All About Your Outlook Express Address Book: Making It Work For You

Can't figure out how to add new addresses in your Outlook Express e-mailing software? Here are some tips to get you started on creating and maintaining your address book.

Welcome to the world of e-mail, or electronic mail. You've decided to use Outlook Express to compose and receive your e-mails. Outlook Express has tons of valuable features to make e-mailing extremely easy. One of the first things you may be wondering is how you can start keeping track of all of your friends' e-mail addresses. It's easy with Outlook's address book feature.

More than likely, when you first open Outlook Express, you will see four "windows." The window on the top left shows your different folders. The window on your top right is where your actual e-mails come in. The window on your bottom right is a preview pane. When you click on an e-mail, it will give you a small preview of what is actually contained in the e-mail. The bottom left portion is what we're interested in today, however. This window contains contact information, or your address book. If the bottom left window is not currently visible when you open up Outlook Express, click on the "View" menu on the toolbar and choose "Layout." Make sure that there is a checkmark by the "Contacts" option.

There are two ways to add a new contact. Let's say your friend Jane Doe has sent you her e-mail address and you want to add her to your address book. Click on the small down arrow by the word "Contacts" in the Contacts pane or simply press Alt + C. Choose the "New Contact" option. This will open up a window that will allow you to enter all kinds of information about your friend Jane Doe. In the "Name" tab of this window, fill out your friend's information. The information it asks for is pretty self-explanatory. Next to "E-Mail Addresses" type Jane's e-mail address: [email protected] Click on the "Add" button and it will add this e-mail address to the pane below. If Jane has many e-mail addresses (for example, if she has a different work e-mail address and a different home e-mail address), you can add multiple addresses by typing them in and clicking "Add." If you only have one address for her, it will automatically cause this e-mail address to be the default address. If you have multiple addresses for Jane, you can select the e-mail address she uses the most and then click the button "Set as Default." One important item to note is that whatever name you use for the "Nickname" box, you can simply type that nickname in the "To" portion of a new message and it will understand that you are sending a message to that specific person. There are several other tabs you can list properties for, but, for now, all we want to do is add Jane to your contacts list. Once you have entered Jane's information, click the "Ok" button to save your changes. You will see Jane's name in your Contact list. Now, whenever you want to e-mail her, you can just double-click on her name and a new message will appear addressed to Jane.

You can also do this same thing by going to the "Tools" menu and choosing "Address Book." Click on the "New" button and choose "New Contact." Then follow the directions above to add a new contact. This is more easily done by clicking the "Addresses" button close to the top of your screen.

Let's say you have a book club that has four members in it and you don't want to continually type in each of their e-mail addresses when you want to e-mail them all as a group. After clicking the "Addresses" button, click on "New Group." Enter a Group Name. For example, you can call the group "Book Club." Click the "Select Members" button and it will allow you to choose several of your existing e-mail contacts for the Book Club group. Once you have selected them all, click "Ok." Now, the next time you want to e-mail your Book Club group, you simply have to type in "Book Club" and the message will automatically be sent to all four members.

The Outlook Express address book feature is pretty intuitive if you just give it a try. Remember, if you ever get stuck and want to trouble shoot, you can always hit the F1 key or click on "Help" from the toolbar and then "Contents and Index." This will help you figure out anything you want to know about the address book.

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