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Outlook Express Tip:
Using Flags, Priorities and Colors


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Outlook Express 5 for Mac not only allows for filing your messages in nested folders but also allows for marking with flags and priorities which are both sortable but are handled a bit differently.



With Flagged messages you can choose the option to view "Flagged Only" (Shift+cmd+Y) as you can "Unread Only" (Shift+Y) showing you only the messages you have flagged.







Priorities give you 5 levels that can be sorted but not "read only". These priorities can also be applied to messages you send to alert recipients of the importance of your message. Please don't abuse it!! You can access the priorities from the "Message" drop down menu.

Priority Icons

- Highest
- High
- Low
- Lowest






Not only can you flag a message and set a priority, but you also can change the color of the file headers. This is because OE is AppleScriptable. AppleScript is a simple tool which even beginners can make use of. These colors are not sortable nor findable but certainly are visible.

To change the color of your message header, all you need to do is to is go to the script menu and choose the color you would like to use.




You can get the scripts for the 16 colors available to OE at . You then place the scripts into the "Script Menu Items" folder, which is in "that folder".

To set up your labeling system properly you can even name the scripts anything you want, so you can see the names in the Script pull-down menu. To do this just rename the script files in the finder. Again, they are in That Folder:Script Menu Items.

You can also create keyboard shortcuts while naming the scripts in the finder. Just add to the end of the name a blackslash " \ " and the modifier keys you would like to use. The modifiers are;

  • Shift = s
  • Control = c
  • Option = o
  • Command = m

Examples of the script filenames using shortcuts in above snapshot are: (the modifiers are highlighted in blue)

  • Insert Explorer Address\coE
  • Insert Netscape Address\coN
  • Insert Text File\coF
  • Important - Red\om9
  • Idea - Maroon\1 - (could also be: Idea - Maroon\m1)

Notice: If no modifier is used (as in: Idea - Maroon\1) command is assumed. The Fkeys are unavailable in 5.0. Stay away from just using the option key as a modifier because that may try to open the Script Editor.

In the next 3 screenshots I have sorted the same 15 messages. Notice the way the sort hierarchy functions (all sorts are high to low). To sort your messages all you need to do is click on the column headers and the whole folder sorts on that column. Click again and it will reverse the sort. That sort is applied to only that folder and the others stay the way you left them.




With all these ways to identify and sort your messages you should be able to find a needle in a haystack if you come up with a good consistent system for marking and filing your messages. Happy filing!!!!






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