and other keyboard shortcuts.
  • Have you noticed the close box is missing in your main window? I have one in the screen shot above... It's now a preference, found in the "gereral" tab of OE Preferences.



Reading Messages

If you double click a folder or a message in the message list it will open in it's own "Window". This allows you more room to read. The 3-pane window will stay open behind it.

Here is a Message Window. You can read this message or with the buttons on the tool bar, read the previous message, read the next message, reply to it, forward it, FLAG it, print it, EDIT it, trash it, rewrap the text, increase the text size or move it to a folder.

  • The arrow buttons will take you to the previous and next messages.
  • Reply (to sender), Reply to All and Forward are straightforward.
  • Flag is to mark this message so that it will be easily found again. For further details see Sorting & Scripts.
  • Print will print to the default printer.
  • Edit will allow you to change the "Subject" and add or change text in the body of the message and save it that way. This allows you to change the subject to something YOU can understand.
  • Trashing the message will put it in the deleted messages folder where it will stay until that folder is deleted.
  • Rewraping the text will straighten out those short lines which sometimes appear in messages. You can save this change or leave the message the way it was when you move on to another message.
  • You can increase the size of the text with just a click on the button but, to decrease it again you must use the edit menu, contextual menu or keyboard shortcut (cmd+shft+-).
  • You can easily move the message to the folder of your choice.



Tip - You can use the spacebar to scroll through a long message and when at the end hit the spacebar again and you will go to the next unread message in that folder. This and other keyboard shortcuts.



Your folders are one of the keys to keeping yourself organized. The folder structure in OE5 supports nested folders as many as you want. This way you can keep your e-mail organized much the way you are used to on your hard drive :-). These nested folders are also available for your sent mail folder.


Tip - One thing which always seems to happen to all of us is what I call a "spaz -click". "Oh NO!!!! I've put my Junk folder into my Drafts folder and I can't make it a first level folder again."

Well this one isn't too hard to fix but the solution seems to elude many. Just drag that nested folder to the folders heading and it then becomes a first level folder again.




Moving Messages

As you are viewing a message you can move the message to any folder you would like. There are many ways to accomplish this. Of course from the message list you can drag a message to any folder (spring loaded folders function as you have them set in your OS preferences). If you are in the message window you can click on the folder drop-down list and choose the folder to move it to. Alternatively, from anywhere you can ctrl+click (to get the contextual menu) on any message or message subject. OE5 will give you a list of the last 20 folders which have been accessed. You can choose one of those or........




if the folder is not in that list you can choose "Move to Folder". You will be presented with the following window from which you can choose any folder and can even create a NEW folder. This window is available from most anywhere a message is open or highlighted with shft+cmd+M.




Editing a Received Message

Have you ever wanted to save a message to locate later but the subject of the message has nothing to do with that idea? Well OE5 will help you with the EDIT feature. Open a message in a window (double click on the message in the message list pane). Click the Edit button and the subject line becomes editable. You can also edit the text. Make notes, delete unnecessary text and once you save those changes you can immediately reply or forward it with the changes or just save it for future use.




Now there is a downloadable/printable version of this tutorial


OE 5 Links 

Home | Setup | Get Started | Prefs | New Mail | Address Bk | Filters |Sorting & Scripts | Multi | Maint | Stuff | FAQ



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