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In Computer Literacy for the Mac, author Garrick Chow walks through the skills necessary to use Mac computers comfortably, while improving learning, productivity, and performance. This course focuses on the Apple Mac OS X operating system and offers a thorough introduction to computers, networks, and computer peripherals such as printers, digital cameras, and more. In addition, basic procedures with software applications, the Internet, and email are covered.
This is going to be a very brief but important video on the etiquette and difference between Reply and Reply All, when it comes to responding to e-mail messages. Every e-mail client gives you the ability to reply to a message by either clicking the Reply button or clicking the Reply All button, but the difference between these two options only matters when you're just one of multiple recipients of an e-mail. If an e-mail is just addressed to you, you can click either Reply or Reply All with no difference. But if you have received an e-mail that other people have received as well, and you'll see other addresses in the To: field or the Cc: field, you want to click Reply to send your response to only the sender of the original e-mail.
If you need or want the rest of the recipients to receive your reply as well, then you'll click Reply All. You can see that adds their names to the Cc: field in this case. So it's really that simple. Reply to reply just to the sender, Reply All to reply to everybody. But knowing when to use which can sometimes be tricky. The important thing is to consider whether everyone needs to read your reply. For example, in this e-mail the sender is asking if everyone is available for a meeting. It probably makes sense to click Reply All, so everyone involved will know if you are available or not.
But look at this other e-mail in which the sender is telling everyone he won't be in the office. If I wanted to send him a short get well message, I probably don't need to hit Reply All. The other people don't need to see that I have sent a personal message to the sender, unless I am trying to demonstrate what an empathetic person I am. So just ask yourself if everyone really needs to read your reply before hitting Reply All. I have been on the receiving end of endless e-mail threats that devolved into personal conversations simply because a few people kept hitting Reply All. If you've already received tons of e-mail everyday, it can be very annoying to keep getting messages that aren't addressing you and have nothing to do with you, simply because your address was on the original, relevant e-mail.
Another reason to be aware of which button you click is that maybe you really don't want everyone else in the list to read what you are writing. There are tons of stories out there in which someone went to reply to just the sender with personal or confidential information, but clicked Reply All by accident, and sent his response to the entire group. So always take a moment and be aware of whether you are clicking Reply or Reply All. You could save yourself and others aggravation or embarrassment.
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