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I’ve had a lot of questions lately wondering why the Tasks in the Hotmail account aren’t syncing to Outlook.

Tasks are not supported by the Outlook Connector at this time, only contacts and email sync – that’s why the Task folder in the Hotmail data file says “(this computer only)”.                     

A popular request is the ability for Outlook to remember what calendars were selected when you last used Outlook and to reselect them at startup.

The good news: Outlook 2007 and 2010 should remember the selected Calendars.

The bad news: it only remembers when you “start in” the Inbox or non-calendar folder.

If the calendar module opens at start, only the default calendar is selected. This includes using the Start in [folder] option or closing Outlook with a second window open to the calendar module.  Using Open in new window command will also display just one calendar.

If you want to open to the calendar module and remember which calendars were selected, Public Calendar Choice remembers selected calendars and reselects them for Outlook 2003 and 2007. (It might work with Outlook 2010, I haven’t tried it.)

Public Calendar Choice (freeware)
http://www.publicshareware.com/outlook-public-calendar-choice.php

In Outlook 2007 and older, users could open an item then go to File, Properties and view a dialog that included archive options, importance and sensitivity settings, and the sent, received, and modified times.

In Outlook 2010, the properties dialog is the Message Options dialog – it has archive options, importance and sensitivity settings, expiration settings, contact and category options, Internet header, and read receipts requests, but not the modified time.

While you can create a custom view to display the modified time, its generally easier to use the properties dialog to view it.

To view the old Properties dialog, you’ll need to customize the ribbon.

  1. Open an item – if you want to view the properties of an appointment, open a new or existing appointment – and go to its File, Options, Customize Ribbon (or Quick Access Toolbar).
  2. Select All Commands from the Choose Commands From menu at the top of the dialog.
  3. Click in the list below and hit Q on the keyboard to jump down the list, then look for Properties 3 or 4 entries up from the first Q command.
  4. There will be 3 “properties” (2 for the QAT) – you want the plain old “Properties” command.
  5. Select it and click Add to add it to the ribbon or QAT. 

That’s all there is too it. You’ll need to repeat for each item type (contacts, tasks, etc) where you need to use the Properties dialog.

Keyboard Shortcuts
A question from a user this morning got me thinking. He said his toolbar disappeared and to create a new email message, he selects an old sent message and replaces the contents with new. When he needs to delete a message he right clicks and chooses delete because the X button is missing.

Yikes. You can accomplish that using two of the easiest to remember keyboard shortcuts, ones we should all be using: Ctrl+N for new item, Del to delete (or Ctrl+D).

How well could you manage in Outlook if your toolbars disappeared or your mouse died? While you can do everything in Outlook (or Windows) with just a keyboard, some things are easier to navigate with a mouse. However, most of us are overly dependent on the mouse, and use menus and toolbar buttons even though the common, easy to remember keyboard shortcuts are faster. (Myself included!)

The following is a (very) short list of some of the most popular, useful, and easy to remember keyboard shortcuts – ones we should be using more often. There are a lot more keyboard shortcuts but this is a good starting point.

Ctrl+N will get you a new item form in any folder. If you’re in a mail folder, it will be a new message form, in the calendar, a new appointment form.  Use Ctrl+Shift+M for new Mail when looking in any folder, Ctrl+Shift+A for new Appointment, Ctrl+Shift+C for new Contact, Ctrl+Shift+N for Note, or Ctrl+Shift+J for Journal. If you have texting configured in Outlook 2010, Ctrl+Shift+T is a new text message. Notice the pattern? Tasks and Meetings break the pattern as you’ll use Ctrl+Shift+K for a new task and Ctrl+Shift+Q for a new meeting. Oh well, the most used items – mail, appointment, and contact are easily remembered.

To save, press Ctrl+S. Use Alt+S to send an email, meeting or task request. Note that Alt+S will save contacts, appointments, and tasks.

Want to delete the selected message? Use the Delete key. Ctrl+D will also work. Both are much faster than switching to the Home tab to click the Delete button. (I did that last week on my tablet. My excuse – no keyboard. I added the delete command to the QAT to speed it up.)

Reply? Ctrl+R, or Ctrl+Shift+R to reply all. Forward is Ctrl+F.  More patterns. :)
Copy cut, paste and select all work in most Windows programs (Ctrl+C, X, V and A). Oh, and Ctrl+P for print.

Want to initiate a send and receive? Use F9.

Alt+F4 will close the current window (this is a windows shortcut and works in most programs).

Alt+F1 toggles the navigation pane off, on, and minimized. Alt+F2 does the same for the To-Do bar.

Use Tab and Shift+Tab to roll forward and backward between the panels – navigation pane or folder list, to message list, to reading pane. (This is one place where a mouse can win the speed race.)

Ctrl+1 jumps to the mail module, while calendar is ctrl+2, contacts are 3. Ctrl+6 is the folder list. Ctrl+4, 5, 7, and 8 (9 if you use BCM) cover the rest of the navigation pane modules.

If you are looking at your day, week or monthly calendar, Alt+ 0 thru 9 (or, 1 through 0) displays the next 1 to 10 days.  A question from a user this morning got me thinking. He said his toolbar disappeared and to create a new email message, he selects an old sent message and replaces the contents with new. When he needs to delete a message he right clicks and chooses delete because the X button is missing.

Yikes. You can accomplish that using two of the easiest to remember keyboard shortcuts, ones we should all be using: Ctrl+N for new item, Del to delete (or Ctrl+D).

How well could you manage in Outlook if your toolbars disappeared or your mouse died? While you can do everything in Outlook (or Windows) with just a keyboard, some things are easier to navigate with a mouse. However, most of us are overly dependent on the mouse, and use menus and toolbar buttons even though the common, easy to remember keyboard shortcuts are faster. (Myself included!)

The following is a (very) short list of some of the most popular, useful, and easy to remember keyboard shortcuts – ones we should be using more often. There are a lot more keyboard shortcuts but this is a good starting point.

Ctrl+N will get you a new item form in any folder. If you’re in a mail folder, it will be a new message form, in the calendar, a new appointment form.  Use Ctrl+Shift+M for new Mail when looking in any folder, Ctrl+Shift+A for new Appointment, Ctrl+Shift+C for new Contact, Ctrl+Shift+N for Note, or Ctrl+Shift+J for Journal. If you have texting configured in Outlook 2010, Ctrl+Shift+T is a new text message. Notice the pattern? Tasks and Meetings break the pattern as you’ll use Ctrl+Shift+K for a new task and Ctrl+Shift+Q for a new meeting. Oh well, the most used items – mail, appointment, and contact are easily remembered.

To save, press Ctrl+S. Use Alt+S to send an email, meeting or task request. Note that Alt+S will save contacts, appointments, and tasks.

Want to delete the selected message? Use the Delete key. Ctrl+D will also work. Both are much faster than switching to the Home tab to click the Delete button. (I did that last week on my tablet. My excuse – no keyboard. I added the delete command to the QAT to speed it up.)

Reply? Ctrl+R, or Ctrl+Shift+R to reply all. Forward is Ctrl+F.  More patterns. :)
Copy cut, paste and select all work in most Windows programs (Ctrl+C, X, V and A). Oh, and Ctrl+P for print.

Want to initiate a send and receive? Use F9.

Alt+F4 will close the current window (this is a windows shortcut and works in most programs).

Alt+F1 toggles the navigation pane off, on, and minimized. Alt+F2 does the same for the To-Do bar.

Use Tab and Shift+Tab to roll forward and backward between the panels – navigation pane or folder list, to message list, to reading pane. (This is one place where a mouse can win the speed race.)

Ctrl+1 jumps to the mail module, while calendar is ctrl+2, contacts are 3. Ctrl+6 is the folder list. Ctrl+4, 5, 7, and 8 (9 if you use BCM) cover the rest of the navigation pane modules.

If you are looking at your day, week or monthly calendar, Alt+ 0 thru 9 (or, 1 through 0) displays the next 1 to 10 days. 

I’m hoping this will be my next-to-last post about the problem of Outlook2010’s handling of multiple accounts when an IMAP account is the default email account. (The last post will be an announcement that users can revert to the old way of handling default accounts. I don’t know if it will ever happen though.)

The problem: Outlook 2010 chooses the email account to send mail from based on the data file you are viewing. This works well when you use only POP3 or Exchange accounts, but when you have an IMAP account set as default and a POP3 account delivered to the default data file, Send to commands choose the account that is delivered to the default pst file, not the default email account as set in Account Settings (the IMAP account).

The IMAP’s data file can’t be set as default because IMAP doesn’t support Outlook’s special folders (calendar, contacts, notes, journal, and tasks).

The solution: a “fake” POP3 account. Create a POP3 account for the IMAP email address. Use a fake incoming server name and with the correct SMTP (outgoing) server name and authentication. Set this account as the default email account and deliver it to the default data file in your profile. Go to Send and Receive settings (Ctrl+Alt+S) and set this account to send mail only. Outlook will use this account as the default email account but won’t download mail.

One drawback: Messages sent using this account will go into the local sent folder and you’ll need to use rules to put them in the IMAP’s sent folder.

For more information and other solutions, see
Outlook 2010, Multiple Accounts and the Default Account http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/ol2010/default_acct.asp

I’m seeing quite a bit of confusion over the Suggested Contacts folder in Outlook 2010.

  • It’s a contacts folder containing addresses you’ve sent mail to that are not already in your “good” contacts folder.
  • It’s not a copy of the autocomplete cache, although addresses in the folder should also be in the autocomplete cache (unless you cleared the cache).
  • Importing an old NK2 will not add addresses to the Suggested Contacts folder – it adds them to the autocomplete cache. (Use the importnk2 startup switch.)

Suggested Contacts was created as a response to the requests for the ability to automatically add addresses you send mail to, to the contacts folder. It also answers a problem with the autocomplete cache: many users were using it as an address book and not saving contacts to their Contacts folder. If the autocomplete cache was corrupt, the user lost all of their addresses.

Rather than pollute the contacts folder with contacts users may not want to save, Outlook saves them in a new folder. If you receive a message from someone (and replied) but forgot to create a contact for them, you can go into Suggested Contacts folder and drag or move the contact to your Contacts folder.

If you open the mailbox on, or move the pst to, another computer, you’ll have the addresses available to you.

In my experience, Outlook isn’t real good at figuring out if a contact exists, so it errs on the side of creating contacts – as a result, you might find duplicates in the folder. More than a few people opened the Suggested Contacts copy of an contact thought Outlook was deleting mailing addresses and phone numbers from contacts, only to discover they were looking at the contact saved to Suggested Contacts.

If you don’t want to use Suggested Contacts you can disable the feature. Go to File, Options, Contacts and uncheck the option to “Automatically create Outlook contacts for recipients that do not belong to an Outlook Address Book”. You’ll need to delete the contacts already in Suggested Contacts. (Clear the autocomplete cache or disable it from the Mail section –autocomplete options are near the bottom of the dialog.)

Outlook uses the long date format set in Windows for date formatting in the calendar, both onscreen and in printouts. For example, if you want to include the day of the week on printed calendars or display the full name of the month above the navigation calendars, check your long date format in Control Panel’s Region and Language applet.

You can make your own date formats if you don’t care for any of the defaults – open the Region and Language applet and click Additional Settings, then the Date tab. Type the new format in the field, using d or dd for date,  ddd or dddd for day of the week, M, MM, MMM, or MMMM for month and yy or yyyy for year. You can use period, space, comma, slash or dash for separators (possibly other characters).

Note: the date format used for sent & received fields in the message list is set in Format Columns. Right click on the row of field names and choose Format Columns – if its not an option, choose Custom (older versions) or View settings (Outlook 2010).

We get a lot of questions about “broken” follow up – there is only one follow up option – a basic flag -  and reminders aren’t available for it.

Follow up is not broken, its just not supported for IMAP accounts. You’ll have the full range of follow up flags and can set reminders if you move the items to a local pst.

All other account types (POP3, Outlook Connector, and Exchange) support the full range of follow up flags and reminders.  

A user asked “In XP you can go to the Outlook property box, delete “/recycle” from the end of the target address and be able to open up multiple copies of Outlook so you can have instances of mail, calendar, contacts, etc., open simultaneously. How do you do this in Outlook 2010 on Windows 7?”

Outlook 2010’s shortcuts don’t use the /recycle switch so you can select any link to open a new Outlook window.  Also, rather than use a shortcut, you can right click on any folder in Outlook and choose Open in New window (in any version).

If you use multiple windows all the time, always close Outlook using the File, Exit command and the next time you open it, it will open multiple windows.  When you close windows using the X button, Outlook reopens in one window.

In addition to the methods above, you can use any of the following methods.

Click the Outlook shortcut on the Start, All Programs menu (pin Outlook to the start menu to make it easier to find).

Find Outlook.exe, right click on it and create a new shortcut (Windows will create it on the desktop).  Or right click on the desktop and choose New, Shortcut and browse to Outlook.exe. Once you create the shortcut, you can copy it and add switches to the shortcut properties – you can open different folders with each shortcut.

To open different folders with a shortcut, use the /select foldername switch, where foldername is the name of the folder. (Include the folder’s path if opening a subfolder).
Examples:
Outlook /select outlook:calendar  
outlook /select “outlook:Inbox\Old Messages”

Note that these methods work with all versions of Outlook, in all versions of Windows.
Windows7 and Vista users have another method: type outlook in the Start menu’s Search field and press Enter.

A visitor to Outlook Forums wanted to know how to “import photos directly into Outlook through some type of script. The photos are named by last name then first name.”

You can use VBA to do this in Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010. Code and instructions are at

Batch Import Photos into Outlook Contacts http://www.slipstick.com/contacts/contact_photo.asp