10 Microsoft Outlook 2019 Shortcuts Worth Taking

By Faithe Wempen, Bill Dyszel

Juggling buttons, keys, and Ribbons can seem to take all day. This list offers some Microsoft Outlook shortcuts that can save you time and tension.

How to use the Microsoft Outlook New Items tool

To create a new item in whatever module you’re in, just click the tool at the far-left end of the Ribbon. The name and appearance of that icon changes when you change modules, so it becomes a New Task icon in the Tasks module, a New Contact icon in the People module, and so on. You can also click the New Items tool just to its right to pull down the New Items menu.

When you choose an item from the New Items menu, shown here, you can create a new item in an Outlook module other than the one you’re in without changing modules. For example, maybe you’re answering email and you want to create a task. Click the New Items button, choose Task, create your task, and then keep working with your email.

outlook-new-items
The New Items menu enables you to create new items modules other than the active one.

How to quickly send a file via Microsoft Outlook email

You can send a file via Outlook email with only a few mouse clicks, even if Outlook isn’t running. When you’re viewing files in File Explorer, you can mark any file to be sent to any email recipient. Here’s how:

  1. Find the file in File Explorer.
  2. Right-click on the file that you want to send. A menu appears.
  3. Choose Send To. Another menu appears.
  4. Choose Mail Recipient. A New Message form appears. An icon that represents the attached file appears in the Attached box.
  5. Type the subject of the file and the email address of the person to whom you’re sending the file. If you want to add comments to your message, type them in the message area of the window.
  6. Click Send. Your message goes to the recipient.

How to quickly send a file from any Microsoft Office Application

You can email any Office document from the Office application itself without using the Outlook email module. Here’s how:

  1. With an Office document open in the application that created it, click the File tab.
  2. Choose Share. The Share dialog box appears.
  3. Click one of the buttons under Attach a Copy Instead: Word Document or PDF. Use whichever format is most appropriate for the share at hand. Use Word Document if you want the recipient to be able to edit the file easily, and use PDF if you don’t want that. A new Message form appears in Outlook.
  4. Type the subject of the file and the email address of the person to whom you’re sending the file. If you want to add comments to your message, type them in the text box where the icon for the file is.
  5. Click the Send button. Your message goes to the Outbox.

How to turn an Outlook message into a meeting

Sometimes, after you’ve exchanged umpteen email messages about a topic, you realize it would be faster to just talk for a few minutes. You can turn an email message into a meeting by clicking the Meeting button on the Home tab (from the Inbox, with the desired message selected). That opens a New Meeting form so you can set up a meeting based on the contents of the email.

How to quickly find something in Microsoft Outlook

It doesn’t take long to amass quite a large collection of items in Outlook, which can then take a long time to browse through when you want to find one specific item. Outlook can search for items at your command if you type the name of what you’re seeking in the Search box at the top of every screen. That starts a quick search so you can get to what you want in a flash.

How to undo mistakes in Outlook

If you didn’t know about the Undo command, it’s time you heard the good news: When you make a mistake, you can undo it by pressing Ctrl+Z or by clicking the Undo button on the Quick Access Toolbar in the upper-left corner of the screen. So, feel free to experiment; the worst you’ll have to do is undo! (Of course, it’s better if you undo your mistake right away — before you do too many things.)

How to use the Outlook Go to Date dialog box

You can use the Go to Date dialog box, shown here, in all Calendar views. To access it, click the Properties button in the lower-right corner of the Go To group on the Home tab. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl+G as a shortcut.

outlook-go-to-date
The Go to Date dialog box.

For example, if you want to skip ahead 60 days, press Ctrl+G and type 60 days from now. The Calendar moves forward 60 days from the current date.

How to add items to Outlook list views

Many Outlook lists have a blank field at the top where you can type an entry and create a new item for that list. When you see the words Click Here to Add a New Task, that’s exactly what you do. Just click in the field and type your new item.

How to send repeat messages via Microsoft Outlook email

If you have messages you send out repeatedly, store the text as Quick Parts to save time. For example, if you were writing an article about Outlook accessories, you could send a message to every company you encounter that makes things for Outlook. The message could say something like this:

I’m currently writing an article about Microsoft Outlook, and I’d like to evaluate your product, XXX, for discussion in my article. Could you please send me a press kit?

When you find a new Outlook accessory vendor on the Internet, you then would follow these steps:

  1. Address your email message. Click the company’s email address in your browser.
  2. Click the Insert tab.
  3. Click in the message body area, and then click the Quick Parts button.
  4. Choose the AutoText item you saved. Change the XXX to the name of the product.
  5. Click the Send button. You can have a request out in less than 30 seconds and get on to your next task.

To use this feature, you must first store text blocks in Quick Parts:

  1. In an email message, appointment, contact record, meeting, or task, type and select the text you want to repeatedly use.
  2. Click the Insert tab.
  3. Click the Quick Parts button located in the Text group.
  4. Click Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery. You can create groups of Quick Part text for different purposes. For example, you could generate introductory text or closing text for different types of messages and then store this text in the gallery under Intro or Closings.

How to resend an Outlook message

Sometimes, you need to remind someone who forgot to do something you asked him or her to do. You could draft a whole new message reminding that person how many times you’ve reminded him or her already. But it’s faster and easier to do this:

  1. Go to your Sent Items folder.
  2. Double-click the message you sent last time.
  3. Click Actions.
  4. Choose Resend This Message. You might also add a sentence saying “In case this didn’t reach you, here’s another copy.”