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How Dave Does It: GroupWise 6.5 - Cool Features, Functions and Tips

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Dave Muldoon

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Posted: 5 Aug 2004

How familiar are you with GroupWise 6.5? After working with the client for some time, I've come up with some tips and tricks that you may find interesting and I just love to pass this stuff on. After all, why not? We're all friends' right? This article is full of screen shots and "basic" descriptions as it is intended for end users, which may slow down the savvy users, but the overall information of hidden features and functions may be worth your time, so read on?

appointments and tasks - with options:

By default the buttons in the context sensitive toolbar no longer prompt you with options when accepting or declining scheduled items. Of course you may have been getting around this by navigating through the drop-down arrow on the icon and selecting various options. Did you know through some minor toolbar customization you can add a button that will by default act as it did in GroupWise 6.x client - prompting you for showing status (busy, free, tentative and out of office)? To add this little feature do the following:

(NOTE: To adjust you context sensitive toolbar for appointments, you must open an appointment)

  • Open an appointment.
  • Right-click anywhere on the toolbar and select customize toolbar.
  • From the new window select the customize tab located at the top of the window.
  • Click on the word "Actions" under the listed categories.
  • At the right, the icons will change, locate the icon(s) that looks like this: and .
    • For each icon; click on it to activate the "add button".
    • (you can select the option to show the label - which is recommended until you get used to the icon)
    • Click the "add button" - button and repeat this process for the second icon.

The next time an appointment comes into your mailbox, it should appear with the buttons like the below example. Just click the newly added button and you'll see that "old familiar" prompt. You may also want to add this button to your main mailbox window's context sensitive toolbar as well. In order to do this, click on an appointment in the mailbox (don't open it, simply click on it to highlight it) and add the button to the toolbar above.

meet and talk - with automated appointment creation:

Have you ever had an email thread go on and on to the point where it's more time-effective to schedule a meeting? Taking that thread and converting it to an appointment can be as simple as one click! Again, you can customize your toolbar to add an icon that allows you to select an email, click an icon and have the item pop-up and automatically begin the appointment creation process (including the thread details). And, this includes a list of all attendees! Here's how:

  • Within your mailbox click on an email
  • Right-click anywhere on the context sensitive toolbar and select customize toolbar.
  • From the new window select the customize tab located at the top of the window.
  • Click on the word "edit" under the listed categories.
  • At the right, the icons will change, locate the icon that looks like this:
    • Click on it to activate the "add button".
    • (you can select the option to show the label - which is recommended until you get used to the icon)
    • Click the "add button" - button and repeat this process for the second icon.

The next time an email thread appears to be never ending, select that email and click the button to schedule some time to discuss the issues at hand in person.

a tip for administrative assistants:

Do you manage two GroupWise accounts? (One; yours and one someone else's (or in some cases "utility-type accounts")). Did you know you could send mail from within your GroupWise account, but actually from the other account without proxying?

Within the mail creation window, if you have been given proxy access to another account, you can use the drop-down arrow on the "from" button and select the other account. The name in the "from field" will change to the other account name and as long as you have been granted rights to do so, the "send" button will be active.

viewing mailbox with two new "views":

With the GroupWise 6.5 Client, Novell has provided Checklist items and view capabilities. You may already be aware that you can make any folder a Checklist folder, but did you know that you could also make the Mailbox display as both the mailbox and the checklist folder? To do this, adjust the mailbox display options to show as a Checklist (as shown below). It's not all that "flashy" but it does help you manage those items that you need to follow-up on.

Now the second "new view" has a few little twists on something that you might already be aware of. If you use the Quickviewer, there are two new improvements to the viewer from 6.0. First, you can go to the view menu and add or remove the attachment window. From the same menu you can also display as "long folder list", which is a huge improvement for mailbox navigation when using Quickviewer (See below. Note the left pane shows the entire list of folders).

With all of this there is one important feature of Quickviewer that remains. It's the ability to have the Quickviewer bypassed when viewing other folders (such as the calendar) or other folders that you want to display in the "native" GroupWise format. To do this, you actually need to modify the display properties of the folder that you want bypassed. For example, if you wanted the calendar folder to display "properly", you would do the following:

  • Right-click the calendar and choose properties.
  • At the next window click the "display" tab located at the top of the screen.
  • At the bottom left of the window, check the box to "Override Quickviewer visibility" and click OK.

Now when you use the Quickviewer and you need to take a look at your calendar, you will be able to view it and navigate through it easily - without manually turning the Quickviewer off.

keeping up with new mail - unopened items folder:

Some "heavy" mail users have a large influx of items each day that it's hard to keep up. Depending other account functions, rule combinations and shared folders, it can be quite a task just to keep on top of reading and responding to email. These users can create an "unopened items" folder for your GroupWise client, similar to what is displayed in Web Access. To do this perform the following steps:

  • Create a new folder.
  • Select "Find Results Folder" and "Custom Find Results Folder" and hit next.
  • Name the folder (i.e. unopened items)
  • At the next window, click the "Received" option
  • Within the same window click on the "Advanced Find" button on the right portion of the window.
  • From the new window, click on the "end" button and change the selection to "and".
  • In the first drop-down on the new line select the "Item Status" item (if it is not listed, click on the "all fields" option and locate/select "item Status").
  • Change the second drop-down (identified with both an up and down arrow) to "Does not Include".
  • In the open field, change the drop-down to "Opened" and hit the OK button
  • Click the Next button at the new window
  • Again, click the Next button
  • At the final screen click the Finish button.

Now when you click on this folder, the GroupWise client will search your account (and all folders including shared folders) and display them in the folder. Each time you click on this folder, GroupWise will perform the search again, only displaying unopened items.

customizing the look and feel:

Okay, well it's not completely customizable, but the new GroupWise client does allow (as you've seen in the various screen shots throughout this article) the ability to customize and colorize the client interface.

This starts with the easy ability to set default fonts on the HTML side of the client.

  • To do this, simply right-click the HTML toolbar during message creation once you have your preferences displayed (i.e. font, font size, etc.)

You can also add color, change the font and font size of the mailbox headers (mine shown in this article are red background with white text).

  • To do this, right-click anywhere in the header bars (next to the word Mailbox) and choose one of the three options; Header Color, Header Text Color and Font Size.

Attachments are a part of email, no matter how many FTP servers and policies that companies create, it's just something we as GroupWise admins are going to have to admit sooner or later. End users have known this for a long time; GroupWise is a fast and reliable means to distribute and utilize attachment functions. This shift in paradigm has created an environment where people tend to attach multiple items to a single email, leaving the recipient to navigate through those big, ugly, space-hogging icons representing a document with the name cut-off, just to fit another large icon and another hacked-up name. Here's a nice little trick to see the whole name and other details of the attached documents.

  • Open an email that has an attachment
  • Right-click anywhere in the "white space" in the attachment window - there it is!
  • Select any of the view capabilities for sorting and display.
    (I like to use the View By - Details (like below))

do some messages show up with text too small for you?

Here's a really quick little feature that allows you to adjust the message font of a received item without having to change defaults of your system or mess with anything on your PC to make it readable.

  • " Hold down the control key on your keyboard and (if you've got one) use the scroll wheel on your mouse....
  • " Scrolling up increases the display.
  • " Scrolling down decreases the display.
virus prevention rule:

Even with the best and most up-to-date email virus detections system on the planet, you won't be able to ward of an attack from a brand new virus. This is mainly due to the time it takes for vendors and the impacted users to report, build and test new definition files designed to capture the virus. It's a fact that many of the latest viruses come in the form of attachments. Considering most people just are too curious when they see an attachment to an email that they can't seem to stop themselves from clicking on/opening attachments. If you're one of these people, you may want to remove that temptation by creating a rule that automatically removes specific attachment types.

In order for you to help everyone else (by not propagating the virus) you may want to consider putting in the following rule with your GroupWise account.

To create this rule, do the following:

  • Go to the Tools menu (in GroupWise).
  • Select the Rules menu item.
  • In the window that appears click on the "new" button.
  • Fill in the rule name with something like "virus".
  • Click on check box next to the word "Mail" on the left of the window.
  • Click on the Define Conditions button.
  • In the first drop-down menu select the "attachments" item (if it is not listed, click on the "all fields" option and locate/select "attachments").
  • In second field type enter in an asterisk (*) followed by a period and the letters PIF.
    For example; *.PIF
  • Click on the "End" button and select "OR" from the dropdown list.
  • In the first drop-down menu select the "attachments" item
  • In second field type enter in an asterisk (*) followed by a period and the letters EXE
    For example; *.EXE
  • Click on the "End" button and select "OR" from the dropdown list.
  • In the first drop-down menu select the "attachments" item
  • In second field type enter in an asterisk (*) followed by a period and the letters SCR
    For example; *.SCR
  • Click the OK button.
  • At the bottom of the remaining window, click on the "add action" button and select
  • "Delete/decline" (there is no reason to fill out a comment when prompted - click OK).
  • Click the Save button.

After this point, the rule is created and whenever an e-mail enters the account with the attachment specified (in this example *.PIF, *.EXE and *.SCR), the item will immediately be moved into the trash folder. In order to avoid being infected by these files you should not forward or open them. These items will not be deleted entirely, so if you need to access them from trash you can do so, but the virus potential still remains.

NOTE: This is a "generic rule" for those people who do not receive files of these types. You may need/want to modify this rule depending on your specific situation.

address book - searching for specific information:

The address book has a nice little search feature that's kind of hidden, but once you know it's there you can add different items/fields and search or filter on them to quickly locate information. You should probably start by adding some additional columns to your address books, containing categories of information that you may want to have access to. To do this:

  • Open the address book
  • Select "Frequent Contacts" (I'm using frequent contacts as an example, you can use any book).
  • Right-click any of the existing field headings such as "Name". This brings up a menu of items that can be added to the address book
  • Add any items that you wish such as department, phone number, or select the more option and view a complete list including cellular number, birthday or personal web site.

Once you've got the fields added that you wish, you could utilize the "inside" feature. This feature is the little drop-down box (circled in yellow in the below image) that allows you to fill in a piece of information in the "look for" field and search for that information in a specific field. This is great for looking up detailed information.

GroupWise best practices?

When I sat down to write this document I couldn't stop thinking of all of the things that an end user can do within the client to boost their own performance. To avoid boring folks who may have already read an article that was previously written, I didn't want to recap the entire thing. However, I think that there are some key items that I need to provide here. (For a full rundown of all of the features and some research information see the following article GroupWise Client Application Best Practices.) Mainly the article reviews mailbox management strategies such as sorting in date descending order, using folders to manage blocks of 100 items (big performance advantages are seen when folders have less than 100 items in them), sent items, and discusses using attachments only when necessary. For those people who are unfamiliar with these concepts, you should probably check it out.


As with many things, it takes some getting used to new features and functions before the benefits can truly be realized. With all of these new features packed into GroupWise 6.5 you can really have some "fun" with the GroupWise client interface at the same time as making your life a little easier. When you get some time, go ahead and play with these things and see just how useful they can be.

more How Dave Does It articles

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