📅 2020-Jun-09 ⬩ ✍️ Ashwin Nanjappa ⬩ 🏷️ cheatsheet, outlook ⬩ 📚 Archive
The Outlook Windows program (not OWA) can be a productive tool once you tweak its UI, learn the keyboard shortcuts for your common tasks and learn how to find some useful tweaks.
Here are some keyboard shortcuts I find useful:
Ctrl + 1: Switch to Mail view.
Ctrl + 2: Switch to Calendar view.
Ctrl + 3: Switch to Contacts view.
Ctrl + 6: Switch to Folder pane, which shows the Public Folders.
Ctrl + Alt + 1and
Ctrl + Alt + 2: In Calendar, switch between Day view and Work Week view. Hover over other views to see their keyboard shortcuts.
Ctrl + Shift + M: Create a new message.
Ctrl + Shift + A: Create a new calendar appointment.
Ctrl + Alt + R: Create a meeting from an email. The same can be done by choosing Meeting option in the Home menu. This is a useful trick when I need to schedule a meeting for an email thread that is getting out of hand.
Ctrl + R: Reply email to just the sender.
Ctrl + Shift + R: Reply email to all.
Alt + S: Send the composed email.
Backspace: Archive the current email or conversation.
Esc: Close currently open email window or any window or dialog.
Ctrl + E: Search using the search bar at the top.
Ctrl + Alt + K: Search in current folder.
Ctrl + Alt + A: Search all mailboxes and folders.
Ctrl + Shift + F: Open the Advanced Find dialog to search.
Ctrl + Gto get the Goto dialog, switch to the Find tab in that to find (and even highlight all occurences).
F4: Search in the email displayed in an email window.
Ctrl + Shift + B: Open address book to search for people.
Right: Fold or unfold threads in email conversations. Folding another level to Date or From.
Alt + Downor
Ctrl + .: Switch to next email.
Alt + Upor
Ctrl + ,: Switch to previous email.
Shift + Space: Page down and page up the email body. When you go past the current email body, the next email is shown. Similarly, paging up beyond current email shows the previous email.
End: Switch to first or last message in the current folder.
Ctrl + Y: Jump to a different folder.
Ctrl + Shift + G: Add a flag to current email.
Alt + Ins: Clear flag on current message.
F12: Save currently open message as a
Alt + Enter: Popup the message properties dialog. I typically use this to check the folder of the email.
Ctrl + F1: Toggle display or hiding of ribbon toolbar.
Here are other useful features and tricks:
[x] Show messages from other folders [ ] Show senders above the subject [x] Always expand selected conversation [x] Use Classic indented view
To look at important emails: Emails marked with high importance are shown with ! symbol in the middle pane on both the email and the conversation it is part of. This makes it easy to scroll through and look for important emails. The symbol on the conversation (not the email) disappears once I archive that email.
To look at only emails that @ mention me: In the top-right corner of the folder, click the dropdown and choose Filter -> Mentioned Mail. When buried under email, I find this useful to first process the emails where folks have mentioned me to get something from me. Outlook also shows **@** as a column in the middle pane on emails or conversations which mention me. I like that Outlook does not show this on the conversation (not the email) after I archive the email that mentions me.
To restrict conversation emails to a folder: Right-click on the conversation and choose Move -> Always Move Messages in this Conversation. This moves the conversation to the folder you choose and also all future replies to this conversation are moved to that folder automatically for you. Note that the rules you have set in Outlook will take precedence over this and so not all replies might end up following this order.
To open Calendar in a separate window: Right-click on the Calendar icon at the bottom-left and choose Open in New Window. I find this useful to keep both my mail and my calendar open at the same time side-by-side or on dual display while working.
To switch to offline mode: Go to the Send/Receive tab and click on Work Offline. This is great for working through emails without being disturbed by incoming emails.
To clean up a conversation/folder: Outlook can look at a conversation and remove intermediate emails whose contents are fully captured in later emails. I like this feature because this saves both space in the folder and also time and focus to read emails. So I like to apply this on the Archive folder and on long conversations that I have missed out on. To apply this on a folder or a conversation, right-click it and choose Clean Up. To customize where to move the removed emails and which emails to not touch, go to Options → Mail → Conversation Clean Up.
To show most recent search results first: By default, Outlook tries to be intelligent and show the most relevant results at the top of search results. This does not work well if you are looking for email results to be sorted by most recent. (Why cannot I find Mark’s email from yesterday by searching for “Mark”?) To make search results dumb, go to File -> Options -> Search -> Results and disable the Show most relevant results at the top option.
To create an appointment from an email: For certain emails, I like to create an appointment on the calendar to study its contents or work on a reply. This can be done by creating a Quick Step for this purpose and using it whenever needed. To create this Quick Step, right-click on the email and choose Quick Steps -> Create New -> Create an appointment with (attachment | text of message). The with attachment option attaches the original email as an attachment to the appointment. The with text of message inserts the text of the original email into the appointment.
Customize existing styles or create new styles: I find creating my new styles useful so that I can apply them on parts of email. For example, creating a code style would be useful to apply on code snippets I paste or type into email.
To view the automatic reply of a colleague: Create a new email and add their name in To field. Wait a second and Outlook will show their automatic reply at the top. I find this useful to check the out of office reply of a colleague, to find out how to proceed in their absence.
To delay sending a email: Compose your email or reply in a separate window. Go to the Options tab and choose Delay Delivery in the More Options section. If this button is not present, click the ↘ and in the Properties dialog and set what you wish in the Do not deliver before option. The Delay Delivery button should appear in the More Options section after you use it once. You can also setup a rule to delay delivery of all emails as described here.
To import calendar file (
.ics): If you look for an import option in the Calendar, you will not find one! To import, go to File -> Open and Export -> Import/Export. Point to the file and import it into your Outlook Calendar.
To sync a Google Calendar into Outlook calendar:
To add Teams to every meeting you create: Go to File -> Options -> Calendar and enable the Add online meeting to all meetings.
To sync the offline address book: Go to Send/Receive tab, choose Send/Receive Groups -> Download Address Book. In the dialog that appears, enable Download changes since last Send/Receive and choose Offline Global Address List from dropdown. Click OK to sync.
To expand words: Use the built-in autocorrect feature to expand acronyms/abbreviations/shortforms to expanded text. Go to File -> Options -> Mail -> Compose messages -> Editor Options -> Proofing -> AutoCorrect options and add to the list there.
Search folder for meeting invites: Meeting invite messages get lost among emails, so I like to have a search folder for them. In the criteria for search folder go to the Advanced tab and choose
Message Class - contains - IPM.Schedule.Meeting.