IT Services



Getting Started With Outlook Web App


Contents



1. Introduction



1.1. About this document

The purpose of this document is to help you to get started with the 2010 Outlook Web App interface to the Oxford University email and calendaring system, Nexus. This guidance has been written with special attention paid to people who are new to Oxford University. Further information on using Outlook Web App can be found in the more comprehensive Outlook Web App guide, but please read this first!



1.2. What is Nexus?

Oxford Nexus is a suite of services based around Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint. With these services you are able to collaborate over documents, share calendars, make work appointments, manage contacts and send email and much more.

To do much of this, it is useful to employ a groupware software client such as Outlook or Outlook Web App, but there are other software that you can install on your computer to manage your email, including Outlook Express, Eudora, Pine, Thunderbird, AppleMail, iCal and many others.

Wherever you access your messages from, and whatever client you use, you will always see the same messages and folders, although the appearance will be somewhat different on each client.

This guide provides an outline of how to get started with using Outlook Web App to access your Oxford University email.



1.3. What is Outlook Web App?

Outlook Web App (OWA) is a groupware application (for Email, Contact, Calendar, Appointments, Reminders, and To-Do Lists) that you can read anywhere in the world with an internet connection and a standard web browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari.

The main advantage of OWA is that you do not have to install any specific software on a computer. The main disadvantage is that you cannot access Calendars or Email without an active Internet connection.

The URL for OWA is: https://owa.nexus.ox.ac.uk (Note the s in https)



2. Getting Started



2.1. Accessing OWA and Nexus

In some colleges’ and departments’ computers, there may be a special icon visible for accessing OWA. The URL to access OWA must begin https: this indicates a secure connection. It ensures that all communication between the browser and Nexus is encrypted so other people cannot read your messages or other information which has to be transmitted such as your password.



2.2. Logging in to OWA

To use Outlook Web App, you will always need to log in using a web browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or Safari.

Type the URL https://owa.nexus.ox.ac.uk into the Location or Address panel of your browser. This will take you to a login screen:

Figure images/image1.png []

If you are on a shared or public computer, select This is a public or shared computer. This option protects you by logging you out after a shorter period of inactivity so that the next person who uses the shared computer is less likely to be able to read your email, should you forget to sign out. If you are using your own home or work computer you can choose This is a private computer to allow you a longer period of inactivity before you are automatically logged out.

If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or later, you can choose whether to use the full version of OWA or the Light version. The full version offers some additional features but either version will allow you to access your email, contacts and calendars. If you are using a slow internet connection (e.g. dial-up), a very old computer, or you have impaired vision, the Light version is recommended. Click on the selection box Use Outlook Web App Light, if this applies to you.

Note: with older browsers and browsers on some platforms you only have the light version available.

Also note that, if you decide that you prefer OWA-Light, but that you are unable to select the tickbox here, you are able to select the 'Use the blind and low vision experience' from the 'Options' link available from within OWA-Full.

To log in, type your Oxford Single Sign-On (SSO) username and password into the appropriate boxes and select Log On.

Logging in is very important! The Oxford Username ensures the system knows who you are. The Password confirms your identity. You must keep your password secret.



2.3. Sign Out

Once you have finished working with your email, calendars etc., to sign out, click Sign Out, found at the top right corner of your screen. You will now see the following screen:

Figure images/image2.png []

This screen reminds you that there is still a small risk that another person on that computer could access your account without first logging in to OWA. It is highly advisable that you now close down all browser windows to complete the logout process.



2.4. Passwords

Outlook Web App uses your Single Sign-On (SSO) username and password.

The initial password you are given when you register for a Nexus account is pre-set to expire after 30 days. This is to make sure that you change your password to something personal to you.

There are a number of rules regarding how passwords must be constructed. For more information, please go to Password Guidelines

To change your password, go to: WebAuth



2.5. Basic Guide to using OWA with your email.

The most basic email tasks are: sending a message; checking for new messages; reading a message; replying to a message; and deleting a message. All of these tasks are normally undertaken from your Inbox, the screen you see when you first log in.

The way your inbox looks and behaves depends on whether you use the full version of OWA or the Light version (see Logging In).



2.5.1. Full Version of OWA

Figure images/image3.png []

The main screen of the full version of OWA is shown above. There are three main sections:

Navigation Pane
On the left-hand side of the screen is the Navigation Pane. This shows a list of available folders, and allows you to switch between different functions such as Mail, Calendar, and Contacts.
Message List
In the centre of the screen is your Message List, a list of the items stored in the current folder. By default, this is your Inbox, but you can select other folders in the Navigation Pane to view their contents. Above the message list are buttons allowing you to create a new message, delete a message, etc. If you choose Calendar, Contacts etc then the Message List changes to display the current function.
Preview Pane
On the right-hand side of the screen is the Preview Pane. This shows the contents of the item currently selected in your Message List. You can move this pane to the bottom of the screen, or switch it off completely, by clicking the reading pane icon above the Message List.

In addition, you can access the OWA options, search for someone, and log off, using the buttons at the top right of the screen.

Basic email tasks:

Send a new email message
Click New. A new window will appear, for you to write your message. Enter the recipient's email address in the To field, type the subject into the Subject field, and then type your message into the large white box. Once you are ready to send, click Send . Note: that you can search for University Members and people in your own contacts list by clicking the To button or the address book icon. Use the search box and magnifying glass button to narrow your search.
Check for new messages
OWA checks for new email automatically, but if you want to do an instant check then click on the button showing two blue arrows above your inbox.
Read an email message
Click on the message in your inbox. A single click will open the message in the Preview Pane (on the right of the screen by default), a double click will open the message in a new window
Reply to an email message
Locate the message in your inbox and right-click (ctrl + click on Mac) on it. Choose [Reply] or [Reply to All] . You may also use the reply arrow icon in the reading pane.
Delete a message

Locate the message in your inbox and right-click (ctrl + click on Mac) on it. Choose [Delete]. Deleted messages are moved to a folder called Deleted Items. You can move messages out of this folder using drag and drop, or by right-clicking (ctrl + click on Mac) on them and choosing [Move to Folder...] or [Copy to Folder...].

Note: Deleted Items will stay in that folder for 90 days from the date of deletion, before being automatically removed from the system. Beware, some email clients will automatically empty your Deleted Items folder when you log off! Check the settings for your client if you are not sure.

If the 90 days has expired, or if you (or your email client) already deleted the item from your Deleted Items folder, it is still possible to recover the item for a further 7 days, using OWA (Full version only). Click Options at the top-right of your screen, and then choose Deleted Items.

Filtering messages
You can find messages by using the filter. You can filter on preselected criteria and you can also save your filtered searches. The filter will search on the currently selected folder. Click the text Filter and choose the search type: sent to me; Cc’d to me; Unread. You can also filter by Sender , Category, Level of importance. You can add filters together by selecting and clicking apply. So it it possible to filter from a particular sender, of high importance with attachments. The filter will then be dispayed above the message list, ther is an icon to save the filter or delete the filter. Saving the filter will make it available in the filter menu next time you want to filter.


2.5.2. Light Version – inbox

The OWA Light version looks very similar to the Full version (see Figure 4, The OWA (Light version) Inbox screen). On the left is the Navigation Pane where you can change between different email folders, and switch views between email, calendar, and contacts. The main part of the screen contains the list of messages in the current folder (by default, your Inbox), or your calendar or contacts depending on what you have selected in the Navigation Pane.

Figure images/image4.png []

Basic email tasks:

Send a new email message
Click New Message. Enter the recipient's email address in the To field, type the subject into the Subject field, and then type your message into the large white box. Once you are ready to send, click Send . Note: that you can search for University Members and people in your own contacts list by clicking the To button or the address book icon. Use the search box and magnifying glass button to narrow your search.
Check for new messages
OWA checks for new email automatically, but if you want to do an instant check then click the button marked Check Messages above your inbox.
Read an email message
Click on the subject of the message, in your message list
Reply to an email message
Open the email message by clicking on its subject, and then click Reply or Reply to All
Delete a message
In the list of messages, tick the box in front of the message(s) you want to delete and click the Delete button. Alternatively, you can open the message and then click Delete, to move the message to the folder Deleted Items. Messages in the Deleted Items folder are automatically purged after 90 days.
Browsing to further messages
By default, the OWA-Light interface only shows 20 emails at a time. (This can be increased by clicking the Options link in the top right). To browse to other emails, use the large arrow keys that you can see in the top right of the screen.

Figure images/OWAlightArrowButtons.png []



2.6. Further Information

For a more comprehensive guide to using Outlook Web App, please see the the OWA Guide.

Training is also available through the IT Learning Programme at OUCS. Information and course dates can be found through the IT Learning Programme website.