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Use the keyboard to work in Outlook

Outlook window in background with a new message window in the foreground

All the standard text manipulation shortcuts work:
Callout 1 CTRL+N to open a new message.
Callout 2 CTRL+B for boldface.
Callout 3 CTRL+I for italic.
Callout 4 CTRL+U for underline.
Callout 5 ALT+S to send a message.

When you want to create a new message, you have a choice of shortcuts; which one you use is a personal preference based on how you work.

  • CTRL+SHIFT+M opens a new message window in whatever area of Outlook you are currently using.
  • CTRL+N opens a new message window when you are in Mail. If you are in Calendar, it opens a new appointment; if you are in Contacts it opens a new contact; and so on.
  • ALT+N opens the New submenu, where you can create a new message, appointment, meeting request, or choose other Outlook options.

Decide which shortcut will be best for you and remember that one. You can create an entire message with just the keyboard:

Action Keyboard Shortcut Remember
Open a new message CTRL+SHIFT+M or CTRL+N or ALT+N M for Message or N for New.
Move around fields in the new message window TAB Works in the same way as any Office dialog box.
Look up an e–mail address CTRL+SHIFT+B B for book, as in Address Book.
Check validity of an address CTRL+K Is it OK?
Format text Standard formatting shortcuts. For example, CTRL+B for bold. B for Bold, I for Italic, U for Underline, and so on.
Send a message ALT+S S for Send.

Don't worry about noting down the shortcuts now, they are summarized in the Quick Reference Card at the end of the course.

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