Keyboard Shortcuts For The Outlook 2007 Ribbon

OfficeRibbonShortcuts.jpg The Office Outlook Team Blog runs down how you can use keyboard shortcuts to access the various features of the Ribbon which appear when you're composing a message in Outlook 2007. The approach (which is shared with other Office 2007 apps) is far from obvious: you need to type Alt-letter to access a particular ribbon tab, then a one or two letter code for a particular section. The abbreviations are often not intuitive (alt-H for Message, anyone?), and this afterthought approach to keyboard shortcuts is perhaps my biggest single objection to the entire Ribbon approach. Note that while the post recommends typing Alt separately to the rest of the shortcut -- e.g. Alt then H then A then F to attach a file -- you can still use the classic Alt-H together to begin. Doing this probably makes sense given that in other parts of Outlook (like your inbox) that's the only way to access menus, and who wants to waste time remembering where Alt is used on its own? For more Outlook navigation tips, check our previous post on navigating Outlook panes.


    I think MS has tried to keep keyboard shortcuts and combos backwards compatible. This would explain why some of them seem counter-intuitive as features were shuffled around.

    Personally, I use keyboard shortcuts much less in Office 2007. I find I really like flicking through the Ribbon to see what other features might be better suited for the task at hand. The Ribbon was a good innovation and it's nice to see more apps picking up on it and adopting something similar (eg Snagit 9).

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