Outlook - Terminology

October 2016

Outlook 2010 was designed to provide a set of features going beyond simple messaging software.

Some terminology

Like any program, Outlook has its peculiarities and it is important to understand them, for an optimal use.
Under Outlook, the basic unit of information storage is the element. It can be considered to be the equivalent of a file in other programs. E-mail messages, appointments, contacts, tasks, journal entries, notes, information and documents published are elements.
  • An email account contains the essential elements for connection to a mail server, that handles the messages that you send and receive. Mail accounts are stored in a profile. A profile consists of accounts, data files and parameters containing information about the storage of email. A default profile is created automatically when you run Outlook for the first time.
  • An attachment is a file or an item that can be included in an email message. Messages with attachments are identified by a paper clip icon in the message list. Depending on the format of the received message, attachments are displayed in a different location in the message.
  • A message rule is an action that will be automatically performed on incoming or outgoing messages, depending on specified conditions. You can create a rule from a template or using your own conditions.
  • The Address Book can be used to store names, email addresses, fax numbers and mailing lists. The Address Book may contain a Global Address List, an Outlook Address Book and Personal Address Book. This is where you store your Contacts.
  • A task is something that you need to accomplish. Example: an appointment at the dentist, booking theater tickets, the birthday of a friend or relative.
  • The calendar,sometimes called as Agenda, is the equivalent of a paper diary to manage your schedule.
  • When you use Microsoft Outlook, email messages, calendars, tasks and other items are stored on a mail server or on your computer (sometimes on both). Outlook items stored on your computer are stored in an Outlook Data File (.Pst and .Ost).
  • An Outlook Data File (.Pst) is used for POP3, IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) and web-based protocols. When you archive or backup your Outlook folders and items on your computer, including Exchange accounts, you must create and use files an additional .pst files. The Outlook data file is located here:
    • Drive:\Documents and Settings\userr\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
  • With a Microsoft Exchange account, your items are stored on the mail server. To allow you to manipulate (read or edit) your messages even when you can not connect to the mail server, a second type of data file called the offline Outlook data file (.ost) is stored on your computer. This type of data file is also used for accounts configured with Outlook Connector for Windows Live Hotmail.
  • The offline Outlook data file is located here:
    • Drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

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