Tag Archives: Outlook

Insert a Drop Cap in Microsoft Word

Why Use a Drop Cap?

The beauty of a drop cap

A drop cap can be fancy or plain but it catches the eye. Ever wonder how that novel you are reading displays a large, decorative dropped capital at the beginning of each chapter? Yep, that’s what it is – a great way to dress up a report, book, quote, invitation card, or any writing where you want to make a visual impact.

Word makes it very easy to insert a drop cap in any paragraph to add a little drama to your masterpiece! The drop cap is two lines by default but that can be customized.

Add a Drop Cap

  • Click anywhere in the paragraph where you want to apply the drop cap.
  • Click on the INSERT tab, in the Text group, drop down arrow on Drop Cap.

  • To insert a drop cap that fits within your paragraph, select Dropped.

  • To create a drop cap that is in the margin, outside of your paragraph, select In margin.

  • To change the font or size of the drop cap or adjust its distance from your text, choose Drop Cap Options at the bottom of the list. Experiment with some of the script fonts for variety and effect.

Remove a drop cap

  1. Click in the paragraph that contains the drop cap.
  2. Click on the INSERT tab, in the Text group, click Drop Cap | None.

Note: You can also create a drop cap in Outlook, using the same commands on the ribbon.

Might want to be a little careful with this one and not overuse it. It is a good design tool for the first paragraph of each chapter in a book. Could be applied more in other types of writing such as declarations, poetry or inspirational works, for example. Experiment with it, and your eye will tell you if you have overdone it!

How would you use this in what you create?

Create and Add a Signature to Outlook Email Messages

These Signature features are available in Outlook 2007+

How to Create One or More Signatures in Outlook Email

Multiple personalized signatures can be created for your Outlook email messages. They can include images, logos, text or even an image of your handwritten signature or your electronic business card.

Signatures can be selected for each email or a default one created to be automatically added to all outgoing messages. For example, you could create one for personal use, business(es), and organizations you represent.

Steps to create Signatures

Note: If you already have a signature block set up somewhere, you can copy and paste it into the Signatures feature rather than creating from scratch at Step 5 below.

Signatures can be set up in File | Options | Mail | Signatures but a much quicker way is to just create them directly from the Inbox:

  • Create New Email icon (or CTRL N)
  • On the Message tab | Include group, click Signature drop down and then the Signatures… button

  • In the Select signature to edit box, choose New, and in the New Signature dialog box, typename to identify the signature.
  • Under Choose default signature, set these options:
    • In the E-mail account list, choose an email account to associate with the signature. You can have different signatures for each email account.
    • In the New messages list, choose the signature that you want to be added automatically to all new email messages. If you don’t want to auto sign your new email messages, accept the default option of (none).
    • In the Replies/forwards list, choose the signature that you want to be added automatically (auto sign) when you reply to or forward messages. Otherwise, accept the default option of (none).
  • Under Edit signature, type the signature (or paste, if already created), and then click OK.

Use the formatting toolbar above the text box to change font, size, color, and note the icons on the right for inserting pictures (logos) and also social media icons and links.

Note: This signature was created in Word to take advantage of the robust formatting features and then copied and pasted into the signature block.

Each new message you create from now on will auto insert your default signature (if you selected that option).

Insert a Created Signature Manually

If you don’t want to insert a signature automatically for all new messages or replies and forwards, insert a signature manually:

  • Inside the email message, click the drop down arrow on Signature icon in the Include group on the ribbon,
  • Choose desired signature from the list

Signatures in Office 365 Outlook on the Web

Note: If using Outlook on the Web (also business edition) in Office 365, you need to create a signature in each one. (The desktop Outlook signature will not automatically transfer to Outlook on the Web or Outlook.com).

Automatically Add Your Signature to Every Message in Web Outlook

If the signature has already been created, you can have it auto added to all outgoing messages (including replies and forwards):

Sign in to Outlook Web App

Click App launcher  grid and choose Outlook:

  • Click the gear icon at upper right and choose Settings | Options
  • Under Options, choose Settings | Mail (or Mail | Layout | Email
  • Under Email signature, click or clear the Automatically include my signature on messages I send check box to either include or exclude your signature at the bottom of all outgoing messages

Manually adding signatures in Web Outlook is the same as Outlook.com below except that there is an Insert command on the Menu bar where you can select Signature for individual emails.

Insert Signature in Outlook.com Email

Automatic for Every Message

  • In Outlook Mail, click the gear icon at upper right on button bar
  • Click Options
  • Click Email signature under Layout
  • Under Email signature, click or clear the Automatically include my signature on messages I send and the forward or reply check boxes to either include or exclude your signature at the bottom of all outgoing messages.
  • Click Save

Manually Insert a Signature for Individual Emails

In your Outlook Mail screen:

  • Create New Email
  • Click the ellipsis (three dots) at end of Menu bar above email form
  • Click Insert signature
  • Type or paste desired signature in the Add a message… box
  • Use the Insert Picture icon at the bottom of the form to add a logo or graphic

  • Create or paste your signature with or without graphic…

Now you have all the parts of your life covered!

Have you created multiple signatures or do you use the same one for all emails? Let me know in the Comments below.

More ways to make Outlook work for you… Taming tips for Email! 

Repeat Actions in the Outlook Mail Folder with Quick Steps

Are you frustrated with performing the same actions over and over again in your Inbox? There’s an app for that, so to speak! Speed up organization and save time with Outlook’s amazing Quick Steps feature.

Default Quick Steps Built into Outlook

In your Inbox, access the Quick Steps group from the Home tab on the Ribbon. There are six default actions already built into Outlook 2010 and above:

Move To ?: If you have created a folder such as Save or Later, or frequently move emails to a specific folder, use this command. Outlook will move messages to the last folder you moved a message to (replaces the ? with the name of that folder).

Team Email:* Sends a message to everyone in a group or project that is pre-populated.

Reply & Delete: The name pretty much says it all: When you select this Quick Step, Outlook automatically opens a Message form for replying to the sender of the selected message and moves the selected message to the Deleted Items folder.

To Manager:* Forward a message automatically to person(s) you have set up. The original remains in your Inbox.

Done: This marks the selected message with the Mark Complete flag, marks the message as read, and moves the message to a designated folder.

Create New: This opens the Edit Quick Step Wizard, which allows you to create your own custom Quick Steps.

*If you are on Exchange Server, these will be automatically set up for you. If not, you can set up your own list(s).

There are additional templates and you can categorize, flag, mark as read, set up a meeting with specific people or click Custom to create your own Quick Step with the Edit Quick Step dialog box. You give your Quick Step an appropriate name to make available for repeated use:

How to Set up a Quick Step

Except for the Reply & Delete Quick Step, each of these Quick Steps requires you to make some decisions but you only have to do this once. Then, Outlook automatically repeats the actions whenever you select that Quick Step.

To use one of the six listed steps in the group, just click on desired step, such as Move to: ? to display the First Time Setup dialog box. Each of the Quick Steps is a bit different, but, here are the steps using the Move To:? Quick Step:

  • Click the Inbox icon in the Folder pane to display a list of incoming mail messages.
  • Select a message in the Inbox. (It can be any message. Don’t worry about it actually being moved. As long as this is the first time you’re using the Move To Quick Step, the message you select won’t be moved. Outlook just needs to know which type of Outlook Quick Step element you are creating).
  • Click the Home tab and click Move To: in the upper-left corner of the Quick Steps box. The First Time Setup dialog box opens. (If the dialog box already has a folder name in it, Outlook is just suggesting the last folder to which you moved a message).

  • Type in a name for the Quick Step in the First Time Setup dialog box.
  • Select a folder to where the Quick Step will move messages in the Move to Folder box by clicking the arrow at the end of the box. (If you don’t see the folder you want, choose the Other Folder selection, which opens the Select Folder window so you can see a detailed list of all available folders. You can also create a new folder using the Select Folder window).
  • Make sure the Move to Folder check box is selected.
  • Ensure the Mark as Read check box is also selected if you want each message marked as read when the Quick Step moves it.
  • To make changes to the Quick Step’s icon, add actions to it, or create a keyboard shortcut for the Quick Step, click the Options button to access those settings.
  • Click the Save button to close the First Time Setup dialog box.

Now, whenever you want to move message(s) to the specific folder, just select the message(s) and click the Quick Step you created. Message(s) will automatically move to the folder and be marked as read.

Manage Quick Steps

There are several additional options available for this feature, such as edit, delete, change the order displayed and duplicate Quick Steps:

In Mail, on the Home tab, in the Quick Steps group, click the More arrow at the side of the Quick Steps box, and then click Manage Quick Steps. You can also manipulate choices by opening the Quick Steps dialog box (the Launcher icon on the bottom right of the Quick Steps group)

Create a Custom Quick Step

Create your own Quick Step or perform multiple actions, by customizing – sort of a…If this, then do that, scenario.

You can customize Quick Steps one of several ways:

  • Click Create New in the Quick Steps group, or
  • Click the More arrow icon, pointing at New Quick Step and choosing Custom, or
  • Click the Launcher icon in the lower right corner of the group to open the Manage Quick Steps dialog box; click the drop down arrow on the New button and select Custom.

Any one of these methods will display the Edit Quick Step box where you can start creating the actions:

  • Type a name for the Quick Step.
  • Choose the first action from the drop down list, i.e., Copy to folder.
  • Click the Add Action button and choose the next action, i.e., Categorize, Create a Meeting, Forward Message, etc.
  • If you want further actions, click Add Action again and choose from the list. (All of the actions give options to add details and steps will display separately when applied for any desired editing of information, such as entering meeting times and recipient copies).
  • Create a shortcut key, if desired.
  • Create a tooltip that describes the actions, if desired. This will display when the mouse is pointed at the Quick Step.
  • Click the Finish button when completed, and that Quick Step name will appear in the Quick Step group.

Now you can just click on any message you want to apply those steps to and done. How cool is that!

NOTE: You can edit any existing Quick Step you have created by selecting the name and clicking the Edit button in the Manage Quick Steps dialog box.

Outlook is so powerful and can be confusing with all its features but you can take charge by doing one Quick Step at a time! Speaking of confusion, there is some around the difference between Quick Step, Quick Part and Rules. I’ll be covering the latter two down the road but this might help…

Quick Steps vs. Rules

Rules typically are always on and run automatically. An example would be, when a message is received from a specified person, it is moved automatically to the folder you designated. Outlook includes rule templates for common scenarios. You can use these rule templates, or design your own custom rules. Quick Steps are applied manually by choosing the appropriate Step(s) when desired.

Are you going to use Quick Steps now? Let me know in the Comments if you are have created your own or just gone with those that are built-in and how they have streamlined your Inbox.

Happy computing!

Apply Changes to Multiple Outlook Contacts

How's Your Outlook?
                 How’s Your Outlook?

Change Multiple Contacts with Drag and Drop

You have several Outlook contacts for the same company and their company name (or address or some other detail) is being changed. Updating that change in all contacts one at a time would be annoying to say the least. Not to fret! Although there is no find and replace for this, you can still make it happen pretty quickly.

The steps are very similar in all versions of Outlook:

  1. Click on View tab, Current View group, Change View dropdown arrow
  2. Choose List
  3. In Arrangement group, click Arrange By drop down arrow
  4. Choose Company and ensure that Show in Groups has a checkmark. If not, click arrow again and choose it
  5. In the desired Company name group, open any contact and edit the name
  6. Click Save and Close icon. This will automatically create and display a new group with the edited Company name
  7. Highlight all the contacts in the previous Company group. (Just click on first one and SHIFT click on last)
  8. Click, hold and drag them into the new Company name group. All of your contacts are updated!

Create Custom Views

Now, create your own custom view so you can return to your grouped list with a mouse click:

  • Click Change View in the Current View group
  • Select Save Current View as a New View
  • Give it a name such as Contact List by Company
  • Click OK and it is added to your Change View drop down list:



Display by Category

Don’t stop with quickly updating changes in Contact content. If you are a user of categories and want add or edit a category or color, you can apply the same process as above to change or add contacts to an existing or new category.

Replace Company in Step #4 above with Categories in the Arrange By dropdown list and rest is the same. Also, always remember to check what’s available on the right click menu as you can often save several mouse clicks. Right click on a contact and choose Categories from the shortcut list and add or edit there.

Categories are very powerful because they can be used to identify items all across Outlook, including types of calendar appointments, email messages, tasks and notes. Customize your own categories and colors and create a great organizational tool!

How are you using Categories to streamline your Outlook?