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Compose and Send an E-Mail on Your Surface

Windows 8’s Mail app on your Surface does a no-frills job of sending and receiving e-mail. It’s free, pre-installed, and includes a spell checker. To write, spellcheck, and send an e-mail from your Surface’s Mail app to a friend’s Inbox, follow these steps:

  1. From the Start screen, tap the Mail app’s tile and then tap the New icon in the program’s top-right corner.

    An empty New Message window appears, ready for you to fill with your words of glory. If you’ve set up several e-mail accounts in the Mail app, your e-mail will be sent from the account you last viewed.

    To send e-mail from a different account, tap the downward-pointing arrow next to your e-mail address in the screen’s upper-left corner. When the menu drops down, tap the name of the account you want to use for sending that particular mail.

  2. Add your friend’s e-mail address into the To box.

    Tap the plus sign to the right of the To box. The People app appears, letting you tap the name of everybody you want to receive the e-mail. Tap the Add button, and the Mail app automatically fills in everybody’s e-mail address—a very handy thing on a tablet.

    Or, you can tap inside the To box and begin typing in the recipient’s name or e-mail address. With each letter you type, the Mail app scans the contacts listed in your People app, constantly placing potential matches below the To box. If the app happens to guess the right name, tap the name to place it in the To box.

  3. Tap inside the Subject box and type in a subject.

    Tap the words Add a Subject along the message’s top; those words quickly vanish as you type in your own subject.

  4. Type your message into the large box beneath the Subject line.

    The Mail app watches as you type, automatically underlining words it doesn’t recognize. To correct a misspelled word, tap the underlined word. A pop-up menu appears, shown in the figure, letting you choose the correct spelling. (Choose Add to Dictionary to add an unrecognized word.)

    To embellish your prose, change the text’s formatting by swiping your finger upward from the screen’s bottom to fetch the App bar. Shown in the figure, the App bar lets you change fonts, add italics, create numbered lists, and add other flourishes by tapping the appropriate icon.

    To save an e-mail in progress, tap the Save Draft button in the App bar’s far left. The Mail app saves your e-mail in the Drafts folder of the account you’re using to send the e-mail.

  5. Attach any files or photos to your e-mail, if desired.

    Tap the Attachments icon on the Mail app’s App bar.

  6. Tap the Send button, located in the screen’s top-right corner.

    The Mail app slides your e-mail through the Internet’s blend of fiber-optics and copper wires into your friend’s mailbox. Depending on the speed of your Internet connection, mail can arrive anywhere from within a few seconds to a few hours, with a minute or two being the average.


    If you find yourself at a loss for words, tap the Close button. A drop-down menu appears, letting you tap Delete to delete the message. Or, tap Save Draft, and the Mail app stashes your unfinished e-mail into your current account’s Drafts folder for later polishing.

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