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Tips and Tricks for using e-mail

Updated 7-5-16
Note that many of the programs are now out of date.

First a little discussion of the different types of e-mail. Some programs that are used for e-mail are AOL, Juno, Outlook Express, Netscape, Eudora, Hotmail, Yahoo and a score of others. Actually there are only 2 categories of e-mail. Local and On-line. Find out how to get a great business e-mail and hosted exchange program from Intermedia. Look in the menu under Products.

Local e-mail

Is downloaded from the server and stored in your computer. Your address book and saved e-mail are stored on your hard drive. You compose new e-mail on your computer and then send it to your server.
There are 2 disadvantages to this type of e-mail.
1. If you lose your hard drive (without a backup), you lose the stored data.
2. You can only access your address book from your own computer. The exception is AOL and MSN. They have moved the address book to their server so it can be accessed from any computer. Some systems also allow you to get your e-mail from any computer. MSN has been a real headache recently. It won't allow the user to access the favorites to modify them.

It takes 2 functions to operate this type of e-mail. First you need a server and second, you need an e-mail program. AOL, CompuServe and Juno provide both items as a package. Other ISP's like AT&T, Sprint, Mindspring, Earthlink, Prodigy, MSN, Cable modem servers, DSL servers, and thousands of other providers, both national and local provide only the server portion. You have to select a program on your computer to handle the mail. Outlook Express, Eudora and Netscape do this job.
2018 update: These may be obsolete. Windows 10 has its own email program. This program allows local or on line email use.

They are just an e-mail program that can be used with any server and will not work without one. You must get information from your server to set it up so it will access the server to send and receive properly. Send and receive are different functions and require different information to set up.
Check these links for instructions.

Web based e-mail

Is handled entirely on the web. After you obtain an Internet connection on any computer, you surf to the web page where your mail is kept. Your mail and address book are stored on the server and you can access them from anywhere. The web sites that provide web based free e-mail are many. Most of the search engines now supply free e-mail. I like Yahoo the best. It includes spell check. It also does a virus check on incoming and outgoing attachments. And they provide a lot of storage space. Also Google has entered the race with Gmail. It has become a favorite for many.

All of the e-mail systems perform the same general functions. Just the controls vary. Much like driving different cars.

For lists of free web based e-mail providers, click here or just Google it.

E-Mail features

How e-mail works:

E-mail is much like the postal system. You write a message, put it in a pickup box. Someone takes it and carries it through a distribution system and places it in a mailbox somewhere else. It sits in the box until the recipient retrieves it. Then they choose to keep it, trash it and/or reply to it. The only difference with e-mail is that it is all done electronically and instantly delivered worldwide. The same general processes apply.


Finally to the meat of this discussion:

There are a couple of questions always asked regarding e-mail.

Q. How do I send and receive pictures by e-mail?

A. All e-mail packages work in a similar manner for sending attachments. These are usually photos, but can actually be any file on your computer. A few rules apply to all systems, then we will get down to specifics.

Rule 1. All e-mail systems have limits on size of attachments. Some will send and receive only 1MB, some up to 3 MB. Some Web based e-mail systems limit the total amount of mail they will store. Text e-mail is small. It is the attachments that take space.
Yahoo allows up to 25 MB per email. If you try to exceed this you are directed to upload the files to Dropbox and then the email includes a link to the dropbox file that the recipient can click on and see the file and download it if they choose to.

Rule 2. Bigger files take much longer to send and receive. If you are not using a fast broadband, keep attachments small..

Rules 1 & 2 mean you must know something about identifying file size. Be sure to use Windows Explorer or My Computer to identify file size before attaching to e-mail.

Rule 3: All e-mail systems have an address book for storing your e-mail addresses. Some allow for more information to be added, like phone numbers, postal addresses, anniversaries, etc. AOL and Juno are more limited than Outlook, Netscape, Eudora and Yahoo.

To attach a file (photo) to an e-mail, follow these steps:

1. Address and compose the e-mail. Be sure to include a subject. It can be as simple as "Hi".
2. Look for a menu item or icon that says "Attach". In Netscape, look in the icon toolbar. In Yahoo look at the bottom of the message for "Edit Attachments". After selecting attach, you should get a dialog box that has a "Browse" button.
3. Click Browse. This opens a dialog box that shows the folders on your computer.
4. Look for the file to be attached. If you are adding a photo, it will most likely be in a folder called My Pictures. If the photo was put in your computer from a scanner or digital camera, the photos could be almost anywhere. If you can't locate the photo, try using the search function at the top of the Windows Explorer window. You can also search from the Window Icon. Look for the photo or document by name. If you don't know the name, look for all photos by typing *.jpg (This is asterisk, period, JPG which will look for all files that have a JPG identifier). Look for documents by .doc.
5. When you find the file, click it once to select (highlight) it. Choose attach. (Double clicking the file also selects it. In Yahoo, the file is uploaded to Yahoo and scanned for virus. In Yahoo, click Done. In other programs, the attached file should show in the address area.

Now for a tip: Create a new e-mail for each attachment. AOL in particular does not handle multiple attachments well for sending or receiving. You may not be on AOL, but the recipient may be. In other systems, it keeps the transfer time to a minimum.

To save or find an attachment click here for instructions.

Q. How do I get rid of all the e-mail addresses in the header on forwarded e-mail?

A. This process works for forwarding or printing your mail received from others.
Step 1. Highlight only the part of the message you want to print or forward. Click Edit, Copy.

Step 2. To forward: Start a new e-mail message. Address it, put in a subject and move your cursor to the message area. Click Edit, Paste. Send the message. |
Tip: If the message format looks bad, do step 3, clean up the message, then copy and paste to the new e-mail.
Step 3. To print the message: Start a New wordprocessing document. Click Edit, Paste. Then Print as usual. You may want to clean up the document before printing it. You treat it just like any other document. You can save it or delete it after printing it.

Q. How do I address my mail so others don't get a lot of addresses?

A. This only applies when addressing mail to a group or forwarding a message that contains a lot of addresses.
Step 1: If it is a message received with a lot of addresses, use copy and paste to start a new message as described in the previous question. Then go on to Step 2.
Step 2. Start a new message. Address it to only one person. Use the BCC address for all others. Most e-mail systems now have a BCC command in the address book. Just look for it. It means Blind Carbon Copy. In other words, addresses in the BCC column do not show on the e-mail. If the command is not obvious, try Help.

TIP: Address the mail to yourself and put all the recipients in BCC. When it comes back to you, it serves as a proof copy.

What about Virus'... How do I get one? See this page about Downloading and this one about the Make a Wish Hoax. Check this page also for a discussion of Hoaxes. Also check my page on virus info.

Finally, click here to read about file extensions that can contain a virus.

Click here to learn how to use Copy and paste in E-Mail. Click Here to discover a useful program called UnWrap and learn how to reveal lost passwords.

Click here to learn how to reduce the ads generated in Juno E-Mail. Obsolete

Click Here to see how to set options in Outlook Express to avoid a virus. Obsolete

Click here to learn how to save or find an attachment.

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