More from Entourage
Entourage 2004 boasts a lot of improvements and refinements from previous versions.
Spam is now less of a problem thanks to a built-in spam filter, reached by clicking Tools > Junk E-mail Protection. The dialogue box that appears lets you change how strict you want your filters to be, and clicking the Safe Domains tab enables a whitelist of trusted email sources; the strictest kind of filtering, but sometimes necessary.
|Changing the Junk E-mail Protection settings in Entourage.|
From the Address Book, it's possible to click on any address and call up a map in your default browser. This service uses MSN and in theory should work with any global address. In practice, it needs every available field to be filled in accurately, including country and zip/postal code, to function seamlessly. When it does work, it's great.
|Calling up a map in Entourage.|
- Send a Word document by email - From your saved Word file, click File -> Send to -> Mail recipient. The message will be sent as HTML via Entourage, assuming it is your default email client. If not, it will be added as an attachment to a new message in other mail programs (I use Eudora, where this feature worked fine).
- Group email messages by thread - At the top of the mailbox contents list, choose "Arrange by: subject" to get all your messages neatly listed by thread. Although not quite the threaded view offered by Apple's own Mail, it's still a cleaner way of viewing conversations.
- Use Entourage with an Exchange server - Now you can insist on a Mac at work! In Entourage, click Tools -> Accounts -> Exchange tab, and use the Accounts Setup Assistant to configure your access to your employer's Exchange server. This might get tricky, though, so there's a 34-page PDF available for download that goes into more detail.
- Work without worrying - By default, Office 2004 auto-saves a copy of your open documents every 10 minutes, so if there is a catastrophic failure of the power supply, your computer, or just of Office, you shouldn't loose too much work. Even on an older G3 machine, there was no noticeable slowing down of work by having this feature enabled.
- Save objects as separate image files - Here's what I used to have to do: take a screenshot, crop it down to just the chart or graph I wanted, and paste that into a new image editor document. Now I can control-click on any object, such as a table, chart or inserted graphic, and select Save as Picture instead.
- Print preview made quicker - When you call up a print dialogue, there's now a new Quick Preview feature switched on by default. It allows you to flick through a thumbnail-size view of your entire document, so you can make sure everything will print on the page it's supposed to.
- Paste options - Every time you paste something into a document, the Smart Paste tool will show up, offering you some options (such as: Keep Source Formatting, Use Destination Formatting, and Keep Text Only)
- Keep an eye on various Microsoft staff weblogs: Dennis Cheung, Rick Schaut, Matt Evans - These guys are working on this software, and they are very open to suggestions on how it should evolve. This article would have been much shorter without some of the tips they've posted on their blogs. (Oh, and in case you're wondering: this only counts as half of a tip as far as this article is concerned, since it's not something you can do with Office, only something you ought to do if you have it.)
And That's Just for Starters
Honestly, any application suite this big is so full of features that an article about them could go on forever. Suffice to say, I hope you've been able to find one or two things here that you didn't know about before. If you don't own Office 2004 and you've been trying to work out if it's worth your money, perhaps something in this article may have helped you make up your mind, one way or the other.
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