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TechProGuild FastAnswer: Learning basic Microsoft Outlook keyboard shortcuts

GUIs make applications like Microsoft Outlook much easier to learn, but having to reach for the mouse can actually be counter-productive. Knowing a few keyboard shortcuts can save you some time. Here are some of the most common ones.

Save time. TechProGuild members can download the preformatted, ready-to-print version of this FastAnswer handout. The next time the problem arises in your organization, simply print it and distribute the file directly to end users or members of your IT staff.

The problem

Many tasks in Microsoft Outlook can be accomplished using keystroke combinations rather than a point-and-click with the mouse. Remembering these keystrokes can be difficult.

The cause

Back in the days of DOS, when users wanted to do something like change a font or print, they had to remember arcane keyboard combinations. Windows made applications easier to learn by implementing a GUI and drop-down menus that required the use of a mouse. This made applications easier to learn, but a little less efficient by forcing the user to let go of the keyboard to accomplish simple tasks. Knowing the proper keyboard commands allows users to do things quickly without reaching for the mouse.

The solution

Microsoft didn't completely do away with the keyboard combinations used in old DOS e-mail programs. Some of the most important Microsoft Outlook keyboard shortcuts are:

Alternative solutions

This chart only includes a partial list of the keyboard shortcuts available in Microsoft Outlook. For a complete list, you can either check the Help function in Microsoft Outlook or check out Microsoft's Web site. You can also obtain additional Excel short cut information from TechRepublic's Quick Reference: Microsoft Office Pack.

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