About using Word as your e-mail editor

In previous versions of Microsoft Outlook, the default e-mail editor was the Outlook editor. You could change the editor to Microsoft Word if you wanted. In this version, the default e-mail editor is Word, so you can take advantage of features such as:

  • AutoCorrect     As you write, automatically correct common typos, such as transposed letters and extra or missing letters.
  • Automatic spelling and grammar checking     Check your spelling and grammar while you work. Misspelled or misused words are underlined and alternatives appear, eliminating the need to check spelling and grammar before you send a message.
  • Automatic Bullets and Numbering     Add bullets and numbering to call out important points. Use a picture or other graphic as a bullet, or create a hierarchical list that has numbered items.
  • Tables     Use tables to organize your information. When you use Word as your e-mail editor and HTML as the default message format, Outlook preserves table formatting, even for recipients who do not use Word.
  • Conversion of e-mail names and Internet addresses     Automatically convert e-mail names and Internet addresses to hyperlinks (hyperlink: Colored and underlined text or a graphic that you click to go to a file, a location in a file, a Web page on the World Wide Web, or a Web page on an intranet. Hyperlinks can also go to newsgroups and to Gopher, Telnet, and FTP sites.). Smart hyperlink formatting can even convert hyperlinks whose URLs contain spaces.
  • Themes     Use Word themes to provide visual consistency and to make your messages stand out.
  • Autoformat     Format your message automatically as you type, and add formatting to plain text messages that you receive.

In addition, you can now set some options in Outlook that you could previously work with only in Word. For example, you can now create and set a default signature or stationery from Outlook if Word is set as your e-mail editor. You can also specify some spell checker options and fonts for new messages and messages you forward or reply to. If you change these options from Word, they change the equivalent settings in Outlook, and vice versa.

Even if you turn off Word as your e-mail editor, you can use it just for viewing messages that you receive, which can preserve formatting that might otherwise be lost.

Applies to:
Outlook 2003