Microsoft Outlook Tutorial

This resource has been produced using information published by the © Microsoft Corporation.

How To: Customize Outlook Today

  1. On the Outlook Today page, click Customize Outlook Today.
  2. Do any of the following:

Change how many appointments appear

  1. In the Calendar area, enter a number of days. The appointments that take place within this time span will appear on the Outlook Today page under Calendar.
  2. Click Save Changes.

Change the background and layout

  1. In the Styles area, click an option in the Show Outlook Today in this style list. The graphic below the list shows how the Outlook Today page will appear.
  2. Click Save Changes.

Change the tasks that appear

  1. In the Tasks area, click the option you want.
  2. Click Save Changes.

Change the e-mail folders that appear

  1. In the Messages area, click Choose Folders.
  2. Select the check box next to the folders you want to display on the Outlook Today page.
  3. Click Save Changes.

Sort your task list

  1. In the Tasks area, click an option in the Sort my task list by list.
  2. To sort tasks by a second criterion, click an option in the Then by list.
  3. Click Save Changes.

Make the Outlook Today your default page

  1. In the Startup area, select the When starting, go directly to Outlook Today check box.
  2. Click Save Changes.

Assign a home page to the Outlook Today folder

  1. Right-click the Outlook Today folder, click Properties on the shortcut menu, and then click the Home Page tab.
  2. In the Address box, type the address of the Web page you want to use as the folder home page, or click Browse to select from a list.
  3. If you want to see the Web page when you click the Outlook Today folder, select the Show home page by default for this folder check box.

Note After you assign a new home page to a folder, you can click Restore Defaults to restore the original configuration, such as a folder home page that was assigned as the default by your administrator.

How To: Create a Distribution List

Create a distribution list using names in the Address Book

  1. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Distribution List.
  2. In the Name box, type a name.
  3. Click Select Members.
  4. In the Show names from the list, click the address book that contains the e-mail addresses you want in your distribution list.
  5. In the Type name or select from list box, type a name you want to include. In the list below, select the name, and then click Members. Do this for each person you want to add to the distribution list, and then click OK.
  6. If you want to add a longer description of the distribution list, click the Notes tab, and then type the text.
  7. The distribution list is saved in your Contacts folder by the name you give it.

Create a distribution list by copying names from an e-mail message

  1. In the e-mail message you want to copy the names from, select the names in the To or Cc box (To, Cc, and Bcc boxes: A message is sent to the recipients in the To box. Recipients in the Cc (carbon copy) and Bcc (blind carbon copy) boxes also get the message; however, the names of the recipients in the Bcc box aren't visible to other recipients.).
  2. On the Edit menu, click Copy.
  3. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Distribution List.
  4. In the Name box, type a name for the distribution list.
  5. Click Select Members.
  6. In the Add to distribution list, right-click, and then click Paste on the shortcut menu (shortcut menu: A menu that shows a list of commands relevant to a particular item. To display a shortcut menu, right-click an item or press SHIFT+F10.).

How To: Create A Contact

Do one of the following:

Create a contact

  1. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Contact.
  2. Type a name for the contact.
  3. Enter the information you want to include for the contact.
    • You can specify how you want the contact's name to appear in the To: line of a message by typing the name in the Display As box.
    • You can specify the contact's instant messaging address in the IM address box.
    • To enter multiple entries in a field, such as more than one address or e-mail address, click the down arrow next to the field.
    • If you have more than one address for a contact, to establish which address is used during mail merge, select the This is the mailing address check box.


You can quickly create another contact with the same company information. In the current contact, on the Actions menu, click New Contact from Same Company.

Create a contact from an e-mail message you receive

  1. Open the e-mail message that contains the name you want to add to your contact list.
  2. In the From field, right-click the name you want to make into a contact, and then click Add to Contacts on the shortcut menu

How To: Creating Signature Files

If Microsoft Word is your e-mail editor, see Word Help. Word offers the most customization options for signatures.

  1. From the main Outlook window, on the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Mail Format tab.
  2. In the Compose in this message format list, click the message format that you want to use the signature with.
  3. Under Signature, click Signature, and then click New.
  4. In the Enter a name for your new signature box, enter a name.
  5. Under Choose how to create your signature, select the option you want. For Help on an option, click the question mark [?], and then click the option.
  6. Click Next.
  7. In the Signature text box, type the text you want to include in the signature.

    You can also paste text to this box from another document.

  8. To change the paragraph or font format, select the text, click Font or Paragraph, and then select the options you want. These options are not available if you use plain text as your message format.
  9. To add an electronic business card - vCard - to the signature, under vCard options, select a vCard from the list, or click New vCard from Contact.
  10. Once you've created the signature, you can insert it in all new messages, in all messages you reply to or forward, or just in a specific message.


Do one of the following:

Automatically insert a signature in all new messages, or in all messages you reply to or forward

  1. From the main Microsoft Outlook window, on the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Mail Format tab.
  2. In the Compose in this message format list, click the message format that you want to use the signature with.
  3. Under Signature, choose the signatures that you want to use for new messages and for replies and forwards.

How to: Access Microsoft Outlook eBooks Through Hightower Library

There are several ebooks available online on Microsoft Outlook through the Gordon State College Hightower Library.

(Note: If you need to check out these eBooks you must first create a user account. User accounts cannot be created remotely. You must be logged into a workstation on your campus or in your public library to create a user account. Once the account is created, you will be able to access ebooks from any workstation--remotely or from your school or public library)

You may access these ebooks as follows:

  1. Go to the Gordon catalog (
  2. Select the Exact Search tab.
  3. Enter "Microsoft Outlook" in the Search for field and select "Electronic Books" in the Set Quick Limit to drop-down field. Click Go.
  4. GIL will return a list of ebooks available. Select an ebook and click on its link. GIL will take you to the Record View for the ebook selected.
  5. Scroll down to E-Resource and click on "An electronic book accessible through GALILEO; click here".
  6. Click "Browse this eBook Online" to view the book for a short time or use your log in that you created on campus (see note above) to check-out the book for an extended time.

How To: Add Contacts to the Address List

Using contacts in your address list requires the Outlook Address Book be listed.

  1. Checkyour address list by choosing TOOLS on the menu bar.
  2. Clickon ADDRESS BOOK.
  3. In the "Show Names from the:" drop down list click on the down arrow.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the list and look for Outlook Address Book. If it is listed, there should be a listing for Contacts directly beneath it. Click on contactsto choose the address(s) you require.

If the Outlook Address Book does not show up follow these directions:

  1. Close Outlook.
  2. Click on START and choose CONTROL PANEL.
  3. Double-click on the Mail icon.
  4. Click on the 'e-mail accounts' button.
  5. Under Directory, click on 'add a new directory or address book', then click next.
  6. Click on 'additional address books' then click the NEXT button.
  7. Click on 'Outlook Address Book' then click on NEXT.
  8. Open Outlook and check in the address list for the Outlook Address Book. If contacts is not listed below it, continue following the directions below.

Adding Contacts to the Outlook Address Book.

  1. Clickon contacts in the Outlook Folder List.
  2. Rightclick and choose 'properties'
  3. Click on the OUTLOOK ADDRESS BOOK tab.
  4. Click on 'Show this folder as an e-mail address book'.
  5. Click OK.

Your contacts should now be listed on the Address List under Outlook Address Book.