Showing posts with label Outlook 2013. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Outlook 2013. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Microsoft Outlook 2013: Three Big New Features

Microsoft Outlook has many new and improved features.  These range from changes in visual aspects to an expanded functionality which corresponds more closely to our digital networking needs in 2013.

Visually, Outlook 2013 has scaled it's graphic appearance back to a more simplified and streamlined layout.  Gone now are the bright dominant blues and cartoonish, bubbled buttons of 2010.  The new 2013 look is restrained to flat buttons and institutional grays. There is only the slightest hint of blue used in the selection highlighting.  It's almost as if Microsoft has made the stifled interface presentation sense of yesteryear cool in its quiet and unexpected return.

Screen shot of Outlook 2013 icons showing the new look Microsoft has given Outlook.
A new look for Outlook 2013

Perhaps not quite so retro in its presentation is the new Weather Bar feature found within the Calendar tab in the Navigation pane.  The Calendar tab appears as an icon in the lower half of the navigation pane which appears collapsed now by default in the mail view.  Once you double click on the Calendar icon the calendar page will open with the Weather Bar feature at the top.  This could prove quite helpful especially when making outdoor or traveling plans.   

MS Outlook image showing weather bar.
Outlook 2013 Calendar Weather Bar

Basically the Weather Bar presents the weather for both today and tomorrow.  The initial view of it is an icon depicting sun, clouds or rain along with temperatures in both Fahrenheit and Celsius.  If you hover the mouse above this area, more information will be shown such as wind and humidity.  A click on this area will redirect you to a web page for weather.   In addition, you can add different locations and access them from your self-made location menu.

Though the previous two features are each interesting enough in their own rights, this third feature proves to be one of the most innovative and trends right along with social networking.  If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, or any other currently popular site, you can connect to these through Outlook 2013.  You can then make connections on these sites with anyone for whom you already have an email contact. 

Likewise, further information can be imported from the sites into the Outlook contacts, such as pictures, the account you are connected through, and some identifying facts like a business title.  This is a great step toward enhancing commercial and social networking abilities.  Outlook makes it convenient to connect also since you only need your own username and password for your existing accounts.

Connecting to a social networking site through Outlook 2013 requires clicking on the view tab across the top of the ribbon.  Now on the right end of the ribbon appears the People Pane button.  Click this and select Your Existing Account.  A new window will open presenting a small selection of social networking sites in stacked horizontal bars.  There is an extra bar there to connect to alternate sites as well.  Once you select where you'd like to connect, just click and enter your login credentials.

Microsoft has attempted improvements across several areas of Outlook 2013.  Perhaps they are innovating a round of 'less is more' influence in the world of interface design.  Indeed they have zeroed in on the one-stop convenience of knowing the weather while filling in calendar slots.  However, the seamless connectivity that Outlook 2013 provides to social networking may prove to be the most successful of all improvements in this program. The "flat" new look of Outlook might surprise some, but the fresh appearance is welcome to us.

Encryptomatic has now retooled all of it's Outlook apps for Outlook 2013. If you see something you can use in our portfolio, download it and try it out free.  Although our apps support Outlook 2013, they are also backwards compatible with Outlook 2010/2007/2003. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Outlook to .msg: How to convert Outlook email to .msg files

Outlook to .MSG Conversion Made Easy

Email messages in Microsoft Outlook are stored in Personal Storage Tables, or PST files.  Sometimes it is convenient to store an individual email message as a separate file so it can be shared.  Outlook 2013 and earlier versions provide this ability.

To save an email as a .msg file in Outlook 2013, click on the email you want to save. Next to go File > Save As and select "Outlook Message Format - Unicode."

Saving Outlook email as msg in 2013.

In cases where it's necessary to save dozens, hundreds or thousands of Outlook emails as individual .msg files, Outlook falls short.  That's where an add-in called MessageExport can take up the slack.

MessageExport extends Outlook's ability to save email messages as .msg files, and many other formats including .pdf.

Outlook 2013 with MessageExport toolbar shown.
MessageExport extensions shown in Outlook 2013
MessageExport provides several options that improve the export operation. For example, a specific naming structure can be applied to the name of the .msg file. If you were exporting, say, 500 emails to .msg format, and you wanted the name of each .msg file to begin with the year it was created, you can easily setup that structure with MessageExport.   To do this, choose the "Export to MSG" file profile from MessageExport's drop down list; next click the Edit icon, and go to the "Export name" tab.

Custom file naming structure
Add the fields that you want to include the file name.  Click OK to save your changes.
Each time you run the "Export to MSG" profile on selected Outlook emails,  MessageExport will name your .msg files according to your plan.

Another tool that MessageExport provides you is "export history."  Enabling this function lets you exclude messages that have already been exported to .msg format, eliminating the possibility of duplicates.

To enable "Export History," click the edit toolbar and go to the "Common" tab.  Check the box that says, "Turn on Export History," then click OK to save that setting to the profile.

Export history helps prevent duplicate emails saved as .msg format.
How to turn on "Export History" to prevent duplicate .msg files

While exporting a few emails to .msg format from Outlook 2013 is easily done, consider using MessageExport for more complex Outlook to .msg file export operations. 

You can try MessageExport free for 15 days. Download a free trial from the MessageExport home page.

When the trial is complete, MessageExport will continue to function, letting you convert individual email messages to .msg, .pdf, .eml, png, gif, tif and other formats!  You can activate the full version at any time by purchasing a key.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Should you upgrade to Outlook 2013?

In July, 2012, Microsoft released a preview copy of MS Office 2013 which gave us our first peek at the latest version of the flagship office productivity suite.  The new MS Outlook is not a radical departure from the comfortable Outlook 2010 experience so many of us are familiar with, but it is an overall sleeker, cleaner, and more efficient version.  It also contains several new features worth taking a look at while deciding whether it’s worth the upgrade.

There are a few noticeable visual changes to the new Outlook.  The program now has a Metro twist to match the style of Windows 8, a style with a signature "flat graphics."  The Outlook email view window has been reduced from four panes to two.  One pane shows your inbox, and the other is for reading.  Replying to messages has been simplified as well.  Instead of opening up a new email to write your reply you simply start typing inline on the message within the reading pane. 

Another way Microsoft has streamlined the Outlook 2013 is its new Peek feature.  Peek lets you access information in contacts, calendar, or tasks without having to switch over to those modes.  When you hover the mouse over the mode buttons a window appears offering a preview of the information within.  This is similar to the capability built into the task bar of Windows 7, and it is great to see Microsoft implement a version of this system inside Office. 

Contacts, renamed People, have received a bit of an overhaul.  You could integrate your contacts from sources such as Facebook or Gmail just as with Outlook 2010, but in the past that usually resulted in a muddled contact list full of duplicates.  Outlook 2013 introduces People cards that make it easier to store all information about a single person on one card.  Email contacts are cross-referenced and consolidated with social media data and other information. 

Mail Tips introduces features to Outlook that have long been a part of other services such as Gmail.  For example, if you use the word “attachment” or “attach” in the body of your message but fail to attach any files Outlook will display a warning.  Policy Tips is certain to be a welcome new feature for IT admins.  Policy Tips allows administrators to set up warnings that will display automatically if, for example, a message may contain confidential company information or violate company policy. 

There are a few other small changes in the new version.  Weather information is now embedded in the calendar.  The search box now has a filter that allows users to choose which folders to include in their search.  Outlook 2013 also gives users the ability to minimize the ribbon bar to make the program easier to use with touchscreens.  
As with Office 2010, Office 2013 will support a 64-bit processors which can take advantage of the larger addressable memory offered by the 64-bit platform. A 32-bit version of Office 2013 will also be available, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft Outlook 2013 works much like Outlook 2010, and if you are satisfied with your current version it may make sense to hold off on the upgrade.  But if you are planning on using a tablet, concerned with information security, or simply want a quicker and more streamlined version of the Outlook you use now then you should seriously consider upgrading. 
The MessageExport add-in for Outlook has been upgraded to work with Outlook 2013, both 32 and 64 bit versions (64bit is highly preferred because of the large amounts of data that MessageExport often is called upon to process). MessageExport lets you save your Outlook email content in different formats and to different places. If you decide to make the switch and upgrade to Outlook 2013, you can bring MessageExport along with you.