To create a new message click on "New" or use the shortcut "cmd+N". There are a number of ways to address your message. If you just begin typing a name, nickname or e-mail address OE's Address AutoComplete will give you a list to choose from.
Notice the highlighted choice in the screenshot below, I have more than one e-mail address and all that are entered in the phone book are available. All you need to do is highlight and the address you want to. You can also drag an address from your address book or from an e-mail.
Once entered you get an icon describing the status of the contact.
Valid address not in your phone book
After addressing the message you continue to compose it. You can add a signature or an attachment before sending. You can create as many signatures as you would like and in "account setup" make any of them the default signature for a chosen account. To add an attachment you click on the "Add Attachments" button in the menu bar or the "Add" button to the right of the Attachments window and open the file you would like to attach. If you are not sure where the file is you can choose "Find" and be switched to the finder's find file utility, where you can search for your file and drag it to the message window to attach it.
Notice that under the attachment window is displayed the encoding format and compression which will be used. You can change these by clicking in that box and choosing from the options presented. If you care to change the default choices you can in Preferences.
You can easily insert URLs and eMail addresses that are clickable to your recipients. All you need to do is put them in with the proper prefixes or symbols and OE will send them as hyperlinks. Then it is up to the recipient's email program to interpret them. AOL is very inconsistant. Notice the examples below. The first won't work the second will.
You will not see them as hyperlinks in your composition window, OE converts them as it prepares the message to be sent. If you save the message as a draft and view the message in the preview window you will see the hyperlink, but when you open the draft to edit it the hyperlink will not show.
A signature is a block of text which is generally at the end of an e-mail. Signatures can be used for many purposes.
In OE5, you can create as many signatures as you like. Then, you can either choose which signature to insert in an individual message, or choose a default signature to insert in all of the messages you send from a specific mail account. You can also add a signature to your random list. When you choose "random" instead of a specific signature, Outlook Express inserts a signature from your list at random.
When you choose Signatures from the Tools menu you will be presented with a menu like this. From here you can add a new sig or edit one you have already created.
Here is a signature that I use. Note the -- on the first line. It is the way OE and other eMail programs recognize a signature. It would not be a good idea to delete it.
It is a good idea to keep your signatures limited to 6 lines. This is considered good netiquette. Many mailing lists and newsgroups will not allow you to post with sigs any longer.
Although it doesn't look as if they are, the eMail address and URLs will be clickable to your recipients once you send your messages.
You can choose a default signature for an account from Tools:Accounts:Edit. The sig you choose will automatically appear in any message you create in that account.
If you have chosen any sigs to be included as random (see first screenshot on this page), you will also be able to set the default sig to random.
Whether or not you have chosen a default signature, you can choose which signature you would like to use for each message from the list of signatures you have created, by choosing one from the signature menu.
OE5's Info Bar is a very valuable feature. You can easily see if and when you replied, forwarded or redirected and those responses are hyperlinked!! Also included in the Info Bar is whether you have flagged or unflagged a message.
If you have made more than one response to a message there is a History link
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