Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
There’s No Place Like Home: Outlook’s Main Screen
and who’s busy interrupting somebody else). You don’t need to worry about
all this, though. You can start Outlook and use it the same way no matter
which other programs it’s bundled with.
There’s No Place Like Home:
Outlook’s Main Screen
Outlook’s appearance is very different from the other Microsoft Office
applications’. Instead of confronting you with a blank screen, Outlook begins
by offering you a screen filled with information that’s easy to use and
understand. The Outlook layout is pretty similar to most Web pages. Just
select what you want to see by clicking an icon on the left side of the screen,
and the information you selected appears on the right side of the screen.
Feeling at home when you work is nice. (Sometimes, when I’m at work, I’d
rather be at home, but that’s something else entirely.) Outlook makes a home
for all your different types of information: names, addresses, schedules, to-do
lists, and even a list to remind you of all the stuff you have to do today (or
didn’t get done yesterday). You can move around the main screen as easily
as you move around the rooms of your home.
Even so, to make it easier to get your bearings, I recommend waiting until you
feel entirely at home with Outlook before you start rearranging the screen.
Today, most people expect to find their way around a Website or computer
program by clicking something on the left edge of the screen, then seeing
something appear in the middle of the screen. Outlook follows that pattern
by putting the navigation controls on the left side of the screen, just the way
you’d expect. The way it’s arranged sounds confusing at first, but it becomes
utterly obvious after you’ve used it once or twice.
The Outlook main screen — which looks remarkably like Figure 2-1 — has all
the usual parts of a Windows screen (see this topic’s Introduction if you’re
unfamiliar with how Windows looks), with a few important additions. At the
left side of the screen, you see the Folder pane. Next to the Folder pane is the
Information Viewer, the part of the screen that takes up most of the space.
Looking at modules
All the work you do in Outlook is organized into modules, or sections. Each
module performs a specific job for you: The calendar stores appointments
and manages your schedule, the Tasks module stores and manages your
To-Do list, and so on. Outlook is always showing you one of its modules on
the main screen (also known as the Information Viewer). Whenever you’re
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