Outlook 2007

By Team Digit Published Date
01 - Jul - 2007
| Last Updated
01 - Jul - 2007
Outlook 2007

Mail clients have become rendered much less useful with all the new online mail services, and Microsoft's Outlook seems like the only one being updated at every MS Office release. It's much more than just a mail client, as you probably know. In the past, we've given you some tips on the other applications in Office 2007. Let's now take a look at mail-related as well as some not-so-obvious features of Outlook 2007.

Automatic Formatting For Calendar
The Calendar in Outlook allows you to set colours to tasks according to keywords you enter, which can make grouping and marking of tasks easy. This feature is called Auto Format. We need to use the Day/Week/Month view to see this feature in action. Select View > Current View > Day/Week/Month or Day/Week/Month with AutoPreview. Then right-click on any empty field and click Automatic Formatting. Click Add to add rules, and enter a name for the rule. Click on the Condition button, and enter any keywords that you want to find in the tasks. Click OK and choose a colour for that keyword. Press OK again, and the tasks with the keywords you've chosen will get highlighted with the colour.

Showing All The Navigation Pane Buttons
The navigation pane at the left is the easiest way to access the various components of Outlook 2007. By default, the number of items is limited to only the two or three prominent features. To show all the features buttons, click on the drop-down icon in the Navigation Pane at the left.

Enable all of Outlook's features in the navigation pane

Click on Show more buttons, and an item will appear on the Navigation Pane. Follow the steps over and over till all the items you need are added.

Additional Views And Features
Some of the more advanced views don't have icons on the toolbars: part of Microsoft's goal is to simplify the interface of their applications. For example, to choose the different views of the features-Calendar, Notes, Tasks, etc.-you need to select View > Current View and choose the view of your choice. The easier way to access these views is to enable the Advanced toolbar. Right-click anywhere on the toolbar and click Advanced. With the Advanced toolbar in place, you can easily access the other views using the drop-down menu.

Avoid Repeating Text
You probably have our own little ways of saying Hello or Goodbye, or maybe a casual signature, which you follow when you compose mails. Knowing that you use that same set of sentences over and over again, Outlook 2007 has a feature called Quick Parts, which lets you save such sentences so you can use them later. While writing a mail, highlight the text you want to save. Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon. Click on Quick Parts and click "Save selection to Quick Parts gallery". To access any of the selections you saved, click on the Quick Parts button again and choose a selection.

Quick Parts lets you add commonly used sentences to mails

Setting Up Multiple Signatures
Sometimes you require to use different signatures for different purposes. Outlook allows you to create and switch between signatures with a couple of clicks. Click on the Insert tab on the Ribbon, and click on the Signature button. Here, click on the signature of your choice. If you have no signatures created, click on Signatures… Click the New button to create a new one. Give a name to the signature and then enter the signature details, and use the formatting tools made available. Once done, click Save, and click New again to create more signatures. Click OK to save them and return to the mail composing window.

Translating Selections
Microsoft Office has resources like encyclopaedias that let you quickly access large amounts of information. One such resource is the language translator. Outlook 2007, like other Office 2007 applications, allows you to translate text in mails to another language without you having to visit language translation sites. Highlight the text in the mail you want to translate, right-click, and select Translate > Translate. In the pane that opens, you can change the language you want to translate to.
Allot Tasks To A Day
Certain appointments or tasks sometimes have to be delayed. You don't have to re-enter the task to make the change. Simply drag the task from the Tasks window to the date in the Calendar in the To-Do pane at the right. Make any other changes required to the task in the window that pops up, and click Save, then Close.

Changing The Time Period For Tasks
When you create new tasks using the text field in the Task window, the task is set for a default time and date. To extend the task period from the default amount of time, you can always double-click the task and make all the necessary changes there. An easier and interactive

Easy altering of time periods for tasks

alternative is available. First switch to the Day/Week/Month view from View > Current View. Here, you will see tasks as highlighted blocks. Click the outer edges of the blocks and drag it till the time you want the task or appointment to be set.

Hide Panels
Outlook has traditionally been short of working space due to all the features. Outlook 2007 combats that by allowing you to quickly hide panels that are not required. The To-Do bar and the Navigation panel, which take most of the space, can slide away to a minimal bar with just icons when you click the Minimize arrow icon on each pane. All the features can still be accessed by clicking the little icons in the pane. Clicking the headings for the panes now only brings the panels out temporarily; they automatically go back when you click on something else.

Hide panels to maximise your work area

Creating A Search Folder
Outlook has a feature called Search Folder, which filters mails according to the criteria you set. You no longer have to manually search for a certain set of mails; instead, just access the Search Folder by clicking on it in the Navigation pane. To create a Search Folder, right-click on

Creating search folders allows real-time filtering of mail

the Search Folders icon in the left pane. Click New Search Folder. Scroll down and select the Create a custom Search Folder option, and click Choose. Start by giving a name to the Search Folder. Click on the Criteria button to add keywords. Enter the necessary details and click OK. Click OK twice and the new Search Folder will be created.

Import And Export News Feeds
Outlook 2007 comes with an inbuilt RSS reader, which allows you to keep track of changes made on sites without your having to visit them. Click on the RSS Feeds folder in the left pane. A Web page will load with some recommended feeds. You can click on the links to add any of these feeds to Outlook. To add your own feeds, right-click on the RSS Feeds folder, and click Add a New RSS feed. Enter the URL for the feed and click Add. If you've been using other RSS feed readers and want to get those feeds into Outlook, first export the feed list to the OPML format using your usual RSS feed reader. In Outlook, right-click on the RSS Feeds folder and click Import an OPML file. Click Choose and point to the OPML file. Click Next, and choose the feeds you wish to import into Outlook. Click Next again and then Finish to finish the import process.

Sending Mails To MS OneNote
Certain mails contain some information you'd like to note down for later use. Microsoft OneNote-an application that comes with some editions of Office 2007-is meant to do just that, take down notes. To send a mail to OneNote, right-click on a mail in Outlook and click Send to OneNote. OneNote will automatically open with the mail in it as a new Note.

Take down rough notes of important mail

Creating And Attaching Business Cards
Business cards in Outlook 2007 are like real business cards. They contain designations and other details regarding one's work profile. Outlook 2007 lets you create and attach business cards to your mails. Business cards can be created in the Contacts section of Outlook. Business cards are typically created for contacts you've added to your contact list.

To add new contacts and set business cards for them, click on Contacts in Outlook, right-click in the main area, and click on New contact to make a new contact. You can also double-click on existing contacts to make any changes to the details of those individuals. Click on the Business Card button in the Ribbon and you can make changes to the format of the card and the contact details it holds. Click OK and then Save and Close from the Ribbon to save the changes. Then, while writing a mail, click on the Insert tab. Click on the Business Card icon and the business card you wish to attach to the mail.

Time Zones
Planning appointment times becomes a little confusing when you're handling contacts outside India, in a different time zone. When you have an appointment at 5 PM Hong Kong local time, you need to find the time difference and then calculate the time here. The Time Zone feature in Outlook does this for you.

Make Outlook handle time difference calculations for you

Start a new appointment by going to File > New > Appointment. Click on the Time zones button in the Ribbon on top. A new field for location will appear next to the start and end time for the appointment. Use the drop-down and set the location. Click Save and Close. In the To-Do pane on the right, the appointment will be visible in your local time.
Force Spell Check
Outlook can force-check your mails for spelling before they are sent out. Go to Tools > Options. Click on the Spelling tab, and check the box for Always check spelling before sending. Now when you write a mail and press Send, Outlook will run a spell check and prompt you to fix any errors before sending out the mail.

Setting Colour Categories
Creating colour categories is an easy way to filter out mail and mark mails for reference. To set a colour category, click in the blank checkbox next to a mail under the Category column. A default colour will be set to the mail. To change this colour, right-click on a mail, click Categorize and choose a colour. Quick Click lets you quickly set colours to multiple mails after the other. The feature can be found by right-clicking in the mail window and then on Categorize. Select a colour and left-click on all the mails you want to set the colour to.

Setting color categories helps marking and sorting mails effortless

You can also set shortcuts to colours, which makes setting colours even easier. Right-click on a mail and choose Categorize > All Categories. Select the colours you'd like to use. Click on each of the colours, and choose a shortcut for each colour from the drop-down menu on the right. Now you can simply select one or more mails and use the shortcut you've chosen for the colour to assign the colour category to the selection.

Torrent Clients


µTorrent (written as uTorrent because the special character isn't the easiest to type) has made a name a name for itself as being one of the best torrent clients for Windows. Its size is under 200 KB, and it is filled with features to compete with programs some 20 to 30 times its size! We look at some features, tips, and tweaks to get the most of your bandwidth and make life easier.

Optimum Bandwidth Settings
Most people tend to ignore their bandwidth settings and keep the allotted download rates high and extremely low upload rates. BitTorrent, like most other P2P applications, require you to set a good upload rate to get proportionate download speeds.

Using the right bandwidth settings can speed up downloads

The Speed Guide in µTorrent is an easy way to set a right upload and download speed, and other parameters. Press [Ctrl] [G] or go to Options > Speed Guide. Choose your connection speed, or the closest connection speed, from the Connection Type drop-down. Click Use Selected Settings. The maximum number of connections and other settings will be automatically applied.

Setting Up Ports
One of the main issues most people face is with open ports. With BitTorrent, it's even more essential as you won't get sufficient download rates if people can't access your machine and receive data from you.

Some ISPs and routers block ports. If you use a router, set it up to forward the  ports that you plan on using in µTorrent. The Speed Guide is useful in checking if the ports are open or not. Go to Options > Speed Guide. Enter a port under Current Port and press the Test if port is forwarded properly button. A Web page will open, telling you if the port is open or not. If the port is blocked, try using a different port and check again. Some ISPs only have a certain number of open ports, such as port 80, which is used by the HTTP protocol.

Encrypting Network Data
Some ISPs try to limit bandwidth to P2P applications like BitTorrent. Some of the clients-like µTorrent-have Protocol Encryption, which makes detection and limiting by ISPs harder.

You can enable protocol encryption by going to Options > Preferences > BitTorrent. Here, choose Enabled or Forced from the Outgoing Protocol Encryption drop-down.

Removing The Connection Limit For XP
Note: This tip involves modifying and replacing a system file. Proceed at your own risk, and back up TCPIP.SYS if needed.

If you're using Windows XP SP2, your "maximum half-open connection limit" is most likely set to 10, as part of an attempt to limit security issues. There are patches that have been made that remove this limitation, so many more connections can be made which can give you a boost in speed. One such patcher is Event ID 4226 Patcher, which can be found here: www.lvllord.de/?lang=en& url=downloads.
Using The Web Interface
µTorrent has a feature called Web UI, which allows you to control µTorrent remotely and locally through a browser. This is useful when you aren't at home and you still want control over downloads. The Web UI allows you to do pretty much everything you can with the program itself.

Easy control over µTorrent through your browser

To enable the WebUI, go to Options > Preferences > Advanced > Web UI. Click Enable Web Interface. Enter a username and password. You can download the Web interface itself from http://forum.µtorrent.com/viewtopic.php?id=14565. Download and uncompress the RAR file, and copy the ZIP file and the sortabletable folder from it to the Documents and Settings [your username]Application Data µTorrent folder.

If you can't see the path, you probably need to enable showing of hidden files and folders.

Internet Explorer isn't said to work for this, so to access the Web interface, use Opera or Firefox. Open the URL http://MACHINE_NAME_OR_IP:PORT/gui. For example: Remember, you need to use the same port as the one you chose for µTorrent.

Settings Download Speed Schedules
µTorrent has a scheduler that allows you to turn downloads on and off, as well as speed limits during certain periods of time. Go to Options > Preferences > Scheduler. Click Enable Scheduler. Set the upload and download rate for when the schedule is to be enabled. The blocks in the scheduler view are hours of every day of the week. Clicking on a block once makes it light green and enables the speed limits for that hour. Clicking it again makes the block white, which means downloads will be turned off for this hour. Clicking it yet again will turn it to dark green, and the uncapped speed will be restored.

Setting download speed schedules in µTorrent

Applying Skins
Like many other apps we use today, µTorrent lets you change themes and skins. In the µTorrent preferences, however, you will not find the option. You can find a good collection of skins at www.µtorrent.com/skins.php. Download and copy the toolbar.bmp to Documents and Settings [your username]Application Data uTorrent. Restart µTorrent, and you will find the new, skinned toolbar in place. To revert to the default themed toolbar, delete the toolbar.bmp file. Follow the exact same steps to set skins for the status and tab icons.

The µTorrent UI supports skins-not in the traditional sense, though. You can only change the icons on the toolbar

Creating New Torrents And Adding Them To Trackers
Torrent clients aren't meant for only downloading torrents; they also allow you to create your own and upload them to trackers. (More on this in just a bit.) Select File > Create New Torrent. Choose Add File or Add directory to add a file or folder. Enter the address of the tracker that you want to upload to and a comment if necessary. Click the Create and Save As buttons to save and upload the torrent. Give a name to the torrent file you just created and click Save. You can then pass on this torrent to friends for them to download.

You need a public torrent tracker
to upload your torrents to. There are quite a few legal torrent trackers, and some communities related to a particular topic-a game mod or Linux distro, for example. The address for the tracker can be found at the respective sites. Note that it's the same with creating and uploading torrents with Azureus.

Many would say the next-best client after µTorrent is Azureus. Some would say Azureus is too much of a resource hog which could be mainly because it runs on Java. Azureus' ability to use plugins to improve functionality is its biggest plus point. In this section we dig through Azureus 3.x to find the better features from the lot and ways to try and reduce the amount of resources used.

Advanced Mode
Azureus initially asks you to choose what mode you wish to run-Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced, and some other network settings. Most of the options and features are locked away until you switch to Advanced mode. Some of the tweaks and tips require you to use modify some of these options. To enable it, click on the Advanced button in the toolbar.

Advanced mode allows access to hidden options

Select Tools >Configuration Wizard. Click on English, then Next. Choose Advanced, and complete the remaining steps related to network settings. You can also just change the mode of the program by selecting Tools > Options. Click on Mode, and you can click the Advanced mode radio button. Click Save, and restart Azureus.

Enabling Download Bars
It can be painful to keep opening Azureus from the system tray to check the download status. Azureus allows you to have a bar for each download that sits on top of other applications.

The Download Bar keeps you updated on download status

To enable the download bar for a download, switch to Advanced mode. Right-click on a download and click Show download bar. You can then move the download bar to the location of your choice. You'll notice it automatically snaps to the edges of the desktop.
Ports And Connection Speed Settings
Earlier, we've explained why ports and connection rate settings are important. The port settings in Azureus can be accessed by selecting Tools > Options in Advanced mode, and then clicking Connection in the side menu. The upload and download speed options are visible in the Transfer menu.

Enabling Transport Encryption
We've talked of transport encryption earlier. Azureus, too, gives you the option of encrypting data. In Advanced mode, select Tools > Options. You will find Transport Encryption under Connection. Check the box "Require encrypted transport". Also check the boxes to enable non-encrypted incoming and outgoing connections.

Disabling Plugins
Azureus may use plugins to add new features to the program, but these plugins also burden the system. You can disable most of the plugins you don't use.

Click on Advanced to the right end of the toolbar. Select Tools > Options. Click on Plugins and uncheck the plugins you don't use. Note that some of the plugins may be shared with other plugins or Azureus itself, so avoid disabling those. (In the Type column, you can see if a plugin is shared.) Click Save and restart Azureus.

Enabling The Torrent Tracker's Web Interface
Azureus has an inbuilt torrent tracker. In Advanced mode, go to Tools > Options, and under Plugins, click "Tracker Web". Make sure the Public torrent details to <tracker_url> box is checked.  You can now view information on the torrents uploaded to your tracker. You can alter other settings like setting separate ports for the Web page, and CSS themes for the Web interface. You can find settings for the tracker itself under Tracker > Server. 

Enabling the Web interface for Azureus' tracker

Create Torrents In Azureus
Now that the tracker itself is running, you can also create new torrents to share with others over the Internet. Go to File > New Torrent. Click on the "Use an external tracker" radio button and enter the URL for the tracker. Choose whether you want to upload a single file or a folder. Click Next. Here you can enter multiple trackers. Click Next, and choose the path of the file or folder of which a torrent is to be created. Click Next, and enter the path where you want the torrent file to be created. Choose from the appropriate checkboxes for whether you want to open the torrent for seeding once the torrent is created and if you want to use the inbuilt tracker to host the torrent.

Accessing Azureus Through A Browser
Some plugins allow Azureus to be accessed through a browser. This is particularly useful when you're away from home and want to check on download status and add or change downloads. Swing UI is a plugin for Azureus that lets you do that. Download it from http://azureus.sourceforge.net/ plugin_list.php. Download the ZIP file, and unzip its contents into the Azureusplugins folder. Next, in Advanced mode, go to Tools > Options. Then select Plugins > Swing UI. Here, select the port for the interface and the protocol to be used. We use port 5555 and the HTTP protocol. You can also set a username and password to make access limited to yourself. Click Save and restart Azureus. Now use a browser (preferably Firefox) and load the URL http://YOURIP:PORT. (You can find your Internet IP by visiting a site like www.whatismyip.com. Those with ISPs that use PPPoe (PPP over Ethernet) can find their IP address by double-clicking on the Internet dialup adapter's network icon in the system tray. Using services like DynDNS (http://tinyurl.com/bte78) is also a good idea if you don't want to keep remembering your IP.) If you set a username and password, you will be asked to enter it. You can now monitor and control your downloads.

Using RSS For Starting Downloads
A useful feature that can help automate downloads are RSS Feed downloaders. These plugins download regular updates from your favourite sites and then pick up torrent files from them and automatically download the files depending on how you set the filters. One of the plugins you can use is RSSFeed Scanner. Find it at http://azureus.sourceforge.net/ plugin_list.php.

Download and unzip the file into the Azureusplugins folder. Start Azureus, and you can configure the feed downloader by going to Plugins > RSSFeed Scanner. First add feeds to the list by clicking the " " icon in the Feed URL panel. Enter the URL for the RSS feeds and the location where you want the torrents to be saved. You can also choose to add filters so Azureus will only download files of the specified criteria.


On this month's DVD, we've given you Fedora 7. We'll be using Fedora to demonstrate the tips that follow, but we're pretty sure you can do the same with other distributions.

Note: Some of the tips we are about to show you might require you to be logged into root.
Adding Windows Fonts To Linux
Many of us are used to Windows so much that the sight of Linux's fonts is unbearable. It is possible to install Windows fonts on Linux. Go to System > Preferences > Look and Feel > Font. Click on the Details

Copying Windows fonts into Linux's fonts folder

button and then on the Go to font folder button. In the window that appears, copy and paste the Windows fonts. Restart or re-login to be able to use the fonts.

Advanced Command Line Traceroute
Those who wish to find the route to a remote server are used to the traceroute command. There is an advanced version of traceroute called mtr available on Fedora and some other distributions. mtr not only shows the route, but refreshes pings to all the nodes up to the

mtr- a feature-packed traceroute application

destination machine, and also lets you choose from different ways of showing statistics. To use mtr on Fedora, go to Applications > System Tools > Terminal. Enter mtr followed by an IP or name of the remote machine, for example, mtr www.thinkdigit.com.

Mounting Windows Shares
Let's face it-too many people use Windows, so you're going to have to access Windows network shares some time or the other. Samba is what Linux uses to host shares and access remote ones. To do this, go to Applications > System Tools > Terminal. Create a location where you want to mount the network share by typing in mkdir /mnt/netshare, where "netshare" can be replaced by the name for the mount. Then type in mount -t cifs //MACHINEIP/SHARENAME /mnt/netshare. Press [Enter], and you might be asked for a password. The mount -smbfs should work, but in Fedora, you need to use the -cifs parameter instead. Adding the -o username=myusername,password=mypass set of parameters to the mount command authenticates password-protected shares. This parameter needs to be added between the mount command and the share location. (CIFS is short for Common Internet File System.)

To have this network share auto-mounted on bootup, go to Applications > Accessories > Text Editor. Open /etc/fstab. At the bottom of this text file, make an entry: //MACHINEIP/SHARENAME /mnt/YOURMOUNTLOCATION cifs password=yourpassword 0 0

Accessing NTFS Partitions
Just like Windows shares will have to be accessed through Linux at some point or the other, you will require access to Windows' NTFS file system too to move files around. Accessing NTFS partitions in Fedora or other RPM-based distributions can be done using the ntfsmount command. Start a terminal by going to Applications > System Tools > Terminal. Create a location to mount the NTFS partition, for example, mkdir /mnt/ntfs. Next, type in ntfsmount /dev/NTFSpartition /mnt/ntfs. This will mount the NTFS partition to the /mnt/ntfs mount point, and you will be able to read and write from and to the partition.

You can have this NTFS partition auto-mounted on bootup using steps similar to those you used for auto-mounting network shares. Open the /etc/fstab file in a text editor and add the following entry at the end of the file: /dev/NTFSpartition /mnt/ntfs ntfs-fuse

Installing Java
Fedora doesn't come with Java installed; you're going to have to download it and install it yourself. Download the latest RPM of the Java Runtime or Development Kit from

The Java Enviorment installed and running on Linux

http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index.jsp. Next, go to Applications > System Tools > Terminal. Navigate to the location of the downloaded file. If you downloaded the self-extracting .bin (like we did), run it using ./filename.

Mounting ISO Images
ISO images are disc images of CDs or DVDs. In places where you need to access data on the images when there is no DVD drive available, you can mount the ISO as a filesystem in the same way Windows users would using software like Alcohol 120%.
First create a new folder where you'll be mounting the ISO. Go to Applications > System Tools > Terminal. Navigate to the location of the ISO image. Use the command mount -o loop -t iso9660 ISONAME.iso /location.

Setting Up A Network Proxy
For machines that are behind proxies, it doesn't allow vital programs like yum to access repositories over the Internet. To enable a network proxy, go to System > Internet and Network > Network Proxy. Enter the details for the different protocols and click Close. You can enter an Automatic Proxy Configuration address so the program can pick up all the proxy details from there. This network proxy configuration should work for all applications supporting proxy servers.

Disable Loading Of Modules
After a period of time, you'll end up having loads of processes starting on bootup. There are many which most of us don't really require. You can disable these to save loads of memory while also reducing bootup time.

Go to System > Administration > Services. Under the Background Services tab, uncheck the boxes for the services you do not want loaded at startup. Click Save to close the window. You can also start and shut down the services from this window: click on a service and click the Start, Stop, or Restart button.

Installing And Using Wine
Wine stands for "Windows Emulator", and can run quite a lot of Windows applications on Linux. Wine doesn't come with Fedora, so you need to install it using yum. Start a terminal and type in yum install wine. Once it's installed, use the File Browser to browse through your Windows partition or to the location of the Windows binaries if you already know where they are. Right-click on the executable and click on Open with Wine Windows Emulator. You can also alter the Wine settings by going to Applications > Wine > Wine Configuration. Here you can choose which version of Windows you want to mimic, and set paths of important Windows folders.

Extract RPM Files To A Particular Folder
RPM is a packet manager was developed by Red Hat Linux. You can extract the contents of RPM files into a directory of your choice than just installing it. Start a terminal by going to Applications > System Tools > Terminal. Navigate to the folder to where you want to extract the RPM file. Type in rpm2cpio rpmfile.rpm | cpio -idmv, and the RPM will be extracted.

Let Yum Auto-update Fedora
Updating Fedora can be done by a single command. yum will connect to the Internet, and download and install all the updates. Go to Applications > System Tools > Terminal. If you are already root, type in yum update. Use this command carefully: users with limited download connections could have a problem, since there can be quite a few updates.

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