20 Outlook “How to” Tips

I’ve noticed users repeatedly asking these “Outlook: How to” questions on newsgroups and blogs. So I’ve gathered the “quicker” solutions here:




  • Multi Column Sorting Clicking on a column in your Inbox (i.e. From, Subject, Received Date) sorts on that field – clicking again and it sorts in descending order. Now in Outlook 2003, you can also sort messages on multiple columns by holding the <Shift> key while clicking (selecting) your sort criteria.

  • Remove a column from a mail view (i.e. InBox), by dragging the column “off screen” until an X appears, then release the mouse button.

  • To delete names from the AutoComplete list, choose the unwanted name using the <Up> or <Down> arrow keys, and then press <Delete>.

  • If you’re using two monitors, move Desktop Alerts to the second monitor. When an alert appears, hover over it and drag it to the other monitor.

  • Make New Mail Desktop Alerts transparent:
    1. From the Tools pull-down menu, select Options.
    2. On the Preferences tab, click E-mail Options, then Advanced E-mail Options
    3. From the Desktop Alert Settings, change the duration & transparency levels.
  • Create a new Word document, Excel worksheet, or PowerPoint presentation by pressing <Ctrl> + <Shift> + H

  • Dragging any mail folder from Outlook to your desktop will create a shortcut.



  • Create a reminder to reply to an email 
    1. <Right-Click> the message and select Follow Up, then Add Reminder.
    2. In the Due By list, add the date/time and flag color list, then click OK.
  • To read your next or previous email message click the small arrow buttons on the email’s toolbar (these arrows point up & down (as opposed to right & left).


  • Sending an Email Attachment Sometimes it difficult to locate the file you wish to attach while within Outlook. 
    1. Locate and select the file(s) using your preferred method
    2. <Right-Click> on the file(s) and select Send To, followed by Mail Recipient 
  • Flag messages by selecting the message, and pressing <Insert>

  • To lookup an email address (or partial spelling) in your address books press either <Ctrl> + K or <Alt> + K


CALENDAR TIPS               

  • Add holidays to your Calendar (we’re all Grinches by default) 
    1. From the Tools pull-down menu, select Options
    2. From the Preferences Tab, click Calendar Options, then Add Holidays.               
  • Display days “side-by-side” Clicking on a specific date, shows you that date. Highlight a range of dates, and you’ll be shown those dates side-by-side.

  • Show Saturday and Sunday in separate boxes in your monthly calendar 
    1. <Right-Click> anywhere in Calendar view, select Other Settings.
    2. Unselect the Compress weekend days check box. 
  • Move an appointment by dragging it to a new date or time in your Calendar.

    Copy an appointment by holding the <Ctrl> key while dragging it to a new date or time in your Calendar.



  • Add a new contact from an e-mail message    
    1. While reading their email message, <Right-Click> on the person’s email address and select Add to Outlook Contacts
    2. Guess we don’t really need a step two.
  • Send an email, or create an Appointment, meeting or task by <Right-Clicking> on a Contact and select:
    • New Message to Contact
    • New Appointment with Contact
    • New Task for Contact

  • Change the number of columns of contacts by moving the columns – or dragging the column dividers “off screen”

  • Create contacts from the same company (avoiding retyping the company’s information) 
    1. Create and select a “company” contact
    2. From the Actions pull-down menu, click New Contact from Same Company.


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More tips: 10 Excel "How to" Tips

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About blakehandler

BLAKE was a Microsoft MVP and award winning programmer with over 20+ years experience providing complete Windows and networking support for small to medium sized businesses. BLAKE is also Jazz Musician and Instructor for residential clients on the Los Angeles West Side.
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1 Response to 20 Outlook “How to” Tips

  1. James says:

    Thanks Blake :)

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