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Chapter 19 ¦ Processing Outlook Messages Automatically 459




Figure 19-8: Set final options for the rule.

16. If you want to apply the new rule to existing messages, select the Run this rule now
on messages already in “Inbox” check box. Selecting this option is a good way to
check the operation of your new rule.
17. Make certain the Turn on this rule check box is selected. You can deselect this
checkbox if you don™t want the rule to apply immediately, but you™ll have to
remember to apply the rule later.
18. Select the option Create this rule on all accounts option if you want to apply the
rule to all of your e-mail accounts. This option is available only if you have
multiple accounts.
19. Click the Finish button to complete the creation of your new rule.
20. Click OK to close the Rules Wizard dialog box.

Controlling rule processing order
If you set up a number of rules for handling your messages, you may discover that some of
those rules conflict with each other. As an example, consider what would happen if you set
up a rule that displayed a special message telling you that an important message had arrived
whenever someone marked their message as important. In addition, suppose you decided
that you wanted to forward all incoming messages from a particular person to an assistant
without reading them yourself. If the sender marked all messages as important, which rule
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460

would apply? The answer is simple ” Outlook applies rules starting at the top of the list of
rules as they appear in the Rules Wizard dialog box. To change the order in which the rules
are applied, you can use the Move Up and Move Down buttons in the Rules and Alerts
dialog box.
Keep in mind that more than one rule can apply to the same message. If the rule notifying
you of important messages appears before the rule forwarding the message, both rules would
likely be triggered by messages sent by that person. If you move the forwarding rule up
above the important message notification rule, then the message would be forwarded before
the important message notification rule could be applied.

Running rules manually
In most cases, your rules will fire automatically when messages arrive or depart. In a few
cases, however, you might need to run rules manually, such as when you create a new rule
and want to apply it to messages already in the Inbox. The Rules and Alerts dialog box
enables you to do just that.
1. Create the rule as explained in the previous section.
2. In the Rules and Alerts dialog box (Figure 19-9), click Run Rules Now to display
the Run Rules Now dialog box.




Figure 19-9: The Rules and Alerts dialog box.
Chapter 19 ¦ Processing Outlook Messages Automatically 461

3. Place a check by each rule you want to run; then click Browse to select the folder in
which to run the rules.
4. Choose the Include Subfolders option if you want to run the rules on subfolders of
the specified folder.
5. Select from the Apply Rules To drop-down list the types of messages to which you
want to apply the rules.
6. Click Run Now to run the rules on the specified folders and messages.
7. Click Close when finished.

Modifying and copying rules
It™s likely that you will at some point need to change a rule to fine-tune its behavior or adjust
to changes in the way you receive or send messages. You can easily modify any custom rule
through the Rules and Alerts dialog box. Simply select the rule and then click Change Rule
to display a menu of actions you can assign to the rule. Choose Edit All Rule Settings if you
want to make step-by-step changes to a rule.
The Rules and Alerts dialog box also enables you to copy rules between locations. For
example, you might have two mail servers, each of which enables you to define rules. When
you create a rule, it is assigned to a particular location. To copy it to another, open the Rules
and Alerts dialog box, select the rule, and click Copy in the toolbar to open a simple dialog
box in which you select the target server from a drop-down list. Select the server and then
click OK.

Responding automatically to messages
One reason to use rules is to process messages when they arrive, deleting or moving them as
needed; however, one very useful purpose for rules is to create automatic replies, or auto-
responders, for incoming messages that fit certain conditions. For example, perhaps you
have a product for which you want to provide information to your clients. You can create a
message that contains information about the product and then send that message any time
someone sends a message requesting the information.
You can use a couple of methods to generate the reply. You can set up a special e-mail
address in your mail server that points to your mailbox, and when you receive a message for
that address, have Outlook send the appropriate reply. For example, the person might send a
message to productinfo@yourdomain.tld. A rule you define in Outlook checks the
messages as they come in; when it finds one addressed to that address, it replies with the
information.
Another method is to have people send their message with certain identifying text in the
subject. For example, any messages with “Product Info” in the subject field of the incoming
message could trigger the rule.
Setting up an automatic response is fairly easy:
1. Open Outlook and start a new message.
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2. Enter the Subject field, but leave the address fields blank.
3. Add the desired information in the body of the message and then choose File _
Save As.
4. Choose Outlook Template from the Save As Type dialog box.
5. In the Save As dialog box, enter a name for the message, such as Product Info.
Choose the path for the file and then click Save. Close the message form.

Tip
You can place the message anywhere you want, but using the default location will help you
quickly locate the message in the future if you need to edit it.

6. Choose Tools _ Rules and Alerts.
7. Click New Rule to start the Rules Wizard, choose Start from a Blank Rule, and
click Next.
8. Set the condition you want to match (such as With Specific Words in the Subject or
Body), specify the words or other criteria in the bottom pane of the dialog box, and
click Next.
9. Select the action Reply Using a Specific Template, click the underlined A Specific
Template link, and select the Outlook template created in step 5. Click Open.
10. Click Next, set exceptions as needed, and click Finish.
11. Click OK to close the Rules and Alerts dialog box.
Which condition or method you use to identify incoming messages depends in part on your
mail server. If you set up an account specifically for the auto-responder, you can use a
condition that identifies the message by its account or address. If you can™t create a separate
account, the best option is to use the Subject field as the condition trigger.

Unless you are using Exchange Server, which supports server-side rules that can continue to
function even when Outlook is not running, you must leave Outlook running to process incom-
Note
ing messages. You must also configure Outlook to process messages automatically and set
the scheduled time for send/receive.


Importing, exporting, and backing up rules
Outlook 2003, similar to Outlook 2002, stores rules in the PST if you use a PST as your
message store, or stores them in your Exchange Server mailbox. If you have created several
rules, it™s a good idea to back them up so you don™t have to recreate them from scratch if
something happens to your mail store. What™s more, you can move rules from one computer
to another, such as when you get a new computer or you want to share your rules with
someone else.
Chapter 19 ¦ Processing Outlook Messages Automatically 463


Back up rules to a file
You simply export your rules to a file whenever you want to back them up or copy them to
another computer:
1. In Outlook, choose Tools _ Rules and Alerts.
2. Click Options in the Rules and Alerts dialog box to open the Options dialog box
shown in Figure 19-10.




Figure 19-10: The Options dialog box

3. Click Export Rules to open the Save Exported Rules As dialog box.
4. Enter a file name, choose a path for the file, and click Save. Outlook saves the file
with a RWZ file extension.

Import rules from a file
When you need to import rules from another computer or another profile, you can do so
easily. After you export the rules to a file as explained in the previous section, follow these
steps to import the rules:
1. In Outlook, choose Tools _ Rules and Alerts.
2. Click the Options button to open the Options dialog box.
3. Click Import Rules, locate and select the rule file, and click Open.
4. Click OK to close the Options dialog box, and verify that the rules now appear in
the Rules and Alerts dialog box; then click OK to close the Rules and Alerts
dialog box.
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Filtering junk and adult content mail
Because junk e-mail is such a common problem, Outlook already has rules in place to
handle junk mail. These rules are already in place, but you might need to adjust them to suit
your needs.
Outlook actually defines two classes of junk e-mail messages ” junk messages and adult
content messages. In both cases, those classes of messages are defined by keywords that
Outlook looks for in the messages.
Because no simple keyword search can be 100% effective, Outlook can also maintain lists of
people who send junk or adult content e-mail messages. By adding someone to one of these
lists, you are telling Outlook to apply the junk or adult content e-mail message rules to all
messages that you receive from that person ” whether those messages include the keywords
or not.
To modify the junk mail settings, follow these steps:
1. Select Tools _ Options, and click the Preferences tab.
2. Click Junk E-mail to open the Junk E-mail Options dialog box.
3. Select one of the four options to set the level of protection. Each option is explained
on the dialog box.
4. Click the Safe Senders tab and select the option Also trust e-mail from my Contacts
if you want Outlook to accept e-mail from senders in your Contacts folder regard-
less of the message content, subject, or other message properties.
5. Click Add and enter the e-mail address of a sender whose messages you don™t want
Outlook to treat as junk mail. You do not need to add the address if the contact is
already in your Contacts folder and you enabled the option in step 4 to allow
messages from your contacts.
6. Click OK.

To add someone to the junk or adult content e-mail message lists, select a message from that
person and then choose Actions _ Junk E-mail _ Add Sender To Blocked Senders List. You
Tip
can also add addresses to this list from the Blocked Senders tab of the Junk E-mail Options
dialog box.

After you have specifically added someone to the junk e-mail message lists, all messages
they send to you will be handled according to the rules you have specified. To remove
someone from the list, follow these steps:
1. Choose Tools _ Options and click Junk E-Mail on the Preferences tab.
2. Click the Blocked Senders tab.
3. Click the address and click Remove.
4. Click OK.
Chapter 19 ¦ Processing Outlook Messages Automatically 465

All messages from someone that you add to the junk or adult content e-mail message lists
will be treated the same regardless of their content. If someone only occasionally sends you
offensive or unwanted messages, you may find that it is more effective to use the Rules
Wizard to create a special filter that applies to messages from that person.


Using the Out of Office Assistant
Exchange Server users have one additional means for automatically processing messages:
the Out of Office Assistant. This handy tool helps you automatically responds to messages
when you are out of the office. For example, you might want to have each sender receive a
reply similar to the following when they send you a message:
Thanks for your message. I am out of the office until Monday of next week. I will respond
to your message when I return.
The main reason to use the Out of Office Assistant rather than create a rule in the Rules
Wizard is that the Assistant keeps track of the senders to which it has already sent an out-of-
office reply. That means that senders only receive one copy of the automatic reply, rather
than a reply for each message they send you. You can™t accomplish this through the Rules
Wizard.
Setting up the Out of Office Assistant isn™t difficult. Follow these steps:
1. In Outlook, choose Tools _ Out of Office Assistant to open the Out of Office
Assistant dialog box (Figure 19-11).




Figure 19-11: The Out of Office Assistant dialog box

2. Click in the field AutoReply only once to each sender with the following text: then
type the text you want sent automatically when you are out of the office.
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3. When you are satisfied with the reply text and ready to turn on the assistant, choose
I am currently Out of the Office, and click OK.
The Out of Office Assistant is a server-side mechanism that continues to fire even when
Outlook is not running; therefore, you can close Outlook, shut down your computer, and the
Exchange Server will still generate automatic replies to incoming messages. When you get
back in the office and are ready to turn off the Out of Office Assistant, open Outlook, choose
Tools _ Out of Office Assistant, select I am currently In the Office, and click OK.

Tip
Turning off the Out of Office Assistant clears the sent list that Exchange Server maintains to
keep track of the people to whom it has sent out-of-office replies.

When you define the general reply and turn on the assistant without taking any other action,
Exchange Server sends the out-of-office reply to all senders alike, but only the first time
they send a message. You can create custom rules to provide additional processing, if
needed. For example, you might want all messages from a particular sender or group of
people to be forwarded to your assistant for handling, or to an external e-mail account to
enable you to process it yourself.
Follow these steps to create custom Out-of-Office Assistant rules:
1. Choose Tools _ Out of Office Assistant.
2. In the Out of Office Assistant dialog box, click Add Rule to open the Edit Rule
dialog box shown in Figure 19-12.




Figure 19-12: The Edit Rule dialog box
Chapter 19 ¦ Processing Outlook Messages Automatically 467

3. Use the condition controls to specify the condition that identifies the message, just
as you do for rules created with the Rules Wizard.
4. Use the controls under the Perform these actions group to specify what you want
Exchange Server to do with the items.
5. Click OK to save the rule. Outlook automatically names the rule and it appears in
the Out of Office Assistant dialog box, as shown in Figure 19-13.
6. Repeat steps 2 through 5 to create other rules as needed and then click OK to close
the Out of Office Assistant dialog box.




Figure 19-13: A custom rule added to the Out of Office Assistant



Summary
Rules are a very important feature of Outlook that enable you to gain quite a bit of control
over your messages. For example, you can use rules to automatically move messages from
certain people to special folders to help you identify them quickly. Rules also are an
important means for helping you recognize and respond to important messages when they
arrive.
Outlook 2003 incorporates some major changes to the junk e-mail filter found in previous
editions. Outlook™s Junk E-mail Options dialog box helps you identify messages from
certain senders as junk mail so those messages are routed automatically to the Junk E-mail
folder. With just a little bit of configuration, it™s a good bet that the junk filter in Outlook
will be able to do a very good job of separating the good messages from the junk.
Finally, this chapter explained how to use the Out-of-Office Assistant, a component of
Exchange Server that enables your mailbox to automatically respond to messages when you
are out of the office.
¦ ¦ ¦
20 CHAPTER



Analyzing Data
with Pivot
Tables in Excel . . . .

In This Chapter

An introduction
to pivot tables

T he pivot table feature is perhaps the most technologically
How to create a
sophisticated component in Excel. If you haven™t yet
pivot table from
discovered the power of pivot tables, this chapter demonstrates
a database
how easy it is to create powerful data summaries using pivot
tables.
How to group items
in a pivot table
About Pivot Tables
How to create a
A pivot table is essentially a dynamic summary report generated calculated field
from a database. The database can reside in a worksheet or in an or a calculated item
external data file. A pivot table can help transform endless rows in a pivot table
and columns of numbers into a meaningful presentation of the data.
. . . .
For example, a pivot table can create frequency distributions and
cross-tabulations of several different data dimensions. In addition,
you can display subtotals and any level of detail that you want.
Perhaps the most innovative aspect of a pivot table lies in its
interactivity. After you create a pivot table, you can rearrange the
information in almost any way imaginable and even insert special
formulas that perform new calculations. You even can create post
hoc groupings of summary items (for example, combine Northern
Region totals with Western Region totals).
One minor drawback to using a pivot table is that, unlike a
formula-based summary report, a pivot table does not update
automatically when you change the source data. This does not
pose a serious problem, however, because a single click of the
Refresh toolbar button forces a pivot table to use the latest data.
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A pivot table example
The best way to understand the concept of a pivot table is to see one. Start with Figure 20-1,
which shows a portion of the data used in creating the pivot table in this chapter.




Figure 20-1: This database is used to create a pivot table.

This database consists of daily new-account information for a three-branch bank. The
database contains 350 records and tracks the following:
¦ The date that each account was opened
¦ The opening amount
¦ The account type (CD, checking, savings, or IRA)
¦ Who opened the account (a teller or a new-account representative)
¦ The branch at which it was opened (Central, Westside, or North County)
¦ Whether a new customer or an existing customer opened the account
The bank accounts database contains a lot of information. But in its current form, the data
does not reveal much. To make the data more useful, you need to summarize it.
Summarizing a database is essentially the process of answering questions about the data.
Following are a few questions that may be of interest to the bank™s management:
¦ What is the total deposit amount for each branch, broken down by account type?
¦ How many accounts were opened at each branch, broken down by account type?
Chapter 20 ¦ Analyzing Data with Pivot Tables in Excel 471

¦ What™s the dollar distribution of the different account types?
¦ What types of accounts do tellers open most often?
¦ How does the Central branch compare to the other two branches?
¦ Which branch opens the most accounts for new customers?
You could, of course, write formulas to answer these questions. Often, however, a pivot
table is a better choice. Creating a pivot table takes only a few seconds and doesn™t require a
single formula.
Figure 20-2 shows a pivot table created from the database displayed in Figure 20-1. This
pivot table shows the amount of new deposits, broken down by branch and account type.
This particular summary represents one of dozens of summaries that you can produce from
this data.




Figure 20-2: A simple pivot table.

Figure 20-3 shows another pivot table generated from the bank data. This pivot table uses a
page field for the Customer item (refer to Figure 20-1). In this case, the pivot table displays
the data only for existing customers (the user could also select New or All from page field
list). Notice the changes in the orientation of the table; branches appear in rows, and account
types appear in columns. This is another example of the flexibility of a pivot table.




Figure 20-3: A pivot table that uses a page field.
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Data appropriate for a pivot table
Not all data can be used to create a pivot table. The data that you summarize must be in the
form of a database. You can store the database in either a worksheet (sometimes known as a

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