Outlook keyboard shortcuts

Here are some of my favorite keyboard shortcuts in Outlook, from a self-proclaimed keyboard junkie. Many of these are standard windows shortcuts, some are specific to Outlook:

  • F6: Switches between navigation pane/folder list, message list and preview pane. Also useful in other applications or elsewhere in windows (when the desktop is visible, I use F6 to switch between the desktop, quick launch bar, task bar and address bar). In OneNote, this switches between the main edit portion and the search dialog, handy for quickly finding things.
  • Ctrl+[number]: Ctrl+1 goes to your Inbox, Ctrl+2 to your calendar, etc. See these shortcuts off of the "Go" menu
  • Alt+[number] in the calendar: Select a day in your calendar and press Alt+3 or Alt+5, and the view will switch to show you the current day plus the next 3 or 5 days.
  • Spacebar in the reading pane: Make sure the reading pane is visible (view \ reading pane), and select a message that's long enough such that the entire message doesn't show up on the screen. Press the spacebar several times, and you'll page through the contents of the message. When you hit the end, pressing space moves to the next message.
  • Shift+F10: This brings up the right-click or "context menu". Useful on folders, messages, when an attachment is selected, etc.
  • Ctrl+Shift+[letter]: Look at the shortcuts on the File | New menu to see which shortcut you can use to create a new item (mail, appointment, etc). I use these frequently, as well as Ctrl+Shift+F (Advanced Find) and Ctrl+Shift+B (Address Book).
  • Alt+F1: Shows/hides the navigation pane (typically on the left side of the screen, with the folder list + links to other folders)
  • Shift+Tab: A reverse tab, so you can move from the body of a message to the subject field, etc.
  • F2: Rename a folder. If "in cell editing" is turned on (View \ arrange by \ current view \ customize current view \ other settings), can also be used to edit the selected field (and tab changes between fields)
I recently stumbled across this KB article (Q126449), which looks like a nice overview of many windows keyboard shortcuts, including those that use the windows key on Microsoft keyboards.
P.S. For those of you who read my previous blog, I realize some of these are dupes that I'd already mentioned. But some are not, and they're all worth mentioning anyway 🙂
Comments (10)

  1. Cameronk says:

    thanks for posting this, always a good reminder to learn more of the shortcuts! i don’t know nearly enough by heart.

  2. Buzz Bruggeman says:

    With our Outlook agent, you can name all those events in Outlook so that typing something like find lets you find things, inbox takes you to the inbox, and that can be done from any application at any time.

    Also, we allow you to synchronize first name, last name and company name in Outlook with ActiveWords so that you can type or click on a name in any context and in any application and get the Outlook record to open.

  3. Andy says:

    Thanks for that – I’ll take a look to see if these solve my mouseless problems when the pc comes back from repair! Much appreciated.

  4. James Rivera says:

    One minor addition (that I use like crazy): Ctrl+Shift+I.

    This takes you directly to your Inbox folder, not just whatever mail folder you were last in (Ctrl+1 does this).

    I find it very useful when I leave Outlook in another mail folder (I’m a filer, too) to go do something and then I come back and want to jump to the Inbox to see what came in while I was away.

  5. Leslie F says:

    What’s the shortcut for the paperclip (to send an attachment?) Thank you! L.F.

  6. KC Lemson says:

    Leslie: I don’t know of one other than using the shortcut keys to get to it via the menu, but boy do I wish there was! I’ll put it on my list to write a little code to make this easier though.

  7. connie says:

    Am I completely clueless or is there something I’m not doing right. I am a graphics person so keyboard shortcuts are a religion to me… but, I haven’t had any succes getting any of these shortcuts to work for me. I’m particularly interested in the ctrl+1 etc. I’m using Outlook 2000 in an exchange environment.


  8. adam says:

    alt L used to work from the preview pane. Now i have to open the email in order to use alt L

    Alt L does a "reply all"

  9. KC Lemson says:

    Connie – it’s possible they don’t exist in Outlook 2000. I believe most of them work in 2002, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some don’t in 2000.

  10. Erick says:

    I would love a keyboard shortcut to open an attachment. I work in Outlook for the majority of my day opening and printing the same page number in countless files…I have it down to an art for PDF…

    open the document (double click) –> ctrl+shift+n –> page number –> enter –> ctrl+p –> alt+u –> enter –> ctrl+w –> alt+tab back to outlook to open the next document.

    I am looking at writing a macro for it…with a great deal of help. hehe should be fun for my first Macro.

    Thanks for the site and all the great information.



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