Microsoft Outlook

How To Change Outlook Colors

Once you have installed Microsoft Outlook it may seem a bit too bright for you. If, however, you would like other parts of your Outlook interface to stand out, follow the steps below to select a different color scheme:






That’s it! You are finished!  Easy peasy!

Microsoft Outlook

Stop Hunting For Attachments For Outlook 2016

If you have recently worked on something, there is no need to search for it.  It is most likely already on the Attach File menu.

Follow the steps below to learn more:

  1. Save a file in any Office application.
  2. Press CTRL + N to open a new message.
  3. On your Ribbon, click Message.
  4. Click Attach File.attach - file
  5. Select a recently saved file from the list.

select - item

Microsoft Outlook

How to Delete E-Mails Permanently in Outlook

When you delete an e-mail in Outlook, it is moved to your Deleted Items automatically. There are the occasional e-mails that you may need/want to delete permanently, bypassing the Deleted Items folder.

Follow the steps below to learn how:

  1. In Mail view, select the e-mails you would like to delete permanently, bypassing the Deleted Items folder.
  2. Click Shift + Delete simultaneously.
  3. A Microsoft Outlook warning will display.


  1. Click Yes.

Now all the e-mails you selected previously, are deleted immediately without being moved to the Deleted Items folder.


Microsoft Outlook

Can I Create Nested Distribution Lists in Outlook

A distribution list is a collection of contacts. It can provide an easy method of sending your messages to a group of people. Say you frequently find yourself sending messages to your finance department. You could create a distribution list named Finance Department that contains the names of all members of this department. Your message sent to this distribution list goes to all the recipients who belong to that list. Outlook will convert the address lists to individual addresses, so recipients will see their own names and the names of all other recipients in the To box of your message instead of seeing the name of the distribution list. Distribution lists can be used in messages, task requests and meeting requests.

Distribution lists can contain other distribution lists as well as individual addresses. For example, you could create a distribution list for each of ten departments in your company and then create one distribution list containing those ten others. You would simply use this second list when you have a need to send messages to all ten departments.

You can create distribution lists in your Contacts folder using your contacts list. You can store addresses from any available source, personal address book, contacts list, etc.

Microsoft Outlook

Natural Language Date Enter in Outlook

This is a feature that shows so much common sense and is so logical! Not something you see every day in a program, but MS Outlook has it!

Follow the steps below to learn how to use this feature:

  • When you want to set up a meeting or appointment in Outlook you can simply use “natural language” to specify the date.
  • For instance, you can key in Christmas day, fourth Friday in December, or even Thursday Week and MS Outlook will understand what you are telling it and will set the date to meet your needs.

This is a great time saver because it precludes you having to open the calendar to know the numerical date.

Microsoft Outlook

Send Text Messages from within Outlook

Were you aware that you could text message someone using MS Outlook? Well I wasn’t. Shame on me! And I really do try to keep abreast of new technology. In any event, I have very little use for texting and rarely every use it. Perhaps that is why I just came upon this.

Many times we send e-mails or appointment requests to people, knowing full good and well that they are not going to be seated at their desks or anywhere in the vacinity of a computer at that particular moment. But suppose you want them to know about this information straight away? Hmmm….everyone has a cell phone with them just about every waking moment nowadays! Ok then, now you see where this is leading…

All you really need to know is the person’s cell phone service provider. The e-mail address where you send text messages is almost always in the format below:

ten digit cell phone number@provider.

Below is a list of provider e-mail formats for your texting pleasure:

  • ATT or Cingular – or or
  • T-Mobile – number If that doesn’t work, try number
  • Verizon –
  • Sprint –
  • Alltel –
  • Virgin Mobile – numer
  • Boost – number

You should be aware though, that the recipient of your text message may be required to pay for the incoming message so please make sure that they are on board with that prior to texting them. I surely do not want to receive a lot of hate mail for letting you know about this!

Microsoft Outlook

How to Add a Second Sort Column in Outlook

Most folks know that they can sort their Outlook items by clicking a column title. Clicking actually toggles between ascending and descending order in a sort.

What relatively few folks know, is that MS Outlook does not limit you to a single column sort. That’s right! You can have it your way!

To learn how, follow the steps below:

  1. Sort your primary column.
  2. When you are finished, depress the Shift key and click the column cell that represents your secondary sort group.

The secondary sort adds a descending sort by size, as indicated by the small down arrow. The difference is very subtle.

Only the messages in the first group re-sort, sorting according to size.

Microsoft Outlook

Is Your Outlook Calendar a Patchwork Quilt?

A subscriber recently wrote to me with this plaint: “Why does my calendar look like a patchwork quilt with different colors? I know it is most likely related to color categories on appointments, but why are only some of the dates shaded when I use color categories on all of the appointment?”

My Reply:

When you add a color category to a times appointment, the background of the appointment is shaded in Day/Week/Month view.

When you add a color category to an all day event, the entire day may or may not be shaded. What you select in the Show time as field will control the coloring.

When set to Busy, the entire day is shaded the category color. If it is a tentative event, the day is shown with category-colored crosshatching. Events marked Busy will always be purple, while Free time is not colored at all.

Microsoft Outlook

Casting Your Vote in Outlook

When you receive a message in MS Outlook that includes voting buttons, the response buttons appear on the message form between the header and the toolbar. In addition, MS Outlook will display a message in the preview pane if it is open, to prompt you to vote.

Voting is easy. Just click a button to cast your vote. Outlook displays a simple dialog box asking whether you want to send the vote or edit your response.

To send the message without modification, select Send The Response Now.

To cast your vote and open the message as a reply so taht you can include text in your response, select Edit The Response Before Sending.

When you cast a vote, MS Outlook changes the subject of the message to include your vote.

Votes come back to you in the form of messages. You can view the vote summary in a few ways. If the preview pane is displayed, you can click the message and then cluck the summary message in the Infobar. Or you can open the Sent Items folder, open the original message and click the Tracking tab. Either method will display the Tracking tab.