Transitioning from Outlook 2007 to Outlook 2013

Your world was probably thrown upside down by the ribbon in the newer versions of Microsoft Office. However, in Outlook, the dropdown menus stayed intact at least until you started composing individual items. So it didn’t rearrange your email and calendar world too much when you transitioned from Outlook 2003 to 2007. And now, you are converting to Outlook 2013. Here are the top five changes you will need to navigate to feel at home in (and delighted by) this new version.

All ribbon, all the time

The most obvious change you’ll notice is dropdown menus are gone. It’s the ribbon right from the start. However, you’ll find that many of the things you need at your fingertips are located on the left side of each ribbon. You might think 2013 has many new features because you can see them as you click on each tab.

Quick Steps

Quick Steps was introduced in Outlook 2010 and provides the ability to turn a multiclick mouse operation into a single click or shortcut. There are some useful out-of-the-box Quick Steps, like Reply & Delete, Move to? and To Manager. But, you can also create your own custom Quick Steps by using either the New Quick Step button, which allows you to start from a template, or the Create New button, which lets you start

from scratch. In this form, you can select a shortcut key at the bottom of the dialog box. If you want to add a shortcut for an existing one, right-click it and choose Edit.

Conversation View

If you’ve used Google’s Gmail application, you’re probably familiar with Conversation View. This allows you to collapse an email thread to a single line item in the view, while providing access to all items in the thread. To change Outlook’s default view to Conversation View, click the View tab to ensure your view is sorted by Date. Then, click the checkbox for Show as Conversations. This option may not be available if your Exchange server is not updated to 2010 or higher.

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Navigation buttons moved

You’ll notice the buttons are gone when navigating to Contacts (now called People), Calendar and Task Views. Instead, you will see these links at the bottom left of the Outlook Window. Click the ellipses to rearrange where you want things to appear. You’ll also notice that hovering on any of these links provides some additional functionality.

Docking the Peek

If you used the To Do bar in Outlook 2007, you’ll love the fact that you can customize this view in a simple right-click maneuver from the Navigation links at the bottom. For example, right-click on Calendar to dock

a peek at your calendar on the right, in the task pane area. Now, do the same for Contacts to dock your favorites or for important to-do task items. Each one has an “X” in the upper-right corner of the peek to quickly close it.