Karen has asked me several times to teach her how to set the priority and request a read receipt for outgoing messages in Outlook Express. Setting the priority tells the recipient that you deem the contents of your message as being of low, normal or high importance. Requesting a “read receipt” is an attempt to determine whether or not the intended recipient has actually opened and read your message. The recipient may choose whether or not to acknowledge receipt of your message. The ability to do this can sometimes be helpful when dealing with advocacy situations where e-mail communications are involved. It seemed like these features might be sufficiently significant to warrant a tech tip here on the journal, so I hope some of you find these instructions helpful. This procedure is not screen reader specific.

Follow these steps to compose a new message, set its priority to “high” and request that the recipient acknowledge receipt:

  1. Run Outlook Express as usual.
  2. Press CTRL+N to compose a new message.
  3. Complete the “To”, “CC”, “BCC” and “Subject” fields as you normally would when sending e-mail.
  4. Write the text of your message.
  5. Press Alt+M to pull down the Message menu.
  6. Press p to open the Set Priority submenu.
  7. Press h to check the “High” option. You may, instead, press l to choose “Low” or n to choose “Normal” priority. Normal is the default.
  8. Press Alt+T to pull down the Tools menu.
  9. Press t to check “Request Read Receipt”.
  10. Press Alt+S or CTRL+Enter to send the message with high urgency and a request that the recipient acknowledge receipt of your communication.