Tour the Microsoft Outlook Interface - dummies

Tour the Microsoft Outlook Interface

By Faithe Wempen

Outlook 2013 is like other Office 2013 applications in many ways. For example, it has a Ribbon, a File tab that opens Backstage view, and a status bar that shows status messages and provides a Zoom slider for changing the magnification of the application’s content.

The unique thing about Outlook is that it has several diverse areas, and each area has a different interface. These areas are Mail, Calendar, People, Tasks, and Notes. (Two other items that are also listed aren’t really separate areas: Folders and Shortcuts.) You click a button in the lower-left corner of the Outlook application window to switch to the area you want to work with, as shown.

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Even though this exercise covers only the e-mail component of Outlook, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the entire application so you can get an idea of how the areas fit together.

  1. Start Outlook from the Start screen.

    If Outlook hasn’t been used previously on this PC, a dialog box prompts you to set up an e-mail account.

    If anyone has used Outlook previously on this PC, you see the area of the program that was displayed the last time the program was closed.

  2. In the lower-left part of the Outlook window, click Mail.

    The Mail interface appears. Your messages will be different, obviously, and you’ll probably have different folders than those shown in the figure.

  3. If the mail folder names appear vertically, as on the left in the figure, click the Expand the Folder Pane button at the top of the Folder pane.

    The mail folders appear, as shown in this figure. By default, the Inbox folder appears. You can switch to viewing a different folder, such as Sent Items, by clicking the folder name in the Folder pane. If you want to widen the Folder pane, drag the divider between the Folder pane and the adjacent pane.

    When you’re viewing Mail, the message list appears in the center, and the selected message appears in the Reading pane, which can be either to the right of or below the message list. You can switch the orientation of the Reading pane by clicking the View tab and then the Reading Pane button. (Choose Right, Bottom, or None.)

    The Folder pane shows all the available mail folders; the Favorites list shows a subset of folders that you (or some other users on this PC) have hand-picked to be placed there. Your Favorites list may not have any folders in it yet. You can drag and drop a folder from the Folder pane to the Favorites list to place it there.

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  4. Click one of the messages in the message list.

    A preview of that message appears in the Reading pane, as shown in this figure.

  5. Click the Calendar button in the lower-left corner of the Outlook window.

    If you don’t see a Calendar button, click the More button (. . .) to see a list of other services and then select Calendar from there.

    A calendar appears, as shown in this figure. It shows a dentist appointment on May 1st. This is how appointments appear on the monthly calendar.

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  6. Choose Home→Day.

    The calendar changes to Day view, as shown. Each calendar has a number of views available.

    For more practice, click each of the other views in the Arrange group on the View tab to see how they display a calendar.

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  7. Click the People button in the lower-left corner of the Outlook window.

    If you don’t see a People button, click the More button (. . .) to see a list of other services and select People from there.

    A list of any contacts you’ve already set up in Outlook appears. Contact listings provide names, addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and so on for people you want to keep in touch with. Notice the letters along the side of the listing, as in the figure:

    • You can click a letter to jump quickly to the people with last names starting with that letter.

    • You can double-click any listing to see its full record in a separate window.

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  8. Choose Home→Business Card. (It’s in the Current View group.)

    The contacts appear as business cards rather than in a list.

  9. In the lower-left corner, click the More button (. . .) to see a list of other services and then select Tasks.

    A list of any to-do items you have already set up in Outlook appears.

  10. Click the More button (. . .) to see a list of other services and then select Notes.

    A list of any notes you have already set up in Outlook appears.

  11. Click the Mail button to return to the Mail folders.