Entourage 2008 corrects several annoying behaviors for home users

“The Create a mailing list rule option is now gone from the Junk E-mail Protection window. Hallelujah!”

Having participated in the Microsoft public newsgroups for a few years, I’ve come to easily spot a few questions that are the result of problems with Entourage 2004. Maybe the problems are poor user interface or maybe they are just the result of short-thinking on Microsoft’s part.

Some of these problems have been addressed in Entourage 2008 and some of these changes, I suspect, are likely due to feedback received from Entourage users.

In no certain order, following are seven outstanding problems and annoyances that are now fixed.

“All of my messages are moving to the Inbox [or some other place unexpected]!”

Entourage’s junk E-mail protection isn’t perfect and occasionally marks good messages as spam. A false positive message in Entourage 2004 could be unflagged as spam by using the Not Junk button. This resulted in a Junk E-mail Protection window with four options.

The new Junk E-mail Protection window now only sports three options.

The Create a mailing list rule option is now gone from the Junk E-mail Protection window. Hallelujah! Entourage 2004 users would often select this option not understanding what it was doing. Be default it would move everything to the Inbox (On My Computer) folder including messages from IMAP and Exchange Server accounts.

This one change alone will probably reduce the number of questions in the Microsoft Entourage newsgroup by a dozen per month.

“I installed Entourage 2004 on my brand new Mac. But all my outgoing mail says I’m an Office 2004 Test Drive User.”

All new Macs have included the Office 2004 Test Drive for folks to test Office for themselves. After purchasing and installing Office 2004 the Test Drive remained and would cause lots of problems. Some MVPs have even likened it to a virus–difficult to remove from your computer and the source of lots of Office problems.
The Office 2008 installer now includes a feature to remove not only the Office Test Drive but all earlier versions of Office. This is optional but highly recommended. Anyone who had to repeatedly use the Remove Office tool to fully eliminate the Office Test Drive and then spend the time to reinstall Office 2004 and apply all the updates will appreciate this addition to the Office Installer.

“How do I sort my Contacts by last name [or first name]?”

In Entourage 2004 you couldn’t.
But in Entourage 2008 you can now add both First Name and Last Name columns for sorting by selecting them from the Columns sub-menu under the View menu.

“HTML E-mails display with jumbled fonts!”

The CreativeTechs.com website has posted The Fix for Garbled Text in Entourage Email! This tip explains how to delete the Tasman Browser.cache file, which was often the culprit for garbled text in HTML messages received in Entourage.

The Tasman Browser was the proprietary engine for Internet Explorer 5.0 for Macintosh as well as Entourage 2004. Now, Entourage 2008 and the new calendar/task management application My Day both use WebKit, the same engine that powers Safari and OmniWeb. While the change of engines won’t eliminate the potential for font cache problems, this particular problem is eliminated.

However, be aware that new problems can now surface. If Apple makes a significant change in its implementation of WebKit, the potential to break both Entourage 2008 and My Day increases.

“If I rebuild my Entourage database then I lose all my categories and links!”

Not anymore with Entourage 2008!

Entourage 2004 would sometimes report that its database needed to be repaired but the repair always resulted in the loss of categories, links, the newsgroup cache and potentially projects, rules or mailing list rules.
Entourage 2008 has been developed to preserve all meta-data between rebuilds of the database.

“How do I make Entourage my default E-mail client instead of Apple’s Mail?”

Setting Entourage 2004 as the default E-mail client required a very unintuitive process: open the Mail application’s General preferences and choose Microsoft Entourage from the Default email reader drop-down menu.
Now, Entourage 2008 offers a button in its preferences to set itself as the default E-mail application. Select the Preferences… menu item from the Entourage menu. Under General Preferences click the Set Entourage to be my default e-mail client button.

“Entourage 2004 is slow on my Intel Mac!”

One of the most touted features of Office 2008, including Entourage 2008, is that it is now Universal (Intel native) and no longer runs under Rosetta. That doesn’t mean it will run differently on PowerPC Macs. It now has the code built into it to support both platforms natively.

“How do I remove the Conversation header when I print E-mails? I don’t need this.”

The Conversation header at the top of printed E-mail messages was far more useless than helpful. Most of the time it was the same as the Subject header, which was already included at the top of the page.

With Entourage 2008 this is no longer included on printed messages. Unfortunately, it’s also not an option if you do want it printed. I don’t think many folks will miss it, however.

The Conversation header has been replaced by a From header, which is much more useful, and the overall size of the header information has been reduced a few point sizes allowing for more of the body text on the page.

[Updated: January 16, 2008, 7:00 p.m. CST]

“Fonts keep shrinking in my messages with Outlook users!”

This problem stems from Entourage 2004 referencing fonts by pixels rather than points when sending HTML messages. Entourage 2008 now references fonts by points. Entourage 2004 also had an “adjustment” calculation that made text larger when viewed on Mac OS X but then adjusted the size before sending.

That calculation is gone in Entourage 2008, which means similar fonts from Windows users will often come across appearing smaller on Mac OS X because of resolution differences between the two platforms. This results in Entourage users increasing their point sizes for readability and then sending messages that appear with larger type on Windows. It’s a Catch 22.

Unfortunately, this may become a problem when sending between Entourage 2004 and Entourage 2008 users.

This is by far not an exhaustive list but just a few small changes that I’m sure will make some Entourage 2004 users who are upgrading very happy. If you discover a change from Entourage 2004 to Entourage 2008 that improves your experience, please add a comment to let others know about it.

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44 comments to Entourage 2008 corrects several annoying behaviors for home users

  • I am so sorry to see the “Create mailing list rule” option disappear from the junk mail options. I used it many times a day. Is there a way to do this now?
    Thank you,
    Bob Potter

  • Hi Bob!
    The MLM still exists in Entourage (Tools –> Mailing List Manager or right-click –> Create Mailing List Rule…).
    I suspect that if you were using the Create a mailing list rule option “several times a day” then you may need to set your junk E-mail protection a little lower to stop it from making so many false positives.
    Also, the MLM is intended for messages coming to you from mailing lists that you’ve subscribed to and shouldn’t be used very often. If you are using it to handle regular E-mail then you probably need to create Rules instead.

  • shrop

    For some reason, I have never been able to get our exchange server and entourage 2008 to sync contact over. My contacts are blank in entourage 2008.
    Tried emptying he cache, rebuilding db, etc. no go.
    Has anyone else seen this?

  • Hi Shrop!
    Are you making sure that your contacts are in your Exchange Contacts list and not expecting your local Address Book to sync? You can literally select all your contacts in your Address Book and drag them into your Exchange Contacts.
    Also, syncing contacts requires that you are connecting to your Exchange Server as an Exchange client, not a POP or IMAP client. Have a look at these instructions:
    If you continue having problems, please be sure to post your question in the Microsoft public newsgroup for Entourage where more folks can have a look at your syncing problem.
    Good luck!

  • That mailing list rule caught me out before as well. It took ages to figure out what I’d changed 🙂
    Glad they’ve moved it.

  • Shrop

    Thanks for the quick feedback on my issue. It is happening to a number of us on campus.
    I think we are already doing everything your mentioned. It is an Exchange account and I am clicking on the contacts folder in addressbook with the little green checkmark. I empty the cache and it says it syncs, but no go.
    Strange thing is that Contacts came over in Entourage 2004. I wonder if something change in the way it comes over and if something is weird about our exchange setup. Just doesn’t make sense.
    Our campus Mac tech was at MacWorld and made contact with someone on the Entourage team so I hope that contact may help us out.
    I posted on the entourage usenet group a few days a go so hopefully we will learn something there too.
    Thanks again and if you or anyone here thinks of something else, let me know.

  • Dear entourage team.
    “Font Sizes increase with each Reply to an email”
    Even if i send a message to anyone using a PC, the font increases in size to about Font 20. So all of my emails arrive extremely large. I have checked all my settings, but this does not seem to be the problem because osx users, receive them fine.
    Any tips? Could really use your help, because i email a lot for business.
    Hope to hear from you,

  • Bob

    In response to how to sort your address book–that works but I am trying to have my contacts listed alphabetically based on their first name.
    Al Johnson
    Art Buick
    Steve Anderson
    Arthur Jones
    What happens is the last name jumps in front based on the first letter and this makes it difficult to find a contact when you have 500 names.
    I am hoping that this can be adjusted–when you sort by first name, it lists only the first name.

  • Hi Bob!
    Why don’t you modify your columns so that the “Name” column is not showing but the “Frist Name” and “Last Name” name columns are showing in that order? Then just click the “First Name” column to sort alphabetically.

  • Dick Walters

    Two very annoying problems continue in Entourage 2008.
    1) Still have to forward a message with an attachment as an eml file including the original attachment. this means there is no convenient way of editing out text from the original message. Mac Mail does not have this handicap.
    2) My junk mail filter is really messed up, even after rebuilding a couple times. Valid mail sometimes goes to Junk; all “multi addressed” mail ends up there. This sometimes happens even after adding to safe contact list, address list, etc. Usually such mail is not coded junk (the Icon is dulled) and I have to mark it Junk, then “Not Junk” to get it to move to the Inbox.
    I’ve sent several emails to Microsoft on these issues with no response.

  • Ben

    I use Entourage, not Mac Mail. When I receive a message which has an attachment in .eml (a previous e-mail message), and try to open the attachment, the message opens up in Mac Mail. How do I tell Entourage that I want it to open the .eml attachments as Entourage messages?
    Thanks for the help.

  • Hi Ben!
    Try dragging the .eml file to your Desktop, select File –> Get Info and set the default application for Entourage. Be sure to click the button to apply this to all .eml files.
    By the way, we greatly appreciate your comments about our blog but we do ask that help questions be directed to the Entourage newsgroup . That way the public can benefit from your question and the answers you receive.
    Hope this helps!

  • Yves

    I too have the same problem described above where I cannot see any of my contacts in Entourage 2008. Actually this is not quite true. I have installed it on my laptop and office desktop and it works fin on my laptop but no go on the desktop. Oddly, if I add a new contact to the empty list, it will get added to my contact list residing on the server. It seems more like a display issue than a functionality issue. Anyone has resolved it yet?
    Thanks, Yves

  • I am using entourage for business email newsletters to groups..but after 100 names or so they seem to not want to be sent out. Is there a limit to size of email “groups”? I need to send to a bigger group.
    [Entourage does not have a limit, but your ISP does. Usually the number is 50. You can use a script called Split Recipients X This script will replicate messages into the number of copies needed to comply with an ISP’s maximum number of recipients allowed per outgoing message.
    You might want to check out the third party options that are made to handle sending out business emails in large numbers. See the Third Party Products to use with Entourage page.] Diane Ross

  • Gary L. Estler

    I used your advice to replace the single “Name” column in my Address Book view with a “Last Name” column and a “First Name” column. However, when i compose a new message and click on the address bar, there is still just a single “Name” column and the sorting of the list is weird – so much so that I can’t figure out just what the sort criteria are.
    Is there any way to also have the new message address list order by last and first names?
    [Sorry, the AutoFill address list cannot be sorted via last name, first name. I suggest sending feedback on this to get the feature added.
    One way to help when you have a lot of names that are similar is to use the Nickname field. What you enter in this field never shows up in the message. if you want to use the nickname dingbat, then go ahead. :-)] Diane Ross

  • William Smith

    Hi Gary!
    Only three columns are available for the address list while composing a new message. Unfortunately, the Name column can not be changed to the First Name or Last Name column.
    Be sure to send Microsoft feedback that you’d like this changed in future versions by using the Send Feedback tool found under the Help menu in any Office application. This is a good idea.

  • Lisa

    I have a weird problem… My inbox is completely empty, and yet the “inbox” folder is still bolded with (1) next to it. It’s driving me crazy! Anyone else seen this?

  • William M. Smith

    Hi Lisa!
    I suggest asking your question in the Microsoft Entourage newsgroup, which is available for general questions such as this. You can connect through Google here:
    Be sure to search in case someone has already asked this question and it has been answered.

  • Lisa

    Thanks, William!

  • Diane Ross

    This is a sign of database corruption. You need to rebuild your database. See directions here.
    Rebuild your Database

  • JOHN

    would like to sort address book first by last name then first name I have multiple “SMITHS”

  • Veronica

    how do I delete an email address from the drop down list when sending out a new email, this is driving me crazy. I have never emailed to this address and they have emailed me several times and I can’t get rid of it. Please help.

  • William M. Smith

    This would make a good feature request. If you haven’t done so already please be sure to let Microsoft know you’d like to see this feature in future versions by using the Help –> Send Feedback mechanism in any Office application.
    Have a look at The Most Recently Used (MRU) AutoComplete list on the Entourage Help Page. Some of the examples may specify older versions of Entourage but they are still valid with 2008.


    How do i know which address book a contact will go into if i use the add to address book option in entourage 2008. Also, is there a detailed card view like there is in outlook for entourage or is there only a list view?

  • William M. Smith

    New contacts should automatically go to your default Address Book or Contacts.
    If you have either a POP or IMAP account set as your default E-mail account in Tools –> Accounts… then the Address Book “On My Computer” is your default.
    If you have an Exchange Server account set as your default E-mail account then your Contacts will be your default Address Book.



  • Jeff

    If I’m looking at my calendar in “month” view in Entourage 2008, is there a way to click on one of the days and go to the “day” view for that particular date?
    When I double click a day, I get a meeting set up box and when I use ctrl, alt, apple, ect and click, there are no opens that allow for this functionality.

  • William M. Smith

    Right-click or Control-click the date and select Day.
    While we greatly appreciate your comments about our blog we do ask that personal help questions be directed to the Entourage newsgroup . That way the public can benefit from your question and the answers you receive. 🙂

  • AnthonyG

    Just started using Entourage 2008. Question on the Calendar page: In the previous version, I was able to show future month blocks on the left side bar. So if I had July on the main part of the page, on the left side bar, I could also have small block months from August to February (for example). This was helpful in quickly navigating back and forth through future months. Can’t figure out how to do that with this version.
    Is it still possible?
    Does anyone know how?
    Thx in advance,

  • Diane Ross

    To show the mini calendar, click on the tiny square icon with a triangle inside; it’s on the very left side of the status bar at the bottom of Entourage’s main window.

  • Lei

    I have 2 questions please regarding Entourage 2008:
    1. MUST (on my computer) show after each folder’s name when using the “after sending move to” option?
    2. How do you set up the “on vacation” reply?

  • My Entourage shows mails downloading… but never downloads… while the progress bar keeps showing downloading. i read in some forum that i must clear cache of inbox by right clicking it and choosing ‘clear cache’ option… but i dont find that option… what to do? someone help

  • Hi Lei,
    1) No, folders “On My Computer” is a header indicating that the folders are on your computer and not on a server. See this page to understand how the folder list is organized for different account types. (POP, IMAP, Exchange) this page
    2) Entourage 2008 now includes an Out of Office reply, but please read the directions carefully. A mail loop can result and make you very unpopular!
    Create “Out of Office” Reply

  • What type of account? (POP, IMAP, Exchange)
    You can only clear cache on IMAP and Exchange accounts.
    If you select the Custom Mail View “Received Today” or “Sent Directly to me” or any messages showing?

  • Melissa

    I was hoping some one could help,when I receive new mail in my inbox for entourage the same mail will arrive 3-4 times at the same time.
    Very annoying please help.

  • Leaving a comment is not the best way to get individual help. How to get individual help
    Just quickly to get you started….Send & Receive problems are the hardest to troubleshoot because it involves so many different scenarios. Generally, you receive duplicate messages from one of these situations:
    1) you did a rebuild of your Entourage database
    2) your server ‘burped’
    3) your setup for forwarding and leaving on server is set incorrectly
    You might consider switching from POP to IMAP. This would stop this problem.
    To deal with duplicates you can use one of the scripts listed on this page:
    Remove Duplicates

  • Faye Wright

    Hi there
    I have the lastest version of Entourage think its 2008.
    I have downloaded a new set of mail sounds to Microsoft user data, under entourage sound sets.
    It said to go into Entourage-preferences-notification and change it in the sound set drop down box but mine only shows default in that box, how do I get the drop down box for sound sets to show the new sound sets so I can select them.
    see ya Faye

  • First you have to know what version you have. Sound Sets were changed in Entourage 2008. Under Entourage in the Menu bar “About Entourage” what version do you see? If you do have the latest you should see 12.1.7.
    See this page for help with sounds.
    Using Soundsets with Entourage

  • KM

    Hi there!
    I am wondering if there is a way to have all the contacts i message on a regular basis (aka…from my “most recently used” list or autocomplete list) automatically added to my address book.
    Does anyone know of a way?
    I am aware that it’s possible to automatically add contacts who have messaged me to my address book, but that’s not what i’m looking for – I’m looking for the opposite of that.
    I have also played around with the “Rules” feature, but unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be the option available for this there either.
    Can anyone help?!

  • AFAIK, there is no way to access the Most Recently Used list. You could try the following, but I would do this on a clone of my Identity and it will result in duplicates.
    Create a custom view for all messages.
    Create a rule
    All Messages
    Add sender to Address Book
    Select all message in the custom view
    Select Message –> Apply Rule and select the rule.
    You can export the contacts using File export as either tab delimited or .rge file then import into your regular Identity overwriting. I would export first as backup in your original Identity.
    If this works, let us know.

  • Glenn Heilemann

    I have just moved over to the 2008 version of Entourage and find the “Side Bar” items are no longer in the order as in the 2004 version. I have been very accustomed to having “Folders on My Computer” being the First item on the list. Now, all my other mail accounts are first on the sidebar list, followed by “Folders on my computer”. I have attempted to insert a “space” in front of that name so it would go to the top of the list but can’t.
    Does anyone have an answer to this, or is it something I will just have to get used to?

  • Hi Glenn!
    This is actually a new feature in Entourage 2008. Your default account as set under Tools –> Accounts… is now your very top account in the folder list on the left.
    If your default account is a POP account then the folders “On My Computer” will appear first followed by IMAP and Exchange accounts alphabetically.
    If you default account is an IMAP or Exchange account the it will appear first followed by the rest of your IMAP and Exchange accounts alphabetically with the folders “On My Computer” at the bottom.

  • Benny

    In my contact list, I have a contact named “VIRUS” which I cannot delete nor edit. Has anyone encountered this problem? I have a lot of yahoo contacts and I suspect that I got a virus from one of my contacts.

  • Jackson Joseph

    Hi, Friends
    I am using Entourage 2008, How can I get my global address list in Entourage 2008.
    In Microsoft Office, you get the address book and select the name you want, Is there any way I can configure my office address list in Entourage 2008.
    Thank you