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Helpdesk/Configuring Outlook 2003

See also: Outlook Configuration

The initial setup of Outlook 2003 is different from previous versions. This document will guide you through a few simple adjustments to your settings that others have found extremely helpful. Here are some of the differences you may notice:

  • The items in your Outlook folders are grouped by date rather than in one long list.
  • The default view includes a navigation pane that groups your mail folders into Favorite Folders and All Mail Folders. This view does not include any Public Folders. You can change the view to display your Folder List.
  • The navigation pane (on the left) includes buttons that change the views using defaults that are different.
  • The choice of what to do with an open message after moving, deleting, replying to, or forwarding it may not be what you want.
  • Toolbars appear on one row so familiar buttons may not be visible.
  • Your Contacts folder may not function properly when you first begin to use Outlook.

Add Or Remove The Group View

If you prefer to see your messages in one long list rather than broken into groups by the selected sort criteria (usually by Received date and time), you can change the view by pointing to Arrange By on the View menu, and then selecting Show in Groups from the submenu. This is a setting that must be changed for each folder. It may be added and removed quickly for any way you may want to group your messages.

Display The Folder List

To display the Folder List click the Folder List button, Folder List button.PNG or Folder List 2 button.PNG, depending upon the configuration of your view. This changes the left pane to display the Folder List, including Public Folders which appear at the bottom of your Folder List.

If you wish to keep the Folder List view, you must click on the icons within this list to move between Outlook modules such as your calendar or task list. Clicking on the Mail button (Mail button.PNG) at the bottom of the navigation bar shows only your own mail folders. Click on Folder List button.PNG or Folder List 2 button.PNG again to reset the view to the Folder List.

Note: There are some neat new features available using the buttons so they are worth exploring. For example, you can view calendars side by side using the Calendar button (Calendar button.PNG).


Minimize Buttons In The Navigation Pane

Your Folder List may be partially obscured by large rectangular buttons, like Folder List button.PNG.

To shrink these larger buttons to small icons like this one Folder List 2 button.PNG, do the following:

  1. Look for this divider: Divider button.PNG.
  2. Hover with your mouse over the divider until your cursor (Cursor.PNG) changes to a double-headed arrow (Double headed arrow.PNG).
  3. Click down on the mouse and drag downward until all buttons are reduced to small icons in one line at the bottom of the Folder List. It should look like this: Icon ribbon.PNG


Message Handling Options

If the default message handling choices do not fit your needs you can change them on the Options dialog box using the following steps:

  1. From the Tools menu, select Options. The Options dialog box opens.
  2. Click Email options button.PNG. The E-mail Options dialog box opens.
  3. From the After moving or deleting an open item drop-down list, you may select from the following:
    Bullet.PNG  Open the previous item
    Bullet.PNG  Open the next item
    Bullet.PNG  Return to the mailbox
  4. Click to select or deselect Close original message on reply or forward, depending upon your preference.
  5. Click OK button.PNG twice to return to your Mailbox.


Adjust Toolbar Options

You may not see all the toolbar buttons in a new message window. Microsoft now uses only one row to display their Standard and Formatting toolbars. If you wish to see the full toolbars, follow these instructions for this one-time procedure:

  1. Open a new mail message.
  2. Right-click somewhere in the gray area of the toolbar (not on a button) and select Customize from the pop-up menu. The Customize dialog box opens.
  3. Click on the Options tab.
  4. Click the checkbox for Show Standard and Formatting toolbars on two rows.
  5. Click Close button.PNG.

Note: This setting can be changed in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint as well.


Change The Format For Message Composition

Outlook 2003 uses HTML format to compose messages which may create problems for your intended recipient because some mail programs are not sophisticated enough to handle HTML. To change the format of your outgoing mail messages follow these steps:

  1. From the Tools menu, select Options. The Options dialog box opens.
  2. Click the Mail Format tab.
  3. From the Compose in this message format drop-down list, select your desired format. Your choices are HTML, Rich Text, and Plain Text.
  4. If you want to use MS Word to compose messages, click the checkbox for Use Microsoft Word 2003 to edit e-mail messages.
  5. To change fonts for outgoing messages, click Fonts2000 button.PNG and then click Choose font button.PNG for each message type to select your preferences.

Note: There are many other options that can be changed in the Options dialog box. It might be useful to click other tabs to see what is available.


Make Your Contacts Folder Visible In The Address Book List

If your Contacts do not work or if the Contacts folder is not visible in the Address Book list, follow the one-time procedure below.

  1. From the Tools menu, select E-mail Accounts. The E-mail Accounts wizard opens.
  2. Click on the Add a new directory or address book radio button, and then click Next button.PNG.
  3. Click on the Additional Address Books radio button, and then click Next button.PNG.
  4. In the Additional Address Book Types list, select Outlook Address Book and then click Next button.PNG.
  5. One of the following scenarios will occur:
    Bullet.PNG  If the Outlook Address Book was successfully added:
        a.  A message is displayed that you must restart Outlook for the change to take effect.
        b.  Click OK button.PNG.
        c.  Restart Outlook, and continue at step 6.
    Bullet.PNG  If this feature has already been enabled:
        a.  A message is displayed saying the account or directory already exists.
        b.  Click OK button.PNG.
        c.  Continue at step 6 without restarting Outlook.
  6. Right-click Contacts button.PNG in the Folder List and then select Properties from the pop-up menu. The Contacts Properties window opens.
    Hint: If you don't see the Properties option click on the Folder List button (Folder List 2 button.PNG) at the bottom of the navigation pane, then right-click on Contacts button.PNG in the Folder List.
  7. Click the Outlook Address Book tab.
  8. Click the Show this folder as an e-mail Address Book check box if it is not already checked.
  9. Click Apply button.PNG.
  10. Click OK button.PNG. Contacts will now appear in the Address Book list.
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