How to Find 30 Minutes per Week with Outlook Shortcuts

Fortunately or unfortunately, many of us spend hours per week using Microsoft Outlook.  It is an extremely powerful tool and is essential for more than just sending and responding to email.  There are hundreds (maybe thousands!) of keyboard shortcuts for Outlook and many work in different ways, depending on what section you are using.  As an example, on mail screens in Outlook CTRL F will forward a message.  However, if you have a contact card open, CTRL F will create a new message addressed to that contact. We have scoured many lists of Outlook shortcuts to compile the most commonly used here.  This is not a comprehensive list, but if you are interested in learning more advanced keyboard shortcuts for Outlook, just let us know!

General Shortcuts

CTRL SHIFT A Create new appointment
CTRL SHIFT C Create new contact
CTRL SHIFT E Create new folder
CTRL SHIFT H Create new Microsoft Office file
CTRL SHIFT K Create new task
CTRL SHIFT M Create new message
CTRL SHIFT Q Create new meeting request
CTRL SHIFT U Create new task request       
CTRL 1 Switch to Mail view
CTRL 2 Switch to Calendar view
CTRL 3 Switch to Contacts view
CTRL 4 Switch to Task View
CTRL 5 Switch to Notes view   
CTRL 6 Switch Navigation Pane to Folder List
CTRL 7 Switch to Shortcuts
CTRL A Select all items
CTRL B Bold selected text
CTRL E Go to Search box or center selected text
CTRL F   Forward  OR create a new message addressed to selected contact (when contact card is open)
CTRL ALT F Forward as attachment
CTRL H Replace dialog box
CTRL I Italicize selected text
CTRL K Check names or insert hyperlink
CTRL SHIFT K Format selected text as small caps
CTRL L Left align text
CTRL SHIFT L Make selected text bulleted list OR create a new distribution list
CTRL N Create new item in current view
CTRL P Print
CTRL SHIFT P Display font dialog box
CTRL Q Mark as read
CTRL R Reply to a message
CTRL SHIFT R Reply all to a message
CTRL T Increase indent of tex
CTRL SHIFT T Decrease indent of text
CTRL U Mark as unread or underline selected text
CTRL V Paste
CTRL Y Go to different folder
CTRL Z Undo last action
ALT C Close print preview OR accept a task request
ALT D Decline a task request
ALT F Open print preview
ALT O Displays format text box
ALT S Send message
CTRL .  Switch to next item (with message open)
CTRL , Switch to previous item (with message open)
TAB Move between the Outlook window, the smaller panes in the Navigation Pane, the Reading Pane, and the sections in the To-Do Bar
F3 Go to Search box
F4 Find dialog box
F7 Spell check
F9 Check for new messages


Calendar Shortcuts

CTRL G Go to date dialog box or create appointment recurrence
ALT 0 Show 10 days in the calendar
ALT 1 Show 1 day in the calendar
ALT 2 Show 2 days in the calendar
ALT 3 Show 3 days in the calendar
ALT 4 Show 4 days in the calendar
ALT 5 Show 5 days in the calendar
ALT 6 Show 6 days in the calendar
ALT 7 Show 7 days in the calendar
ALT 8 Show 8 days in the calendar
ALT 9 Show 9 days in the calendar
ALT + Switch to month view
ALT - Switch to full week view

In case you missed the inspiration for this shortcuts series, check out the current issue of Inc. magazine where  a CEO describes how he will save 180 days over the course of his career (he defines his career as 40 years) simply by using keyboard shortcuts.  And, search the list of Word and Excel shortcuts to find a few time-savers there too.  You may not start out saving 780 keystrokes per day like the CEO in the article, but even if you can save 200 per day that still comes out to 22 minutes per week, and 48 full days over 40 years.  What could you do with that extra eight weeks? Next up in the shortcuts series are lists for PowerPoint and Windows.  Do you have any favorites you want to share?  And, are there any other shortcut lists you may like to see?