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Internet Explorer Tips

Outlook Express Offline

One of Outlook Express's coolest new features is its ability to handle offline reading of mail and news. Although it may take a while to learn how to use the offline abilities to their full power since they aren't very documented, the time will be well worth it :). News benefits most from OE's new offline features, although mail also benefits.


Using OE's Mail features is pretty straightforward. First, you can control how OE dials (or doesn't) at startup under Tools | Options | Dial Up tab.

If you want to work with your Inbox offline, be sure to choose File | Work Offline. This way, if you have any HTML-based mail messages, OE will not try to dial in. Next up is composition of messages. Again, it is pretty straightforward, except that you should be sure to choose File | Send Later to send the message to the Outbox; otherwise, OE will try to send immediately, and hence, dial in (BTW, you can modify this behavior under Tools | Options | Send tab). Once you get back online, just hit the Send and Receive Button to send the contents of your Outbox.


The cool new offline stuff is with the News, though! To start, go into any newsgroup and choose Tools | Download the Newsgroup. You'll have a plethora of options, letting you choose what you want to download, etc. Once that's done, be sure that File | Work Offline is checked. If you downloaded the new messages along with the headers, you'll be able to view 'em offline and even respond to the messages. Just be sure that when posting the message, you choose File | Send Later to let it wait in the Outbox, until you're ready to go online and send everything in your Outbox.

Now, let's start automating the offline process. You can mark individual newsgroups; the options you specify here will affect how the newsgroup is downloaded ... but we'll talk about that later. In the newsgroup you want to mark, choose Tools | Mark for Retrieval | <option>. Select the option to correspond with the way you want to download the newsgroup; for instance, you can specify one newsgroup to download messages and headers, while making another newsgroup download only headers.

Once you've marked and setup the newsgroup, the fun stuff begins. Let's try Tools | Download <account> first. What this does is first, it checks for new messages, and then performs the actions that you've specified for marked newsgroups. For instance, if you marked a newsgroup for retrieval of new headers, OE will do just that. Then, make sure File | Work Offline is checked and you can view your messages at your leisure!

Tools | Download All is similar, but there are a few important differences. First, in addition to newsgroup stuff, it downloads all your mail for your mail accounts. Secondly, it doesn't check for new messages in all the newsgroups of an account. It just performs actions you've specified for Mark for Retrieval.


That's all the time we have today =). Spend some time customizing the toolbar to your liking, and have fun! If you've got any questions, feel free to email me Byron here at ActiveIE! Have fun, and enjoy IE4!


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