Staff Email - Outlook Web Access (OWA)
All staff users of the Microsoft Exchange service may access their College email from any computer with internet access via the online service called Outlook Web Access (OWA) which is located at https://go.tcd.ie.
Note that the full features of OWA, referred to as OWA Premium, are only available to those using Internet Explorer on PC. Users of other web browsers will be presented with 'OWA Light', a more basic version of the service with a reduced set of features. OWA Light also includes accessibility features that OWA Premium does not and so may be invoked voluntarily for those using Internet Explorer on PC.
Logging into Outlook Web Access (OWA)
Before logging into OWA you can choose between two options, 'This is a public or shared computer' or 'This is a private computer', by selecting the appropriate radio button. If you choose the option 'This is a public or shared computer' then your session will time out after 15 minutes of inactivity and you will be automatically logged out and prompted to log back in. If you choose 'This is a private computer' then you will not be timed out unless there is 8 hours inactivity.
Microsoft provide an online introduction to Outlook Web Access (OWA) covering most of the features in both the Premium and Light versions of OWA. Listed below are some of the more common tasks that new users should become familiar with in the Premium version of OWA.
After logging into OWA you will be presented with the contents of your Inbox. This is where new emails are delivered. By default the reading pane is active and so to read the contents of any message just single click on the message subject and you can then read the message contents in the reading pane on the right.
If the reading pane is turned off you must double click on the message subject and the email then opens in a new browser window. Close this browser window when you have finished reading the message and you will be returned to the previous screen.
At any point you may check for new email by clicking the 'Check Messages' button as shown below.
To send a message click on the 'New' button at the top left of the screen, as indicated below.
After clicking the 'New' button a new browser window will open. Beside 'To...' enter the email address of the recipient. If there are multiple recipients enter the email addresses separated with a semi-colon e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com. You can also click on 'To...' to access the Global Address List (GAL) where you can access a full list of all College email users.
Beside 'Subject:' enter a descriptive subject line that will give the recipient a good idea of what the email concerns. Then type your message in the main area below, identifying yourself clearly at the end of the message. Once you are happy with the contents of the message click on the 'Send' button at the top left to send the email message.
Should you receive a file attached to an email you will most likely wish to open it to view the contents. First verify that the attachment is from a trusted source as many computer viruses are spread via unsolicited attachments. Consider whether you may wish to keep a copy of this file and if so then you may wish to save the attachment first before opening it as you would any other file on your computer.
First open the email for viewing as normal. Then right-click on the attachment name and you will get a menu listing various options as shown below. To simply view the contents of the file choose 'Open' or to save a copy of the file to your computer choose 'Save Target As...' as highlighted below. Saving the attachment to your computer and then deleting the email is one way of helping to remain below the 1GB (1000MB) storage limit of your Exchange account.
To send a file as an attachment first compose a new message as normal. Before clicking on the Send button you must attach the file. Click on the 'Attach File' button at the top of the screen. This looks like a paper clip, as shown below.
Then click on the 'Browse' button and locate the file you wish to attach.
Once you have selected the file you wish to attach you will see its location on your computer listed. You can click on 'Choose more files' if you wish to attach further files. Click on the 'Attach' button once you have located all the files you wish to attach.
You can now see the filename(s) listed in beside 'Attach...'. Click on 'Send' to send the email. Note that there is an upper limit of approximately 15MB in terms of the size of attached files you can send.
Your mail folders are listed on the left of the OWA window once you have logged in, as shown below. If you do not see this list ensure that the 'Mail' category is selected from the menu at the bottom left of OWA. To view the contents of any folder simply click on that folder in the folder list.
All new incoming emails are automatically located in your 'Inbox' mail folder and this is the folder you are first presented with when you log in. All emails that you send will be located in the 'Sent Items' folder. They are located in the 'Outbox' folder if they are waiting to be sent. Emails that are work-in-progress will be held in the 'Drafts' folder. Emails that you delete will be moved to the 'Deleted Items' folder. Suspected SPAM email will be found in the 'Junk E-Mail folder'.
Creating Email Folders & Moving Emails Into Folders
You may wish to create your own folders in which to store emails. Creating and using your own mail folders is an efficient way of organising your emails. To create a new mail folder right-click on your username located at the top of the mail folder list and choose 'Create New Folder...', as shown below.
A new folder icon appears in the folder list on the left and you can specify a name for this folder.
To move email into this new folder, or into any other specific folder, right click on the email message and choose 'Move to Folder...'. You are then presented with the folder list, as shown below, and may first select a folder from the list before clicking on 'Move'.
To delete an email message single click on it to select it and either hit the Delete key on the keyboard or click the Delete icon at the top of the window as indicated below.
When you delete an email it is moved to the Deleted Items folder. To permanently delete a message you must repeat the steps above. To delete all messages from the Deleted Items folder right click on the Deleted Items folder on the left and choose 'Empty Deleted Items', as shown below. Items in the Deleted Items folder for 90 days are automatically deleted.
The GAL is a directory service which contains information about College email users and distribution email lists. It is a very useful service as it allows you to quickly find information such as a College user’s email address or the email address of a group of users.
You can access the GAL using Microsoft Outlook or using the online Outlook Web Access (OWA) client. If you want to email a person in College and you know their name but not their email address, you can use search for their email address using the GAL. When sending a message in OWA you can see the GAL if you click on the 'To:' field, allowing you to select a recipient.
An alternative way to access the GAL in OWA:
- To perform a quick search you can simply type a name in the 'Find Someone' field and hit return, before then clicking on their name to compose an email to them. To access the full GAL click on the Address Book icon beside the 'Find Someone' field.
- Use the search box at the top of the list of names to search for the person you are looking for. If more than one name is returned, scroll down through the list and use the properties option to identify which department the person belongs to, which should help to distinguish between people with the same name.
- Click on the email address to compose a new email message to that person.
To access your personal address book click the 'Contacts' menu item on the left as indicated below. Here you may maintain your own list of contact email addresses.
To add a new contact click on the 'New' button at the top left of the screen. A new browser window opens and you may then enter the contact details ensuring to enter at minimum a First name, Last name and E-mail address. Click the 'Save and Close' button at the top left to save these contact details. You will then see this contact listed.
In OWA Premium, i.e. if using Internet Explorer, you can create a 'Distribution List' comprising multiple email addresses by clicking the drop-down arrow beside 'New' and choosing 'Distribution List'. This option is not available if using OWA Light in other web browsers however.
To leave the Contacts view and return to your email choose 'Mail' from the menu on the left.
When you compose a new email you can choose email addresses from your Contacts by clicking on the 'To...' button, choosing 'Contacts' from the left and then double-clicking on the email address(es) you wish to send the email to.
You may create a signature to be automatically appended to the end of any emails you send. This signature would typically contain your name and contact details. First click on the 'Options' button towards the top right of the screen as indicated below.
Then choose 'Messaging' from the menu on the left as shown below.
Now type in your signature details and check the box beside 'Automatically include my signature on outgoing messages' should you wish.
Click on the 'Save' button at the top left of the screen. Click on 'Mail' on the left menu to return to your list of emails.
You may setup an 'Out of Office Assistant' to automatically reply to emails in your absence. Below are instructions on how to do so using Outlook Web Access (OWA). Alternatively you can also setup the Out of Office Assistant in Outlook.
First login to Outlook Web Access (OWA). Then click on the 'Options' button towards the top right of the screen as indicated below.
Then choose 'Out of Office Assistant' from the menu on the left as shown below.
If you wish to configure an automatic reply then select the 'Send Out of Office auto-replies' radio button. Below this you can enter the message to be automatically sent in reply to any emails delivered to you from other College users. You may specific a time period for the autoreply to be active. Towards the bottom of the screen you can also choose whether or not 'External Senders' receive the autoreply and if so you can specify a message for them also. Please note that by default each person will receive your out of office auto-reply only once.
OWA Premium is only available to users of Internet Explorer 6 and later on PC. Users of other web browsers are presented with OWA Light. Below is a list that outlines some of the main features available in OWA Premium but not available in OWA Light.
- Tasks module: only the text of the task items can be read through OWA Light
- HTML composing of messages, can compose in plain text only
- Flags and Categories
- Weekly view in Calendar, have daily view only
- Free/Busy grid in Appointment/Meeting Scheduling Assistant
- Spell Check (some browsers, like Firefox 2, have spell checkers built in)
- Conversation View
- Account Quota information