4. Composing and Sending Emails

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Learn the basics of composing new emails, replies and forwarded emails.


Lesson Goal

Compose and send emails.

Addressing an email

To start composing an email, click the New Email command in the Home tab or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + N.

To start, we need to add a recipient. The simplest way is to type the name in the To box. To add other recipients, type a semicolon (;) between each address.

When addressing people in your contacts or people who you’ve emailed at any stage in the pass, you can use the autofill feature. This will guess the address you’re typing. Alternatively, we can click the To button to see a list of stored contacts.

We can also add a recipient as a carbon copy (CC). This is useful when you want to address one person or group of people directly in an email, but you want other people to see the email even if they’re not being directly addressed.

Adding a recipient as a blind carbon copy (BCC) has a similar effect, but it also hides their address to all other recipients.

Adding attachments

After addressing an email, we usually only add the email subject and type the email message in the main body section below. But in some cases we might want to attach a file from our computer. To do this, click the Attach File dropdown command and select Browse This PC. Navigate to the file and double click to attach it.

Replying and forwarding

To reply to an email, click the Reply command. This will open a new email window. This time, the subject will be prefaced by RE:. Also, the text from email we’ll be replying to will be in the main body section. This text will appear beneath a line and the reply should be written above the line.

Forwarding an email is similar, but instead of writing to the person who sent you the email you’ll be sending the email to a different email account. To forward an email, click the Forward command. In the new email window the subject will be prefaced by FW:. We also need to add the new recipient in the To box.


In this lesson, we'll learn how to compose and send emails.

I need to send a quick update to my team at Fetch Cuisine about some of my research. To do this, I need to send an email to my colleagues Chris, Tony and Andrew.

I also need to keep my manager Elizabeth in the loop and I need to send a copy to Donal, an intern who's currently shadowing me.

To start composing an email, we'll navigate to the home tab and select the New Email command.

This opens a new window, containing a different ribbon layout.

For this lesson, we'll stick with the Messages tab.

First, we'll decide which address to send this email from.

This is a work related email, so I'll use my business account. Next, we'll add the recipients. There are a few ways to do this.

First, we can simply type the email addresses.

I'll start, by typing Chris's email address.

To add a second recipient, we'll type a semi-colon, a space, and then type Tony's address.

We can also add recipients from our contacts list. This is often quicker and more accurate.

We'll open our contacts by clicking the To button.

In this new window, we can see a list of our personal contacts.

We'll add Andrew to this email by double clicking his name.

His address has been instantly added.

Note the Cc and Bcc fields below.

This stands for Carbon copy and Blind carbon copy.

The main differences between To and Carbon copy is that it lets the recipient know how to react to the email.

If our address appears in the To field, it implies that the information directly relates to us.

It also may imply that any actions or questions are directed towards us.

In other words, there's a stronger sense of obligation.

If our address appears in the Carbon copy field, there is no sense of obligation.

We don't necessarily have to answer any questions or take any action.

Blind carbon copies are similar, save for one difference.

When your address appears in the To or Carbon Copy fields, all other recipients see this.

When our address is added to the Blind carbon copy field, it's visible to only us, and the sender.

This means that replies sent by the other recipients won't go to the Bcc recipients. In this case, I'd like to add my manager, Elizabeth, to the Carbon copy field.

This lets her know that she's just being kept in the loop, but that the contents of the email aren't directly related to her.

I haven't had a chance to introduce Donal to my team yet, so I don't want to confuse them by addressing the email to someone they don't recognize.

I'll add his address to the blind carbon copy field.

Next, I'll add a subject.

We can move the cursor from here to the main body of the email below if we type Tab. I already have the body of my email copied in my clipboard, so I'll quickly paste it.

We can see that the text references an attached document.

To attach this document to the email, we'll click the Attach File drop down command.

We'll browse the PC, navigate to the desired folder, and double click the desired file.

Our email is now complete.

We could click the floppy disk icon at the top of the window to save it as a draft, but this email is ready to send, so I'll click send.

If I jump forward in time, I can see that Tony has replied.

Note that the subject has changed.

It now starts with RE colon.

This means that this email was written with a reply.

Tony has made a suggestion and wants to know if I approve.

We have two options for replying.

We can reply just to Tony, or we can reply to everyone.

I want everyone to see my reply, so I'll select the Reply All command.

However, even though we selected Reply All, we can only see Tony's address. This is because Tony didn't send his message to all recipients, just to me.

Unfortunately if we want to include all the original recipients, we'll have to manually add them again.

I'll do that now.

Note that at the bottom of the main body of the email, we can see a record of previous emails.

We'll make sure to type any replies above this information.

I'll type a quick response and hit Send.

If we jump forward in time once again, we can see another email from a different colleague.

Matthew is a contractor who's still using his personal address.

He heard about what we've been discussing and thinks he can be of help.

He wants to see the emails sent to my team members.

To do this, we need to forward the email.

This basically means we pass on the email to another person who wasn't originally part of the conversation.

Matthew has specifically asked for the lab results so I'll need to choose an email that has that attachment.

I'll navigate to the Sent Items folder, select the email, click the Forward command and enter his email address.

Note that the letters FW appear in the subject field.

This lets us know that this is a forwarded email.

I'll type a quick message and hit Send.

Note that if we receive a new reply from someone else on the team, Matthew won't receive it.

To add him to the discussion, we can hit Reply All on the most recent email and add him as an addressee.

I'll add him in the Cc field, write a quick message to the team to let them know why Matthew is now in the loop and hit Send.

Let's stop the lesson here. In the next lesson we'll look at some more advanced methods for automating our emails.

Sending and Organizing Emails


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