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Entourage 2008 – Quite A Ride

Entourage Meeting NotificationsWe’ll I’ve been on Entourage 2008 for about three weeks now and the ride has had its ups and downs. I’m happy with Entourage for the most part, but it’s flaws are hard to ignore.

Things I love:

  • Projects – Projects are cool in the fact that I can group emails together, file them away, yet have easy access to them. I need to dig into this more and use it.
  • Full Calendar Support – No more Outlook meeting request issues or confusion. This was a big factor in changing to Entourage at work.
  • Notes & Checklist built in. Handy.
  • Mac look and feel. I do think it looks pretty.
  • Little Growl like email and calendar notifications.
  • The day planner window is nice. Kind of in the way, but you get use to it.
  • It auto corrects some of my spelling mistakes. That’s quite handy.
  • It saves folders as mbox files which makes easy import/export with Mail.app or Thunderbird. Moving everything over was slick. Moving back would be just as easy.
  • It links emails replies to the orgional message so I don’t have to go search for them if I want to know what I said.

Things that make me go What the @+#!

  • No ability to add clickable links on text to an email message. You can’t highlight any text and and a link to it. You can only drop in a URL and let the other email client automatically link it. This is really bugging me. See the heated discussion.
  • When I get links in emails Entourage often picks up the next word in the sentence so I have to manually edit quite a few links I click on.
    Example: http://www.apple.comApple
  • Calendar syncing to iCal works great, but Entourage’s calendar files contain information that iCal or Google Calendar doesn’t understand. They then cause issues if trying to export from iCal and import into anything else. Or, I get sync issues and end up loosing half my dates. If there are event sync issues, never fix all of them at once. Do it one by one.
  • Syncing up with Google is another issue in itself.
  • No way to delete people from the ‘collected address’. Entourage adds everyone you ever emailed, or got email from, to some ‘collected address’ address book and doesn’t allow you to delete them.
  • If I have text selected when I hit reply, it only puts that selected text as the quoted message. Personally, I want the entire message every time. At least Apple Mail has a checkbox where I can enable that functionality.
  • No grammar check. I really thought I’d have this as I thought Entourage an Word were like BFFs.
  • When importing email, it auto accepted all my old meeting requests and then notified me. Not a huge deal I guess, but annoying none the less.

Overall, Entourage 2008 isn’t horrible, but it isn’t fantastic. It’s not Outlook for the Mac, but it’s closer than anything else. For every positive there is a flaw and if there were any other solution that worked flawlessly with Outlook calendar notifications, I’d consider switching away. Ok, I’ll admit, 10.5’s Mail.app is pretty good, but I don’t have 10.5 at work.

Background. This is my first experience with Entourage. I recently used Apple Mail and then Thunderbird 2. My computer is a MacBook Pro with 10.4.x on it.

21 Responses

  1. ptackbar says:

    Did you run into the problem where reply/read/compose windows don’t save their window positions and size or did that not bother you much?

  2. Thomas says:

    Nope, haven’t had that issue. Course I usually use the preview pane to read messages.

  3. the window positioning issue is a MAC issue!

  4. ptackbar says:

    Notleavingmyname: I’m not sure what you mean by saying it’s a Mac issue. Every other mail program I use in Mac OS X properly saves the window size and position (Thunderbird, Mail.app). Nevermind mail programs, Entourage is one of the few Mac applications in general that doesn’t appear to save it’s window positions properly.

  5. Jen says:

    Were you able to import from Apple Mail to Entourage? I ran the Import in Entourage but it didn’t bring over any emails, only the mailbox settings.

  6. Thomas says:

    Jen – I have not tried to import Apple Mail into Entourage.

  7. Karl says:

    Re: No way to delete people from the ‘collected address’.

    Go to Preferences:Mail & News Preferences: Compose. At the bottom is a pref called “Recent Addresses.” Here you can either turn this feature off or on, or clear the list of collected addresses.

  8. Thomas says:

    Thanks Karl. You are smarter than the Microsoft support people I asked. 🙂

  9. Kris says:

    You say the meeting requests work, but have you found a way to book resources (e.g. meeting rooms) yourself? I can’t find that anywhere, and the Office 2008 for Mac support page just seems to pretend the whole issue doesn’t exist …

  10. Thomas says:

    Kris, I don’t know much about meeting rooms. I do know I can send meeting requests.

  11. Tony says:

    I’ve also hit the window size/position issue. It sort of remembers, in that if my reply/compose window was maximized last time, it tries to do that again.

    I say “tries” because if I left the window maximized, I get a toolbar across the screen at the middle, with no text or address entry areas until I hit the Maximize button again.

    If the window is NOT maximized, it always comes back at one size, regardless of what size I left it. And on that default size, it does not handle wordwrap and screen painting correctly, so I can type off the end of the window and not see it, and if I back over the last character at the end of the window, it doesn’t erase it.

    I am frankly not very happy with Entourage 2008, and tend to use an IMAP client against our Exchange server unless I really NEED to access my calendar. Perhaps Microsoft will release a fix eventually?

  12. Spyros says:

    Has anybody figured out how to highlight yellow a text or phrase in the message body? Outlook had it. Entourage no no????

  13. Mitch says:

    No highlighting. That stinks.

  14. AM says:

    Some concerns I’ve encountered:

    1. The delay in loading large mailboxes. One user took two days (!!!)
    2. Local contact lists created in Outlook from Exchange contacts (and stored on the Exchange server) are not visible in Entourage.
    3. Meeting requests are very unrelaible — sometime they show up and sometimes they don’t. Problem is particuarly noticeable when inviting an Exchange email group or sending to users with out-of-office enabled.
    4. Entourage likes to move perfectly good, individually addressed email from another Exchange user into its junk folder. This seems to be random and happens even on the “low” junk setting.

    Other than that it’s perfect.

    Has anyone else had these issues?

    a.

  15. wmloving says:

    Vcard import issues:

    I’m trying various options for consolidating data from Now Contact into Entourage, which I’ve been using only for email. In the process, I’ve discovered that 1) Entourage ignores the “Category” listing on the vcard, even if the category exists in Entourage, and 2) that the Views options for Contacts does not include a “Date Added” so that I can use that to filter for recently added records and assign categories manually after import.

    I’ve also found that sometimes a vcard import will appear to work, but the records do not show up in the Address Book (Entourage’s Address Book, not Apple’s). They DO appear in “Changed in the Past 7 Days” but I’m unable to delete them. I wondered if perhaps Entourage considers a deleted record to be something that has changed and keeps a record of it even after it is gone, but when I experiment with deleting other records, that does not seem to be the case. It’s only with vcard imports…

  16. Aman says:

    The most irritating – you can not copy and paste Tables (from Word or Excel) in email message !! Has anybody any solution?

  17. Kathy says:

    How do you view an Outlook meeting in Entourage? When I receive these in my AOl they’re just letters on my Mac and I can’t see it at all on my iPhone.

    • Thomas says:

      From my experiences, any Outlook meeting requests come across just fine and automatically show up on the Entourage calendar.

      • Alan says:

        Be careful. While it generally worked, there were instances when unusual circumstances created problems. These included changing existing meetings or arranging large group meetings. It was very unpredictable and resulted in lots of finger pointing.

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