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Electronic mail, often abbreviated to e-mail, is a method of writing, sending, receiving and saving messages over electronic communication systems.
E-mail is great - it’s quick and cheap to keep in touch with family and friends!
Most of the e-mail programs that you need to send and receive e-mails are free.
You can use e-mail from any computer that is connected to the Internet.
To sign up, all you will need to do is to register and setup a few personal details.
Write an e-mail
It’s easy to write a new e-mail, just click on the New or Compose button.
If you want to write to more than one person, simply put a comma between the e-mail addresses.
A copy of all e-mails you send are put into your Sent e-mail folder.
Reply to an e-mail
The easiest time to write an e-mail, is when you are replying to one you have received. When you do this, the e-mail address will be automatically filled in for you.
To reply to an e-mail, open the e-mail and click on the Reply button.
You can also forward an e-mail you’ve received on to someone else by opening the e-mail and clicking on the Forward button.
Reading an e-mail
If an e-mail is listed in bold, it’s means you haven’t read it yet.
If an e-mail is not bold, you have already opened and read it.
The preview pane is good for having a quick look at e-mails without having to open them. If you want to open the e-mail double click on it in the Inbox list.
Opening an e-mail gives you more buttons and options to use.
Attachments are files that you attach to an e-mail.
E-mails are made up of words, but by using attachments, they can include many other things such as audio, video, pictures, documents or any other file type. It is best to limit the size of attachments, otherwise e-mails can take a long time to send and open.
If you receive an e-mail with an attachment you will see a symbol next to the e-mail in your Inbox list, such as a paper clip or a file.
When you open an attachment, you have two choices, to save it to your hard disk so that you still have it even if you delete the e-mail, or you can just open it within the e-mail.
E-mail address book
Imagine trying to remember the e-mail addresses for all your friends, family members and contacts?
It would be a pretty difficult task – that’s where your e-mail address book comes in! You store people’s e-mail addresses in it, so that you don’t have to remember them.
When you send an e-mail, just click on Address Book, select the name of the contact you want to write to and the e-mail address will be copied into your e-mail
If you receive an e-mail and decide you want to add the address of the person who sent it, to your address book, just right click on the e-mail address and select add contact or add address from the menu.
Have a go at setting up an e-mail account using Google Mail.
Go to www.google.co.uk*
Click Mail and then click Pick my name, you now need to fill out the form to create your account
First you create an email address - type your chosen name in Desired Login Name and click check availability
(the name can be anything you like, it doesn’t have to be your real name and can use letters & numbers but no spaces)
If your chosen name is not available, you will be offered some alternatives or you can try another name of your own choosing
You then need to choose a password and a security question to remind you of your password should you ever forget it
Complete the rest of the form, read the Terms of Service and click I accept. Create my account
To sign into your e-mail account, go to www.google.co.uk* and click Mail
Type in your Username and Password (your Username is the same as your email address) - make sure that this box is not ticked if you are using a public computer. Any new messages you have received will show in your Inbox.
* Hampshire County Council is not responsible for the content of external websites.