Zoomtastic! Are you ready to show the galaxy your creative side? With Outlook Express, you can design your own e-mail stationery using HTML-formatted text, background colors, and images. You can add the stationery to specific messages. Or, you can set it as the default stationery and use it every time you create a new message.

Creating your own e-mail stationery Right this way! Follow these steps to create your own astromatic, e-mail stationery. First you'll customize the font, then add a background image. Finally, you'll increase the indentation of the text area to make your messages really zing.

To customize the font:

    1. Click the Compose Message button to open a New Message window. Click the Format menu to see if Rich Text (HTML) is selected. You'll know it is selected if you see a black dot beside it. If there isn't one, click Rich Text (HTML).

Make sure a black dot appears next to Rich Text (HTML)

    2. Click the Format menu again, then click Font. The Font dialog box will open.

    3. In the Font box, select the font named "Verdana" (or choose another font if this one isn't available).

Use the selection boxes to specify font, style, and size

    4. In the Style box, select Bold Italic.

    5. In the Size box, select 14.

    6. Click OK to save the changes. The Font dialog box will close.

    7. In the new message window, try typing the word "Announcing". It should look something like this:

Your font will look like this

To add a background image to your stationery:

    1. Click the Format menu, point to Background, then click Picture. The Background Picture dialog box will open.

    2. In the File box, find and select the graphics file called tiki.gif.

Aren't these background names fun?

    3. Click OK. The Background Picture dialog box will close, and the image you selected is now added to your stationery.

background stationary

Uh-oh. Sometimes when you add a graphic, it overlaps the text and makes it difficult to read. A quick solution is to move the text area closer to the center.

To increase the indentation of the text:

    1. On the formatting toolbar, click the Increase Indentation button to move the text area closer to the middle of the page.

The formatting toolbar appears at the top of every new message window

Congratulations! Your stationery design is now complete. All that's left is typing the message and sending the whole thing off. You'd better hurry, though. I'm sure someone is anxious for their chicken soup.

Using your own stationery to compose new messages
Is there a stationery design you like so much that you want to use it all the time? Outlook Express lets you set a default stationery so you can add the same design to every message you create.

To set default stationery:

    1. In the Outlook Express window, click the Tools menu, then click Stationery. The Stationery dialog box will open.

    Get new stationery.

    2. Click the Mail tab.

Click the Mail tab

On the Mail page, you will customize the font for your default stationery.

    1. Select the option button next to "My compose font". Then click the Font Settings button. The Font dialog box will open.
These two steps will open the Font dialog box

    2. Enter your selections to customize the font, then click OK. The Font dialog box will close, and you will return to the Stationery dialog box.

You must also specify a background design for your default stationery.

    1. In the Stationery dialog box, click the option button next to "This stationery". Then click the Select button. A Select Stationery dialog box will appear.

Open the Stationery list to choose a background design

    2. Choose a background from the Stationery list (e.g. Chess). You can see miniature samples of the backgrounds in the Preview box.

    3. Click OK to close the Select Stationery dialog box.

    4. Click OK to close the Stationery dialog box.

Outlook Express will create your default stationery at light speed. Be sure to open a new message window to see how your design looks.

Note: If the Stationery background you select includes a special font, it will override the font you have selected.