computer with letters flying out of the screen


The term Email is short for electronic mail and is a way to quickly send and receive messages through the internet. When you set up an email account, you will create or be given an email address. This address is unique to that email account and will have a username followed by the “@” symbol and the email provider’s domain. For example, if you used the username “Justme” and had an email account with Gmail, your address would be “” This would be the address you would send email from and the address others would send email to. Messages received will be delivered to the email account’s inbox and should only take seconds to travel from the sender to the recipient.

How do I get an email address?

Most internet service providers will provide you with one or more email accounts. Therefore, if you have home internet service, you probably have email accounts ready to be set up. You can contact your provider for additional information about setup. There are also free online email providers such as Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL,,, and more, which you can access from any computer connected to the internet. Simply navigate to their website and follow the online directions for creating an email account. In addition, most colleges and universities provide their students with a student email account, generally ending in “.edu” for universities and “.us” for community colleges. If you are given one, it most likely will be the email account used for all school and course interactions. If you are a Wichita State student and would like more information about setting up your “” email account please visit WSU: Setting Up Student Email.


Your inbox is where you will view and manage your emails. They are listed with the name of the sender, the subject, and the date and time received. To view or open an email, simply click on it.

Message pane

When you open an email, you will view it in the message pane. In the message pane, you can read the email in its entirety, forward the email, reply to the email, move the email to a folder, and much more. Depending on your particular email client, the options will vary.

Compose pane

When you click reply or forward on an existing email, the compose pane will open. Also, if you click Compose or Create to write a new email, the compose pane will open. You will need to enter the recipient’s email address and a subject. From here you can compose the email, attach files, and add images. When the email is complete, click the send button.


How to Open Attached Files

Many times emails are sent with documents or images attached to them. An attachment is indicated with a small image of a paperclip next to the email message (image 1). Most of the time, the attachment will be located in the Message Pane, directly under the message header or subject (image 2). However, it may sometimes be located in the message body. There are two ways to open an attachment. The simplest is to just double click it. The second option is to click on the chevron to the right of the attachment (image 3), which opens a drop down menu. From here, you have two options. You can choose to open the file or preview it (image 3). It is important to not open attachments from unknown addresses or entities because they could contain a virus or malware. By using preview mode, you can help ensure the file is legitimate and safe before opening it. Once the attachment is open, you can save or edit it as you would any other file.

image of email message with arrow pointing to attachment paper clip symbol
Image 1


attachment in email
Image 2


attachment chevron and dropdown menu featuring preview and download
Image 3


How to Attach Files

In some instances, you will need to send a document, photo, or file by email. The best way to do this is by attaching it. The following steps for Microsoft Outlook, which all Wichita State students will use for their email accounts, will guide you through attaching a file to an email.

  • In a new message, a reply, or a forwarded message, select¬†Attach File from the Message¬†ribbon.
  • Select your file from one of the following locations:
    • Recent Items – will display the 12 most recent files you have worked on
    • Browse Web Locations – locations include OneDrive, SharePoint, and other group locations
    • Browse This PC – opens File Explorer window, where you can search your computer

attach file dropdown in the message ribbon of outlook


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