Accessing Oakton Email via Squirrelmail (New WebMail)
Starting September 9, 2004 Oakton will be offering a new web-based email client program (Squirrelmail) as a supplemental
means of accessing Oakton student email. Employees will be able to use squirrelmail starting on December 5, 2004. Web-based email allows you to read your
Oakton mail via a web browser window similar to Yahoo! mail. This means
you can check your mail from anywhere you have access to a browser-- such
as a library or a friend's home. Squirrelmail webmail trades easy access
for some of the functionality of Netscape Messenger, although Squirrelmail
offers significantly more functionality that Oakton's previous Webmail
Please see our Student mail upgrade FAQ at
http://www.oakton.edu/resource/it/mailgide/squirrelmail/romulansquirrelmailfaq.html for details on the Student Mail Server upgrade
Please see our Employee mail upgrade FAQ at
http://www.oakton.edu/resource/it/mailgide/squirrelmail/borgsquirrelmailfaq.html for details on the Employee Mail Server upgrade.
Always take the time to log off when you're done with your email. If you
walk away without logging off, the next person will have access to your
While Squirrelmail will with work with a variety of browsers, many of the
features will function only with Internet Explorer version 6.0 or higher.
Click on the Help link in Squirrelmail and you will get context sensitive
information about whatever action you are doing at the time.
Student Email accounts are not automatically active. Students can activate their email account by going to http://romulan.oakton.edu/accountmgmt
Using Squirrelmail WebMail: Log In Screen
Using a recent browser, such as Netscape or Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher,
go to http://www.oakton.edu/webmail
Squirrel mail will launch and you will be taken to the main screen and
Choose and click on your user role: Either Student or Faculty,
Staff, Administrator, Trustee.
The login screen will appear. Type in your regular Oakton network login
ID in the username field.
Type your regular Oakton password in the password field.
Click the log in button
The Squirrelmail Main Screen
The Squirrelmail main screen consists of a folder list/info bar (green area to left),
a menu bar of commonly used functions at the top (Compose, Addresses, etc.)
and the Message Index which lists the headers of your incoming messages.
The Menu bar contains several important elements and links. Clicking on
any of these will either replace the contents of the Message Index area
where the Inbox initially shows or float a second active window over the
In the folder List/Info Bar:
Click on Compose to Create an outgoing message.
Click on Addresses to access the Oakton email
address lookup and your personal addresses.
Click on Folders to subscribe to your existing
Oakton mail folders (folders you have created) or to create new folders.
Click on Options to set up your signature
file, or adjust how Squirrelmail works.
Click on Search to find specific messages
by subject, Sender, message content etc.
Click on Help to access context sensitive
Click on Filters to set up Server side message
filters, such as SPAM filters. Note these filters will apply to any
email client including Netscape.
Click on Oakton Account Management to change
your password, forward your mail or deactivate your account.
Click on Sign Out to exit Squirrelmail (this
does not close the browser or impact your use of the computer in any other
See your current email space usage in the Mail Quota Report
Click on the INBOX link at any time to return
to your email Inbox.
Click on any other folder name to access that folder (Trash, Drafts, etc.)
The numbers next to the folder names show the number of new messages /
total number of messages in the folder
Click on "(refresh folder list)" link to update the message counts or to
reflect any new or deleted folders, by default it will refresh every 30
Managing the Inbox
By Default, mail is sorted by Date with most recent messages appearing
at the top. Sorting can be changed by clicking on the square
or triangle next to the column name
Each message header in the Inbox has six columns: check box, sender,
Date/Time, Flags, Subject, Size
New Messages appear in bold
Check box: Use this to select the message for purposes of deleting it or
moving it to another folder
Sender: Name of the person who sent the message
Date/Time: Message date/time
Flags: "+" indicates the message has attachments, "A" indicates you
have answered the message, "!" indicates the message was marked as urgent
Subject: Message Subject, click on this to read the message
Size: The total size of the message and attachments (Limited to 10MB
Only 15 messages will show at a time in the browser window (This is
also adjustable in Options) . You can move to the next or previous page's
worth of messages by clicking on the appropriate link (center top of Inbox
To open and read a message, left-click on the subject of the header
showing in the Inbox. The message you selected will replace the Message
index in the same window. This can be changed to read the message
in a new window in Options.
After opening the message, you will see several clickable commands in three locations: across the top, in the header by the word Options, and at the bottom of the screen.
With these commands you can
Click Message List (top left) to close the
window and return to the message list
Click Delete (top left) to delete the message
Click Previous or Next
(top middle) to go to the previous or next message
Click Forward or Forward
as Attachment (top right) to send the message on to a new recipient
Click Reply or Reply
to All to respond to the sender. (top right) Reply to All will cc your response
to all the original recipients. See also: Composing
Click View Full Header (next to Options)
to see additional information about the message
Click View Printable Version (next to Options)
to open a new window to print
Click View Message Details (next to Options)
to see the entire message source
Click Add to Address book (next to Options) to add this sender to your personal address book.
Click Bounce (next to Options) to redirect the message to someone
else (the recipient will see the original sender's name in the Inbox rather
than the person who "bounced" it. The "bouncer" is listed only in the header.)
Click Download this as a file (below the message)
to save a copy of the message to a local drive as a text file
Click Delete & Prev (bottom middle) to
delete the message and view the previous message
Click Delete & Next (bottom middle) to
delete the message and view the next message
Click Move (bottom middle) to save the message
to a different email folder. Select the desired folder from the drop menu.
Squirrelmail uses a "move to trash" model for deleting messages.
To undelete a message, go to the Trash folder and move it back into your
Inbox or another folder. To permenently delete all the messages
in trash, click on the (Empty) link next to the Trash Folder in the folder
Individual messages can also be permanently deleted out of the Trash
mailbox. Simply select the message in Trash and click on Delete.
Composing Messages (New, Reply, Forward,
The Reply, Forward, and Resume commands will all open the Composition window
where you can create or modify outgoing messages. The composition window
floats over the parent webmail window. To create a new outgoing message,
click Compose on the menu bar.
The composition window has the basic components of most any email program
equivalent screen and they function the same way. A quick overview:
Notes on Outgoing Messages
The "To:," "Cc:," and "Bcc" fields: Separate multiple addresses in each
field by commas. Example: email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on Addresses to search for addresses. You can search the Oakton directory
or access addresses you've saved under a personal address book. See also
Clicking "Save Draft" saves the message to your Drafts folder on borg.oakton.edu.
You can access this draft later to continue working on it.
Attach files by either typing in the path and filename or clicking the
Browse button and browsing your local folders to the file. After you locate
the desired file, click the Add button. This will alter the Composition
window to show an additional entry for attachments. Repeat the process
for each desired attachment. If you wish to delete one or more of the attachments
you've selected, check the box next to the filename(s) and click "Delete
Squirrelmail provides a functional "Check Spelling" feature. Click "Check
Spelling" and a browser window will appear showing any spelling errors
with suggestions. Making the changes in the "Check Spelling"
window and committing them will correct the message in the composition
Squirrelmail does include an HTML composition window that requires Internet
Explorer 6 to use. HTML Composition allows you add formatting
like bold, change fonts, sizes and colors and use tables and images.
The plain text composer is the default, but this can be changed to the
HTML Composer by changing the setting of Options -> Display Options ->
Email Composition Format.
Messages received with HTML formatting and embedded images will display
much as they would in Messenger.
Forwarding or a replying to a HTML formatted message will removes the HTML
formatting from the original message in either the HTML composer or the
Plain Text composer. (This is much improved from IMP.)
To retain the HTML formatting in a forwarded message, choose "Forward as
If you choose to use the HTML Composer, you lose the ability to spell check
The Address Book
The Address Book can be accessed either from the Menu area or from a link
on the message composition window. The Address Book has two major functions:
Accessing the Address book from the Composition Window
Searching for addresses in the Oakton email directory or personal address
book for use when composing a message
Storing addresses in a Personal Address book like Messenger's Personal
Address Book for later use.
To search for addresses (in both Oakton's LDAP Directories and your
Personal Address book)
The Search Results will show at the bottom of the Address Book window.
Click on one of the three links (To, CC, or BCC) to insert the result into
the header of the message you are composing and allow you to search for
another name, clicking on the email address will add the address to the
To field an close the address book window.
Select a Address Book from the drop menu (By default it will search all
address books and directories for both email addresses and names)
Type the data to be searched for in the "Search for" field
Click Start Search
Personal Address Book (Accessed from the "Addresses" option on the
The Squirrelmail personal address book is like Netscape Messenger's
Personal Address Book. In it you can store names and addresses of
people (in and out of Oakton) you frequently correspond with.
Importing Personal Address Books
To add an entry, type in the appropriate information in the Nickname, E-mail
address, First Name, Last Name and Additional Info fields and then press
the "Add address" button. (A unique Nickname, an E-mail address and
at least one name are required.)
To edit an existing record, click on the check box and then choose "Edit
Selected" Press the "Update Address" button when complete.
To compose a new message to an person in you address book, click on the
To delete an existing record, click on the check box and then choose "Delete
To import address book entries from Netscape Messenger (A similar process
can be used for any email system or program that can produce an LDIF address
Export the addresses from the Messenger address book in LDIF format. More
information on exporting
addresses from Netscape Messenger.
Go to Options -> LDIF Addressbook Import
Type the Filename or browse for the file created in step 1.
Press the submit button to import the address book
Preferences in Squirrelmail are extensive and often confusing, we have
tried to pick sane defaults. To change your preferences, click on
Options in the Menu area. If you are not sure what a preference
does, try making a change and see if you like the results. Just be
sure to note what you changed so that you can reverse it if you don't like
In Options you can:
Set up your signature file in Personal Information. Your signature file
in Messenger does not transfer to Squirrelmail and vice versa. You need
to create one in each mail program.
Change the message composer (Plain Text or HTML) along with many other
display setting in Display Preferences
Most Display preferences will require you to refresh the entire Squirrelmail
browser window. If you are not clear on what this means, log
out and log back in to see the changes.