Eudora 5 versus Outlook 2000/2002
Which do I like better?
I like Eudora 5 much more than Outlook 2000/2002. Why?
- Eudora also isn't as vulnerable to viruses as Outlook 2000/2002
-- partially because it
isn't as common (so not as enticing a target) and partially because it
doesn't have hooks into Visual Basic. Granted, you can't write Visual Basic
macros for Eudora, but it's got such good features that I don't think
you have to.
- Eudora filters are easier to set up than Outlook rules. With Outlook,
it takes seven
dialog boxes to create a rule from scratch. With Eudora, it's all
on one page.
- Eudora filters are more powerful than Outlook 2000 rules.
Eudora has "intersects nickname"",
which lets you set up an nickname for a group of people and then look
for messages from that group of people easily. Outlook 2000 will let you
use a group nickname, but it immediately converts the nickname to a
list of the people. If you add someone to the nickname later, their
messages will not get caught by that Outlook 2000 rule.
NOTE: Outlook 2002
has a rule action "is in specified address book" that lets you
get the same effect as the Eudora "intersects nickname". If you put different
groups of people in different address books, your rules can easily
categorize messages from those different groups. This is a VERY nice feature.
- Eudora 5 for Windows (but alas, not Mac) will let you filter on
regular expressions. This is incredibly handy. For example, a lot of
spam subjects end in a number. Regular expressions can find that like
nothing else. (Note: while Eudora filter regular expressions work
*consistently*, there are some features of regular expressions that
are broken, at least in version 5.0.x. For example, [^2] is
advertised to match anything except 2; it seems to match everything
Eudora has the concept of "manual" filters separate from
"incoming" filters. This lets you define another set of filters that
only runs when you tell it to -- simply by hitting control-j. To "run
rules now" with Outlook takes four clicks PLUS marking which rules you
want to run. Why do you care? Because a nice way to do things is to
use incoming filters to prioritize your inbox (using labels) and
manual filters to file messages in folders. If you are done with a
message, cntl-j puts the message in its final resting place; if you
have to do something with the message later, just hit Space to
continue on to the next message.
- Eudora labels are better than Outlook categories.
They are essentially the same
thing -- ways to tag messages -- but Eudora messages can only have one
label, while Outlook messages can have many categories. This may sound like
a limitation, but that makes it easier to sort by label than by category.
It is stupid-easy in
Eudora to sort first by label, second by date, but with Outlook you have to
define a View to do that (and each grouping has a stupid
group header that takes up space).
Eudora labels also have, as an extra side
benefit, a color attached to them. It makes it easy to *see* what
group a message belongs to. Note: you only get seven labels with
Eudora for Windows (sixteen with Eudora for Mac OS), but that should be enough,
especially if you shove mailing lists and spam off into different
CAVEAT: If Outlook has a limit on the number of categories, I haven't found
it. Eudora for the Mac has a limit of 15 labels; Eudora for Windows has
a limit of 7. If you subscribe to a lot of mailing lists and use Eudora for
Windows, the limit could be annoying.
- Eudora 5 for Windows always has "next message"
and "previous message" buttons
available. Eudora 5 for Mac OS doesn't have those buttons by default, but
it is very easy to add them to the toolbar.
If you read messages in Outlook's Preview Pane, you don't get "next
message" and "previous message" buttons.
Furthermore, the Outlook keyboard command you use to move to the next message
is different depending upon what window is active. If the
Preview pane is the active pane, you need to to press Alt-down arrow
to move to
the next message. If the list of messages is the active pane, you need to
press down arrow by itself. If you are reading a message in its own
window, you have to press Control->. With Eudora, the key you
use is consistent.
- Outlook really only lets you put first-level menu items into the
toolbar as buttons. Eudora lets you put a button for almost
anything -- regardless of the menu level -- into the toolbar. For
example, I can put a button for "transfer this message to the
z-ProbableJunkEmail folder" into Eudora's toolbar; with Outlook, the
best I can do is make a button for "put up a dialog box asking me
where I'd like to transfer this message".
- Eudora handles pre-written responses more gracefully. I can select
the menu option
Reply with->HoaxResponse and get a composition window with the
HoaxResponse message in it. To use a pre-written response with
Outlook, I have to select Reply and then select
the stored replies in Eudora can have subject lines and/or
personalities stored with them. For example, I have a canned response
telling people that they've got the email address wrong (there are a
lot of domains a lot like webfoot.com). The From: line of that canned
response is System Administrator <email@example.com>
Kaitlin Duck Sherwood <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
- This sounds trivial, but I use this ALL the time: in Eudora, I can
a name or subject and Eudora will find all the messages in that folder
with that name/subject, pulls them to that spot in the folder
(temporarily), and highlight them. This is really handy when I'm
e.g. looking for all messages from Jim DeLaHunt. It's much faster
using the search tool or re-sorting the folder. Outlook doesn't have
- Eudora spell-checks your messages on the fly in much the same way
that Word does. As I type, if Eudora doesn't recognize a word, it's
underlined. I can control-click on a word to get suggested
replacements. I find this far superior to the way Outlook does it (it
checks word-by-word right before you send the message).
- On Win-Eudora, shift-space will toggle read/unread.
- On Eudora for Mac, I like that I can tell it to always display the
message in plain text. I'm thus not vulnerable to "web bugs", slow
downloads, or orange fonts on yellow backgrounds.
Updated 22 June 2001.
Kaitlin Duck Sherwood