This article describes some of the key improvements introduced in the compose message form in IBM® Lotus® iNotes® version 8.5.2.
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|In version 8.5 of IBM® Lotus® iNotes® the new ultra-Ajax framework was introduced to the feature-rich Full mode. These framework updates included new managed tabs, sidebar, status bar, and support console. It also introduced many richer, more powerful widgets and other advanced features.
iNotes® 8.5.2 introduces many additional improvements--the most notable of which is an enhanced look and performance for the compose message form. In version 8.5.2 the message, reply to, and forward forms have been updated to take advantage of the new iNotes ultra-Ajax architecture and better reflect the latest Lotus Notes® UI design. The sections below describe some of these key improvements.
New managed tabs
Managed tabs, which are also used in Lotus Notes, allow you to switch tabs easily and work on multiple documents at the same time. New in iNotes 8.5.2, the tab displays an asterisk when a user begins to type in a new message form, to show that the form is active and has been modified (see figure 1). When a subject is typed into the subject line, the title of the tab updates in real time. With these dynamic tab updates, you can easily tell which tab is active and has been modified when switching between multiple open tabs you are working on.
Figure 1. New managed tabs
Spell check bar in Full mode
To spell check a document in 8.5.2, you select the spell check icon, as you did in previous releases. Selecting the icon turns on the spell checking mode, and the area below the rich text editor enlarges to include a spell check area, or spell check bar. Misspelled words are marked with a wavy red line, and the first word to correct is highlighted in yellow (see figure 2).
In addition, the iNotes status area displays a "Starting spell check..." message and, when spell check completes, the status area displays your spell checking results. For example, "Spell check complete, 4 misspelled words found. Right click a misspelled word for a list of corrections or use the buttons provided."
Misspelled words are identified in the spell check bar, and you can select from a list of suggested words or use the buttons to perform other actions. As the body of the message is being corrected and you reach the last word before another misspelled word is out of sight, the body of the message will be scrolled automatically. When spell check is completed and you have corrected any misspelled words, the spell check area closes and the status bar displays the message, "Spell check is complete".
Figure 2. New Spell check bar
In addition to the new bar, you can still use the spell check right-click capability to view a list of suggested words or add the word to the dictionary. You can also correct the spelling error manually by typing the correct spelling. When you have done this, the misspelled marking disappears.
Words that are not correct remain marked until corrected; however, new words that you enter are not checked until you click the Recheck Spelling button.
If your message is in plain text, selecting spell check locks the body of the message, so that you can't type in the body. You can only correct the misspellings. In addition, the Recheck Spelling button is removed, and the Done button is replaced with a Resume Editing button. This button closes the spell check area and unlocks the body of the message so that you can type in it.
You can also set the preference, "Spell check on send," so that spell check automatically checks for errors when you click Send. If your message has spelling errors, the spell check bar opens with options for correcting.
There may be times, however, when you don't want to correct your spelling, or you want to reword your message, so there are two new options to "Send As Is" and "Cancel Send." Clicking "Send As Is" cancels spell checking and sends the message. Clicking "Cancel" stops spell checking and puts the message back to its state before Send was selected.
Additional benefits of the new message form
The Insert Image window has greatly improved (see figure 3), and all other windows encountered while composing and sending mail have been converted to HTML div windows or light boxes. Light boxes are pop-up windows inside the browser window. They look nicer and avoid misguided pop-up blockers that can prevent important pop-ups from displaying in your application.
Figure 3. New Insert Image window
In addition, iNotes Lite mode now has the ability to sign and send encrypted messages. In previous releases you could only read encrypted messages from Lite mode.
Lotus iNotes 8.5.2 - Detailed System Requirements
What's new in Notes and iNotes 8.5.2 - presentation
Technical Resources for Lotus Notes, Domino and iNotes 8.5.2
Calendar improvements in IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.2
About the authors
Jeff Foster is a Senior Software Developer and Project Leader for Lotus iNotes (previously Domino Web Access), currently working on the next release of Full and Lite modes. He joined IBM Lotus in 1999, originally serving on the Lotus Notes Client team as a software developer, and then leading the Domino and Extended Products Portlets (DEPP) team. In January 2007, he joined the iNotes team to help lead the exciting new Lite mode effort. Jeff has a Masters degree in Software Engineering from Boston University and a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering.
Jodi Rajaniemi is the lead user experience designer for Voice and Video in Meetings. She has been with IBM for 10 years and has extensive familiarity with a wide scope of IBM's products. She began her career at IBM as the design lead for iNotes and, over the years, has also worked as a designer for the Notes Client and the Symphony Editors.