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Using Mail on Netscape Communicator

If you have ever struggled with Telnet for sending and receiving mail, you will appreciate how easy Email can be using Netscape. If you have never used Netscape for mail, you must first enter the proper configuration information.
A Windows version of this tutorial is available

Configuring Netscape | Composing Email | Attaching a file | Getting messages
Address Book | Making Lists | Using folders

Configuring Netscape Mail

Step 1 - Launch Netscape.

Step 2 - On the Menu Bar, click once on Edit. Click once on Preferences.

Step 3 - When the new window opens, you will have a list to select from. Look at the Left window and find the list called Mail and Newsgroups. Click once on the triangle by the words Mail and Newsgroups

Step 4 - When the group opens, you will have another list to select from. On the left, click once on Identity. On the right is where you will fill out the information needed to set up your Netscape Mail.

Step 5 - On the right where you see Your Name, type in your name.

for example - Bill Byles

Step 6 - Under Email Address, and Reply-to Address, type in your email address.

for example - bylesb@k12tn.net

Step 7 - On the left, click once on Mail Server.

Step 8 - The bottom right portion of the image below contains an Outgoing Mail Server section into which you must enter the mail server name and your user name.

  • Enter ten-nash.ten.k12.tn.us in the box to the right of Outgoing mail (SMTP) server:
  • Enter your username in the box to the right of Outgoing mail server user name
    • Do not enter your entire Email address, only the user name
    • Example: bylesb

Step 9 - On the right where you see Incoming Mail Server, click on the button to the right of that that says Edit. You will have a window that says, Mail Server Properties.

Step 10 - Find the space that says Server Name and type in: ten-nash.ten.k12.tn.us. Find the space that says Server Type and select POP3, it is probably already there for you.

Step 11 - Type in your user name where you see User Name. It is your last name and your first initial with a number after it in some cases.

for example - bylesb

Step 12 - If you are the only person to use the computer, select Remember Password. If you are not the only person to use this computer you must not check that box. Leaving this checked might lead to allowing someone else access to your account.

Step 13 - If you are using another computer than the one you normally use, do not select automatically download any new messages. When you return to the computer you use on a regular basis then you can download messages from the server.

Step 14 - Click OK to close the Mail Server Info dialog box, then click OK at the bottom of the Preferences dialog box and you are ready to start sending and receiving Email!

Composing Mail

Now that you have finished the section above, mail is configured. The next step will be to send a message.

Step 1 - Go to the Communicator menu and select Messenger.

Step 2 - Selecting Messenger opens a Mail Folder window. The tool bar at the top of this window contains most of the actions you will need for message composition and delivery.

Step 3 - Selecting the New Message button will open a Mail Composition window

Step 4 - Specify message recipients

  • To - In this field you may include as many recipients as you want to. Just remember, the more recipients you specify, the longer the message heading will be.
  • Cc - This field (carbon copy) is intended for those who are not the primary recipients of your message, but who would want to be kept informed as to the contents of your message.
  • Bcc - The Blind carbon copy field allows you to send a copy of the message to a recipient who is not identified to the other recipients of the message. Out of courtesy to a group of 160 network coordinators, I usually put their addresses in this field so the heading of my message is not extremely long.
  • To select any of these click on the down arrows beside the address card icon and select the proper designation.

Step 5 - Place a short summary of what your message is about in the Subject field. If your subject is longer than the text box, your subject may be too long. This is not where you type your message.

Step 6 - In the box below the subject, type your message. You may type or copy from another document and paste into the message box. Although the message is already presented in the image above, do not type in all caps. There are several good reasons to avoid this practice

  • Research shows that the eye can not scan all caps quickly. It is hard to decode meaning from the text.
  • Voice output software will not read an all caps word as a word. It will be read as individual letters. In the example above the word would not be read as "yelling." it would be read as "Y_E_L_L_I_N_G."
  • All caps signifies that you are yelling at the recipient. If you do not intend to yell at the recipient, but you want to emphasize a *word,* bracket that word with an asterisk on each side, as was done in this sentence.

Step 7 - You may attach an image or document to your message. If you do, try to use a format or application that would be used by the recipient of your message. Image formats which work best are .gif and .jpg. Applications commonly used include Microsoft Word (.doc documents), Microsoft Excel (.xls documents) and Adobe Acrobat (.pdf documents). If you will be using an unusual format or application, first ask the message recipient if they will be able to view your attachment.

Step 8 - After selecting the Attach button, you will be presented with a dialog window asking that you select the location of the file you wish to attach to your Email message. You navigate in this window exactly the same way you do for the Open File dialog window, or the Save As dialog window. After you have found the file, select Attach.

Step 9 - After you attach a document to your mail message the To: field looks like it goes away, displaying instead the attach tab

To bring the To: field back, click on the first tab, the one the arrow is pointing to in the image above.

Step 10 - Is your message complete? Click on the Send button and it is on its way.

Step 11 - One more step will be taken care of automatically, if you have set up your Netscape preferences correctly. That automatic step is spell check. If your messages are sent with spelling errors, you can instruct Netscape to perform a spell check before sending. The path to follow to turn on spell check is:
Edit/Preferences/Mail & Newsgroups/Messages

Composing Mail - Using a Color Scheme

Communicator allows IBM users to create very slick-looking messages with a variety of formatting options. For example, you can set colors or background images in the message. To do this, open a new message (click New Msg) composition window. From the menu, select Format, Page Color, Properties, which brings up the Colors And Background dialog box. Click Background, then choose the color you want. You can also select Use Image from the Background Image section, then choose the graphic file you want. Click OK and the background colors or images appear in your mail message.

Getting Your Mail

Step 1 - Go to the Communicator menu and select Messenger. Other ways to open your mail folder include:

  • Hold down the Command key (the apple) and tap the 2 key.
  • Click on the mail icon at the bottom right of the Communicator window.

Step 2 - Selecting Messenger opens a Mail Folder window. The tool bar at the top of this window contains most of the actions you will need for message composition, acquisition and delivery.

Step 3 - Click on the Get Msg button to get your messages. A dialog box will pop up asking you for your password. Type it in the box. It will only show xxxxx. It will not reveal your password. Then it will connect to the ten-nash server and pull down your email. Mail is stored in a folder named Inbox.

Step 4 - To select a message to read click once on the message and it will be displayed in the box below the message subject listings. If you double-click the message it will be opened in a new window.

Step 5 - Notice in the Inbox window above there are several headings. The one selected is Date, which means that messages are organized by date. Above the messages are arranged with most recent on the bottom. Another click on the Date heading would reverse the order. In the same manner, clicking on any heading organizes the messages according to that field name. If you have many messages and want to find one from a particular person, you would organize messages by clicking on the To/From heading.

Step 6 - Things which can be done to a mail message

  • After you have read the message you might want to discard it. This can be done several ways
    • With the message selected hit the Delete key
    • Click on the envelope icon and drag the message to the trash folder. Release the mouse button when the trash folder turns dark
    • Go to the Edit menu and select Delete Message
  • After you have read the message you might want to save it. Click on the envelope icon and drag it to a folder you have created. See how to create and manage folders here.
  • You may want to send a message back to the person who wrote to you. Click on the Reply button in the mail folder window. A message composition window will be displayed. Quote the message, or a part of it, and send the reply. You do not fill in the To: field, that is automatically provided from the message you were reading
  • The entire message could be sent on to another person. Click on the Forward button in the Mail Folder window. You will have to provide the Email address of the person you are sending it to, that will not be filled in automatically like Reply was.

Step 7 - After typing in your reply, you must send it. There are many ways to do this too. The first and easiest is to click on the Send button on the far left of the Tool Bar. Another way is to go to File and select Send Now. If you need to change the email but don't have time to edit it right then, you can select Send Later and you can go back to that letter another time. It will put the letter in the Unsent message box and you can click on it to edit the message at a later time. Another way to send mail is to hold down the Command key and tap on the Return button.

Step 8 - Before you send the message, there is another button on the Toolbar named Spelling. You may want to check your spelling before sending the message and you can click on that button and it will check your letter.

Address Book

Do you send Email to the same person all the time? If so, put their name and address in your Address Book and stop typing that Email address over and over.

Step 1 - To open your Address Book, click on Communicator in your Menu Bar and select Address Book. Another way to get to your Address Book is to hold down the CTRL key and the Shift key and tap on 2.

Step 2 - Select New Card and enter information about the person. All that is required is name and Email. However, you may also record other information to remind you of something important about that person.


By the way, please don't send Email to Allen, he does not exist.

Step 3 - Notice the display name in the example above. I edited that because it was listed first name last name. Imagine a phone book organized that way! If you have no names in your address book, before you start go to Preferences and select "Show names using last name, first name."
Path Edit/Preferences/Mail & Newsgroups/Addressing

Step 4 - Here is an easy way to add a new card to your address book. When you receive a message from a person you want to add to your book, find the From: field which lists the Email address of the person who sent the message. Click on the address and a new card opens already filled out for the person's name and Email address. You can add information or click on OK and accept the card as it. Caution - you may have to edit the display name and you should inspect the Email address carefully. Not everyone enters their reply to address correctly.

Step 5 - You may use the address list in one of two ways:

  • Open a New Message, start typing the person's last name and Netscape will fill in the address
  • Open the Address Book. locate the name card, hold the button down and the window below will pop up. Select New Message and a message composition window opens with the address filled in.

Step 6 - If you send Email to a group of people on a regular basis that task can be made easy by constructing a List. Look at the Address Book window under Step 1 in this section. Click on the New List button and the following window opens:

Step 7 - After naming the list, drag the address card icons into the section of the List window below the word Name. The person's card is not removed from your list of addresses, a shortcut/alias of that person's card is added to the list.

Step 8 - You may use the list in one of two ways:

  • Open a New Message, type the nickname in the To field (or the Cc or Bcc field) and hit the Return/Enter key.
  • Open the Address Book. locate the list card, hold the button down and the following window will pop up:
  • Select New Message and the To field is automatically filled in with the list members.
Using Mail Folders

Just as with paper mail that is delivered to your house, some mail you will throw away almost instantly and other messages you may want to save forever. Netscape allows you to create folders for storing Email messages. Caution, computer hard drives crash. Any vitally important Email messages should be saved in some way. Print them out or find where Netscape mail is stored on your computer and make a copy of the mail folder(s) to a disk.

Step 1 - Open Messenger. You will notice on the far left side of the window that there are several folders. Communicator automatically creates these folders.

Step 2 - After you have decided on the name of a new folder, go to the File menu and select New Folder

Step 3 - Type the name you have selected in the highlighted area. Click Create when you are finished.

Step 4 - Folder name consideration. By knowing Communicator's alphabetizing rules you can determine the placement of your folder. I put a number in front of my folder name to insure that the new folder would at the top of the list.

  • Spaces are listed first.
  • Numbers are listed next
  • Capital letters are then listed
  • Lower case letters are listed last

Step 5 - To place a message in a folder, click on the icon that looks like a letter. Drag the icon to the folder. When the folder turns dark, let go of the mouse button.

Step 6 - To display the contents of a folder, click on the folder icon on the left side of the mail window.

 

Tips for Viewing Communicator Windows

When you are showing something to the children on the Communicator, in order to use the most room to show the screen on your TV, do the following.

On the left hand side of each bar there is a line that will turn blue when you hold your mouse over it. When it turns blue click on it and it will shrink that bar and put the blue line under the last bar. Do that to all the bars and you will get a bigger area to show to the children. To get the bars back, just click on the blue area that was shrunk and they'll reappear! magic!

You can use keyboard commands to quickly increase font size one step at a time

  • Hold down the Shift key and the Command key (Apple) and tap the Right Bracket key ( ] ) Left Bracket decreases size.
Click here for a non-graphics version of this page.

Developed in collaboration with Susan Brooks, a School Technologist with Memphis City Schools

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Internet4Classrooms is a collaborative effort by Susan Brooks and Bill Byles

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