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Keyboard Shortcuts: Outlook Shortcuts Get Things Done

by Samantha Cruff |

(This is the third article in a series. You can find the first two posts here and here.)

Email is one of our primary communication tools.

Since it comes packaged with the rest of Microsoft Office, Outlook has become the most common email program used in businesses.

More Than Just Email

We use Outlook for much more than sending and receiving emails.

We manage our schedule with Outlook’s calendar feature.

We use tasks to manage our “to do” list.

We even use Outlook on our phones to keep up with things when we’re out of the office.

Basic Shortcut Keys

While Outlook is one of our most used programs, it can be cumbersome to constantly switch between email and calendar.

Thankfully, maneuvering in Outlook is much easier using shortcut keys.

Here is a list of shortcut keys to make working in Outlook faster:

  • Ctrl + Shift + M: New mail message
  • Ctrl + Shift + A: New appointment
  • Ctrl + Shift + Q: New meeting request
  • Ctrl + Shift + K: New task
  • Ctrl + Shift + N: New note (post-it)
  • Ctrl + 1: Go to mailbox
  • Ctrl + 2: Go to calendar
  • Ctrl + 4: Go to task
  • F3: Search

Specific Shortcuts

Some of Outlooks shortcuts are function specific. Here are shortcuts for some of the most-used features.

Email shortcuts:

  • Ctrl + O: Open message
  • Ctrl + Q: Mark as read
  • Ctrl + U: Mark as unread
  • Ctrl + F: Forward
  • Ctrl + R: Reply
  • Ctrl + Shift + R: Reply all
  • Alt + S: Send
  • Ctrl + “.”: Next message
  • Ctrl + “,”: Previous message
  • Ctrl + Shift + I: Move to inbox
  • Ctrl + Shift + G: Flag for followup
  • Ctrl + Alt + R: Reply with meeting request
  • Ctrl + Alt + J: Mark message as not junk

Calendar shortcuts:

  • Ctrl + G: Go to a date
  • Ctrl + Alt + 2: Switch to “Work Week” view
  • Ctrl + Alt + 3: Switch to “Full Week” view
  • Ctrl + Alt + 4: Switch to “Month” view
  • Alt + Down arrow: Go to next week
  • Alt + Up arrow: Go to previous week
  • Alt + Page Down: Go to next month
  • Alt + Page Up: Go to previous month

Outlook Extra: The Drag and Drop

Have you used drag and drop in Outlook?

It’s not really a keyboard shortcut, but it’s a great time saver to get information from somewhere else into a new email.

You can do this with attachments and email addresses.

When sending an attachment from an email to someone else (when you don’t want to forward the original email), you simply:

  • Open a new email to send.
  • Open the original email with the attachment.
  • Click the original attachment with the mouse then drag the cursor into the body of the new email and release.

You can also add an attachment to an email by dragging it directly from File Explorer.

You can also drag and drop email addresses. Drag a name from one email directly into the “To” or “CC” section of a new email. Note: you cannot drag and drop from an email you are currently editing.

This is great for those times when you need to email someone, and you only have the contact information as part of a previous chain, but you don’t need to email everyone else copied on the email.

About the Author

Samantha Cruff

Samantha Cruff is the Marketing Communications Coordinator at Lawyers Mutual. Contact Samantha for information regarding our available risk management publications at 800.662.8843 or samantha@lawyersmutualnc.com.

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