Outlook 2010

By Chris Dillon. Version 6.4, 4 May, 2011. Latest version at: www.quickanddirty.org.uk

  • Outlook is a personal information manager (PIM). The Information refers to e-mail, tasks, appointments, notes, calendars etc.
  • This guide presumes that you are using Outlook 2010 on the Live@UCL service on WTS. However, most of it is the same for Outlook 2010 running in other environments.
  • This guide emphasises keyboard shortcuts. There are also buttons for most functions.

Start Outlook by double-clicking the Outlook 2010 icon on the WTS Desktop.

1. Interface

Outlook 2010 has a radically different interface from previous versions, such as Outlook 2003 and 2007. For example, where the menus used to be, you will find the ribbon, which is divided into tabs such as File, Home, Send / Receive etc. These tabs in turn are divided into groups.

Note: The names of the groups are at the bottom of them.

2. Reading e-mail

The Navigation Pane is the column on the left with folders and buttons such as Mail, Calendar and Contacts. Make sure it is visible, as this is the easiest way to move around in Outlook. If it isn’t, click on the View tab, click Navigation Pane in the Layout Group and then Normal.

  • To read a message, click on it and it will display in the preview pane (called Reading Pane in Outlook).
  • To open a message, double-click on it.
  • To move to the next message, press Ctrl+>.
  • If you want to mark an unread message as read, press Ctrl+Q.
  • To mark a read message as unread, press Ctrl+U.

View settings

  • Switch the Reading Pane on and off by clicking Reading Pane and then Right, Bottom or Off in the Layout group on the View tab.

3. Sending an e-mail

  • To send an e-mail, click on Mail in the Outlook left column, if it isn’t already highlighted and press Ctrl+N. An empty message appears.
  • Fill in the To and Subject fields, type your message and send it by pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Note: It is now possible to recall an e-mail if you have for example made a mistake in it. Open the e-mail in your Sent Items folder. Select the Actions button in the Move group and then Recall This Message. Set the options and click OK.

4. Replying to an e-mail

  • To reply to an e-mail, select it and press Ctrl+R. This may be done either with the message open or displayed in message list view.
  • To reply to all the original recipients of the message, press Ctrl+Shift+R.

Note: If you want recipients to reply to someone else, select Direct Replies To in the More Options group on the Options tab.

5. Forwarding an e-mail

To forward an e-mail you have received to someone else, press Ctrl+F. This may be done either with the message displayed or in message list view.

6. Deleting an e-mail

Press Ctrl+D. This may be done either with the message displayed (when you may also press the Delete key on your keyboard) or in message list view.

7. Moving messages (and creating folders)

It is good practice to use plenty of folders ordered by subject or date so that messages do not get lost in a large Inbox. Large inboxes can also be sluggish and even unstable.

  • To move a message to another folder, right-click the message and select Move | Other Folder or press Ctrl+Shift+V. If the folder does not exist, you may create it by clicking the New button at this point. Make sure you are creating the folder in the correct part of the hierarchy of folders.
  • Type a name for the folder in the Name row and click OK.

Note: On the Live@UCL service folders may contain both messages and other folders.

8. Selecting more than one message

It is possible to select several messages before giving the e.g. move or delete commands:

  • Hold down the Ctrl key before you click messages to select them.
  • You may also hold down Shift before clicking the first and last messages in a range of messages you want to select.
  • To select all the messages in a folder, press Ctrl-A.

9. Sending an e-mail

  • To compose a new e-mail, whilst in any e-mail folder, press Ctrl+N.
  • Enter e-mail addresses in the To and, if necessary, Cc fields (the latter is for recipients to which copies of the e-mail are being sent). To display the Bcc field (for addresses which you do not want to be displayed in the e-mail), click on the label of the To field, and insert addresses in the Bcc row.
  • If you are adding more than one address, put a semicolon and a space between them.
  • Press Ctrl+Enter to send the message.

10. Attachments

Note: It is possible to e-mail files from within Word 2010 and this is often the quickest thing to do. If you do not have an e-mail button on your Word 2010 Quick Access Toolbar (top left), click the drop-down arrow on the right of the toolbar and select E-mail to add it.

  • To add an attachment to an e-mail you are composing, click on the Attach File button in the Include group. Navigate to the file, click it and click Insert.

Note: You may also drag files from My Computer to the Attached line in a new message.

  • To view an attachment to an e-mail you have received, click its icon which will appear at the bottom of the message header. This opens the attachment read-only in the Reading Pane. To open it in its program (e.g. Word), double-click the icon.
  • If you want to keep an e-mail but not its attachment, right-click the attachment and select Remove Attachment. There is no way of restoring it!

Note: The Outlook Item button on the Message tab may be used to attach Outlook contacts, tasks and date ranges of your calendar to a message.

11. Contacts (an address book)

Contacts, at the bottom of the panel on the left, is the name of one of the Outlook address books. You should keep all of your e-mail addresses in here to avoid the typos which inevitably occur when one types e-mail addresses in the To, Cc and Bcc fields.

  • To create a new contact, whilst in Contacts press Ctrl+N.
  • Fill in the Full Name and E-mail fields and click Save & Close top left.
  • Call up your contacts when writing an e-mail by clicking on the To etc. buttons.

Importing an address book from another e-mail program


N.B. Outlook 2010 needs to be running on Vista or Windows 7 for this to work.

  • In the Thunderbird address book, select Tools | Export.
  • Save your address book somewhere you can find it, making sure LDIF is selected in the Save as type box.
  • On WTS 2010, go to Start | Search and type Windows contacts (Vista) or contacts (Windows 7). Open the contacts program and click Import (top right).
  • In Outlook 2010 go to File | Open | Import.
  • Select Import Internet Mail and Addresses and then Outlook Express … or Windows Mail.
  • Make sure only Import Address Book is ticked and click Next.
  • Select Do Not Import Duplicate Items and click Finish.

General method for other e-mail programs

  • Make sure that your Outlook 2010 contacts contain at least one contact.
  • Export your contact(s) by clicking on Contacts in the right pane, (selecting them first if you have more than one set of contacts) and going to the File tab and clicking Open and then Export.
  • Select Export to a File and then Comma Separated Values (Windows). This creates a file that can be opened by Excel.
  • Open your old e-mail program’s address book and select the export command. Select the comma separated values option. That creates a second Excel file.
  • Copy the relevant columns of data from the second Excel file to the first one.
  • Import the first Excel file into Outlook 2010 by going to the File tab in Outlook and clicking Open and then Import.
  • Select Import from another program or file and then Comma Separated Values (Windows).

Note: This does not work in Eudora which has no export to CSV option. First use Tools | Import in Thunderbird to import Eudora nicknames (N.B. it only imports nicknames included in mailing lists) and then export the Thunderbird address book, as described above.

12. Distribution lists

  • To create a distribution list, click on Contacts in the left-hand panel and click New Contact Group in the New group on the Home tab.
  • Give the list a name and click Add Members in the Members group and then From Outlook Contacts.
  • Hold down Ctrl and click to add contacts to the list. Click Members -> and OK.

The distribution list then behaves like a contact when sending to it on the To line etc.

13. Flags

You can flag items e.g. e-mails for follow up.

  • Click the flag to the right of the message in message list view.
  • To set the date by which it needs to be done, click Follow Up in the Tags group on the Home tab. Flags get darker red as the due date approaches.
  • To mark the task as complete, click the flag.
  • Items flagged in this way are displayed as tasks in the To-Do Bar. Right-click them for useful options.
  • If you can’t see the To-Do Bar (usually it’s on the right of your screen), go to the View tab and display it by clicking To-Do Bar and then Normal.

14. Categories

Categories allow you to assign colours to e-mails. For example, you could mark urgent messages as red or information about meetings as orange.

  • To assign an e-mail to a category, click the e-mail and click Categorize (the button has four coloured squares) in the Tags group on the Home tab. The first time you use a colour it allows you to name it (e.g. Pending), and give it a colour (e.g. blue) and shortcut key (e.g. Ctrl-F4).
  • Categorize | All Categories allows you to change the names, set shortcut keys and add categories. You may assign more than one category to an e-mail.

15. Finding an e-mail

  • Click in the Search box immediately above the messages in message list view. You will probably want to select All Subfolders top-left on the ribbon, unless you need to search only in a specific folder. There are other useful search criteria on the ribbon.
  • Type a keyword in the Search box and press Enter.

If you want to bring all e-mail belonging to a category together, go to the Folder tab and select New Search Folder. Select Categorized Mail in the list and click Choose and select the category. Outlook displays a folder in the left column at the bottom of your e-mail folders containing e-mail belonging to the category.

16. Allowing other people to do things to your e-mail (“delegate access”)

Allowing someone else to read your e-mail

  • Right-click your e-mail address, above Inbox in the Outlook left column.
  • Select Data File Properties and then the Permissions tab.
  • Click the Add button and select the person to who you want to be able to see your e-mail.
  • Click Add -> and then OK.
  • Select the person and in the Permission level box, select Reviewer.
  • Click Apply and then OK.
  • Then for each folder to which you want to give access, right-click on it, select Permissions, and give Editor access.
  • Go to the Home tab and select Account Settings.
  • Select your e-mail settings (Microsoft Exchange etc.) and click the Change button.
  • Click More Settings and select the Advanced tab.
  • Click the Add button, type the person to whom you wish to give access in the box and click OK.

Allowing someone else to send on behalf of you

  • Click on the Account Settings button on the File tab and select Delegate Access in the drop-down.
  • Click Add button and select the person to who you want to be able to send on your behalf.
  • Click Add -> and then OK and select Editor in the Inbox drop-down box.
  • The person may now send e-mails on your behalf by clicking the From field label in a new e-mail and selecting Other E-mail Address. (If there is no From field in a new message, click From in the Show Fields group on the Options tab to display it.

17. E-mail settings

Changing which columns are displayed at the top of folders

  • By default you will see columns such as From and Subject above the messages in your folders. If you want to add some useful additional columns, go to Change View | Single on the View tab in the Current View group.
  • If you want to control which columns are displayed and in which order, go to Change View | Manage Views and click Modify and then Columns.

Displaying the first line of messages

If you want to display the first line of the text of each message go to Change View | Preview.

Arrange by

The Arrange By button at the top of message list view (below e.g. Search Inbox) allows you to group message by date (default) etc. The Show as Conversations option in the drop-down box which appears when you click Arrange By is how to group messages by thread (but note that Outlook does not always put the right messages in the thread!).

Setting your signature

A signature is a short piece of text e.g. an address which is to appear at the bottom of each

e-mail you send.

  • Click on the File tab and click Options in the left pane.
  • Click Mail in the left pane and click Signatures in the right pane near the top.
  • Click New and give the signature a name.
  • Type the signature in the Edit signature box and click OK.
  • Make sure that New messages and Replies/forwards top right are set to that signature and click OK.

E-mail in plain text

By default Outlook sends e-mails in HTML, which allows you to format messages.

Plain text e-mails do not allow formatting, but are smaller and easier to archive.

  • If you want to send e-mail in plain text, click the File tab and click Options.
  • Click Mail in the left pane and select Plain Text in the Compose messages in this format drop-down box.

Setting up a spam filter

80% of spam coming into UCL is labelled {spam?} in the Subj. line. If you don’t receive much spam, you may find it automatically ends up in Outlook’s Junk E-Mail folder and you don’t need to set up a spam filter.

Go through the following steps to set up a rule which automatically moves such messages into a folder called _Spam which can then be checked occasionally for the odd message which has been labelled {spam?} by accident:

  • Create a folder called _Spam (the underscore at the beginning means it will not file with the rest of your folders).
  • Click on the File tab and click Manage Rules and Alerts in the right pane.
  • Click on New Rule.
  • Under Stay Organized, select Move messages with specific words in the subject to a folder and click Next.
  • Click specific words in the lower pane. Type {spam?} and click Add and OK.
  • Click specified folder in the lower pane and select the _Spam folder.
  • Click OK, Finish and OK.

Note: A similar procedure can also be used, for example, for automatically directing e-mails from mailing lists to folders, as messages from mailing lists almost always have a keyword in the Subject line which can be used to create a similar rule.

Help with finding addresses

It is worth setting up Outlook so that it searches the UCL directory.

  • Go to the File tab and click the Account Settings button.
  • Select Account Settings in the drop-down.
  • Click the New button on the Address Books tab.
  • With Internet Directory Service (LDAP) highlighted, click Next.
  • In the Server Name box, type: ldap-server.ucl.ac.uk
  • Click Next and then OK.
  • Then click Address Book in the Find group on the Home tab.
  • This should contain the following in this order:
    • Global Adddress List
    • ldap-server.ucl.ac.uk
    • Contacts
  • Remove anything else.

Frequently used folders

  • If you right-click on a folder in the Navigation Pane and select Show in Favorites, Outlook puts a useful shortcut to that folder top left in the Favorites section.
  • If you can’t see Favorites, click Navigation Pane and then Favorites in the Layout group on the View tab.
  • To remove a folder from Favorites, right-click it and select Remove from Favorites.
  • If you select a folder in Favorites and press the Delete key on your keyboard, you will delete the folder, any sub-folders and all messages in them!


18. Viewing your own UCL Diary

Click Calendar in the pane on the right to see your UCL Diary.

19. Day, week or month views

Click the relevant button in the Arrange group on the Home tab. Schedule View is a another day view. Month view tends to be the most useful one to print.

Keyboard shortcut: Hold down Alt and press 1-9 to display between one and nine days.

20. Calendar in the To-Do Bar

  • If you have displayed your To-Do Bar (see Flags above), by default it shows the current month in your calendar, your next few appointments and your tasks. You may need to expand it by clicking the < button at its top.
  • You may right-click the To-Do Bar, select Options and set Number of month rows to 2 in order to display the current two months of your calendar.

21. Viewing someone else’s calendar

  • Go to the Manage Calendars group in the Home tab.
  • Click Open Calendar | From Address Book. This lists all calendars available to you on Live@UCL. Select the calendar you want and click Calendar ->.
  • If you have several calendars open, you may overlay them by using the arrows at their tops.

22. Accepting an invitation

If someone puts a meeting in your calendar, right-click it and click Accept or Decline. You can choose to send the default response to the invitation, send an edited version of the response or accept the invitation without sending a response.

23. Creating a new appointment

  • In your calendar, drag over the time for the appointment and give it a name.
  • Double-click it and add details including the location (central resources may be selected by clicking the drop-down on the right of the Location field) and notes. You can also adjust the start and end time here.
  • To add people or a group of people to your appointment, which then becomes a “meeting”, click Invite Attendees and then To. Select the person and then click either Required -> or Optional ->. This is also how you book a room; rooms also appear in this list and start with ~.
  • Some groups are created centrally. You may also create your own groups by clicking New Contact Groups on the Home tab in Contacts (in the Navigation Pane).
  • To attach a file, click the Insert tab and then Attach File.
  • If you want to make the appointment private, click the padlock on the Tags tab.
  • To make the appointment high priority, click the exclamation mark on the Tags tab.
  • Once you’ve added all the details, click Save & Close if you did not invite anyone to the meeting and Send if you did.

Note: If you move a meeting, Outlook will automatically send e-mails to the attendees.


By default a pop-up reminder window appears 15 minutes before a meeting starts, but this may be changed by adjusting the minutes on the Options tab.

Repeating appointments

Click the Recurrence icon as you are adding details to your appointment and set when the appointment should repeat.

24. Events

When you are in Day view or one of the Week views, there is an area above each day that can be used to indicate Events. Events are also frequently used for notes about the day(s) in question or for allocating duties on a rota.

  • Double-click Click to add event which appears when your mouse hovers over this area.
  • Fil in the Subject and Location fields as you would with an appointment.
  • If you want colleagues to put the event in their calendars, click on the Invite Attendees button and select them from your Contacts.
  • If the event e.g. annual leave occurs over several days, click the Recurrence button and click Daily and set the number of days in End after … occurrences.
  • Click Save & Close.

25. Who’s free?

You can use Schedule view on the View tab to see who is free at a particular time:

  • Click Calendar Group and then Create New Calendar Group in the Manage Calendars group on the Home tab.
  • Give it a name and add the people whose calendars you want to compare.

Outlook saves the group in the Navigation Pane.

26. Letting someone else add to and edit your Calendar (“delegate access”)

You may want to do this, if, for example, you are a departmental head and you want to let your PA edit your calendar.

  • Make sure Calendar is selected in the Outlook left column.
  • On the File tab, click the Account Settings button and select Delegate Access in the drop-down.
  • Click the Add button and select the person to whom you want to give delegate access.
  • Click Add -> and then OK.
  • Select the rights for your calendar. These include Editor (can read, create, and modify items), Reviewer (can read items) and None (which gives only whether you are free or busy at that time).

27. Keyboard shortcuts

Ctrl+D delete an e-mail

Ctrl+F forward an e-mail

Ctrl+N new e-mail, contact etc. depending where you are in Outlook

Ctrl+R reply to an e-mail

Ctrl+Shift+R reply to all

Ctrl+Q mark an e-mail as read

Ctrl+U mark an e-mail as unread

Ctrl+Enter send an e-mail

Ctrl+1 display inbox

Ctrl+2 display calendar

Ctrl+3 display contacts

Alt+1-9 display 1-9 days in Calendar

Ctrl+Shift+V move to folder

28. Web access

You may access Outlook over the Web by going to www.outlook.com in your browser and logging in with your main UCL user id and password. For best results, use a recent version of Firefox or Internet Explorer.

29. Further information about Outlook 2010