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Formatting messages

From: Outlook for Mac 2011 Essential Training

Video: Formatting messages

Because emails lack your vocal and facial expressions it can be a challenge for your message to come across as you intended it. For that reason you have some tools at your disposal to format the text to help you get your message across. Click on the Email button in the left corner to create a blank email message. I'll address it and put in the subject line. Now click on the Options button right here. Notice that every new message defaults to HTML. This means that you can apply any kind of visual formatting to your message.

Formatting messages

Because emails lack your vocal and facial expressions it can be a challenge for your message to come across as you intended it. For that reason you have some tools at your disposal to format the text to help you get your message across. Click on the Email button in the left corner to create a blank email message. I'll address it and put in the subject line. Now click on the Options button right here. Notice that every new message defaults to HTML. This means that you can apply any kind of visual formatting to your message.

If you switch this to plain text, your message will have no formatting and just be plain letters. Sometimes this is necessary, if the recipient has very stringent filters on their email that do not allow HTML formatted messages to pass through. But today that's a very rare situation. When you want to switch it back again, just click the slider again. I am going to type in an invitation to our Employee Fun Day. Note that you can hit Enter or Return to skip lines and notice that it will automatically capitalize the first letter of every line.

You will also notice that Outlook will auto-format certain things, just as it does in Microsoft Word. Common typos will be fixed. We'll learn how to customize these corrections in the preferences video of this course. You will be aware that if you write in all capital letters you're shouting at the person. Do use all capitals with discretion. Now noticed that Outlook does not catch all grammatical mistakes. I have to and to, so always reread your messages several times to make sure they actually say what you think they say. Now what if we want to emphasize our text? After we've type in our message we can use the same formatting tools available to us in Microsoft Word.

To format the message the first thing you need to do is highlight the information that you want to change. I'm going to go back to my Message tab and let's look at these options. First where it says Calibri we can use this drop-down arrow to change our font. The basic fonts are designed to look good on monitors, so they're easy to read but you're not limited to this list. Go down to the bottom and select Choose. Here is a little known hint. If you click on this little dot and get a drop-down arrow, you can pull it down and see a preview of your text. Well, let's choose an expressive font. Since I'm writing an invitation I'll use a nice script, Brush Script, but cursive fonts tend to run small.

So I can click these numbers to bump up the size or I can use this slider on the far right. Notice that my changes happen live in the message. You can use these buttons here if you want underlining, but I don't, so I am going to go back to None. You can also select Strikethrough and the next button is to change the text color. If you pick a color and you like it but its too light, slide this pointer down to darken it. Now notice that you can leave these two palettes open but I'm going to go ahead and close them.

You can also change your font size right here on your Ribbon by clicking on this drop-down arrow. The standard Bold, Italic and Underline buttons are just below. Next is a Strikethrough but I'm not going to use that right now. The A with the red underneath is a simple text color picker and you can click Choose at the bottom to open up the color palette again. Next is a highlighter. It turns the background of the text to color and in email messages it works pretty much the same way as shading.

Continue along this row and the next buttons are familiar for Left, Center, Right and Full Justify. I'll make this centered. If you need Bullets and Numbering, these two buttons are located in the top center of the Ribbon. The next two buttons increase and decrease your left indent, how far your text is from the left edge of the window. It does affect entire paragraphs all at once. Now to really make this message stand out, let's change the background color. Click on the Options tab and then on the Background Color button.

The color palette will open. There are five different ways of choosing colors. We're going to use the wheel on the first option. Let's choose a nice aqua. We'll make it very light. If you don't get the color exactly right it will change as you click. When you like what you see close the Color Palette. Click off of the message. Now let's try this Background Picture button. Click on it, navigate to the photo you want to use, click on it, and click the Open button.

While it's tempting to use a photo as the background of your emails you do need to be very careful with this. Most regular pictures are too bright and will make your text very hard to read. If the pictures small it will also tile itself as you see here. Pictures that work best with this technique are textures or those that you have sized and faded in another graphics program. If you put in a picture and decide you don't like it, you can go back up to the Background Picture drop-down and choose Remove. Now my formatted email definitely attracts attention and provides a feel for the event instead of just plain words.

Now that I've created this invitation I'll send it on its way. I will go back to the Message Ribbon and choose Send. Formatting your message helps your reader a really connect with the feeling behind your message. In addition to the content, it brings quick written communication to a deeper level.

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This video is part of

Image for Outlook for Mac 2011 Essential Training
Outlook for Mac 2011 Essential Training

68 video lessons · 10679 viewers

Alicia Katz Pollock
Author

 
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  1. 54s
    1. Welcome
      54s
  2. 26m 12s
    1. Introducing Outlook 2011
      2m 1s
    2. Setting up Exchange accounts
      3m 8s
    3. Setting up IMAP accounts
      2m 19s
    4. Setting up POP accounts manually
      3m 31s
    5. Importing email from other applications
      2m 49s
    6. Importing and exporting contacts
      3m 47s
    7. Exploring the user interface
      2m 30s
    8. Customizing the view
      3m 7s
    9. Creating categories
      3m 0s
  3. 13m 29s
    1. Exploring the Inbox
      1m 51s
    2. Checking for new mail
      3m 42s
    3. Reading email
      3m 0s
    4. Deleting email
      1m 15s
    5. Previewing and saving attachments
      1m 46s
    6. Printing emails
      1m 55s
  4. 27m 31s
    1. Creating a new message
      4m 10s
    2. Formatting messages
      5m 18s
    3. Adding attachments
      1m 43s
    4. Adding pictures with the Media Browser
      2m 22s
    5. Information Rights Management
      3m 15s
    6. Replying and forwarding
      3m 5s
    7. Working with signatures
      4m 11s
    8. Working with priorities
      1m 9s
    9. Setting up Out of Office auto-replies
      2m 18s
  5. 20m 46s
    1. Arranging your Inbox
      3m 40s
    2. Using the Conversation view
      2m 47s
    3. Organizing messages with folders
      3m 48s
    4. Creating message rules
      7m 23s
    5. The Mailing List Manager
      2m 12s
    6. Filtering messages
      56s
  6. 9m 1s
    1. Setting junk mail protection levels
      3m 41s
    2. Managing your Junk folder
      3m 17s
    3. Recognizing spam
      2m 3s
  7. 19m 9s
    1. Viewing contacts
      2m 42s
    2. Creating contacts
      6m 14s
    3. Creating contact groups
      2m 40s
    4. Sending email to your contacts
      1m 0s
    5. Printing your contact list
      1m 50s
    6. Syncing contacts
      1m 58s
    7. Working with vCards and exporting
      2m 45s
  8. 25m 42s
    1. Viewing the Calendar
      5m 25s
    2. Creating appointments
      7m 12s
    3. Creating recurring appointments
      3m 34s
    4. Creating meetings and inviting attendees
      5m 29s
    5. Adding holidays
      2m 23s
    6. Printing your calendar
      1m 39s
  9. 7m 8s
    1. Creating new tasks and completing them
      2m 28s
    2. Managing your tasks
      4m 40s
  10. 9m 28s
    1. Creating new notes
      4m 50s
    2. Managing your notes
      3m 44s
    3. Printing notes
      54s
  11. 20m 8s
    1. Using categories
      6m 14s
    2. Flagging items
      4m 15s
    3. Searching and smart folders
      4m 49s
    4. Using folders
      1m 36s
    5. Right-clicking
      3m 14s
  12. 37m 57s
    1. Delegating and sharing public folders
      5m 12s
    2. Syncing Exchange and IMAP
      1m 9s
    3. Setting preferences
      7m 1s
    4. Using AutoCorrect
      2m 9s
    5. Using My Day
      5m 16s
    6. Using the Scrapbook
      5m 38s
    7. Using the reference tools
      2m 58s
    8. Getting help
      2m 34s
    9. Backing up
      3m 6s
    10. Using the Database Utility
      2m 54s
  13. 32s
    1. Final thoughts
      32s

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