Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
The Outlook Screen
Outlook works with a lot of different kinds of information. There’s no way that all the different
kinds of information could be displayed on-screen at the same time, and anyway you would not
want them to be — imagine the confusion! The Outlook user interface is designed to present
information in a clear manner. Generally this means that only one or at most two kinds of information
are displayed at a time. For example, if you are working with email, most of the Outlook screen
will display email information such as message subjects and contents as well as buttons and
commands for carrying out email-related tasks. When you switch to working with notes, the screen
changes to show relevant information.
In addition, the Outlook screen can be customized to suit your preferences. This is covered in
detail in Chapter 19. For now all you need to know is that the Outlook screen can take on many
different appearances and that your screen may not look exactly like the images in this topic. That’s
perfectly okay, and once you gain a little familiarity with the Outlook screen elements you will be
able to find your way around like a pro.
The Menus
Like most Windows applications, Outlook has a menu bar at the top of the screen. It contains the
top-level menus such as File, Edit, and View. You open a menu by clicking it or by pressing Alt +
the access key, which is whatever letter is underlined in the menu name. A top-level menu
command never performs an action on it own — rather, it displays a list of further commands from
which you can choose — again, by clicking the item with the mouse or pressing the underlined
access key (this time without Alt).
Figure 2.4 shows the open File menu. You can tell a lot about a menu command just by looking at it:
n If the item has a right-pointing arrow next to it, such as New in Figure 2.4, it means that
selecting the menu item leads to yet another menu (which works just the same as the
toplevel menus).
n If the item has an ellipsis (...) next to it, like Save As, it means that selecting the menu
item leads to a dialog box where you make entries and select options to complete the
n If the item has neither an arrow nor an ellipsis associated with it, it means that the
command is carried out as soon as you select the menu item.
n If the item has a key combination next to it, such as Print, it means you can use this key
combination — Ctrl+P in this case — to select the command without using the menus at
all. This is sometimes called a shortcut key .
n If the item has an icon to the left, the icon identifies the toolbar button for the command.
Note that some menu commands turn something on or off. In this case the menu item will display
a checkmark to its left when the item is on and no checkmark when it is off. If you have displayed
a menu and then change your mind, press Esc or click anywhere outside the menu to close it.
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