Home > Sample chapters > Microsoft Office > Outlook

Handling E-Mail Messages in Microsoft® Office Outlook® 2007

Working with New Mail Notifications

When new messages, meeting requests, or task delegations arrive in your Inbox, Outlook alerts you in several ways so that you can be aware of e-mail activity if you are working in another application or away from your computer:

  • A New Mail Message icon appears in the notification area at the right end of the Windows taskbar.

  • A semi-transparent desktop alert appears on your screen for a few seconds, displaying the name of the sender, the subject, and the first few words of the message (approximately 125 characters). From the desktop alert, you can open a message, mark it as read, flag it for action, respond to it, or delete it.

  • You can change the location, transparency, and length of time desktop alerts appear, or choose to not display them:

    • You can position the alert inside or outside of the Outlook program window. For example, if you usually work with the Windows taskbar hidden, you might want to position the alert away from the taskbar to prevent you from accidentally displaying the taskbar each time you point to an alert.

    • The alert can stay on screen for 3 to 30 seconds. The default is 7 seconds.

    • The alert can be a solid color or up to 80% transparent. The default is 20% transparent. You might find that transparent alerts are less likely to interfere with your view of the work you’re doing.

    • If Outlook is minimized or another application window is active, a beep sounds. You can change the sound or turn it off.

    • The mouse pointer briefly changes shape when you receive a message. You can turn off this feature.

    You can customize and turn off these notifications.

    In this exercise, you will customize your desktop alert settings and process messages through desktop alerts as you receive them. There are no practice files for this exercise.

    1. On the Tools menu, click Options.

      The Options dialog box opens.

    2. On the Preferences tab, click E-mail Options. Then in the E-mail Options dialog box, click Advanced E-mail Options.

    3. In the Advanced E-mail Options dialog box, click Desktop Alert Settings.

    4. Click the Desktop Alert Settings button.

      The Desktop Alert Settings dialog box opens.

    5. Drag the How long should the Desktop Alert appear slider to the left end of the slider bar to set it to 3 seconds, and then click Preview.

      A semi-transparent sample desktop alert appears in the lower-right corner of your desktop and fades away after three seconds.

    6. Click Preview again, and when the alert appears, point to it.

      The transparent alert becomes solid. As long as the mouse pointer is positioned over the alert, it remains visible.

    7. Drag the sample desktop alert to the upper-right corner of your screen.

      Future desktop alerts will appear wherever you move the sample alert.

    8. In the Desktop Alert Settings dialog box, drag the How transparent should the Desktop Alert be slider to the left end of the slider bar to set it to 0% transparent, and then click Preview.

      The sample desktop alert appears in the upper-right corner of the screen, and darkens until it is opaque.

    9. Move the desktop alert to the position you want it to appear in the future. Then experiment with the options in the Desktop Alert Settings dialog box, and set the duration and transparency as you want, previewing your changes as necessary.

    10. When you’re done, click OK in each of the four open dialog boxes.

    11. On the Standard toolbar, click the New Mail Message button.

      A new message window opens.

    12. Enter your e-mail address in the To box, and then in the Subject box, type SBS Alert Test 1.

      Warning

      Important The subject of each message we have you send to yourself while working through the exercises in this book begins with SBS so that you can easily differentiate the practice files from other messages in your Inbox and Sent Items folders.

    13. In the message body, type This is a test. Then send the message.

      When the message arrives in your Inbox, a New Mail Message icon appears in the notification area at the right end of the Windows taskbar, and a desktop alert appears on your screen.

    14. When the desktop alert appears, point to it to keep it active.

      If you point to the text displayed in the alert, it appears underlined. You can click the underlined text to open the message in a message window.

    15. In the desktop alert, click the Options button, and then click Mark as Read.

      The desktop alert closes, and the message in your Inbox is marked as read (whether on not the Inbox is visible).

    16. On the Standard toolbar, click the New Mail Message arrow, and then in the list, click Meeting Request.

      A new meeting request window opens.

    17. In the To box, type your e-mail address; in the Subject box, type SBS Alert Test 2; and in the Location box, type my Inbox. Then send the meeting request.

    18. If a Reminder window opens, click Dismiss.

    19. When the desktop alert appears, point to it, and then click the Delete Item button.

      The message moves from your Inbox to the Deleted Items folder, and the desktop alert closes.