Ultimate Outlook resource

Surfing the Internet with Microsoft Outlook (2000/2002)  (posted 12/26/01)

If you use Microsoft Outlook to manage your email and scheduling, you'll be glad to know that you can also use it to view a Web page.  The Favorites menu provides quick access to Web pages you've stored in Internet Explorer's Favorites list. If the Web page you'd like to access isn't available in the Favorites menu, display the Web toolbar by choosing View | Toolbars | Web from the menu bar. In Outlook 2002, you don't need to to display the Web toolbar since you'll find Web navigation tools integrated into the program's interface, right above the Outlook window. Type the Web page's URL in the Address text box, and then press [Enter] to display it within the Outlook window. You may wish to close the Folder List to increase the Web page's viewing area. You can easily add the current Web page to your Favorites by choosing Favorites | Add To Favorites from  the menu bar. Make sure the Save In location is the Favorites folder, and then click OK. Web pages you save to Microsoft Outlook's Favorites menu will also be available in Internet Explorer.

Copyright (c) 2001  Element K Content LLC Inc.  All rights reserved.  For additional EK Journals online information, access EK Journals on the Internet (http://www.elementkjournals.com)

Use commas to separate email addresses in Outlook (98) (posted 11/13/01)

If you can't seem to remember if you should use a semicolon or a comma to separate email addresses, why not use both? There's an option in Outlook that enables commas to be used in addition to semicolons between email addresses. To turn on this feature, choose Tools | Options and on the Preferences property sheet, click E-mail Options. On the E-mail Options property sheet, click Advanced E-mail Options. In the When Sending A Message panel, select the Allow Comma As Address Separator check box and click OK until you return to Outlook. The next time you create a message you can type either a semicolon or a comma between email addresses in the To:, Cc: or Bcc: fields. When Outlook checks the names, all commas are automatically changed to semicolons.

Copyright (c) 2001  Element K Content LLC Inc.  All rights reserved.  For additional EK Journals online information, access EK Journals on the Internet (http://www.elementkjournals.com)

Show week numbers in the Outlook Date Navigator

Do you need to see the week number in your calendar? If so, turn on the week numbers in the Date Navigator. To do this, choose Tools | Options. On the Preferences property sheet, click the Calendar Options button. In the Calendar Options panel, select the Show Week Numbers In The Date Navigator checkbox then click OK twice. Now the Date Navigator shows the week numbers to the left of the first day in the week.

Copyright (c) 2001  Element K Content LLC Inc.  All rights reserved.  For additional EK Journals online information, access EK Journals on the Internet (http://www.elementkjournals.com)

Permanently deleting Outlook items

Outlook protects you from deleting items that you don't want to lose permanently by using a two-step deletion process. When you delete an item, Outlook moves it to the Deleted Items folder where you can retrieve it if need be. To delete the item permanently, you must delete it from the Deleted Items folder. However, if you want to delete an item permanently, you can bypass the Deleted Items folder by selecting the item and pressing [Shift][Delete]. When prompted, click OK to delete the item permanently. 

If you'd prefer not to have to confirm permanent deletions, you can prevent the warning dialog box from appearing when you press [Shift][Delete]. To do so, select Tools | Options from the menu bar, click on the Other tab, and click the Advanced Options button. On the General Settings tab, clear the Warn Before Permanently Deleting Items check box and then click OK twice to return to Outlook.

This tip was contributed by Jerry Oosterling [joosterl@semantica.com].

Copyright (c) 2001  Element K Content LLC Inc.  All rights reserved.  For additional EK Journals online information, access EK Journals on the Internet (http://www.elementkjournals.com)

Easily retrieve archived Outlook data

If you're smart, you've set up the AutoArchive feature to run and save your valuable Outlook data on a regular basis. Once the PST file has been created and you've archived data, you'll need to know how to retrieve that data. To retrieve archived data, you can either open the archive file in Outlook, import the data into a new folder, or import the data into the original folders. Once you retrieve the data, you can manually move or copy the archived items to other folders as needed. Opening the archive folder in Outlook is the easiest way to access the data. It's also a good way to see what was archived especially after you set up the AutoArchive for the first time. Using this method, every archived folder that's been archived is retrieved. To open the archive file, choose File | Open | Personal Folders File (.pst). Select the Archive.pst file in the resulting dialog box and click OK. The Archive Folders folder is added to the top of the folder list. Click on the plus sign (+) next to the Archive Folders folder to expand the list of folders. When you've finished, right-click on the Archive Folders folder in the Folder List and choose Close "Archive Folders" from the shortcut menu.

Copyright (c) 2001  Element K Content LLC Inc.  All rights reserved.  For additional EK Journals online information, access EK Journals on the Internet (http://www.elementkjournals.com)

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Create an Outlook task from Word text

Have you ever wanted to create a task based on text you read in a Word document? You could switch to Outlook, open a task form, switch back to Word and copy the text, then copy it into the task form. However, there is an easier way to create a task based on text in a Word document. Before you start, have Word and Outlook running. In Outlook, select any folder except Outlook Today and the Outlook Bar must be visible. Now you need to display Outlook and Word side by side. One way to do this is to minimize all open applications. Then click on the Outlook taskbar button and the Word taskbar button. Right-click on the taskbar and choose Tile Vertically. Both windows will be tiled on the screen. Now in Word, select the text that you want to include in the task item. While pressing the [Ctrl] key, drag the text to the Tasks shortcut in the Outlook bar. Release the mouse button first then the [Ctrl] key. Outlook automatically opens a task form with the selected text inserted in the form.

Copyright (c) 2001  Element K Content LLC Inc.  All rights reserved.  For additional EK Journals online information, access EK Journals on the Internet (http://www.elementkjournals.com)

Add the company name of a contact when using Letter Wizard in Outlook

When you select a contact and use the New Letter To Contact command, the Letter Wizard puts the name and address of the contact in a blank Word document. But it doesn't include the company name, job title or the country. To add this information without typing it, start the Letter Wizard by selecting a contact and choosing Actions | New Letter To Contact from the menu bar. In the Letter Wizard dialog box, click on the Recipient Info tab and then click on the Address Book button. In the Select Name dialog box, select Contacts from the Show Names From The dropdown list. Select the contact's name and click OK. The full address including the company name, job title and country are automatically placed in the Delivery Address text box. Delete any text you don't need and then click Finish. The full name and address are placed in the blank document.

Copyright (c) 2001  Element K Content LLC Inc.  All rights reserved.  For additional EK Journals online information, access EK Journals on the Internet (http://www.elementkjournals.com)

Create a desktop shortcut to create a new Outlook message

Desktop shortcuts can save time when you need to create documents that
you use often. You can create a shortcut to create an Outlook message as well. To do this, right-click on the desktop and select New | Shortcut from the pop-up menu. In the resulting dialog box, use the Browse button to select Outlook.exe, the executable file that starts Outlook. It's usually located in the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office folder. Select the filename and click Open. This inserts the following into the text box: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Outlook.exe" (As an alternative, you can type the full path including the executable file name.) Press the [End] key and the [Spacebar] then type /c ipm.note. Click Next. In the Select A Name For The Shortcut text box, type New Mail Message or another name that reminds you of what this shortcut does. Then click Finish. Double-click on the shortcut to open a new message form. If Outlook isn't running, you'll have to log on first before you'll see the message form. Then just create and send the message as usual.

You can also create other similar shortcuts for a new appointment, note, contact, etc., by substituting /c ipm.note with one of the following:

Create an appointment:     /c ipm.appointment
Create a task:                  /c ipm.task
Create a contact:             /c ipm.contact
Create a note:                 /c ipm.stickynote

Check Outlook's online help topic Control What Happens When You Start Outlook for more information on these command line options.

This tip was contributed by John Warde.

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BCC: Be Cautious & Careful

We  conceal email addressees by adding their addresses to the bcc field. Be aware that certain email programs, like Outlook and Lotus Notes, include bcc addressees in the public addressee list when you use the Reply To All feature. So before you use the bcc feature, do your research and find out to what degree your email program respects bcc privacy.

See a list of birthdays from your Outlook calendar (98)

If you're the one who keeps track of everyone's birthdays in your Outlook calendar, you can make a list of when the birthdays occur by filtering the Annual Events view of your calendar. First, you need to insert the birthday items as yearly recurring events. To do this, switch to one of the Day/Week/Month views, right-click on the day, and choose New Recurring Event from the shortcut menu. In the Appointment Recurrence dialog box, select Yearly in the Recurrence Pattern panel. Then click OK. In the Subject text box, type text that reminds you of who has the birthday that day. For example, type "Lisa's birthday." Make sure you include the word "birthday" in the text because we'll use that in our filter later on. Click Save And Close to finish. Set up the rest of the birthday items for the year.

To see a list of birthdays, change to the Annual Events view in your Calendar. Choose View | Current View | Customize Current View. Click the Filter button. On the Appointments And Meeting property sheet, type the word "birthday" in the Search For The Word(s) text box. Click on the Advanced tab. In the Define More Criteria panel, click on the Field button and select All Appointment Fields/Recurrence. From the Value dropdown list, select Yearly then click Add To List. Click OK twice to return to Outlook and you'll see a list of birthdays for the year.

Synchronize folders automatically when you quit Outlook

If you work with Outlook offline, you know how important it is to synchronize your folders before you log off of the server. If you sometimes forget to synchronize your folders, have Outlook do it automatically when you exit. All you need to do is set a couple of options. To do this, choose Tools/Options from the menu bar. Click on the Mail Services tab and select the Enable Offline Access check box. Just below that check box, select the When Online, Synchronize All Folders Upon Exiting check box. Then click OK. The next time you exit Outlook, the folders are automatically synchronized.

Edit the subject line of received messages in Outlook (98) (posted 4/1/00)

Have you noticed that the subject lines of messages sent to you don't always express what's in the message? Maybe the text isn't descriptive enough or you want to add something to jog your memory later. Even though the subject line seems to be untouchable in the gray area above the message, you can edit it. Just place your insertion point in the subject text and add or change what you need. Then close the message and click Yes to save the changes.

This tip was contributed by Erick Watson.

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Add a new contact and address book entry from an Outlook message 
(posted 2/28/00)

Here's a neat way to add a person to your contact list from an email message. Instead of closing the message and opening a contact form, in the open email message, right-click on the person's name. From the shortcut menu, select Add To Contacts. A new contact form opens and the person's name is already entered into the form. You can also add the person to your personal address book. In the open email message, right-click on the person's name and choose Add To Personal Address Book.

This tip was contributed by Roddy Hutcheson.

Add a Custom Category to the Outlook Add Holiday List (97/98/2000) (posted 2/1/00)

Does your company have special or unusual holidays such as company founder's day or winter break days? Would you like others in your organization to be able to add these holidays to their calendars easily? Here's how you can add a custom category in the Microsoft OutlookŪ Add Holidays to Calendar dialog box. (On the Tools menu, click Options, click Calendar Options, and then click Add Holidays.) 

Add a category containing personalized holidays to the Add Holiday list:

1.  On the Windows taskbar, click Start, point to Find, and then click Files or Folders. 

2.  In the Named box, type Outlook.txt and then click Find Now. 

3.  Right-click the file, and then click Open. 

4.  At the end of the file, start a new section by typing a custom category name inside square brackets and then typing the number of personalized holidays you plan to add to this section. It's important that this number is accurate. 

5.  Enter each holiday's name and date, separated by a comma, with the date in the format yyyy/mm/dd. When you're finished, the new section should look like the example below.

[1999 My Company Holidays] 7
Founder's Day, 1999/07/20
Company Picnic, 1999/09/07
Winter Break (1st day), 1999/12/27
Winter Break (2nd day), 1999/12/28
Winter Break (3rd day), 1999/12/29
Winter Break (4th day), 1999/12/30
Winter Break (5th day), 1999/12/31

6.  Save and close Outlook.txt, making sure that you save the file in Text Only format.

Now, when you display the Add Holidays to Calendar dialog box, you'll see your custom category in the alphabetical list. Select this category to automatically add these personalized holidays to your calendar. To make this updated list of holidays available to others, give them a copy of your Outlook.txt file and have them replace the default copy on their computer with the new one. Then, they'll see the added holidays when they click the Add Holidays button in the Calendar Options dialog box.

Use words in your Outlook date and time fields (posted 1/15/00)

Here's a shortcut we bet you'll use. When you type the word "tomorrow" in a date field, Outlook interprets the word and automatically inserts the correct date. You can type words like "yesterday", "today", "next Friday", or "Christmas", and Outlook will insert the correct date. But this only works with the name of those holidays that fall on the same date every year, such as Boxing Day, Cinco de Mayo, or New Year's Day.

If you type in the name of a holiday that's already passed, Outlook puts in the date for the current year, not the date for that holiday for the next year. To work around that, enter the date for the next year, including the year numbers, and press [Tab], then select the date and type in the holiday name. The correct date for the next year will be in the date box.

You can also type in a block of time, such as 30 days, and Outlook determines what day is 30 days from today.

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See the whole view name by widening the Current View box in Outlook
(posted 12/15/99)

Maybe you've noticed that the box that displays the name of the current view in the toolbar isn't always wide enough to display the whole name of some views. You can widen the box by using these steps:

1.  Right-click on a blank space in a toolbar and select Customize. This displays the Customize Toolbars dialog box.

2.  Click on the Current View combo box to select it. When it's selected you'll see a black outline on the box.

3.  Point to the left or right border of the black box. The mouse changes to a vertical bar with horizontal arrows when you can resize the box.

4.  Drag the box border to the width that you want the box to be.

5.  Close the Customize dialog box.

Quickly record a Journal entry in Outlook (98) (posted 11/15/99)

To quickly open a Journal entry window for a contact, drag the contact name to the Journal icon in the Outlook bar. The Journal entry will open with the contact's name already inserted. Now you can add notes, or time a phone call. This entry will automatically be placed in the Journal.

Display the Calendar when you start Outlook (98) (posted 11/1/99)

Are you the kind of person who likes to check their daily calendar before reading email? If so, you'd probably prefer Outlook to open the Calendar instead of the Inbox when you start Outlook.

To change the default, choose Tools/Options. Click on the Other tab and click Advanced Options. Under General Settings area, click on the Start Up In This Folder dropdown list and select Calendar. Click OK twice. The next time you restart Outlook, the Calendar will open by default instead of the Inbox.

Using these same steps, you can also change the default so Outlook opens the Contacts, Tasks, Journal, or Notes folders.

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Display the Calendar when you start Outlook 98 (posted 9/16/99)

Are you the kind of person who likes to check their daily calendar before reading email? If so, you'd probably prefer Outlook to open the Calendar instead of the Inbox when you start Outlook. 

To change the default, choose Tools/Options. Click on the Other tab and click Advanced Options. Under General Settings area, click on the Start Up In This Folder dropdown list and select Calendar. Click OK twice. The next time you restart Outlook, the Calendar will open by default instead of the Inbox.

Using these same steps, you can also change the default so Outlook opens the Contacts, Tasks, Journal, or Notes folders.

Increase your WordMail workspace (97/2000) (posted 8/15/99)

When creating email messages with Word and Outlook's WordMail feature, you can change the size of your workspace by toggling the display of the message header (CC: and Subject: fields), the Bcc: field, and the From: field. To do so, open the View menu and select the field you'd like to turn on or off. If you're using Outlook 98, you can quickly toggle the message header on or off simply by clicking the Message Header button on the Outlook Send Mail toolbar. (If you're using version 2000, this technique is available only when you use the Microsoft Outlook Rich Text message format.)

Eliminate hang time by turning off the automatic journal entry feature (97/2000) (posted 8/1/99)

If you frequently experience problems when you open or close a Word document, then Outlook's automatic journal entries may be to blame. By default, Outlook 97 is configured to automatically record all Office files as journal entries. This behind-the-scenes process can cause delays when you open or close a Word document. Microsoft has corrected the issue with the Microsoft Office Service Release 1 (SR-1) patch for Office 97. This issue is also corrected in Outlook 98 and Microsoft Office 2000. To learn more about the SR-1 patch, point your browser to:


To turn off Outlook's automatic journal entry feature for Word documents, open Outlook and select Tools/Options from the menu bar. Click the Journal Options button on the Preferences property sheet, then clear the Microsoft Word check box in the Also Record Files From list box. When you've finished, click OK twice. This prevents Outlook from taking the time to create a journal entry every time you open or close a Word document.

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Quick appointment (posted 5/12/99)

To quickly copy an appointment, press and hold down CTRL and drag the item to a new date or time in Calendar or in the Date Navigator.

Outlook: Turn off card view and table view editing (posted 3/15/99)

Outlook's card views and table views enable you to edit Outlook item information without opening the item. For example, when displaying your contacts in Address Cards view, you can click on a contact's address information and replace it with new information. Then, when you click outside the contact, Outlook automatically saves the changes to the contact form.

Although easy editing features like this add a degree of efficiency, they also create room for error that you might prefer to avoid. To disable this editing feature, switch to the view you'd like to modify, then select View/Current View/Customize Current View from the menu bar. In the View Summary dialog box, click Other Settings. Next, clear the Allow In-Cell Editing check box and click OK. Click OK to close any open dialog boxes.

vCards (posted 2/15/99)

A vCard is a virtual business card you can attached to Internet e-mail messages.

To create a vCard, display the Contacts folder, right-click the contact for whom you want to create a vCard, then choose the shortcut menu's Export to vCard File command.

To send a vCard to someone in e-mail:

1.  Click Contacts.

2.  Click the contact you want to send as a vCard, click Actions, and then click Forward as vCard.

If the Forward as vCard command is not available, click Forward.

When you receive a vCard, you can save it as a contact.

Copies to delegate (posted 2/1/99)

If you want your delegate to be sent copies of meeting requests and responses sent to you, give the delegate editor permission to your Calendar, and then select the Delegate receives copies of meeting-related messages sent to me check box.

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Add a shortcut to the Outlook Bar to open someone else's Calendar 
(posted 1/15/99)

You both need to be using Microsoft Exchange Server to store your mailboxes, and you need permission to see the other person's Calendar and main mailbox. For information about how to set permissions on a folder, click .

1.  Click Inbox.

2.  On the Tools menu, click Services.

3.  Click Microsoft Exchange Server, and then click Properties.

4.  Click the Advanced tab, and then click Add.

5.  Type the other person's name in the Add mailbox box.

6.  Click OK until all dialog boxes are closed.

7.  If the folder list is not visible, click the View menu, and then click Folder List.

8.  Expand the other person's mailbox so that the Calendar folder appears.

9.  Drag the Calendar folder to the ??

Using Outlook to track the amount of time you spend with clients (posted 12/10/98)

You can use Outlook to keep track of the amount time you spend performing work for each client in your contact list. To do this, select the contact and press [Ctrl]J to display a new Journal Entry form. Click the Start Timer button and begin your work. The Duration text box will then display the amount of elapsed time. Click the Pause button to stop the timer; click the Start Timer button again when you're ready to resume.

If you work with multiple clients throughout the day, you can open a journal entry form for each one. This way, you can switch among the forms, pausing the timer for one client while starting the timer for another.

Note that you can record the type of work you perform for a client by choosing the appropriate category from the Entry Type dropdown list. Click the Save and Close button when you've finished. You can view the journal entry by clicking the Journal button in the Outlook bar.

Remind yourself to keep in touch (posted 11/20/98)

Now you can flag contacts for follow-up in Outlook, just like you flag messages. You don't even have to open the item to flag it: 

1.  Select the contact. 

2.  From the new Actions menu, click Flag for follow up. 

3.  Follow the dialog box to set the type of follow-up and date and time for Outlook to remind you.

When you've completed follow-up, follow steps 1 and 2 above, then click Clear Flag or check the box showing that the task is completed.