Lotus Notes 6 For Dummies

by Stephen Londergan



About the Author

Stephen Londergan has been on the Lotus Notes and Domino bandwagon since 1989, and this is his ninth book about it. He lives near Boston with his wife Robyn and three sons, Michael, Richard, and John.



For Pat Freeland, who has been my colleague, collaborator, and teacher, and who is my friend. I wouldn’t be in the writing business without you.

— Stephen Londergan


Author’s Acknowledgments

Many thanks to Linda Morris, for making sure that I say what I’m supposed to say when I am supposed to say it; to Diana Ermini for making sure that what I say is accurate; and to Teresa Artman, for making sure that I say it all the way that I should.


Publisher’s Acknowledgments

We’re proud of this book; please send us your comments through our Dummies Online Registration Form located at www.dummies.com/register/ .

Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:

Acquisitions, Editorial, and Media Development

Project Editor: Linda Morris

Acquisitions Editor: Bob Woerner

Senior Copy Editor: Teresa Artman

Technical Editor: Diana Ermini

Editorial Managers: Leah Cameron, Kevin Kirschner

Media Development Manager: Laura VanWinkle

Media Development Supervisor: Richard Graves

Editorial Assistant: Amanda Foxworth

Cartoons: Rich Tennant, www.the5thwave.com


Project Coordinator: Ryan Steffen

Layout and Graphics: Amanda Carter, Joyce Haughey, LeAndra Johnson, Jackie Nicholas, Brent Savage, Jacque Schneider, Betty Schulte, Julie Trippetti, Mary Virgin

Proofreaders: John Tyler Connoley, David Faust, Charles Spencer

Indexer: TECHBOOKS Production Services

Publishing and Editorial for Technology Dummies

Richard Swadley, Vice President and Executive Group Publisher

Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher

Mary C. Corder, Editorial Director

Publishing for Consumer Dummies

Diane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher

Joyce Pepple, Acquisitions Director

Composition Services

Gerry Fahey, Vice President of Production Services

Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services




About This Book

Foolish Assumptions

Conventions Used in This Book

How This Book Is Organized

What You’re Not to Read

Icons in This Book

Where to Go from Here

Part I : Get Rolling with Notes

Chapter 1: Just What Is Notes, Anyway?

Care to Collaborate?

You Can’t Be All Things to All People

What Makes Notes So Special?

Who’s the Boss?

User ID — Your Key to Notes

Chapter 2: Getting Acquainted with Notes

Starting Notes

Understanding the Welcome Page

Using the Welcome Page

What’s on the Menu?

Wise Up with Toolbar Buttons

Betting on Bookmarks

Trying Out the Task Buttons

Going to Places Where You’ve Never Been

When the Time Comes to Say Good-Bye

Part II : It’s a Mail Thing

Chapter 3: Gotta Get My E-Mail

May I Have the Envelope, Please?

Navigating the Navigation Pane

Traversing the View Pane

Taming That Distracting Preview Pane

Taking Action with the Action Bar

Get Me Outta Here!

Chapter 4: Making a Message

Minding Your Good Memo Manners

Composing Your New Message

Working in Your Mail

Chapter 5: Managing Your Mess(ages)

Digging through Your Scrap Heap of History

Organizing with Folders

All the News That’s Fit to Print

Separating Multiple Printed Documents

Chapter 6: Making the Most of Your Messages

Enclosed Please Find . . .

Okay I Got It . . . Now What Do I Do with It?

Importing Files

Deciding Whether to Paste or Attach or Import

Creating Sections

Mail Is More Than Just Messages

Chapter 7: Mastering Your Mail

You Know, Not Everyone Uses Notes

Customizing Your Inbox

Following My Rules

I Need a Vacation

Reusing the Same Memo

Special Options for a Message

Part III : When It’s Not a Mail Thing

Chapter 8: Your Calendar

Using Your Calendar

Discovering Calendar Events

Managing Group Calendars

Printing Your Calendar

Chapter 9: Managing Your Calendar

Makin’ a Meetin’

Replying to an Invitation

Before the Meeting

Chapter 10: Tracking Your To Dos

Viewing Your To Dos

Creating a New To Do

When You’re Finished: Marking a To Do as Complete

Working with Other People

Setting To Do Preferences

Chapter 11: Your Personal Address Book

Making It Personal

Using Your Personal Address Book

Adding a Contact

Discovering All about Groups

Uncovering Other Cool Address Book Toys

Setting Preferences

Chapter 12: It’s Databasic

Est-ce que vous parlez Database?

Finding a New Notes Database

The Database Door Creaks Open

Opening a Database on the Internet or an Intranet

When You Need Help

Chapter 13: Using Databases

I Was Just Thinking of View

A Sort of Category

Using Folders as Holders

So, What Can You Do with Documents?

A Document with All the Fixin’s

Join the Party — Bring Your Own Document!

A Document Catches Your Eye


A Full-Power Search

Part IV : Making Notes Suit You!

Chapter 14: Jazzing Up Your Text

Changing Characters

Formatting Paragraphs with Character

Permanent Pen — Does It Stain?

Highlighter — Does It Stain?

Chapter 15: Doctoring Your Documents

Break It Up!

Putting Your Cards in a Table

Trying to Get a Header the Situation

Set ’em Up, Boys

Search and Rescue

If Your uh Bahd Spellar

Document Locking

Chapter 16: Notes the Way You Want It

The Notes Welcome Page

Changing the Welcome Page

Creating Links

Setting All those Myriad Preferences

Setting Your Notes Password

Part V : Worldwide Notes

Chapter 17: Data In and Data Out

Where’s the Glue?

Throwing Out Your Paper Clips

Importing and Exporting

If You Can’t Link ’em — Embed ’em

Chapter 18: Notes and the Web

Opening Web Pages in Notes

Forwarding a Web Page in Notes

Making a Link to a Web Page

Chapter 19: Notes for Road Warriors

What Exactly Is Replication?

Taking a Copy of the Database with You


Using Your Computer away from the Office

Enough Talk! Call That Server and Replicate!

Using Replication Remotely

Part VI : The Part of Tens

Chapter 20: Ten Things You Should Never Do

Never Change Your Notes Name

Never Delete Your E-Mail Database

Never Save or Send a Message Without Checking Spelling First

Never Remove Your Password

Never Forget to Press F5 When You Go to Lunch

Never Let Temp Files Pile Up

Never Forget to Consult the Manuals

Never Forget to Save Early and Often

Never Forget to Switch Back to the Proper Location When You Return to the Office

Never Write Something You Don’t Want Everyone to Read

Chapter 21: The Ten Most Common Lotus Notes Problems

Your Laptop Doesn’t Connect to Your Server

You Can’t Edit a Field

You Can’t Use a DocLink

Your Server Isn’t Responding

You Don’t Have the Right Certificate

You Can’t Open a Database

You Can’t Search

You Can’t Delete a Document That You Composed

You Can’t Open an Attachment

You Don’t Know Who Your Network Administrator Is

You Can’t Remember Your Password

Chapter 22: The Ten New Things You Should Know about Lotus Notes 6

Desktop, Oh Desktop, Wherefore Art Thou?

Your E-Mail Is Different

New and Improved Calendar

Better Attachment Management

Dragging and Dropping

Cool New Letterhead

No More SmartIcons

New and Improved Replicator

Document Locking

Quick Notes


Part VII : Appendix



S o exactly why did you buy this book, anyway? (And, hey, thanks for buying it, by the way.) Maybe you’re here because your company just got Lotus Notes 6 (the latest and greatest version of Lotus Notes), and even though you’ve been using other, older versions of Notes for a while, you’re suddenly faced with using this new release. Or perhaps you’re grown accustomed to using a different program (such as Microsoft Outlook), but now you’ve decided (or been told) to use Notes, instead. Maybe you’ve never used e-mail before and you’re starting your e-mail career with Notes. This book is for anyone who’s using or planning to use Lotus Notes 6 and Lotus Domino 6.

Lotus Notes has been around since before 1989. It’s no surprise, then, that it’s so popular — and according to IBM (the company that makes Notes), over 85 million people use Lotus Notes.

In the first edition of this book, written way back in 1993, I had a lot of explaining to do — what e-mail was, why it was so much more efficient than (gasp!) paper memos, and why using a computer to communicate could make your life better, and so on. Now that we’re in the 21st century, I’m making the leap of faith in this book that most people already get the whole e-mail concept, and that you have at least heard of things as varied as Web pages, e-mail return receipts, and modems.

Of course, you can use Lotus Notes for a lot more than just e-mail: It’s a nifty tool to use for other good things. You can use Notes to help manage your calendar; you can use Notes to collaborate (big fancy word) with other people; and you can even use Lotus Notes with the Internet to get information from the World Wide Web.

So rather than leading you through what e-mail and the Web are, I want to focus on making your life easier. I’m guessing (hoping, actually) that you have better things to do than sit around and read computer books. Thus I try to make this book full of very practical, how-to information that shows you how to use Notes with a minimum fluff. Of course there are a few concepts that I have to explain, but I’ll keep the hot air to a minimum, and that’s a promise.

About This Book

I know that you’re busy and that you hate to read computer manuals. So I designed this book to tell you just what you need to know to get rolling as quickly and as painlessly as possible.

Among other things, this book contains the following:

bullet How to send an electronic message to one person or to a group of people — forget the copy machine, interoffice envelopes, and the like

bullet How to read, reply to, and (occasionally) ignore all the e-mail that you receive

bullet How to organize, print, save, and forward messages

bullet How to send messages to your in-house colleagues and others through the Internet

bullet How to use Notes to collaborate, how to read and contribute to Notes databases, and how to store information in those databases so others can see it or interact with it

bullet How to hide sensitive and confidential information from potentially prying eyes

bullet How to create attractive and eye-catching documents

bullet How to communicate with the office even when you’re away (at home, or perhaps in a hotel room)

bullet How to cruise the Internet without leaving your chair (or Notes, for that matter)

You have a choice — either read this book from cover to cover (not necessarily in one sitting!) or choose the particular topics that interest you and read just those parts in the order that makes the most sense for you. Both approaches give you the information that you need. In general, the concepts are straightforward, so you won’t have any trouble jumping from chapter to chapter or even from section to section. And don’t forget to check the index, which is sometimes the most direct way of finding an answer first.

I strive to avoid techno-babble and geek-speak as much as I can. If a particular term is unfamiliar to you, just take a gander at the glossary at the end of the book.

Foolish Assumptions

Without so much as a phone call, I make the following assumptions about you, dear reader:

bullet You want to know what, but not necessarily why. I leave the why to the computer nerds and concentrate on what’s important to get you working with Lotus Notes ASAP.

bullet You have access to a computer on which someone has already installed Lotus Notes 6.

bullet You’re willing to send a check for $221 (US) to your beloved Lotus Notes 6 For Dummies author. (Just kidding, although tips, checks, bank drafts, wire transfers, or even cash, are always appreciated.)

Conventions Used in This Book

If I want you to type something, I put it in bold, like this: Type this and then press Enter. (In this case, you type Type this but not and then press Enter . But you probably already figured that out.)

Sometimes I refer to text that you see onscreen. When I refer to a message just as it appears on the monitor, it looks like this: Some words on your screen . If the text is longer than a few words, it looks like this:

This is a computer message exactly as it appears onscreen.

I frequently tell you to make menu selections or use buttons. When I tell you to click a button, look for a picture of that button in the left margin. I also present menu commands, like this: Choose FileDatabaseNew. You simply click the first menu and then, from the drop-down list that appears, click the second one, and so on. If you use a computer with Microsoft Windows, you can press Alt (on your keyboard) and also press simultaneously the underlined letter within that command word. For example, if F ile has an underlined F, press Alt+F for a nifty keyboard shortcut to open the File menu.

If a dialog box appears when you use a command, I reproduce it right in the book (in brilliant black and white) and tell you how to use it.

How This Book Is Organized

The arrangement of the chapters in this book reflects the order in which most people become familiar with the various aspects of Notes.

Part I: Get Rolling with Notes

In the first part of the book, I get the inevitable definitions out of the way and then jump right into getting Notes set up on your computer. Reading Part I is like finding out what all those dials on the dashboard do before you try driving a car.

Part II: It’s a Mail Thing

The second part of this book deals with the things that you’ll most likely use Notes for the most: sending, receiving, and working with e-mail messages. This part also is also where you can discover how to use Notes to manage your Calendar and To-Dos.

Part III: When It’s Not a Mail Thing

Read through the chapters in the third part of this book for the skinny on how to get at your company’s Notes applications, how to read and create documents in them, and even a little bit about how to create your own databases. You also find some other cool things to expand your already dazzling command of the program.

Part IV: Making Notes Suit You!

Eventually, everyone wants to type special characters (such as the copyright symbol ©), modify the style of paragraphs, customize and personalize the way Notes works, use Notes with other programs, search for information, or manage bookmarks. When that time comes for you, peruse Part IV.

Part V: Worldwide Notes

When you’re ready to move into high gear and take your Notes knowledge with you into the 21st century, turn (without delay) to Part V. In this part, I show you how to take Notes with you on your business trips, how to hop from Notes straight onto the Internet, and how to get Notes talking to the other programs and places where you store information.

Part VI: The Part of Tens

Every For Dummies book has The Part of Tens — so why should this book be any different? In this part, I present an assortment of useful factoids. This treasure trove of tips includes ten things new to Lotus Notes 6, ten things you should never, ever do, and other useful tidbits. The Part of Tens in this book is nowhere near as exciting as The Part of Tens in Dr. Ruth’s Sex For Dummies, but it’ll hold your interest.

Part VII: Appendix

I finish up the book with a glossary of the terms and concepts that I explain throughout the book.

What You’re Not to Read

I consider every last word in this book to be informative, insightful, and often quite humorous. Each word was chosen with considerable care and deliberation, and I can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t want to read every one of the scintillating sentences contained herein. Because you indeed do have a life, however, and better things to do, I mark the especially trivial details with a special Technical Stuff icon so that you know what you can (and can’t) skip.

Icons in This Book

I scatter scads of little pictures (icons) amongst the pages of this book. Read on to see what each kind of icon is about.


This icon alerts you to information that’s especially interesting to, uh, nerds. You know, the kind of people who always kept your high-school math classes late because they were asking so many questions? In some high schools, this person was all too often the victim of something known as a wedgie, but that’s a separate book. I’m not saying a bunch of football players will give you a wedgie if you read these sections, but then again. . . .


This icon tells you that some little shard of knowledge is coming your way to make your life with Notes just a bit easier. Tips are definitely worth reading.


As you stumble along the pathway of life, these little commandments are things that you should never forget. For example, you should always . . . well, it had something to do with, ummm. . . . I’ll come back to this later.


Ignore these at your own peril. You’ve been warned.


This icon points out those features new to Lotus Notes 6, or tasks that you perform quite a bit differently in 6 compared to previous versions.

Where to Go from Here

Okay, get going; you have a lot of reading to do. Don’t be afraid to experiment and remember to check out the Lotus Notes Help feature early and often.

Part I

Get Rolling with Notes

In this part . . .

W hen you tackle a new computer program, the best thing to do first is to read the basic information about how the program works. (Of course, most people install the program, make lots of mistakes, get mad, and finally, after lots of sputtering and fuming and complaining, turn to the instructions.)

Lotus Notes 6 is a powerful and complex program. The chapters in this part prepare you to use Notes to its full potential without wasting a lot of time, developing bad habits, or cursing the program because you can’t figure out how to do something.

So, here in the first part of the book, I present the information that you need to know before getting started. I’ve attempted to avoid technobabble whenever possible, but sometimes knowing the official terms actually helps. If you call your help desk and say, “The thingie next to the hinkyminky returns a box that says something when I clunk it,” you can bet two things: you haven’t been helpful — and therefore the help desk can’t help you; and whoever answered the phone at the help desk is probably laughing at you.