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Microsoft Outlook Tips

Posted On: Nov 25, 2014

 Microsoft Outlook Tips

1. Save Time with Open New Window

Using the right click function and open new window helps you access multiple windows at once. Here’s how:

1.       Open your inbox in Outlook.

2.       Right click on calendar in the Outlook folders.

3.       Select “Open in New Window” from the menu.

4.       Try the power of right click for tasks, sent items or Prophet!

2. No more FAX numbers as an email address

Outlook 2000, 2002 and XP treats FAX numbers as valid electronic communication so if you have both email and fax in a contact, both show up when you hit send. There is no way to default to only email. Three options exist to save you headaches.

1.       Put FAX number in a different slot so that the fax field on contacts is empty.

2.       Manually insert an alpha character or characters in front of FAX number like FAX - this tricks outlook into ignoring the FAX number as an email address.

3.       Buy a utility that does this for you

3. Show Two Time zones with Outlook

If you travel a lot and send/receive appointments through Outlook, you know how confusing the time changes can be. Outlook gives you the ability to show two time zones. Here is how:

1.       In Outlook, click on Tools > Options > Calendar Options

2.       Click on Time Zone in advanced options

3.       Click on Show an Additional Time Zone

4.       Select the additional Time Zone you would like to see and whether to adjust for daylight savings time.

5.       Click OK to save

4. Using the Advanced Toolbar in Outlook

There are many advantages to having the Outlook Advance Tool bar as part of your permanent tool bar menu. To turn it on, in Outlook, click View > Toolbars > Advanced.

Here are some recommended tasks that will save you time:

  • This tool bar changes depending on where you are in Outlook. Learn the icons that are available each Outlook folder you are in.
  • The view box in the Advanced Tool is quite useful. Learn to leverage Outlook in different views.
  • In Calendar and Contact, learning to see contacts from different views is even more critical.
  • Learn to leverage the Field Chooser feature for your different Contact views.

5. Using AutoText to Create Repeatable Copy Blocks

Do you find yourself either re-typing or cutting and pasting the same copy block over and over? Use the Auto Text function of Word in Outlook to create a series of copy blocks that can be quickly inserted into emails or word documents. Here’s how:

1.       Make sure word is your default editor in Outlook (go Tools > Options > Mail Format)

2.       Create in either Word or in a new Outlook email the copy block that you want to save and re-use.

3.       Use Control A to select all of the copy you want to re-use

4.       In Word or Outlook – go to Insert > Auto Text > New and give the copy block a short, descriptive name that you will remember

5.       In a new email or Word document, type out the short, descriptive name and an option will come up to insert the auto text. Hit enter and voila! The copy magically appears!

6. Customizing Views in the Task Folder

The Views feature in Outlook allows you to create custom ways the information in each folder is displayed. Each folder comes with a standard view, but you can customize based on your preferences. It is pretty feature rich so here is a quick way to get started exploring and using Views in Outlook by focusing on one of my favorites - Tasks:

  • Click on the Task folder in Outlook
  • In the Task Toolbar, Click on View >Arrange By>Current View>Customize Current View
  • You can change the font, group by fields or any of a number of views in the standard view.
  • You can also change the default view in tasks to one of the other view types: Table, Timeline, Card, Day/Week/Month or Icon. Try this with Tasks:
  • Click on View>Arrange By>Current View>Define View
  • In the Customize View Organizer pop-up box, select New
  • Create a new view by naming it and selecting Day/Week/Month
  • Select the default settings and click accept
  • You now have your tasks organized by day in a calendar instead of in a table
  • Return to the standard view by clicking on views>current views>simple list

7. Printing a Blank Calendar

Have you ever wanted to print out a blank calendar for a non-work related activity like a club, school or general activity? Here’s one way to use Outlook to print out a blank calendar in the format of your choice:

1.       On the File menu, point to New, and then click Folder.

2.       Type a name for the folder.

3.       In the Folder contains list, click on “Calendar Items”.

4.       In the Select where to place the folder list, click Calendar, and then click OK.

5.       On the Go menu, click Folder List.

6.       In the Folder List, click the new folder you just created.

7.       On the File menu, point to Page setup, and then click the print style you want.

8.       Select the print style options you want, and then click Print.

8. Creating Follow Up Tasks from Emails

There are several ways to flag emails as follow-up items. You can use rules to move the email to a special folder, you can set a flag on the email OR you can create a task out of the email. I find it easier to create a task out of the email as it goes right onto my to do list is right in my face. Plus, it’s easier!

Drag the email that you want to create a task from to the task folder.

Fill-in any time or importance details you’d like and you’re done!

9. Creating calendar event / Meeting request from an Email

The below is an easy way to setup a calendar event or a Meeting request to discuss on the contents of a particular email.

Drag the email that you want to create as body of the meeting request  to the calendar folder.

Fill-in date time or importance details you’d like and you’re done! Make sure to fill in the attendees list so that the meeting request will be sent out correctly.

10. Change the Way Unread Messages are highlighted

By default, Outlook high lights unread messages in your Inbox with a bold font. You can change this to use a color, a bigger font, or even a completely different font.

To change the way unread mail is highlighted in Outlook:

  • Select View > Arrange By >Current View > Customize Current View from the menu while you are in your Outlook Inbox.
  • Click on Automatic Formatting.
  • Select Unread Messages.
  • Click on Font....
  • Specify your desired settings.
  • Click OK button