Web daugava.com
Microsoft Internet Mail/Outlook Express Tips
  • I've come to a conclusion that Outlook Express 5 sucks. 3 times when there was a large file in my mailbox, it ended up screwing up messages - some would show up as empty, some would have headers inside. So, I downgraded to old, reliable O.E. 4 - and was pleasantly surprised that it allowed me to import the messages I received during the short reign of O.E. 5.
    BTW, I never chose to install version 5 in the first place - it was bundled with Internet Explorer 5, which is also a troublemaker (several times it caused GPF in EXPLORER.EXE when booting, so I had to repair IE5) .
  • When you try to quote message in OE and '>' keeps moving to the wrong line, that's becase there's no hard return inside the line. Go to the end of line and press ENTER.

  • IMAIL caches mail server DNSs during one session.

  • Setting up the best possible spam filter - instead of trying to exclude bad messages, define a rule to include good ones! This is how I did it - all messages containing 'daugava' in 'To:' field go to folder 'Inbox Daugava'. These are messages addressed directly to me. Vast majority of spam is addressed to crappy addresses like friend@public.com, so it remains filtered out. So, all good messages are in 'Inbox Daugava', while my old 'Inbox' contains nothing by spam and I just do mass delete now and then.

  • Totally unexpected discovery - none of the deleted messages are actually deleted from Internet Mail folders (.MBX files)!!! For example, OUTBOX was empty, but it's .MBX file was whopping 19M! I tried a little experiment and found out that Compact command in File menu takes care of that - releases the disk space used by deleted messages in specified folder - kinda like PACK command in DBASE.

    Till I tested this myself, I thought that Compact was some sort of compression, which I didn't care for, since I wanted to keep folders in plain text format.

    The help section talking about 'Compact' is so skimpy, it's not even funny - I'd never thought of using that command until I realized that my Internet Mail directory takes 109 megabytes! After compacting it shrank down to 54M! And after nuking 'deleted items' it shrank further, to 21M.

  • If you do 'copy to' folder and then 'move to', destination folder will contain 2 copies of the message. So, if you meant 'move', but did 'copy', the 2nd step would be 'delete'.

  • If you accidentally delete message from Outbox, no big deal, just go to 'deleted', edit the message and click 'send' again.

  • You can go to prev/next message in editing mode - by clicking up/down arrow buttons.

  • Smart feature in Inbox Assistant - when folder is deleted, filters that route messages into it become inactive.

  • Outgoing message can endup in Inbox if you do Alt-F4/save message instead of clicking send, like all respectable people. I did number of times and finally today (06/27/97) realized what's happening. Not that I understood why the heck IMAIL would do that.

  • When IMAIL is default mailer for IE, message gets sent immediately when IMAIL client is not open - no need to open it and click 'send/receive'.

  • Yuri suggests: "To find text in the body of the message, double clock on header to get into editing mode, then press F3". Simple, eh ? And for months, I didn't even know that such mode exists in IMAIL!
    You can also use this trick to edit message in your Outbox before sending it.

  • Single beep during message receive means 'there are new messages'.

  • IMAIL has spellcheck (Mail/Check spelling), but to use it, you must have MS Office installed.

  • You can setup IMAIL to establish PPP/SLIP when it needs to read mail, then you can stay online.

  • When mail server reports password incorrect, the reason could be Caps Lock light not being set correctly. It may be off, but Caps are actually on - press Caps key several times to find out.

  • Selecting word without using keyboard: double click, right click, copy.
  • When the font is too small to see the subject of the message, read it in the window title. BTW, anybody knows how to increase header font in MS IMAIL & INEWS ?
  • If connection is is lost during Send/Receive, next time you do SR, you might get duplicate messages.
  • ^M is a shortcut for Send/Receive.
  • Ctrl+Click on attachment to get 'SAVE AS' dialog.
  • When program maliciously takes over CPU (like IMAIL does while sending), Caps Lock key doesn't respond.
  • Press Alt-V-G-R to get russian font.