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95 Is Alive

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Outlook Express
Also known as: Microsoft Internet Mail and News ( MSIMN )

These apply to all Outlook Express in all Windows versions.

Some folks don't like Outlook Express, but it is my favorite e-mail program, and has a lot of features that can be fun if turned on.  I'm going to start with a few items.  However, like some other pages on 95 Is Alive this one will always be open for updates.
Items listed here are not in a particular order, they're added as I remember them or stumble across them while reading newsgroups etc.

Young folks, don't try anything on your Parent's computer without permission.

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Use Outlook Express in News Reader Only mode 04/13/04
Ever want to check your News Groups but not your email?  Right click a blank area on your
Desktop, select New and then Shortcut and then copy and paste either of the following
as the file location:
"C:\Program Files\Outlook Express\msimn.exe" /newsonly
"C:\Program Files\Outlook Express\msimn.exe" /outnews
Click next and give it a name then click Finish.
You now have a shortcut with the OE icon that will only open News Groups.

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Set Outlook Express to automatically empty the deleted messages folder 05/14/03
Ever shut down and then wonder if you emptied your deleted messages folder because there's one you don't want anyone to read, or maybe one that contained a possible virus.  You can set Outlook Express to automatically empty the folder when you shut it down.   Click Tools > Options and then Maintenance and check the box: "Empty messages from the deleted items folder on exit"

Go
There

Use Outlook Express to make a text web page  10/14/02
If Outlook Express is set to compose e-mail using HTML, you can use it to create a text web page.  The Instructions are on the Behind the Screen page.

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"Catch up" the Newsgroup accounts
If you've subscribed to any newsgroups you might notice a number such as 32,000 or so by a newsgroup when you open the Local Folders in Outlook Express to read an account.   This number represents the number of news items in the group that you have not read.  To clear it, right click on the group and click Catch up.  It will set unread news items to zero, and the number will go away.

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Slow down or stop Spam E-mail
Some "web sites" ( for lack of a better word ) use a java script routine to determine your "Default" e-mail address when you visit their "sites," and it doesn't matter if Outlook Express is running or not, as they pull it out of your registry.  To stop this, create a "Bogus" e-mail address so if they do get one it won't be real.  To do this, in an Outlook window click Tools and then Accounts and follow the steps shown in the little tour that starts when you click Image on the left.  Just remember you MUST make sure to select a valid "From:" address from the drop down menu in the "From:" box each time you open the New mail window after you install this "Tweak."
( This tweak appears in both Outlook and Privacy )

OE Qoute Fix Icon
Go get it

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OE-QouteFix
One aggravating feature of Outlook Express is all of the >>> symbols it adds to e-mails when the original is included in the reply.  Dominik Jain has created a great utility named OE-QouteFix that will put them all in order and preserve the original spacing, line wraps etc.  It will even display original and reply texts in different colors. The icon on the left will be in the Systray when it is running.  Be sure to read ALL of the help files to set it up properly. The download will be from Major Geeks

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Adding e-mail folders to Outlook Express
Is your inbox full of e-mails you really don't want to delete.  You can add or create new folders to save them in by right clicking a blank area of the folders box and clicking "New folder."  The new folder will then be an option when you right click an e-mail header and click "Move to."

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Rearrange the Outlook Toolbar buttons
Ever go to click the Refresh button and instead hit the Delete or Print button.  You can arrange the buttons in any order, make them smaller to take up less desktop space, and even remove the text labels since you probably remember what they all do.  Simply right click a blank area of the toolbar and click Customize on the tab that opens. ( This works in Internet Explorer also )

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Subscribing to Newsgroups
Outlook Express is also a news reader.  There are many great newsgroups out there, and Microsoft has one of many, and in many languages.  The images will show you how to subscribe, and show the Microsoft news server address.  In an open Outlook page, click Tools, then Accounts,  then the News tab on the popup panel, then Add, and then News.

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Sort the e-mail in your Inbox
You can sort your e-mail in ascending or descending order by Name, Subject or Date Received by clicking on which one you want in the inbox.  I use date received order.   I had forgotten about this until Korina e-mailed me a question.

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Get rid of the Read Receipt pop up
One of my pet peeves is the box that pops up when you click on an e-mail because the sender has requested a "read receipt" so they know you read the e-mail.  In an Outlook Express window click Tools, click Options and then click  Receipts and you can turn it off.

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Back up or save your Address Book
Until I had a major crash I didn't realize how important this was.  I was fortunate in that I had copied my Address Book to a floppy disk to install in my backup computer.  Although Outlook has an export feature, I've found that a much easier and more reliable method is to just copy or Send the file to a floppy disk.  You will find it in the Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book folder.

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Compose e-mails using HTML
If you set Outlook to compose using html, you can select a default Font and Font color and change Font sizes and colors throughout your e-mails.  When in Outlook click Tools, click Options and click on the Send tab and place a dot by HTML under Mail Sending Format.   Then click on HTML settings and place a check in Send pictures with messages and click OK.   ( This is for the next tip. )  Then click the Compose tab and then Font settings to set your default Font.

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Insert pictures and animated .gif images in your e-mail
Yep, you can place animated images right on the page with your e-mail.  To insert a picture or image when you are in the text box writing your e-mail, click on Insert and then click on Picture.  A panel will open asking where the picture is, so just click Browse and navigate to the folder where the image is, click on the file and click open and follow the directions.  Sure enough, there's our little buddy shoveling away.

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Go straight to E-mail
Want to check or send an e-mail but don't want to wait for IE to open your homepage so you can click on the E-mail button to launch Outlook Express?  If your ISP uses the POP protocol and your Outlook connection panel is set properly you can open Outlook and get your mail without opening IE.  In Outlook click Tools, Options, Connection and then Change and make sure that Outlook is set to connect using the same connection as IE. ( This won't work for the "On Line" company )

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Change the name that shows at the top of the Outlook window
Usually ISP's will "brand" the Outlook Express window with their name.  You can change it using the following steps.  Click Start, Run and type regedit and click Ok.  In the panel that opens click the plus signs by: Current User, Identities, The identity number, Software, Microsoft, Outlook and click once on 5.0.  In the right panel scroll down to Window Title and right click on it and click modify.  Clear the value and type in anything you want and click Ok.  Close regedit and the next time you open Outlook what you typed will be there.  Yep, mine is named 95 Is alive.  The tip on Toolbar wallpaper ( the cloud image ) is in the Internet Explorer section.

Word viewer Icon
Go get it

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Word Viewer
Ever get an e-mail with an attachment that has the .doc extension and when you try to open it, it is unreadable.  The Windows 95 CD has a utility named Microsoft Word Viewer that will open Microsoft word documents so you can read them.  It is located in the Other directory on the CD. A newer version is available from the Microsoft download site.

To be continued....
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This page was last updated on December 16, 2015.