Navigating Microsoft Outlook Nonvisually

As many people know, Microsoft Outlook is used to view email, contacts, calendar events, and so much more. Most individuals navigate Outlook using the mouse. But those who are blind, visually impaired, or print disabled navigate it from a different perspective with the keyboard.

Here is a listing of keyboard commands to easily navigate Microsoft Outlook. These commands work for Outlook 2010 and later.

Main Outlook Features

Ctrl+1 = Switch to Mail
Ctrl+2 = Switch to Calendar
Ctrl+3 = Switch to Contacts
Ctrl+4 = Switch to Tasks
Ctrl+5 = Switch to Notes
Ctrl+6= Switch to Folder List in Navigation Pane
Ctrl+7 = Switch to Shortcuts
Ctrl+Shift+b = Open Address Book

Messages in Main View

Main Window

Tab/Shift+Tab = Cycle forward / backward between screen elements (Navigation Pane, Message List, Search, Reading Pane)
Ctrl+Shift+i = Go to Inbox folder
Ctrl+Shift+o = Go to Outbox folder
Ctrl+y = Go to another folder as specified
F3/Ctrl+e = Go to Search box
Ctrl+m/F9 = Check for new messages
Alt+Arrow Left/Alt+Arrow Right = Go back to previous view / forward to next view
Ctrl+n = Create new message
Ctrl+Shift+m = Create new message (from any Outlook view)

Navigation Pane

Arrow Up/Arrow Down = Navigate downward / navigate upward in Navigation Pane. Press space or enter to select.
Press shift+tab and/or tab to jump between Message List and Navigation Pane
Arrow Left/Arrow Right = Collapse or expand group in message list
a…z = Jump to folder with letter typed. If more than one folder exists, immediately continue typing second or third letter until reaching folder
F2 = Rename folder
Delete = Delete folder

Message List and Single Messages

Tab/Shift+Tab = Cycle forward / cycle backward between Screen Elements (e.g. Navigation Pane, Message List, Search, Reading Pane)
Arrow Down/Arrow Up = Move down / move up between messages
Arrow Left/Arrow Right = Collapse / expand groups (e.g. week)
Shift+Arrow Down/Shift+Arrow Up = Select multiple adjacent messages
press and hold ctrl, arrow up/arrow down and space = Select multiple non-adjacent messages
Ctrl+Shift+v = Move message to folder
Insert = Add Quick Flag to message
Ctrl+Shift+g = Add Custom Flag to message
Ctrl+Alt+j = Mark message as not junk
Ctrl+q/Ctrl+u = Mark as read or unread
Ctrl+Alt+m = Mark for Download
Ctrl+Alt+u = Clear Mark for Download
Ctrl+Shift+w = Display blocked content menu. Press ctrl+shift+w, then p to download blocked pictures/images.
Alt+Enter = Show email properties
Ctrl+Shift+s = Post to folder
Ctrl+Shift+y = Copy item to folder
Space/Shift+Space = Page down / page up through message text in Reading Pane
Enter = Open message
Ctrl+./Ctrl+, = Jump to next/previous message (in single message view)
Ctrl+p = Print Message
Most Shortcuts work in Message List and when viewing single messages

Messages in Compose View

Manage Messages

Tab = Cycle between To, Cc, Subject, and Message Body
Alt+m = Choose From account from which to send message
Alt+u = Jump to subject
Alt+s = Send
Ctrl+s/Shift+F12 = Save Message
F12 = Save Message as
Ctrl+click = Jump to URI while in edit mode
Ctrl+k = Insert hyperlink
Alt+n, then a, f = Attach File to message: Insert => Add F
Alt+n, then a,s = Add Signature to message: Insert => Add Signature

Format Message Body

Ctrl+x/Ctrl+c/Ctrl+v = Cut/ copy/ paste
Alt+o = Display Format menu
Ctrl+Shift+p = Display Font dialog box
Shift+F3 = Switch case between all upper, all lower, and first letter upper.
Ctrl+Shift+k = Switch case to/from small capitals
Ctrl+b = Switch format to/from bold
Ctrl+i = Switch format to/from italic
Ctrl+u = Switch format to/from underline
Ctrl+Shift+l = Add/remove bullets
Ctrl+l = Align left
Ctrl+r = Align right
Ctrl+e = Align center
Ctrl+t/Ctrl+Shift+t = Increase / decrease indent
Ctrl+[/Ctrl+] = Increase / decrease font size (or use ctrl+shift+;)
Ctrl+Space = Clear formatting (or use ctrl+shift+z)
Ctrl+Shift+h = Delete next word
Ctrl+Shift+j = Stretch paragraph to fit between margins
Ctrl+Shift+s = Apply styles
Ctrl+t = Create hanging indent
Ctrl+Shift+t = Reduce hanging indent
Ctrl+k = Insert hyperlink
Ctrl+q = Remove paragraph formatting

Create Items

Ctrl+Shift+a = Create appointment
Ctrl+Shift+c = Create contact
Ctrl+Shift+l = Create distribution list
Ctrl+Shift+x = Create fax
Ctrl+Shift+e = Create folder
Ctrl+Shift+j = Create Journal entry
Ctrl+Shift+q = Create meeting request
Ctrl+Shift+m = Create message
Ctrl+Shift+n = Create note
Ctrl+Shift+h = Create new Microsoft Office document
Ctrl+Shift+s = Post to this folder
Ctrl+t = Post reply in this folder
Ctrl+Shift+p = Create Search Folder
Ctrl+Shift+k = Create task
Ctrl+Shift+u = Create task request

Calendar Shortcuts

Create and Manage Appointments

Tab/Shift+Tab = Select next/ select previous appointment in Calendar View
Ctrl+n = Create new appointment (when in Calendar)
Ctrl+Shift+a = Create new appointment (in any Outlook view)
Ctrl+Shift+q = Create new meeting request
Ctrl+g = Set up recurrence for an appointment or task
Tab/Shift+Tab = Jump to next / previous input field
Ctrl+f = Forward an appointment or meeting
Ctrl+r = Reply to meeting request with message
Ctrl+Shift+r = Reply All to meeting request with message

Calendar Views

Ctrl+Alt+1 = Switch to Day view
Ctrl+Alt+2 = Switch to Work Week view
Ctrl+Alt+3 = Switch to Full Week view
Ctrl+Alt+4 = Switch to Month Week view
Alt+1…0 = View from 1 through 10 days

Navigate Calendar

Ctrl+Tab/F6 = Move between Calendar, TaskPad, and Folder List
Tab/Shift+Tab = Select next/ select previous appointment
Arrow Left/Arrow Right = Go to previous / next day
Arrow Up/Arrow Down = Go up / down in current view
Home/End = Go to beginning/end of current view
Page Up/Page Down = Jump one page up/ one page down
Shift+Arrow Up/Shift+Arrow Down = Day View: Extend / reduce selected time
Alt+Arrow Down/Alt+Arrow Up = Go to same day in next / previous week
Alt+Page Down/Alt+Page Up = Go to next or previous month
Alt+Home/Alt+End = Go to start or end of week
Ctrl+g = Go to date

Contacts Shortcuts

F3/Ctrl+e = Find contact or other item
F11 = Enter name in Search Address Books box
Shift+letter = In Table or List view of contacts, go to first contact that starts with specific letter
Ctrl+a = Select all contacts
Ctrl+f = Create new message addressed to selected contact
Ctrl+j = Create Journal entry for selected contact
Ctrl+n = Create new contact (when in Contacts)
Ctrl+Shift+c = Create new contact (from any Outlook view)
Ctrl+o/Ctrl+Shift+Enter = Open contact form for selected contact
Ctrl+Shift+l = Create new distribution list
Ctrl+p = Print
F5 = Update list of distribution list members
Ctrl+y = Go to different folder
Ctrl+Shift+b = Open Address Book
Ctrl+Shift+f = Use Advanced Find
Ctrl+Shift+. = In an open contact, open next contact listed
Esc = Close contact
Ctrl+Shift+x = Open Web page for selected contact (if one is included)
Alt+d = Open Check Address dialog box
Alt+Shift+1 .. 3 = In contact form, under Internet, display message 1 .. 3 information
Ctrl+Shift+d = Dial new call

Tasks Shortcuts

Alt+F2 = Show or hide To-Do Bar
Alt+c = Accept task request
Alt+d = Decline task request
Ctrl+e = Find task or other item
Ctrl+y = Open Go to Folder dialog box
Ctrl+n = Create new task (when in Tasks)
Ctrl+Shift+k = Create new task (from any Outlook view)
Ctrl+Shift+u = Create new task request
Ctrl+o = Open selected item
Ctrl+p = Print selected item
Ctrl+a = Select all items
Ctrl+d = Delete selected item
Ctrl+f = Forward task as an attachment
Shift+Tab = Switch between Navigation Pane, Tasks list, and To-Do Bar
Ctrl+j = Open selected item as Journal item
Ctrl+z = Undo last action
Insert = Flag an item or mark complete

Business Card View

a-z = One or more letters of name that card is filed under or name of field that you are sorting by will select specific card in list
Arrow Up/Arrow Down = Select previous / select next card
Home/End = Select first / select last card in list
Page Up/Page Down = Select first card on current page / next page
Arrow Right/Arrow Left = Select closest card in next / previous column
Ctrl+Space = Select or cancel selection of active card
Shift+Arrow Up/Shift+Arrow Down = Extend selection to previous / next card
Ctrl+Shift+Arrow Up/Ctrl+Shift+Arrow Down = Extend selection to previous or next card, regardless of starting point
Shift+Home/Shift+End = Extend selection to first / last card in list
Shift+Page Up/Shift+Page Down = Extend selection to first / last card on previous page
Tab/Shift+Tab = Move to next / move to previous field
Enter = Move to next field, or add line to multiline field
Shift+Enter = Move to previous field without leaving active card
F2 = Display insertion point in active field to edit text

Other Outlook Shortcuts

Ctrl+Alt+s = Define Send/Receive groups
Shift+F9 = Start send/receive for current folder, retrieving full items (header, item, and any attachments)
Ctrl+b = Display Send/Receive progress when send/receive is in progress
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+F12 = Save Form Design
Ctrl+Shift+F11 = Save Form Data
Ctrl+n = when on InfoPath folder. Create new InfoPath form
Ctrl+Shift+w = Select Message InfoBar and, if available, show menu of commands
Alt+F11 = Open Visual Basic Editor
Alt+F = 8Play Macro

Additional keyboard commands

If there are any additional keyboard commands not currently listed, please feel free and send me a comment. I will make sure they are added to the listing.

Published by

Brian Mackey

Brian Mackey has been the proud owner of Mackey Enterprises, LLC since 2011. In addition, he volunteers his time with the National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey. Within NFBNJ, he serves as affiliate treasurer and webmaster, board member of the Braille and Technology Divisions, secretary/treasurer of the At Large Chapter, and secretary of the Garden State Chapter. Brian also serves in a variety of positions within multiple NFBNJ committees.

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