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ColinoMail



   ColinoMail : User's guide   


ColinoMail is a powerful mailer, with most of the features of a commercial mail client :





  • Installation etc. : You can download ColinoMail on the logiciels page of my website.

    • Installation : Once downloaded, you only have to unzip ColinoMail.zip in the directory you wish. This tree will be created :

       ColinoMailmain directory
       ColinoMail.jarthe soft : the only file to change when updating
       ColinoMail-sources.jarsources (for curious, and programmers)
       readme.txtthe readme file
       docsDocumentation directory
       ColinoMail.htmlthis document
       style.cssthe css
       imagesimages of this page
       outboxwaiting mails directory
       outboxindex
       sentsent mails directory
       sentindex
       inboxreceived mails directory
       inboxindex
       pjSaved files directory
       configconfiguration directory
       _readmeversion history
       no extension filesconfiguration files
       icons (ico, gif, jpg)icons
       splash.jpgsplash-screen


    • Launching : Under Windows, you'll just have to double-click ColinoMail.jar ; you can create a shortcut too. Of course you must have the Java 2 Runtime Environment installed (1.2 or better). If this doesn't work, and for Unix/Linux, you can launch ColinoMail with the following command-line : java -jar ColinoMail.jar ; you can create a batch file (or Unix equivalent). An example for Windows :
      @echo off
      c:
      cd \ColinoMail
      java -jar ColinoMail.jar
      
      If nothing happens, verify that the "current directory" ( . ) is defined in the CLASSPATH : under Windows 9x, by adding ;. at the end of the line SET CLASSPATH=... of the autoexec.bat file, under NT by adding ;. at the end of the CLASSPATH variable, which you can edit via Properties of My Computer, Environment, User variable CLASSPATH.
      In the same manner, check that the bin directory of your JRE in present in the PATH variable.


    • Bugs and updates : ColinoMail might suffer bugs. In fact I work alone on this project and I can't test every possible configuration. If you discover a bug in ColinoMail, here's how to get rid of it : Check the latest version of my website (complete version number is displayed in the About box). If you're late, download the last one, perhaps I saw the bug too.
      Version number is like this : x.y.jjmmaaaa, where x.y is the main number, and jjmmaaaa the compilation date.
      If you do have the latest version and continue suffering the problem, mail me at colin@colino.net and describe precisely the error message if there is one, the action you did to find this bug, and, if the error only happens with one mail, send me its headers. So I should be able to correct the bug.
      Important : to update ColinoMail without losing your configuration nor your mails, download uniquely the ColinoMail update, not the full install.


  • Status : ColinoMail is free software. It means you can use it, distribute it, and modify it as long as I am mentioned, with my email address, etc. I can't be held for responsible about data loss, computer crash, and so on.


  • Multiple accounts: ColinoMail can work with differents SMTP and POP servers, which allow an easy use of many providers and email adresses.

    • SMTP accounts : As many as you want. You just have to fill in fields. It's located in Configuration, then sub-menu Configuration. You can specify here the main account, the one you'll use the most, and which will be selected by default.
      If you wish to add other SMTPs, click on the corresponding button.


    • POP accounts : Here, like for SMTPs accounts, you can define more than one ;
      Important : Passwords are save as clear text on your disk. These fields are facultative, you can leave them blank. The password will be asken to you when you'll try to connect to your server.


    • Reply to address : In case you use many providers, you'll have to send your mails using differents From addresses. Specifying a reply-to address allows your correspondants to reply you on the address you chose. This field is optional, of course.


  • Sending mails : Hopefully, ColinoMail can send mails ! When you click on "New mail", or choose the Mail > New mail menu , the mail composition window appears, with some predefined fields. For example, the Message field will contain your signature if you defined one (See this paragraph for more information).

    • Choosing an SMTP server : The first field, in the upper-left corner, contains the list of your SMTP servers, with your default one selected. You can here choose the one you want to use when sending this mail (it allows to forget about Relaying Denied errors).


    • Fast modification of sender's information : This is only possible for the reply-to address (other fields, like your name, are implicit).


    • Choosing recipients : There are two ways to select your recipient : Either you can type it in the To: field, and his name (optional) in the Name: field ; or, you can select one of your contacts by clicking on the Add. Book button on the right of these fields, and then selecting the person in the list.


    • Sending files : You can send attached files with your mail, either by selecting in with the "Join file" button (limited to one file), either by drag and dropping it in the message field (unlimited number of files).


    • Answering : You can answer a mail either by selecting it in the main window and clicking Answer, either after viewing it, clicking Answer in the visualization window.
      When you answer a mail, the original content is cited using the ">" sign, and the author's signature will be cut if it's standard (see related paragraph for more info), if you checked the "Quote original messages when answering" option (Configuration menu, Options).
      The mail subject will be prefixed by "Re: ", but if this prefix is already added. Last but not least, the recipient's informations (email, name) will be pre-filled.


    • Answer prefix : You can define a specific answer prefix. To do this, go to "Configuration, Options, Answer prefix". You can write anything you want in this prefix.
      Four predefined fields exist : %date%, %hour%, %name% and %mail%. When answering a mail, these variables will be replaced by their true values.


    • Forwarding a mail : Everything like the normal answer, but the subject prefix will be "Fw: ", and recipient's fields will be left blank.


    • Immediate or delayed sending : Depending on your connection's type, modem or permanent, you'll prefer to store mails in Outbox before sending them, or send them directly (assuming you're connected to the Internet). To define the default method, go to "Configuration, Options" and either check or uncheck "Send mails when manually receiving". You'll be able to override the default setting when editing a mail, by choosing "Send" or "Send later" in the "Mail" menu. You can also save a draft in this menu. The upper-right button will execute the default action for a new mail, or the last action if editing an outbox mail or a draft. The mails waiting in Outbox will be sent the next time you'll click Send and Receive.


  • Getting mails : You can retrieve all of your mails quickly by clicking Send or Receive, or selecting the "Mail, Receive, receive on all accounts" menu. Or, you can check only one mailbox, by selecting the "Mail, Receive, receive on ..." menu.

    • Sending password : If you saved your password(s), Colinomail won't ask you anything. Otherwise, it will ask you all unknown passwords before the session's first connection. Once you gave a valid password for an account, ColinoMail will remember it until you quit.


    • Automatic download : If you're lucky enough to have a permanent connection, it's a pleasure to use the Automatic reception feature. You can configure it with the "Receive every x minutes" in "Configuration, Options" Please note that errors aren't reported in automatic reception. It means that if a failure occurs, you won't see it until you try to check your accounts manually.


    • Leaving mails on server : Leaving mails on server allows you to read it without deleting it, which is useful to, for example, check your professional mail at home, keeping the ability to retrieve it later at work. This option is available in the "Configuration, Options, Delete mails from server after download" menu, for your main POP account, and by checking or not the same checkbox while creating or editing a secondary POP account.
      ColinoMail uses then the UIDL, an unique identifier, in order not to download the same messages again and again. Sadly enough, the POP protocol says that the UIDL command is optionnal ; there may exist some (very rare) POP servers that do not implement this feature. Messages will actually be deleted from such servers. I advise to do a test, if needed, to be sure.


    • Big mails : You can avoid downloading big mails. It could be useful with a slow connection. This option is located, like the others, in "Configuration, Options, do not retrieve mails sizing more than X KB". If you check this box, and receive such a big mail, ColinoMail will ask you what to do : you can choose to "Do nothing" (keeping the mail for later retrieval), "Delete" (you won't never see this mail on your screen) or "Download" (overriding the option). To help you in your choice, ColinoMail will tell you the sender's name, email address, and the mail's subject.


    • Saving files : When you'll receive a mail with attached files, the files will be background-saved to the directory you specified in the options window.
      One little limitation : ColinoMail only deals with Base64 encoded or plain text multiparts.
      By the way, one little word about viruses and security : As attached files are automatically saved, they'll never be automatically executed. Neither HTML will be displayed, or javascript executed.


    • Internet Bonus :When viewing a mail, if you double-click an URL, your browser will be launched (if you defined the path to it in the Configuration window (not Options !). Double-clicking an email address will popup a new mail window. Double clicking an URL containing the @ sign should do both ;-)


  • Multiple mailboxes and filters :

    • Mailbox listings : All of your boxes (Inbox, Sent, Outbox, ...) are accessible via the View menu, or the the popup-menu at left in the main window.
      The popup menu displays the number of unread mails in each box, if greater than zero. At right of the window is the mailbox listing. It contains all the mailbox mails. Subject begins with the [UNREAD] mention as long as you didn't open or mark read the mail.
      You can delete mails with the Delete button. In any mailbox but the "Deleted" one, it'll move the selected mails to the "Deleted" mailbox. In the Deleted mailbox, it'll definitely delete the mails.


    • Filters in detail : Filters allow you to automatically order your mails by putting them in different mailboxes, according to keywords. So you easily can make the distinction between professional, personal or spam mails.


    • Filters with ColinoMail : ColinoMail's filters gestion isn't perfect : to a given keyword, corresponds a mailbox. The first matching keyword is the good one. To create filters, it is simple enough :
      First, create other mailboxes (basically, only "Inbox" exists). To do this, select "New..." in the mailboxes popup menu, or the Mailboxes item of the Configuration menu, then add and remove the mailboxes you want.
      Then you can add filters, in the "Configuration, Filters" menu.


    • Filters priority : When receiving a mail, the first matching keyword will do the rule. But, order changin isn't yet possible with ColinoMail. So, I you find that a keyword should be less important, you'll have to remove it and readd it at the bottom of the list. One good thing to avoid these situations : define precise keywords, like "From: colin@colino.net", better than "colin.leroy".


    • Dropping mailboxes : Before dropping a mailbox, you'll have to remove all filters pointing to it. Warning, dropping a mailbox doesn't ask confirmation and it actually delete all mail present in it !


  • Searching strings : There's a search feature in ColinoMail, useful for locating a lost mail. It is even relatively powerful, as you'll see.

    • Limited search : You can search the basic headers of the mails contained in one mailbox by leaving all checkboxes unchecked, and selecting the mailbox you want to search. It'll look in the From: and Subject: fields only.


    • Searching in mail bodies : This is a slower search, but very useful because it scans the entire mails, including their body.


    • Searching in all mailboxes : You can check the All Mailboxes checkbox if you want to search in all of your existing mailboxes. So you're sure to find the mail you're searching for. Last but not least, once a search has begun, each click on the Find button will look forward to the next matching mail.


  • Address book : It'll allow you to quickly mail your friends and coworkers, by registering their names and email addresses. The Address book is accessible via the Configuration menu. Double-clicking a contact will popup a mail window.

    • Adding an address : You can add an address via the address book, by clicking add and specifying data. If you enter an email address like forename.name@provider.com, hitting Enter will fill the name with "Forename Name", which allow quick editing.


    • Importing an address book : It's possible to import your Outlook Express Address Book : choose, in OE, a text format export, containing Name and Email columns, separated by ",", then choose the Import function of ColinoMail, located in the file menu of the address book. If a title line containing something like "Name, Email" appears, delete it. This function should be usable with Netscape too, but I couldn't try.


  • Signatures : ColinoMail tries to handle signatures the best possible way.
    Standards says that a signature should be preceded by the "-- " (with the space !) delimiter, and should not be more than four lines long. As ColinoMail automatically adds the "-- " separator, it lets you the choice of the length.

    • Automatic signature adding : If you choose it in the "Configuration, Options" menu, ColinoMail will add the signature in all of your outgoing mails. The "..." button right to the checkbox allows you to type and save it (do not enter the "-- ", ColinoMail adds it itself).


    • Automatic signature removal when answering : When you answer to somebody including a standard signature, with the correct separator, ColinoMail automatically cuts it for easy reading.