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How Dave Does It: GroupWise 6.5 Client Basics

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Dave Muldoon

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Posted: 2 Sep 2004

New users, platform conversions and system upgrades can be quite demanding on an administrator's time, but all of these types of changes usually require some type of end-user training or communication. Here's some of the basics that I've provided when moving to GroupWise 6.5. This may be useful in your situation, provide it to your users and you may get back some time for administrative tasks.

The Most Common GroupWise Interface: The Main View

The most common component of GroupWise is the main view. This is generally the starting point and the view that new users need to become most familiar with. From this view you can see and navigate to almost anywhere within the GroupWise client with just a few clicks.

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Buttons and Functions:

Like many other applications on the market today, GroupWise has many icons, buttons and file menu options that seem to hide features and functions to someone who is just becoming familiar with the application. Here are a few of the most common buttons and associated functions that you should be familiar with:

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Managing Attachments:

Watch for this icon/button - when creating or receiving items within GroupWise, this icon indicates an attachment. Attachments can be added when sending mail items, tasks, appointments, etc. and just the same attachments can be received when any one of these item types are delivered to your mailbox.

To attach a message to any item that is being sent, click on the attachment button (displayed above). This button is located in the top of all creation windows (mail, appointment, task, etc.). Once you click on this button you will be prompted to locate the file you wish to attach. NOTE: You may also drag a file from elsewhere on the PC and drop it into the bottom pane of the item creation window.

When this icon appears next to an item received in your mailbox, it notifies you that some type of file is attached to the item. When opening the item, the attachment window is always located in the bottom pane of an item window. By default the icon and at minimum a portion of the file name will appear in this pane.

There are three options when dealing with an attachment:
  • You can click on the attached item and have it displayed in the message window.
  • You can right-click the attached item and select open in new window or open with associated application.
  • You can right-click and save the file (you may also drag and drop the file to another location on the PC).

The Spell Checker:

The Spell Checker can be run in two ways; manually and automatically just prior to the item being sent. When running the manual process, you can control when the Spell Check is executed. To run the Spell Checker manually, look for this button at the top of each item creation window.

To configure the Spell Checker to run for each item you create (automatically) as you send the item, you should perform the following steps:

  • From within the Main View of the client, go to the Tools menu across the top of the window.
  • When the Tools menu is displayed, select the very bottom item - Options.
  • When the Options window appears, double click the Environment icon (shown here).
  • On the window that appears, along the right hand side, there is a checkbox to ?Check Spelling before send? (see below). Place a check mark in the box by clicking and then click the OK button.

During the spell checking process, the utility provides some options for the user, typical with most spell checking utilities. You can skip words, replace words with one of the suggested words or you can add words to the dictionary of the local PC that are properly spelled, yet not in the dictionary by default.

Another truly popular portion of the spell checker is the quick correct option. Quick correct allows you to select the proper replacement of a misspelled word out of the suggestion list (i.e. test for the misspelling of tets). You can then hit the quick correct option and have the always replace the specific misspelling with the word you have selected (i.e. ?test?). What makes this feature even more powerful is that for subsequent messages the specific misspelling, GroupWise will automatically correct this as you type.

Managing Folders:

The GroupWise client provides the end-user with the capability of creating multiple folder types. Folders are a great way to keep items in common stored for future reference.

As an end user you can create a new folder in one of two ways:

  • You can right-click the cabinet and select ?New Folder?.
  • You can navigate through the menu bar at the top of the application; File - New - Folder.

Folders can also be shared with other users who need access to the same data. This process of sharing can be done during the folder creation or after the folder has been created. To share a folder after it has been created, simply right-click the folder and choose ?sharing?, which brings up a window for you to utilize to select other users and administering the access rights each user will have for that folder (Add, Delete and Edit).

NOTE: Creating a shared folder can also be done during the folder creation option, simply selct the shared folder option at the first window (seen below).

There's one more folder that can be created within GroupWise; a Find Results Folder. There are some predefined folder options, and there is also ?wizard? that will allow you to customize the folder to locate anything with criteria that you specify that is found within your account. For example, you can create a custom find results folder that displays any email from ? Each time this folder is accessed, it searches your entire account to display the most up to date items.

Advanced Message Options:

Each item that you create has multiple options that can be specified for the item prior to it being sent. These items can become useful for keeping track of the item and making sure that it is dealt with properly and timely.

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Keeping Track of Sent Items:

From the Main View of the GroupWise client application you can access the Sent items folder. This folder keeps a record of each item that has been sent from your account. You can open these items and view their properties to check the status of a specific item. As mentioned above you will see if the item was delivered, opened, deleted, replied to or forwarded. NOTE: Message that leave the GroupWise system will not have detailed tracking.

Oops! You can also retract an item that you have sent from another mailbox. This comes in handy many times but the feature ONLY works if the recipient has not opened the item. To do this, you can simply delete the item from your Sent items folder and GroupWise will prompt whether the item should be deleted from recipient mailboxes, your own or both.

Personalizing items:

At times you may receive an item where the subject is somewhat generic or non-descript. You may wish to personalize the item so that you see something more meaningful or descriptive. You can personalize this Subject field of an item so that within your account (and only your account) the item displays with your own unique subject.

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Categorizing items:

In the same manner that you can personalize an item by subject, you can also categorize and colorize an item's display. This becomes very handy when looking at the mailbox or calendar, as items can easily be identified based on color.

Categories can be added, to represent projects and activities that are common, so that they can be easily selected from the drop-down list. To add a new category:

  • Click on the Edit Categories button.
  • In the field at the bottom of the new window, enter in the category name.
  • Click the Add button.
  • Highlight the newly added category by clicking on it (in the list).
  • Click the Edit Color button and select a color.
  • Click the OK button.

Checklist view:

Any item within GroupWise can be made into a checklist item. This allows prioritization and categorization of items that need follow-up. Any folder can also be made into a checklist (including the mailbox) so that each folder can have unique items for follow-up.

Checklists can also be shared with others. This allows a group of people with access to a common folder to manage and complete items. To shared a checklist folder, the same process is used for a ?normal? shared folder, but the view should be changed to Checklist prior to the folder creation and sharing, this way the recipient of the folder sees the same view.


The GroupWise calendar is rich in features and functionality. The calendar has three main components; tasks, reminder notes and appointments.

  • Appointments can be marked with different reservations (Tentative, Out of the Office, Busy and Free).
  • Tasks can be accepted, prioritized, categorized and marked complete.
  • Reminder notes hold information about items that may not fit into the task or appointment category.

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Scheduling appointments:

It is relatively easy to schedule appointments in GroupWise so that all invitees can attend.

  • The appointment creation process begins with the click of a button as mentioned in the beginning.
  • You then address the appointment to the people you wish to invite (just as you would address an email). However, with appointments there is one additional component - Busy search.

From the Busy Search window, GroupWise shows you who's calendar is busy and who's calendar is free at the time that you have scheduled the appointment. Additionally, GroupWise will also return the results for an extended period, allowing you more flexibility in choosing the time of your event. In the below screen, you can see that 4PM on Monday is an available time, along with 8Am and 11AM on Tuesday.

Proxy Access:

GroupWise also has the capability to allow one user to have access to another user's account through proxy. This means that in order for the access to be granted, a user has to provide permissions/access privileges to another account. This can be done in the following manner:

  • From within the Main View of the client, go to the Tools menu across the top of the window.
  • When the Tools menu is displayed, select the very bottom item - Options.
  • From the Options window, double-click the Security icon and the following window will appear.

From this window you can add users by entering the name in the field provided. Once the user(s) are added you can assign specific access rights to each user. The rights are relatively granular so you can allow someone to read your calendar (so that they may find you in an emergency), yet they can't write items to your calendar.

If you have rights to another account you can use the GroupWise proxy feature to view the other account (with the rights assigned to you). To do this, locate the mode drop-down list and click on it (seen below). From this drop-down you have two options; select a name in the proxy list or choose the word ?proxy? to bring up a window for adding/managing the proxy list.

Proxy Quick Facts:

  • Use caution when adding rights to users. Make sure that the user you are trying to add rights to is highlighted, otherwise rights can be granted to the wrong user(s) or even more drastic; to all users.


The GroupWise client provides end users a way to retain data that they feel is something that should be held onto for longer than the system allows. Archiving has three options that can be configured so that specific GroupWise items are handled differently. But prior to archiving you first need to specify where the client will store these items for you. To do this:

  • From within the Main View of the client, go to the Tools menu across the top of the window.
  • When the Tools menu is displayed, select the very bottom item - Options.
  • From the Options window, double-click the Environment icon.
  • From the new window that displays, click on the File Location tab across the top of the window.
  • In the file location field, enter in a drive mapping or attached drive where you wish to store your archive.
  • Click the OK button.

This now sets the location for your account , but this does NOT begin the archiving process. To begin the archiving process you have to tell GroupWise which items to archive. This can be done in two ways. The first way to archive is to manually archive by right-clicking any item in your account and selecting the ?move to archive? option. This allows you to have more control over which items are archived. The second way is more automated, but will archive everything. From the Environment window, select the Cleanup tab (shown above) to bring up the cleanup options:

From this window (above) you can configure GroupWise to automatically archive items of various types. You can also configure GroupWise to automatically delete items, as you can see.

Archive Quick Facts:

  • Archive items are secure in the fact that the ONLY way open the files is to be logged in to the associated GroupWise account.
  • Auto-archiving will handle all items of the specified type (even those stored in folders) this also includes sent items.


GroupWise allows you to create specific rules or functions that can perform automated functions. These functions range from automatically responding to emails (i.e. ?I'm on vacation?) or Declining/accepting appointments, moving items to folders and on and on. This portion of the GroupWise client has no default options or pre-configured rules, so anything that you wish to automate will be built from ?scratch? in a manner of speaking. However, don't let this concept scare you away. Anything you can automate will save you time and effort in the long run. To access the Rules menu:

  • From within the Main View of the client, go to the Tools menu across the top of the window.
  • When the Tools menu is displayed, select Rules.


This article and the items that have been outlined are just the beginning of what GroupWise can do for you. Many of the features and functions that I've described can be used in conjunction with other features. Or these same features may also have additional functionality that was not mentioned in the article. For more information on features and functions you can always utilize the built-in GroupWise Help menu (from the Main Window, select the Help Option and then select Help Topics).

In my opinion, no one article or document can fully encompass the capabilities of GroupWise. My recommendation is to set aside some time to explore the menus and windows within the GroupWise client to become more familiar with the full potential of the system. It will be well worth your time and effort.

For other article relating to the GroupWise client see:

more How Dave Does It articles

Watch for more articles by Dave Muldoon, every couple of weeks, under the resources link on GroupWise Cool Solutions -

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