Join David Rivers for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring changes to the user interface, part of Migrating from Outlook 2003 to Outlook 2010.
Migrating from Outlook 2003 to Outlook 2010 presents a couple of challenges. The biggest one, by far, is getting accustomed to the new and fluent user interface in Outlook 2010. Here in Outlook 2003, we've been using this system for years and years, where we have a menu bar with menu headings across the top and clicking those headings displays pulldown menus, some of those menus have submenus, and when we click a heading again, it closes up the menu. Now, some of the commands, the more frequently used ones, might appear on the toolbar.
The toolbar presents buttons with shortcuts to those commands so you don't have to go searching for them through the menus. Then down below, you're going to see the Navigation Pane, where you can flip between your Mail, your Calendar, your Tasks, and next to that, you might see a listing, in this case, of e-mail messages and depending on what's selected over in the Reading Pane on the right-hand side - this is where it appears by default - you'll be able to preview the contents of that message. If we go to Calendar, this is little bit a different. We lose one of the panes, and we're just looking at our Calendar now and clicking around the various Calendar dates allows us to see any contents that might appear in the calendar.
Now, when we flip over to Outlook 2010, things change drastically. The first thing you'll notice, as you look towards the top of your screen, is the Menu bar is gone - no more File, Edit, View, et cetera; instead, you're going to see, in the very top left-hand corner, the Quick Access Toolbar, with only a couple of buttons appearing on the Quick Access Toolbar, but with a dropdown that allows you to add or remove buttons as you need them. Then the biggest change is right below that; it's the Ribbon. The fluent user interface makes use of this Ribbon that allows commands to be more discoverable, meaning you're going to spend a lot less time looking for commands and a lot more time getting your work done.
The Home tab should be selected by default when you first launch Outlook. Now depending on what you're looking at, whether it be your Mail folders, your calendars, your contacts, you're going to see different options on the Ribbon. With our Mailbox selected, you'll notice the New button is for new e-mail, and as we hover over that button, the keyboard shortcut is still Ctrl+N. Next to that is a New Items dropdown where you can click and create any other new item like an appointment, a meeting, a contact, or a task, for example.
We'll just click off to the side to close that up. Then we see the different groups here in the Home tab: the Delete group for deleting certain things, responding to e-mail because we have Mail selected, Quick Steps - you can see a number of commands that are actually called Quick Steps because they're shortcuts, and sometimes you'll see this little icon in the bottom right-hand corner where you can click and go to a dialog box that'll give you some additional options that you don't see on the Ribbon. We'll just click Cancel. Now, the Ribbon is made up of several tabs, so you can go from tab to tab, looking at the contents, and the commands are arranged in a logical order that should make it easier for you to get your work done.
The very first tab that we skipped over is actually a different view. It's called Backstage View, and you're going to see this in the entire Office suite. When we click the File tab to go to Backstage View, we have a Navigation Pane with some different options, and then we have a couple of other panes. So, with Info selected, for example, we're going to see Account Information, and we're going to see buttons that allow us to go into things like Account Settings and Automatic Replies, and so on. If we choose something different, such as Print, for example, we're going to see Print Options. If you had an e-mail message selected, like I did, you're going to see the Print button, some Printer options that can be set, and a preview of what it's going to look like with those options - a really nice view.
And to exit Backstage View, you can actually click the File tab again, or press Escape on your keyboard, and that'll take you back to your previous view. In our case, we're looking at our mailbox. Now, if we go to Calendar instead, you'll notice the Ribbon changes right away. The Home tab is still selected, but now we're looking at groups of commands that relate to working with your calendar. So again, we can create new appointments now. That's the first button. And to create something else, like a new e-mail message, we would have to go to the New Items dropdown and select it from there.
So we'll go back to Mail by clicking it in the Navigation Pane, and everything else should look somewhat familiar, or similar to what you're used to in Outlook 2003: the Navigation Pane for selecting the various folders, Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks. Depending on what's selected, you're going to see those contents here in the middle pane, and then you'll also have the ability to look at your calendars and what's going on today, for example, over on the right-hand side. So much of that is familiar and similar to what you might be used to in Outlook 2003.
The big difference though, of course, is what you see at the top with the fluent user interface, the new Ribbon and the Quick Access Toolbar that appears in the very top left-hand corner.
- Comparing the Outlook 2003 and 2010 interfaces
- Creating macros for increased efficiency
- Changing the default startup folder
- Using keyboard shortcuts
- Transferring mail and other items between Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2010
- Backing up a mailbox
- Performing common tasks with the Quick Access toolbar
- Accessing commands from the Mini toolbar
- Sharing calendars
- Previewing email