Netscape Email Tutorial

General: Main page  The First Email  A Brief History
GUI Software: Outlook Express   Netscape Mail  Web Email
Textual Software: pine   elm

by Jeffrey S. Beasley
Department of Engineering Technology
New Mexico State University


This email tutorial has been developed to guide you through the use of Netscape as an email manager. The term email is short for electronic mail. Electronic mail is a technology available in computer networks which facilitates the rapid exchange of information, typically text, but it can also be expanded to include the exchange of images and formatted documents such as that created by a word-processor. This exercise will show you how to set-up Netscape as a mail manager, and then send and receive email messages. Not all of the features of the Netscape mail manager will be explored. New versions of Netscape are always being developed. The version you use at your school may vary somewhat from the one demonstrated in this exercise but the basic concepts should remain the same.

Getting Started

Start Netscape by either clicking on the Netscape Icon or selecting it from your list of available programs. Your screen should look similar to that shown in Fig. 1.

Fig.1 The startup Netscape screen.


Initializing Your Mail Manager (only required once for setup)

Before you can begin using Netscape as your mail manager, you must specify some information regarding your email address and your mail server. This information is usually provided by the Network Systems Manager at your site. For this exercise, you will be provided the needed information. To initialize the mail manager, click on Mail and News Preferences from the Options menu as shown in Fig. 2.

Fig. 2 Location of Mail and News Preferences.

Select identity and you will get the menu shown in Fig. 3. Complete the information in each space as directed. An example has been provided. Typically your email address and the Reply-to-Address are the same. The spaces for Your Name and Your Organization are provided so that the header file in your email message is easier to read.

Fig. 3 The menu for setting your identity using email in Netscape.

Next, you must specify information concerning the mail server you will be using. Select the Servers menu. You will get a screen image similar to that shown in Fig. 4. Netscape allows you to specify a different mail server for outgoing and incoming mail. The outgoing mail server uses SMTP which stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. This is a worldwide standard for transferring email messages. The incoming mail uses POP3 which is a Post Office Protocol version 3. This is an Internet standard which moves your email message from your server to your computer. An example of the information required to be placed in this menu is shown in Fig. 4. Once again, this information will be provided by your Network Systems Manager.

Fig. 4 An Example of the Information Required in the Server Menu

This menu provides you with options for setting the maximum message size and provides you with the option to leave the messages on the server or transfer them to your computer(local disk). You can also have your mail manger check for messages at regular time intervals if you leave your email manager running in the background. The NNTP is the Network News Transfer Protocol, typically associated with USENET articles which is a service for exchanging news information. Initializing your email manager is only required the first time you use the software or upgrade your system to a new version. Your Network System Manager can usually answer all your questions concerning what information must be provided in the blanks. Your Network Systems Manager will also be providing you with your email address. Press the OK button when you have entered the required information. You are now ready to begin using your Netscape email manager.

To enter the Netscape Mail option, place the cursor over the Window menu and click the left mouse button. Your screen will look similar to Fig. 5

Fig. 5 The location of Netscape Mail under the Window menu.

Sending and Receiving Email Messages with Netscape

Now you are ready to begin sending and receiving email messages with your Netscape email manager. To reenter the email manager click on Window/Netscape Mail as shown in Fig. 2. You will get a new screen prompting you for your Password for your POP3 user account as shown in Fig. 6. This information will be provided by your Network Systems Manager. Enter your password and click on OK.

Fig. 6 The screen prompt for entering your POP3 user password.

You will now get a screen similar to that shown in Fig. 7. The cursor has been placed over the Inbox folder. The contents of the Inbox folder will be shown on the right side. In this case, the Inbox folder is empty. Figures 8 and 9 show the Sent and Trash folders highlighted. The Sent folder keeps an electronic copy of email messages you send. The Trash folder temporarily holds discarded email messages until you wish to totally discard the contents. A general rule of the thumb is to keep discarded email messages in the Trash folder for about two months.

Fig. 7 The Netscape mail manager screen with the Inbox highlighted.


Fig. 8 The Sent folder highlighted and the contents shown on the right.


Fig. 9 The Trash folder higlighted and the contents shown on the right.

To send an email message, select File/New Mail Message as shown in Fig. 10.

Fig. 10 Steps for sending an email message.

You will get the screen shown in Fig. 11. For this example, a message has been prepared for The subject is mailtest. To enter this information, click on the space for the entry. The Mail To: is the email address of the person you wish to send a message. The CC: entry is optional and provides an electronic carbon copy and is the email address of the person or you wish to send a copy. The Subject: is optional. Attachment: is a place where you can specify how to email an attached file. Sometimes this is used to send a copy of a graphics file or a document prepared by a word processor. This is accessed by clicking on Attach/Attach File and selecting the appropriate file as an attachment. It is important to note that each server can have a limitation on email file size. It is possible that attached files can create email message too large for the server to handle. If this happens three possible conditions can occur. The first is that the message will be rejected by the host server and a message will be returned to you saying the server was unable to deliver the message. Second, it is possible that your server can handle the email file size but the remote server at the receive location can't handle the file size. In this case, you will receive a message that the server is unable to deliver the message. A third case is that the server will automatically fragment the email message into manageable file sizes. The person receiving the message will receive multiple messages which have to be reconstructed using a package like UUDECODE which can decode MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) back into the original message. MIME is an Internet standard mail protocol which allows an email message to incorporate multimedia features such as graphics, sound, and video. After completing the header information, you are ready to enter the email text in the blank box at the bottom of the screen. A simple message has been prepared for this example. Your completed email message should look similar to Fig. 11. Click on Send when you are ready to mail your message. Your screen should return to the Netscape Mail manager screen similar to Fig. 7.

Fig. 11 The Netscape email window

Retrieving Email Message with Netscape

To check to see if you have received an email message click on Get Mail as shown in Fig. 12. Your mail manager will check the contents of your POP3 server and will send you a message if you have mail.

Fig. 12 Location of the Get Mail button.

Click on Inbox and if you have received any email your screen will show information similar to Fig. 13. For this example, one message is waiting to be read on your Inbox. The sender and subject information are shown on the right.

Fig. 13 The Inbox with one message.

To view the message, double-click on the message you wish to view in the Inbox. You may need to expand the size of your email screen so that the message can directly be viewed in the window. You can also click on View/Document Source as shown in Fig. 13.

Fig. 13 Viewing an email message

The contents of the email message will be displayed on your screen as shown in Fig. 14

Fig. 14 Contents of the email message being viewed.

Email messages contain a lot of header information which describes the sender and the electronic path the message took to get to you. Normally you will not have to look at this information unless there is a problem with your email. In that case, the Network System Manager will need to view the contents of the header.

You can reply to a sender by clicking on the Reply button (Re: Mail) and entering your information. The email address should automatically appear on the Mail To: line. You can also Forward a message to another email address by pressing the Forward button and entering any required information.

Note: This page is modified from Netscape Email Tutorial.