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Terms used with Entourage, Outlook Mac and the Mac OS

If you don't see the word you are looking for listed here, check under Help in the Menu bar for a more complete listing.


Each identity can have (almost) any number of accounts. Each account is associated with a distinct email address than can be used to send and/or receive mail, but all mail is stored in the same database, all calendar events are common to all the accounts, all notes & contacts are shared.

You can have multiple accounts. Examples: POP, IMAP, Hotmail, Gmail, AOL, Exchange. Entourage offers a newsreader, but is was not an option in Outlook.

Archive (zip)

The Mac OS includes an archive function to compress your files. To compress files and folders: Select the item or items you want to compress. Choose File > Compress. If you compress a single item, the compressed file has the name of the original item with a .zip extension. If you compress multiple items at once, the compressed file is called Archive.zip.

Archive and Install of the Mac OS

"Archive and Install" moves existing system files to a folder named Previous System and then installs Mac OS X again. Be sure to select the "Preserve User and Network Settings" option to preserve your current Users folder and related network configuration. If you have any questions about doing the archive & install see: General advice on performing an Archive and Install and Apple KB 107120

Autofil , Autocomplete or Most Recently Used (MRU)

The "Most Recently Used" (MRU) is often misunderstood. These entries are harmless. They never show up in your Address Book, only in the AutoComplete list. Help using the MRU.

AutoUpdate (MAU)

Microsoft AutoUpdate(MAU) application will automatically check for updates. It will not install unless you select that option. This allows you to use it for notifications only. In Entourage 2004 and earlier the MAU used a VISE installer. Starting with Office 2008, the MAU is a different application and uses the Apple package installer. The 2008 MAU is located in the root Library:/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/MAU2.0. If you are using both Office 2004 and Office 2008/2011 you will need both versions of the MAU. The 2008 MAU cannot see the older version updates. When you select to automatically check, MAU will install the Microsoft AU daemon in Startup Items.


A daemon is a networking program that performs a housekeeping or maintenance utility function without being called by the user. A daemon sits in the background and is activated only when needed, for example, to correct an error from which another program cannot recover.

Outlook and Entourage use the Microsoft Database daemon and the Microsoft AU daemon.


Entourage uses a database to organize information for quick retrieval. Using a single file as a database keeps your data organized in a single, easy-to-find location. Visit the Database Page for help.

Outlook has moved away from the database to store messages. See Database Basics and Outlook, Outlook, how does your Database grow? for details.
Digital Signatures

The act of digitally signing a message, much like the analogous act using pen and paper, is one way of certifying that you truly did compose and send a given message in an electronic medium. Digital signatures provide no secrecy - only authenticity and integrity. Visit Getting Started with S/MIME on Entourage


In Windows NT, a domain is a collection of computers sharing a common database and security policy, In order to access an Exchange server, you will need to enter the domain it belongs to.

On the Internet, the domain is the last part of the address, following the dot. It identifies the type of entity owning the address (such as .com for commercial entities). Current Internet domains are .com, .edu, .gov, . mil. org. and .net.

When you enter your Office registration key the information is kept in an invisible file. If you ever sell your computer you should remove this file. Using Remove Office will remove the file. If you need to change it for any reason, see the instructions here.


The 'secrecy' part of S/MIME is achieved through encryption. This is probably what most people typically think of when they hear 'security' or 'secure email.' Encrypting a message simply ensures that no one other than the intended recipient will be able to read its contents. Visit Getting Started with S/MIME on Entourage for help.

The Users folder resides at the root level of the startup disk and contains the home folders for all user accounts on the computer. Creating a new user is often useful to troubleshoot problems in Entourage because you can eliminate corruption and conflicts that might reside in your Home folder. More info.

File Extensions

Visit http://www.webopedia.com/ for other extensions.

  • .rge
  • Entourage can export items such as mail messages, tasks, contacts, notes, and calendar events to an Entourage archive (.rge extension). See Movie on how to use
  • .eml
  • File format used by several desktop email clients for individual messages. Entourage saves e-mail files with the .eml filename extension.This is also the default e-mail extension for Mozilla Thunderbird. Apple Mail uses.emlx.
  • .emlx
  • Apple Mail (Tiger version) now stores its messages individually as .emlx files.
  • .mbox
  • Entourage folders that are dragged to the desktop create an MBOX file.(.mbx file format is used by Eudora.)
  • .olm Outlook can export items such as mail messages, tasks, contacts, notes, and calendar events to an Outlook archive (.olm extension). This is similar to the .rge file used in Entourage. It can only be used by Outlook for Mac.
  • .txt
  • The correct extension for a tab-delimited text file is .txt.
  • .vcf
  • Extension for Virtual Business Card
  • VCard
  • Abbreviation for Virtual Business Card. The standard for creating and sharing contact information over the Internet.

An identity is a complete personality of Entourage, containing (preferences, account settings. A User is a term used by the Mac OS. The terms Identity and User are often confused. Entourage stores your data in an Identity, and the Mac OS creates Users.

Your identity is named "Main" by default. It is located in the Microsoft User Data folder. If you move your Identity to a new location, Entourage and/or Outlook will create a new blank one.


"IMAP" stands for "Internet Message Access Protocol." It is better than POP for accessing mail from multiple locations because it leaves the mail messages on the ISP's mail server. More Info

Invisible files

Files whose filenames begin with a period are hidden in Mac OS X. If these files like .DS_Store are visible in your Finder, you have probably used a tool that enables you to see invisible files. Most invisible files should not be deleted. That's why they're invisible.


Common Jargon terms used in email messages

  • In my humble opinion (IMHO)
  • Your mileage may vary ( YMMV)
  • By the way, (BTW)
  • For what it's worth (FWIW)
  • If I recall / remember correctly (IIRC)

Check the Jargon Database or Wiki's List of Internet slang phrases for more examples.

Mac not MAC

Mac is short for Macintosh; MAC is an acronym for Media Access Control, the hardware ID of ethernet circuitry.


Macintosh Business Unit of Microsoft


MERP is the Microsoft Error Reporting Program


An MBOX file is a specially-constructed text file, usable by any text editor, which contains mail messages within the file (some other email programs also use them).

This functionality is used in Entourage: If you drag a folder of messages to the desktop, Entourage will automatically create an MBOX file. You can use these to store messages and reduce the size of your database.

Note: Subfolders won't be included; you need to drag them separately, or use one of the freeware scripts to export folders.

Note: Dragging an MBOX file into Entourage changes Received Time to the time you drag the MBOX back in.

It leaves and Sent time exactly how it was - correct. Sort the messages by Sent time, it will still sort them correctly.

This page will help with creating MBOX files. (steps 2,3,4)

Microsoft AU daemon

The AU daemon is associated with the Microsoft AutoUpdate application. That application can be set to check for updates to MS Office at particular intervals. It does so by way of that daemon.

Microsoft User Data folder (MUD)

Microsoft Office installs the Microsoft User Data folder (MUD) in your User's Document folder. Inside this folder is your Identity (named Main by default). All of your mail, contacts, etc are stored here.

If you move this folder, Entourage and/or Outlook will not know where your mail is located and will open with a new default identity that will be blank.

The MUD folder can contain Multiple Identity folders. For example: Office 2011, Office 2008, Office 2004 Identities, Office X Identities, Office 2001 Identities, Identities (for Outlook Express).

More Info

Most Recently Used (MRU) a.k.a. AutoComplete list More Info

MVPs are volunteers. Each year, Microsoft awards the most outstanding members of its online community. The MVP Award is given in recognition of a recipient's technical expertise, spirit of community, thought leadership and willingness to help their peers and customers. MVPs consistently provide reliable and accurate answers to technical questions about Microsoft products and technology and their commitment to help others is unparalleled. Learn more at the official Microsoft MVP site.

Notifications (renamed Reminders in Entourage 2008)

Notifications/Reminders. Microsoft Office Notifications helps you manage your time by displaying timely reminders. Unless you turn it off, Office Notifications/Reminders is running whenever your computer is running, even if you are not using any Office programs.

In Entourage 2004, it is necessary to have Notifications turned on for Spotlight to work. Spotlight will index any cache files the Entourage daemon has created even if the daemon is not launched, but no new cache files will be created until the daemon is launched again. If the Microsoft Sync daemon never launches, there's no way for Entourage to sync data with Sync Services.

If a reminder is scheduled to appear at a time when your computer is turned off, you will receive the reminder when you turn your computer back on.

Notifications is an Office application and needs to be turned off when installing or rebuilding. How to turn off Notifications.

Online access

Allow online access displays an account in the Folders list and allows you to read messages from this account without moving or copying them to this computer. Very similar to an IMAP account. This is often useful to delete a corrupt message that is causing download problems.


A software package is a bundle of one or several files that either are necessary for the execution of a computer program, or add features for a program already installed on the computer or network of computer. If you double click on the package, it will install your files. Receipts are simply a record of what was installed and not a copy of the installer itself.

POP Accounts

POP is one of two protocols that mail programs use to access mail stored on remote computers. "POP" stands for "Post Office Protocol". A POP account downloads mail to your local computer by default. More Info

Quick Filter vs Advanced Find

The little "QuickFilter" box in the upper right corner searches only what's in the columns on view - it does not do a full database search. When a sender includes their Display Name (First and Last Names generally) then that's all that's in the From column and therefore that's what you need to specify. (If they don't include a Display Name you'll see the email address in the From column and therefore can use that; but not otherwise.)

However "Advanced Find" - cmd-opt-F does a search of the database, is restricted by default to the current folder (although you can uncheck that) and searches the entire Name line in the Fro header, whatever it may contain. It's getting pretty fast now in recent versions of Entourage, so if I know only the email address or domain, I'll use Advanced Find every time. And you can use "contains @whatever.com" there too. It's an excellent search.

Rebuild Database

If you have tested and repaired your hard disk, but problems persist, you might need to rebuild the database using Database Utility (located in the Office folder). Many database problems can be repaired by doing so. To open Database Utility, hold down the OPTION key while starting Entourage or Outlook. More Info for Entourage users on rebuilding. Outlook users see Troubleshoot Outlook


Mac OS X's receipts: You usually get a receipt when you buy gas or something from a store, but Mac OS X gets one whenever something is installed in a certain way (specifically, from a package file or from Software Update preferences).

Mac OS X keeps its receipts in the Receipts folder. If you look there (/Library/Receipts), you should see all kinds of files that end with .pkg, including some that were created when Mac OS X was installed (for example, BaseSystem.pkg). These files don't take up much disk space and you shouldn't normally drag them to the Trash. This tells Software Update what has been installed.

If you remove receipts from /Library/Receipts/, the files installed by those packages cannot be verified or repaired, which is why you shouldn't delete things from /Library/Receipts/. More info on receipts.


Relaying means that you are trying to send a message through a mail server without being logged in to that server, and the people who run the server have chosen to disallow that to prevent spammers from using the server.

Example. You have an account on Comcast and you also have an account via your domain hosted on pair.com. You cannot use the SMTP for your pair account to send via your ISP host Comcast. This is relaying. You can use your Comcast SMTP to send your pair mail. More Info

Remove Office

"Remove Office" is an application found in the Microsoft Office Additional Tools folder. "Remove Office" removes both preference files and custom templates, so you should make a backup copy of the preferences and templates in another location on the machine before running the removal tool. You'll also need your CD key when you re-install. Note: starting with Office 2008, "Remove Office" no longer removes all files. See this page for more details.

Using "Remove Office" does not delete your Microsoft User Data folder that contains your email messages.

"Remove Office" is different from dragging the MS Office folder to the trash. It deletes invisible files and preferences used by MS Office.

How to use "Remove Office"
Note: "Remove Office" is not included in Office 2011.
Repair Permissions

Apple's Disk Utility uses Repair Permissions to update and repair permissions on files. Using Repair Permissions after installing MS Office or any application that uses an installer is often advised.

To use Repair Permissions:

  1. Open Disk Utility in your Applications/Utility folder.
  2. Click on the First Aid tab and select Repair Permissions
  3. Click on the icon for your boot volume.
  4. Click the repair permissions button.

Don't run from CD. Updates contain a newer version of Repair Permissions. Run Repair Permissions from the volume being repaired.

Safe Boot

Safe Boot is a special way to start Mac OS X 10.2 or later when troubleshooting. Safe Mode is the state Mac OS X is in after a Safe Boot. To boot into Safe Mode hold down the Shift key when starting up. See Apple Help Starting up in Safe Mode for full directions.

  • It forces a directory check of the startup volume.
  • It loads only required kernel extensions (some of the items in /System/Library/Extensions).
  • In Mac OS X 10.3.9 or earlier, it runs only Apple-installed startup items (some of the items in /Library/StartupItems and /System/Library/StartupItems - and different than login items).
  • Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger only: It disables all fonts other than those in /System/Library/Fonts .
  • Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger only: It moves to the Trash all font caches normally stored in /Library/Caches/com.apple.ATS/(uid)/ , where (uid) is a user ID number such as 501.
  • Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger only: It disables all startup items and any Login Items.

Taken together, these changes can work around issues caused by software or directory damage on the startup volume.


Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), a protocol for sending e-mail messages between servers. Most e-mail systems that send mail over the Internet use SMTP to send messages from one server to another; the messages can then be retrieved with an e-mail client using either POP or IMAP. In addition, SMTP is generally used to send messages from a mail client to a mail server. This is why you need to specify both the POP or IMAP server and the SMTP server when you configure your e-mail application.

Startup Items

The use of the terms Startup Items and Login Items has varied between versions of Mac OS X:

  • The term Startup Items has been used consistently in Mac OS X for system-wide applications or processes launched at startup and before any users log in to their accounts.
  • The term for account-specific applications or processes launched when a user logs in to their account has varied from Mac OS X 10.2 to 10.4, as follows:
    • Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger™ and Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar use the term Login Items.
    • Mac OS X 10.3 Panther® uses the term Startup Items.

The Microsoft Database daemon will be listed in your Startup Items if you have Notifications turned on. You should have only one Microsoft Database daemon. If you have more than one, delete all and let Entourage create a new one when launched. You will also see the Microsoft AU daemon. This is for the autoupdater for Microsoft applications.

Symbolic Links

Symbolic links are simply files that point back to a file located at a path contained inside the link. Aliases are files created by the Mac OS X Finder using either the "Make Alias" command, or by holding down Command and Option while dragging a file.

Symbolic links have a few advantages over aliases. For one, they don't break if you create a symbolic link to a file and then replace the file with a file by the same name. Also, every Unix application can resolve symbolic links; some Unix applications have trouble resolving aliases. File servers in particular usually can't resolve aliases, but they have no problems resolving symbolic links. Symbolic links do not track a file if the file is moved from its original path, so moving a file will break any symbolic links pointing to it.

Some Entourage users want to move the Microsoft User Data folder from it's default location in the User's Document folder. You can use an alias or a symbolic link. You can use this method with an external thumb-drive. You must quit the Microsoft Database daemon in order to eject the drive. Freeware to create a symbolic link: SymbolicLinker.

Symbols in the message list

View symbols and their meaning here

System Preferences
System Preferences is an Apple application. You use the System Preferences application to set or change many systemwide settings for your computer, such as the date and time, the way your keyboard and mouse work, and your network settings.
To change your computer’s settings: Choose Apple > System Preferences, and then click the icon for the settings you want to change.
Tilde (~)

The tilde (~) character here is UNIX shorthand for your home directory. It's the folder bearing your username that opens when you click on the little Home icon in a Finder window toolbar or choose Go -> Home in the Finder." For example , this is the path for finding "your identity".

~/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2004 Identities/your identity

Upgrade...move from Office X to Office 2004, Office 2008 or Office 2011; move from Office 2004 to Office 2008. You cannot upgrade any version of Office for Mac to a newer version through a downloadable software update. You must purchase a retail copy of Office in order to upgrade.

For example, you have Office X or Office 2004 and want to upgrade to Office 2011. You must purchase the new version of Office. It is available via download or purchase. If you purchase via our links it helps support our site.

Update...go from 14.0.0 to 14.0.2. You can update for free any version of Office. An update includes improvements for that version.


A User is a term used by the Mac OS. The terms Identity and User are often confused. Entourage/Outlook stores your data in an Identity, and the Mac OS creates Users. The Users folder resides at the root level of the startup disk and contains the home folders for all user accounts on the computer.

Creating a new user is often useful to troubleshoot problems in Entourage/Outlook because you can eliminate corruption and conflicts that might reside in your Home folder.

Log out/in of your account to disable startup items:

Choose Apple menu > Log Out <account name>

In the same window, select your account, enter your password, hold Shift Key down to disable all startup items when logging in.

winmail.dat files
Winmail.dat and/or application/ms-tnef files are sent by Windows users of Outlook or Exchange who have their mail clients set up to use 'RTF' instead of plain text or HTML. More info.