Netscape Navigator Tips and Tricks

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Many Netscape Navigator users discover that they want to startup Netscape with their mail or news windows, rather than the browser window. No problem; all you have to do is select Options|General Preferences, which opens the Preferences dialog box, then click the "Appearance" tab. For the "On Startup Launch" option click either "Netscape Mail" or "Netscape News." Click "OK" to close the Preferences box and save the settings. Now the next time you start Netscape, it launches with the option you selected. Now, if you want, you can also select more than one (or all three) of the options. This means that all the selected options open when you start Netscape, with one maximized in the window and the others minimized.


Netscape Mail, of course, allows you to send one message to many users. But suppose you want to send that message to a group, but don't want the other recipients to see who else got it. Easy as pie--Netscape allows this through a Blind Cc field in the Message Composition window. To send a blind message, open a new message, then enter your address in the Mail To field (the message MUST be addressed to someone). The Blind Cc field does not display by default, so if you don't see it, select View|Mail Bcc. Enter all the mailing addresses of the group recipients in the Blind Cc field. Now when you mail the message it'll show each recipient your address and their address, but no others.


Mailing lists in Netscape mail make it easy to send a message to multiple recipients without having to enter all their addresses in the Mail To field. Be aware, however, that you must have a nickname entered for the list when you create it, or it won't get to all the list members. To create a list, open the Message Composition window, open the Address Book (Window|Address Book) then select Item|Add List. Here's what happens if you don't specify a nickname. When you click the list name to mail to that list, only the address of the first person on the list appears in the Mail To field and the message goes only to that person. When you have a nickname specified and click that list name, the list name displays in the Mail To field, and the message goes to all list members.



If you use another mail client, such as the very popular Eudora, you can quickly and easily convert your mail messages from that package into Netscape mail (and vice-versa). This is because Netscape can read any properly formatted text file that contains RFC822/RFC1521 compliant mail data, which includes Eudora. But that's just some geek-speak for why this happens, and you just want to know how to do it, right? Simple, first find the Eudora (or other mail client) files on your computer, then copy or move them into the Netscape "Mail" directory/folder. Navigator mail folders are located by default in the Mail subdirectory. When you open the Netscape Mail window, the messages you copied should be displayed.



Do you use your Internet account primarily for e-mail? If so, you might want to consider telling Netscape to launch with the Mail window instead of the Browser window. To set Netscape to launch directly into Mail, pull down the Options menu and click the Appearance tab. In the Startup section, choose On Startup Launch Netscape Mail. If you don't often use the browser, turn that option off. You can always open a browser window by choosing File|New Web Browser or by pressing Ctrl+N. If you want both mail and browser windows at startup, turn them both on.


If you're like many Netscape users, you probably use at least one other mail program in addition to Netscape mail. If you want help in converting address files among Navigator and programs such as Eudora, Pine, Elm, Pegasus, and MS Internet Mail, go to the InterGuru site (, which has some very useful tools.


The Netscape Communicator Message Center makes it very easy for you to change the order of the columns in the mail Inbox. Simply grab the column header and move it back or forth in the header row. The messages sort on the first column, so this makes it easy to change the way you want to see the messages, say, by priority this time but by sender the next.


If you have a column that obscures your mail message's subject, you don't have to resize the column in order to see the full subject. Just move your cursor over the subject and hold it. A pop-up appears with the entire text of the subject.


Netscape Communicator allows you to get a threaded view of your mail messages in a flash. Click the little horizontal line button in the top left corner of the Inbox window, and the messages immediately organize by topic.


E-mail and newsgroup messages no longer exist independent of each other, as Communicator now allows you to browse through both at the same time. Click the Down arrow to the right of the Location box in the mail window. The list that appears displays folders from both your mail and discussions windows.


Communicator lets you easily combine your e-mail and newsgroup messages. Just drag a message from one folder and drop it into the other. This means you can create a single folder that contains all messages relating to a particular subject, no matter which window they originated in.


Netscape Communicator now will notify you when you have mail without your even having to open Communicator or the Message Center (although it only works for Windows). To set this up, click the Windows Start menu, then select Programs|Netscape Communicator|Utilities|Netscape Mail Notification. The function icon, which looks like a  rotating blue circle, immediately appears in the Windows taskbar. When you right-click the icon, you get a pop-up menu with several Netscape Mail Notification commands. Click on Stop to prevent the program from checking your mail immediately, or click on Check Now to resume. Otherwise, Notification checks mail every 15 minutes (or whatever interval you set as the default). Other options in the pop-up menu include Run Mail, which opens the Messenger window; New Messages, which opens a new Composition window; Options, which lets you set Notification's properties; and Enable, which toggles automatic mail-checking on and off.


Let's face it, your e-mail folders, and especially your newsgroup folders, can contain way too many messages. Communicator now includes a feature to help you cut through the chaff by monitoring specific discussion threads in e-mail or newsgroups. This allows you to go to the messages you really want right away. To monitor a thread, select a message and choose Message|Watch Thread from the Message Center menu. To view only the messages that relate to a watched thread, select View|Messages|Watched Threads with New from the Communicator menu.


Netscape Communicator includes mail-message formatting options that allow you to create very slick-looking messages. You can set different colors in the message, for example. To do this, open a new message (click New Msg) Composition window. From the menu select Format|Page Color and Properties, which brings up the Colors and Background dialog box. You can choose to have background colors or a background image. If you want to use the same background for all new messages you create, check the option, Save These Settings for New Pages. Otherwise, the settings only apply to the message at hand.


When you're at a Web site and find a graphic that you must send to a friend right away, press Ctrl-M, which opens a Netscape Communicator Message Composition window. Now grab the image and drop it into the message body (trust us, it can be done). That's it--address and send the message as normal. (This slick technique works for links as well; you just have to
make sure your preferences are set to send HTML messages by default. To do this, select Edit|Preferences, click the plus sign (+) next to Mail & Groups, then select Messages and check the box next to By Default, Send HTML Messages.


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