This browser does not support basic Web standards, preventing the display of our site's intended design. May we suggest that you upgrade your browser?

Microsoft Outlook 2007

The Outlook Environment

This document contains general information regarding the Outlook environment. Taking a moment to review the following sections will enable you to move through the Outlook program with greater ease. 

return to topThe Outlook Window

The following graphic represents the basic parts of an Outlook window. As with many other Windows-based programs there are menus and toolbars along with a window displaying the active feature. Outlook does have features unique to its environment: the toolbars, the Navigation pane, and the Folder List.

The Outlook Environment

return to topThe Toolbars

Outlook 2007 uses dynamic toolbars, meaning that the toolbars change depending on what feature you are using. So, feature-specific buttons will appear and disappear on any given toolbar depending upon what you are doing.

HINT: If you are unsure at any time about what a specific button on a toolbar does, you can hold your pointer over that button and a ScreenTip will appear with a description of the button.

To view a toolbar:

  1. From the View menu, select Toolbars » select the toolbar(s) you would like displayed

return to topThe Navigation Pane

The Navigation pane is located at the left side of the Outlook window. It contains the Folder list as well as a customizable navigation menu to help you get around to the different features of Outlook quickly and easily.For example, the Mail choice takes you to your Inbox and allows you to create and manipulate your mail, while the Calendar item brings up a personal calendar system in which you can create schedules, work with others' schedules, and set up meetings or appointments. You can simply click on a Navigation pane icon to open the desired feature or right click to access related options. The size of icons or the size of the Navigation pane itself can be adjusted; you can even hide the Navigation pane. For more information, refer to General Navigation Pane Options.

return to topThe Folder List

The Folder list provides a detailed listing of all your Outlook folders and subfolders, allowing you to navigate through them more effectively. In Outlook, folders are used to store anything you do within the program. For example, the Inbox folder is where any new or undeleted mail messages are stored. The Deleted Items folder stores mail messages that have been deleted (to completely remove messages from Outlook, the Deleted Items folder must be emptied).

return to topThe Search Field

The Search field allows you to easily locate messages within any or all of your folders. By default, using the search function will search all messages in the currently viewed folder. You can also set the Search field to check in all folders. For more information, refer to Additional E-mail Activities: The Search Field.

return to topThe Project Window

Whenever you create a new document or schedule item in Outlook 2007 (e.g., a new email, an Appointment for your calendar, or a new Task), an untitled window will open. Although the window is automatically set with buttons grouped in command tabs appropriate to the type of document you are working on, the basic workings of the project window remain the same. The following graphic represents the basic parts of a new project window, using a new message as an example .
New Project Window

The Office Button

The OFFICE button is a newly added feature to all Microsoft Office 2007 programs. It contains many of the menu items previously found in the File menu. For more information, refer to The Office 2007 Environment: Office Button.

The Ribbon

The Ribbon is an Office 2007 addition which takes the place of most toolbars and menus. Instead of having separate toolbars for each feature, the Ribbon manages your workspace by categorizing program features into groups and command tabs. Within each command tab there can be any number of groups holding their own features. For more information, refer to The Office 2007 Environment: The Ribbon.

The Message Body

The message body is where your messages and/or notes on other projects will be written. In a mail message, for example, the body of the message is where the text of the message would be written. If you are scheduling an Appointment or inviting another Outlook user to an event/meeting, this is where you would explain the event.

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.