Helpful Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts for Microsoft Outlook

Love it or hate it, Microsoft Outlook is still the de facto e-mail client at many offices. ROSE IT Services Limited has compiled a few helpful pointers and shortcuts for Microsoft Outlook to help boost your productivity when using this application.

Microsoft Outlook Keyboard Shortcuts

Getting familiar with Outlook keyboard shortcuts can help you to speed through your Outlook tasks. Among the most useful are:

  1. Alt + L – Reply All

  2. Alt + R / Ctrl + R – Reply

  3. Alt + S / Ctrl + Enter – Send

  4. Alt + W / Ctrl + F – Forward an Item

  5. Ctrl + D – Delete an Item

  6. Ctrl + M / F9 – Send / Receive All

  7. Ctrl + P – Print

  8. Ctrl + S – Save a Draft Message

  9. Ctrl + G – Open “Go to Date” Dialog in Calendar

You can also switch between Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and other items in the navigation pane by hitting Ctrl + [the place number of the item]. For example:

Feel free to download our comprehensive List of Outlook Keyboard Shortcuts.

Sort Your Mail With Outlook Rules

Outlook Rules provide options for automatically processing messages as they arrive. In case you missed it, our Tech Tip on Organizing Email with Outlook Rules provides some guidelines on setting this up.

Save On Repetitive Typing With Outlook Quick Parts

A quick part is a reusable block of text for email messages. If you regularly need to type out a standard passage of text, you can save it as an Outlook Quick Part for easy insertion into your e-mails. Here’s how to accomplish this:

  1. From a New E-mail window, simply highlight the content you want to store as a reusable building block.

  2. Switch to the Insert tab, in the Text group and select Quick Parts.

  3. Select “Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery…”

  4. Fill out the information in the “Create New Building Block” dialog box and click “OK”.

In future, you can simply select your content from the Quick Parts Dropdown for insertion or right-click in the Gallery Pane, to edit or manage your Quick Parts.

Take Advantage of Outlook Quick Steps

Microsoft Outlook’s Quick Step feature automates common or repetitive tasks. It allows you to apply multiple actions simultaneously to e-mail messages. You can choose from the default quick steps or create your own of mail actions that you take most often.


For example, if you frequently move messages to a specific folder, or forward messages to your manager or peers, a one-click quick step can simplify the task.

Instantly Create New E-mails and Appointments

Simply right-click on the Microsoft Outlook icon in the Windows 7 or 8 taskbar to open a jumplist offering direct shortcuts to create a new email, appointment or other items; much better than constantly fiddling through the menus or navigation pane.


Post-it Notes

Outlook includes a built-in sticky notes feature. Simply press Ctrl + Shift + N from anywhere within Outlook’s interface to create a new note. Default notes appear in pale yellow, however, you can assign Categories to them, which causes them to switch to the associated colour. Notes can be managed from the View tab.

The instructions and details in this article are based on Microsoft Outlook 2010, but they should work across earlier and later versions of Outlook.

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