Video: Email basics

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Watch this video to learn the basics of Outlook email: send, delete, forward, and reply to others, and learn how to stay organized with some straightforward tips.

Create an email message

  1. Click HOME > New Email, or press Ctrl + N.

  2. If multiple email accounts are configured in Microsoft Outlook 2013, the From button appears and the account that will send the message is shown. To change the account, click From.

  3. In the Subject box, type the subject of the message.

  4. Enter the recipients' email addresses or names in the To, Cc, or Bcc box. Separate multiple recipients with a semicolon. To select recipients' names from a list in the Address Book, click To, Cc, or Bcc, and then click the names that you want.

  5. Click Attach File to add an attachment. Or click Attach Item to attach Outlook items, such as email messages, tasks, contacts, or calendar items. If you don’t like the font or style of your mail, you can change the way it looks. It is also a good idea to check the spelling in your message before sending.

  6. After you finish composing your message, click Send.

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Create an email message

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Basic tasks in Outlook 2013

Outlook has plenty of advanced tools to help you integrate email into your workflow.

But if that sounds like more than you need, rest assured that Outlook is also very good with the basics, like sending email.

To create a new message, come up here to this area, called the ribbon.

With the HOME tab selected, you'll see a button here called New Email.

Click it and a blank email message opens.

Type the email address of your recipient on the To or Cc lines.

Type a semi-colon to add another address.

Next, type a Subject, and then type the body of your message, down here.

When the email is ready to go, click Send.

You can change how the different parts of Outlook are arranged on the screen, but we'll use the basic default settings for now.

This area is the Message List with the newest message on top.

And this is the Folder List. Click the Inbox to view your incoming mail in the message list.

There are also folders that contain things like Sent Items and Junk E-mail.

To read an email, you can select it and view it over here in the Reading Pane, or you can double-click a message to read it in a separate window.

If a message has an attachment, you can open it by double-clicking the file.

If you want to save the file, drag it to a File Explorer.

To respond to a message, come up here to the Respond group on the ribbon.

Click Reply to send a reply to the person who sent you the message, or click Reply All to include all the people who received the original message.

Click Forward if you want to send it to someone else.

When you click an option, a new message opens.

We selected Reply, so Outlook adds the person who sent the message to the To line.

It also adds RE: to the Subject line to indicate that it is a reply and adds the original message to the body. You type your response at the top.

When you are ready, click Send. But first, let's check out the ribbon.

As you can see, the options here look different from those on the main interface.

That's because Outlook only shows you the options that make sense for what you are working on.

The MESSAGE tab has the most common options for writing messages.

For example, you can select some text and apply formatting, like Bold and Font Size.

The INSERT tab contains options for inserting things, like Tables and Charts.

Let's click Pictures. Locate a picture and clickInsert.

Then, we can resize it with the handles or add formatting with the PICTURE TOOLS FORMAT tab.

Notice that the tab goes away when the picture isn't selected.

When you are finished composing your message, click Send.

So those are the basics of sending and receiving email.

Up next, we'll look at some basic options for organizing your email in Outlook.

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