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Office of Information Technology

New Features of the
Lotus Notes 8.5 Client

Instructions for Faculty and Staff

A new version of the Lotus Notes client software is available for download from the portal. The new version offers a variety of changes, including substantial security and design improvements. The new version looks quite different in many ways, and includes some new features, but most of the basics remain the same. 

Two of the most notable changes are:

  • The Bookmark Bar descends after clicking the OPEN button at the top left, instead of taking up space in the window all of the time.
  • The files previously called DATABASES are now called APPLICATIONS.

Here are further of the highlights of the differences:

Overall Changes

  • Use the CTRL and SHIFT keys to select multiple items. Clicking to the left of an item to place a check mark is no longer part of Notes.
  • The Spellcheck feature will underline spelling errors while you are typing.
  • A new Sidebar can be set up to display your RSS feeds, Calendar, and SameTime.
  • Notes databases are now called applications.
  • The Preview Pane may be located below or beside the list of content.
  • You can hover your mouse pointer over a name to see the person's business card information.
  • The Journal is now called Notebook, and has a new look.


  • Right-click on the TRASH to display a context sensitive menu to empty the trash bin.
  • While typing names, frequently used names and addresses will appear as options to select.
  • A new column in the ALL DOCUMENTS view displays what folder a message is filed in.
  • Attachments sent from non-Notes users are displayed at the top of the message.


  • Contacts may now include a photograph of the person.
  • A new view, RECENT CONTACTS, displays contacts with whom you have corresponded recently, regardless of whether or not you have added them to your Contacts list.
    Recent Contacts Screenshot
  • Contacts may now be sorted by Company.
  • Access to your Contacts may be delegated to another Notes user.


  • More than one Calendar may be merged together to view overlapping events.
  • When your Notes Calendar is left open overnight, the view automatically advances to the current day.

Sametime Instant Messaging

  • Sametime Contacts in the Sidebar provides a quick, at a glance view of who is online, as well as convenient access to start chat sessions while in your Inbox or Calendar..
    Sametime Contacts
  • Easily create, annotate, and save screen captures..
    Screenshot Tool
  • Drag and drop messages from MAIL into SAMETIME CONTACTS to add the sender or recipients to your list.

If you have questions about Lotus Notes 8.5 or need assistance, please contact the IT Help Desk on 202-885-2550, e-mail, or AskAmericanUHelp on instant messenger.