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Free Email TutorialsOutlook 2003Outlook 2003's New Mail Desktop Alert

Outlook 2003's New Mail Desktop Alert

New email icon in Outlook 2003For as long as one can remember, Microsoft Outlook has shown an email envelope icon in Windows' system tray area, next to the clock, when a new email or a group of new emails has arrived.

This email envelope stays visible until at least one new email is marked as read. As in previous versions of Outlook, double-clicking Outlook 2003's new email icon pulls Outlook into view, in front of other windows.

The New Mail Desktop Alert in Outlook 2003

With Outlook 2003 comes a welcomed addition with the New Mail Desktop Alert feature.

New mail desktop alert in Outlook 2003If enabled (it is by default), the new mail Desktop Alert will show up in the bottom right corner of your screen, in front of other windows, when new emails arrive.

Remember that by default, Outlook 2003 is hidden from the Windows taskbar when minimized. The Desktop Alert contains several commands which allow you to conveniently manipulate a new email without having to open Outlook.

Outlook 2003's New Mail Desktop Alert Features

Outlook 2003's New Mail Desktop Alert offers you much more than meets the eye. Here is a breakdown of its features:

Outlook 2003's new mail Desktop Alert

Outlook 2003's Desktop Alert: Flag or Delete The Flag button allows you to flag the email; it will by default give it a red flag, without reminder. The Delete button tells Outlook to send the new email straight to the Deleted Items folder.
Outlook 2003's Desktop Alert: Email Content Preview The Desktop Alert ticker gives you a quick preview of the new email: in bold face, the name or email address of the sender; below, the email's subject line; in blue, the preview of the first couple lines of the email's content.
Outlook 2003's Desktop Alert: Options or Close You can hide right away the Desktop Alert by clicking the "X" close button; The down arrow indicates the Desktop Alert menu.
Outlook 2003's Desktop Alert: Options Menu The Desktop Alert menu summarizes all available commands. Flag Item and Delete Item are the same as described in (1); Open Item will open the email, which can also be done by clicking the email content's preview text.

Desktop Alert menu in Microsoft Outlook 2003Mark as Read will leave the email in its folder (usually the Inbox), and simply change its Read Status to Read.

Disable New Mail Desktop Alert will change Outlook 2003's Options, and prevent the alert to show up with new emails in the future.

The final menu item, Desktop Alert Settings, lets you configure the Desktop Alerts' behavior, (see below).

Multiple New Emails Alert in Outlook 2003

Multiple new emails desktop alert in Outlook 2003When a batch of new emails appears in Outlook 2003, a "summary" New Mail Desktop Alert will appear after the standard New Mail Desktop Alerts for individual emails, simply reading "There are new items in your Inbox."

Clicking a multiple new emails alert in Outlook 2003Clicking on the New Mail Desktop Alert summary message will focus on Outlook 2003's Inbox.

Notice that, like the standard New Mail alerts, the summary one has a drop-down menu:

Multiple new emails alert drop-down menu in Outlook 2003The New Mail Desktop Alert summary's drop-down menu contains three items: Open Inbox, the default action, which will focus on Outlook 2003's Inbox folder.

The New Mail Desktop Alert Settings dialog in Outlook 2003The Disable New Mail Desktop Alert option mentioned earlier appears in the menu, as well as Desktop Alert Settings -also included in the standard New Mail Desktop Alerts- which will open the Desktop Alert Settings dialog, which lets you configure New Mail Desktop Alerts' duration and transparency settings. (New Mail Desktop Alert settings are discussed below.)

Enabling or Disabling New Mail Desktop Alerts in Outlook 2003

Enable or disable Desktop Alerts in Outlook 2003To disable Outlook 2003's Desktop Alerts altogether (or re-enable them), simply use the Display a New Mail Desktop Alert… checkbox.

(To access the Advanced E-mail Options dialog, go to Tools > Options, click the E-mail Options button, and the Advanced E-mail Options button.)

Notice that Desktop Alerts only work for your default Inbox folder.

Configuring the Desktop Alert Settings in Outlook 2003

Outlook 2003's Desktop Alert behavior is customizable. There are two ways to access the Desktop Alert's settings: the easiest is to click Desktop Alert Settings from the alert's menu.

Otherwise, in Outlook's main window, go to Tools > Options, and the Options dialog will open. On the Preferences tab, click the E-mail Options button. On the E-mail Options dialog that opens, click the Advanced E-mail Options button. The Advanced E-mail Options dialog will open; click the Desktop Alert Settings button (finally!).Accessing the Desktop Alert Settings in Outlook 2003

Outlook 2003 Desktop Alert Settings

Microsoft Outlook 2003's Desktop Alert settingsThe New Mail Desktop Alerts' duration and transparency can be customized.

Desktop Alerts can float on your screen anywhere from 3 to 30 seconds. The default, 7 seconds, is reasonable, and gives you enough time to see the Desktop Alert, without being too obtrusive

Transparency can go from zero (no transparency) to 80% transparent (which will be nearly invisible on many monitors). We find 20% transparency to be the perfect balance between visibility and obtrusiveness.

Previewing Outlook 2003's Desktop AlertsSince these settings are somewhat abstract, Outlook lets you test them by clicking the Preview button. A sample alert matching duration and transparency will open.

Outlook 2003's New Mail Desktop Alert Doesn't Work

'A dialog box is open. Close it and try again' error message in Outlook 2003At times, when you click the New Mail Desktop Alert to open a preview email, you will receive an error message: "A dialog box is open. Close it and try again.".

Outlook 2003 is telling you that another window is open, which prevents Outlook from opening another window.

Typically, this is the Options, Customize, or another Outlook dialog that has remained opened; simply close the dialog window, and everything will be back to normal.

Outlook 2003 Tutorial Meet Outlook 2003 System Requirements Installation & Overview Outlook and the System Tray Microsoft CEIP Setting up Outlook 2003 Setup an Email Account Setup Hotmail in Outlook Setup Yahoo! Mail in Outlook Setup Gmail in Outlook Setup AOL Mail in Outlook Change email password Import email accounts Import emails and contacts Add an email signature Set as default email client New Mail desktop alert Interface and Toolbars Outlook 2003's Interface "Outlook Today" The Standard toolbar The Advanced toolbar The Web toolbar Customize Outlook's toolbars Outlook 2003 email icons Address Book & Contacts Using the Address Book Search for contacts Backup/export contacts Email Distribution Lists Add contacts to distribution list Emailing distribution lists Email Management Using Favorite Folders Using Multiple Profiles Personal PST files Manually archive emails AutoArchive emails AutoArchive settings Email Accounts Settings General Settings Outgoing server settings Connection settings Advanced settings Outlook 2003 Email Options General Email Options Advanced email options (1) Advanced email options (2) Tracking options Mail Setup Options Send-receive options PST Data files options Spelling options AutoCorrect options Custom Dictionary options Customize Toolbars Customize Commands Customize Options
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