Microsoft Outlook Tips & Shortcuts (II)

Rich Talbot

The technically savvy amongst you will be familiar with the treasures of keyboards shortcuts available throughout the Microsoft Office suite. This article will highlight some neat keyboard shortcuts and useful tips in Outlook.

Tips – Here are a few simple tricks that are often overlooked:

Create a Cool Signature

Signatures save time through typing repetition and look professional, but their true value lies in the promotion of a brand – this could be your business or yourself!

Just follow these simple steps:

Select “Options” from the “Tools” menu.

Select the “Menu” tab then hit the “Signature” button.

From the Create Dialogue box, select the “New” button.

Type your name and hit “Next”.

In the signature box, enter information such as your name, address, phone number, business name, email address & website.

Change the Look of Unread Messages

Outlook, by default, highlights unread messages in your Inbox with a bold font. You can change this font so it stands out more to a different font type, colour or size. Tell a colleague so there are no more excuses for missing important emails!

To do this, follow the easy guidelines below:

Select “View” then “Current View” and finally “Customize Current View” whilst you are in you inbox.

Then hit the “Automatic Formatting” button.

Select Unread Messages and then click on “Font”.

You will then be able to change the settings. Click “OK” when finished.

Important emails that require reviewing again can be marked as unread by right clicking the email message and selecting “mark as unread”.

Automatically Archive Old Mail using Outlook AutoArchive

This handy and easy to use tool automatically moves old messages to archive. All you have to do is specify how often you would like it done, and Outlook takes care of the rest.

To turn on AutoArchive, follow the steps below:

Select “Tools” and then “Options”.

Then select the “Other” tab and hit the “AutoArchive” button.

Specify how often you want Outlook to Archive old messages.

Check all other details such the archive folder and hit “OK” when ready.


It is true to say the keyboard really is faster than the mouse for an array of commonly used tasks. The mouse operates in the sluggish point, select and click manner. It’s a bit like the tortoise and hare story, but this time the hare (your fingers) never gets tired!

Here is a list of speedy keyboard shortcuts that will knock seconds off that slovenly mouse. There is no need to try remembering them all – only the ones that you use on a regular basis.

Check for new messages “Ctrl + M”
Create a new message “Ctrl + N”
Reply to a message “Ctrl + R”
Reply to all “Ctrl + Shift + R”
Forward a message “Ctrl + F”
Print an item “Ctrl + P”
Display address book “Ctrl + Shift + B”
Create a new contact “Ctrl + Shift + C”
Create a new Distribution List “Ctrl + Shift + L”
Create new appointment “Ctrl + Shift + A”
Delete an item “Ctrl + D”
Create new folder “Ctrl + Shift + E”
Move items to folder “Ctrl + Shift + V”
Create New Office Document “Ctrl + Shift + H”
Advanced Find “Ctrl + Shift + E”
Go to today"s date “Alt + D”
Go to a date “Ctrl + G”
Move to appointments on current date (hit enter twice to open item)
Display the current week “Alt + -” (minus)
Display the current month “Alt + =”
Open Help “F1”
Open Find dialog or Find pane “F3”
Expand dropdown menus, use arrow keys to select from list “F4”
Refresh the current window (Outlook 2003) – Send/Receive in older versions “F5”
Move to next window element “F6”
Run spell check “F7”
Send/Receive “F9”

Back to more Microsoft Outlook Help

About the Author:

Author is certified Microsoft Office trainer, for a company that is UK leader in Microsoft training. For more information on Outlook Training, visit

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