Email Basics

I would like to take a look at Email Basics particularly how to: send a message, attach documents to that email, view emails and their attachments.

Too many times we all make the assumption that our friends and family know how to use the basic software programs in every personal computer.  Well, I am guilty of just this crime. You see, my nose has been stuck in front of a computer since the mid 80’s.  So computer basics come as second nature to me.  Recently I was asking a few friends to send me some pictures via email – and the look on their faces was the typical “deer in the headlight’s stare”.  That is what prompted me to write this brief note on email basics.

For this Blog I will assume that you already have an email account and are receiving and sending emails with some success.  What I want to do is to explain some of the features of your email software.  You may have Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail, but these features should be similar for both.  I will use Windows Live for my screen shots, throughout this blog.

To start with, here’s a screen shot of the Windows Live Mail screen:
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– you type the recipient’s email address in here
– you can add additional email address’s separated by a semicolon
– by mousing over the “to” you can access your address book, to select a stored contact’s email address.
– if you do add additional email addresses each “recipient”   will receive a copy of your message email, and each one will see the email address of the other people you had sent the email to.

–  stands for carbon copy meaning that whose address appears after the Cc: header would receive a copy of the message.
–  Also, the Cc header would also appear inside the header of the received message. And they would be able to see all the other recipients email addresses.

Bcc :
– (blind carbon copy) is a copy of an email message sent to a recipient whose email address does not appear in the email message header.

Are you confused yet?   For any message you send using the To and Cc each of those people will be able to see the other recipients email addresses in the header of the received email from you.

They will know you sent a copy to them and the others.  But for Bcc, the recipient will not be able to see anyone’s email but their own.

For example: here’s an email that was sent either by To or Cc:
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As you can see in the email message header each and everyone’s email address is clearly visible to each recipient!  This can be a privacy concern if you are trying to keep a particular email address private.  

For example: a few months ago my insurance company sent out a notice, they accidentally used either the To and Cc to send the email notice.  Not only me, but each person on the list now had their complete clientele list.  It was a good read to see who was a customer of this company. Ok now back to the topic.

Subject Line: 
–  this is important for you to fill this out as it will help your email stand out from spam emails.

Email Body:
– here’s where you type your email message,
– use different text formatting, and have some fun with your messages.
– you can insert images here. (But it is easier for your recipients to retrieve the images if you add them as an attachment to the email.

– this is where email really shines in its usefulness.
– by clicking on “ Attach File” or the Paperclip symbol you can select any  files or images from your computer that you want to have attached to the email.  Your email program makes a copy of these files and sends it, the original is still there on your computer.

When you receive an email with an attachment, in your inbox you will see a small paper clip symbol, this indicates there is an attachment.
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Supernova Media

Here’s a screen shot above of an email I received from Nancy with two new logo images attached. When I mouse over one of the thumbnail images, I have the option of Opening it, Printing it, Save it  as, or Save all the attachments of this particular email to a folder on my system.

You can attach any document format to your email whether image or file.  Your original document is not changed.  It will remain on your system.  

Below you will see I have an email with two attachments, one image and one document.  But now I’ve changed my mind and only want to send the image, simply mouse over the attachment you do not want to send, right-click, then select “remove”.  This only removes the attachment, it does not delete you original file.

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I sincerely hope this helps you with your emails.

Additional hints, tips and tricks:

Info – Ever wonder what they mean by SMTP, (send mail to people) or (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), I have always thought it might be something far more technical!

Hint – Typing your email in all lowercase gives the perception of lack of education or laziness.

CAP LOCKS – I “HATE” receiving messages in all caps.  It seems as though that person is shouting at me or maybe they do not know the basics of UPPER-CASE and Lowercase!

Plain Text Setting – Text in an email message that contains no formatting elements (ie: colour, bold, italics, etc.), pictures, or HTML in the body of your email message.|

Rich Text Setting – allows you to include formatting elements in the body of your email message.

Tip – When you get someone’s email address, ask them  first if they would be interested in be added to you perpetual email joke/chin letter lists!


[Blog by Chrissie ]


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About Nancy Bain

Our services include building optimized, functional and self managed WordPress websites, Nova Scotia social media training and consulting, interactive full screen high definition virtual tours with lead capture and print advertising. For most of our clients, we are their one stop solution for all things marketing, branding and small business development related.

beautiful women
beautiful women

Very good article. I am facing many of these issues as well..

Nancy Bain
Nancy Bain

Ooh, that's not good. Let me see what I can do! Thanks!