Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Playing by the Rules
The Reading pane displays quite a lot more of a message’s contents than
using the Preview view; see Chapter 4. If your friends send messages that
use text formatting or contain images, you can fully appreciate their graphic
genius much better by viewing their messages in the Reading pane.
Playing by the Rules
Rules are another of my favorite features in Outlook. The Rules feature lets
you make Outlook act on certain kinds of e-mail messages automatically. For
example, I get tons of e-mail messages, and I can easily waste the whole day
sorting through them. I have much more entertaining ways to waste my time,
such as pasting sticky notes to my forehead and having imaginary conversations
with Donald Trump. (“Oh, yeah? Well, you’re fired too, ya jerk!”) That’s why I
set up rules in Outlook to automatically sort my incoming mail into different
folders; it lets me spend a little less time wading through all those messages
and more time on my overactive fantasy life.
The question of how many different rules you can create with the Rules
Wizard may be one of those vast cosmic mysteries, but I’m sure that you can
create more rules than you or I will ever need.
Creating a rule
You usually discover the need to create a rule right after getting a message
that ticks you off. Your first impulse may be to kick your computer, but don’t
do that. You might hurt yourself, especially if the computer is on top of the
desk. By creating a rule, you’ll never have to read another message from that
so-and-so again — unless that so-and-so is your boss. Then you may have to
make another kind of rule.
The Rules Wizard is called a wizard because of the way the program leads
you step by step to create each rule. The process is pretty simple. To create
a simple rule to move an incoming message from a certain person to a certain
folder, follow these steps:
1. Click the Inbox icon in the Folder pane of the Mail module (or press
The Mail module appears.
2. Select the Home tab, click the Rules button in the Ribbon, and then
click Manage Rules & Alerts.
The Rules and Alerts dialog box appears. Don’t click Create Rule — it
gives you a limited number of options based on whichever message is