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Basic Microsoft Outlook Keyboard Shortcuts

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 11/25/2008

Here are some of the more basic and functional "quick keys" to make using Microsoft Outlook even easier.

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    The Outlook

    The most interconnected piece of software in the Microsoft Office Suite is Outlook. This email program is meant to allow you more personal access to your email by bringing it right onto your computer. This program is slightly different than the rest in the Suite because it is meant mainly for communication and not for document creation. For this reason many of its keyboard shortcuts are different than the standard ones used in Office.

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    Basic File

    To open a new email document with Word as your editor you just press Shift, Control, and S. To create a new folder you hit Shift, Control, and E, and if you want to create a new appointment to be scheduled you can press Shift, Control, and A. To select a menu you can press F10 and then you can press Enter to open it or Shift and the downward pointing arrow.

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    Alternating Viewability

    You are going to be switching between different functions and views quite a bit during extensive use of Outlook. To switch to mail you press Control + 1, to switch to Calendar its Control + 2, to switch to Contacts its Control + 3, to switch to Tasks its Control + 4, and to switch to Notes its Control + 5. To get to the next “item” when open you can just go with Control and the “,” button, and switch over to the Shortcuts menu you press Control + 7.

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    Microsoft

    Many of the standard Microsoft quick keys apply here as well. To switch to another window you press Alt + Tab, and to go back to the one you were just on you just go with Shift, Alt, and Tab. Pressing Alt selects the menu, Control and Tab pressed together can get you the tab you want, and Control and the Space Bar together will show toolbar options. When you open a new message with Word as the editor most of the same Word keyboard shortcuts work.

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    Contacts and Text

    To open up the finder window to look through your contacts you can easily press Control, Shift, and D. When working with text you can display the formatting menu by pressing Alt + O, make the text bold with Control + B, go with italics with Control + I, and make a larger indentation with Control + T. Logically, you can center text with Control + E, bringing it to left hand alignment with Control + L, and underline the text with Control + U.

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    Starting Off

    These are just some basic shortcuts but there are many more available for this program and others in the Microsoft Office Suite.