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Helpful Microsoft Office Tips

Hands typing on a laptop keyboard

Microsoft Outlook, which is where your student email account is located, can seem overwhelming at first but it’s a very useful and helpful tool for students to utilize. We have compiled some helpful tips for using Outlook once you’ve downloaded Microsoft Office 365.

Writing an Email

The “New Email” button, underneath the envelope is the quickest place to click in order to send a new email message. This is the button you’ll push to craft a brand new message to an instructor, advisor, classmate or anyone else you may be communicating with.

There are also buttons here to delete messages, reply or forward email messages. Replying to emails is just as easy as writing a new email by using the “New Email” button. As you focus on the center of the screen, you will see a column second from the left side of the screen which lists all of the messages in your inbox. You can view the contents of those messages by clicking the message once, or if you click on a message two times, the message will open in a new window.

After opening an email you will see a new toolbar at the top of the screen. Towards the left you will see the option to reply or forward the email. Forwarding the message is a way to send the email to someone who was not originally in the conversation so that they can see the conversation. An example of this will be if you want to send a message from your instructor to your advisor.

If you Reply you will keep the conversation going, when you click the reply button your toolbar will change again. Now you have options very similar to Microsoft Word and the same options you will have when you click “New Message”. It will look like the image below with options to change the font size and color, the paragraph justification and more.

Outlook toolbar with font and type icons highlighed
 

If you look below the toolbar you will see on the left Address bars that are titled To:, CC:, BCC:, and Subject. They look like this;

Outlook email message

The To bar is for who you want to send the email to, if you click “reply” to the message the person you are replying to will be in the To bar. If you CC someone on an email they too will see the email, but it is not directly addressed to them. For instance, you may email your instructor, putting them in the To bar and CC your advisor because you want them to also know what is going on. BCC is to Blind Copy someone on an email, this makes it so that the other people included do not know that this person is included on an email, you will likely not use this for school purposes.

You can then send an email with the “Send” button to the left of all the address bars.

If you type up an email but do not want to send it now there is a little disk save button in the top left of the screen where you can save your email as a draft.

Attaching documents

You may often find yourself needing to send documents to instructors or your advisors, in which case, knowing how to attach documents in Outlook is a skill you’ll need to be familiar with. Towards the center of the toolbar you will see a little paperclip that says “Attach File” this is very important! If you click that paperclip you can go into the files on your computer and attach a homework assignment, photo, etc. to the email.

Keeping your inbox organized

The second place to focus is the bar of information running down the left side of the screen. It should look like the image below;

There you can click into your current inbox, your previously sent messages, and your previously deleted emails. You can create folders in your inbox by right clicking on the word inbox and selecting new folder from the drop down. An example of a folder you may want to make would include an instructor’s or course name and keep all your messages from that instructor for that course there so that your inbox stays organized.

Outlook navigation panel 

Once you get used to these Outlook tips you can start trying the other options to become a Microsoft Outlook pro!


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