The Windows 8 Live Mail Window

Before you venture into the world of Internet communications, get familiar with the controls of the Live Mail window; click the Windows Live Mail tile on your Start screen, and then catch the hoopla.

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These controls include

  • Ribbon: From this standard Windows Ribbon — also used in other Windows Essentials applications, as well as the Office 2013 suite — click a tab to display the items in that group, and then click a menu item to perform that action.

  • Quick Access bar: Click a Quick Access bar button to perform the same function as the corresponding Ribbon button — by default, you can choose New Message, Reply, and Update All. You can customize the bar by adding and removing buttons.

    Just click the down arrow button at the right side of the bar and then click the buttons that you want to add from the drop-down menu. (A check mark appears next to the active buttons.) Conversely, to remove a toolbar button, click the button name in the menu to banish the check mark.

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  • Folder pane: Click any storage folder link in the tree display to display the contents of that folder. You can also switch between e-mail accounts as well as display your unread e-mail in the blink of an eye by clicking a Quick View entry in the Folder pane.

    To add a new folder to the Folder list, right-click any folder in the list and then choose New Folder from the pop-up menu that appears. Live Mail displays the Create Folder dialog box, where you can type a name for your new folder and select the existing folder that will act as its “parent.” Click OK, and the new folder appears in the Folder list.

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  • Message list: Messages in the selected folder are displayed in list form in the Message list.

  • Reading pane: Clicking a message in the Message list displays it in the Reading pane (without the hassle of opening the message in a separate window).

    The Message list and Reading pane are highly configurable little beasties. Click the View tab on the Ribbon to display the window layout settings in the Layout group, and then click the Message List or Reading Pane buttons to display a pop-up menu.

    You can hide the Reading pane, or you can display it below or next to the Message list. You can also toggle the display of the messages in the Message list using one or two lines.

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  • Status bar: Last — and pretty much least — is the humble Status bar. Here, you can see basic totals on the number of read and unread messages and also your online/offline status. (The program is typically offline if you’re not connected to the Internet.)

    It also shows you when Windows Live Mail is sending and receiving mail. To display or hide the Status bar, click the View tab on the Ribbon and click the Status bar button in the Layout group.

You can easily adjust the size of any section of the Live Mail window: Move your mouse pointer over the divider bar that you want to move until it turns into opposing arrows and then drag to relocate the bar.

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