How to Use the Outlook Ribbon

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This article describes how to open, print, and save emails using the Outlook ribbon in Outlook for Microsoft 365, Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, and Outlook 2013.

  • The Ribbon’s Home Tab
  • Additional Commands You Need to Know
  • Outlook’s Ribbon
  • Modify the Ribbon’s Appearance

The Ribbon’s Home Tab

When you open Outlook, the Home tab of the ribbon is automatically displayed. This is where you send and receive email and where the majority of Outlook’s activity occurs. The Home tab’s command buttons are organized into groups.

What you’ll find in each group is as follows:

  1. The newly formed group: To create a new message, click New Email. By selecting New Items, a list of options for creating appointments, tasks, and more is displayed.
  2. The Delete group: To delete an email message, select Delete. To manage how email is handled when it is received, select Ignore, Clean Up, or Junk.
  3. The Respond group: This group contains commands for Replying, Replying All, and Forwarding messages. Additionally, you can schedule meetings and access additional methods of response.
  4. The Quick Steps group: This group contains commands for moving messages to folders, replying to messages, and deleting messages. Additionally, there are additional quick commands available, including Move to, Team Email, To Manager, Done, and Create New. Select Manage Quick Steps to access additional commands (the arrow in the lower-right corner of the group).
  5. The Move group contains options for relocating messages, creating rules, and accessing OneNote.
  6. The Tags group: This group contains commands for marking messages as read or unread, categorizing them, and adding a flag for follow-up.
  7. The Find group contains commands for locating a contact, navigating to your address book, and filtering email.

Additional Commands You Need to Know

The ribbon contains several other tabs in addition to the Home tab. Each of these tabs contains commands named after the tab. Apart from the Home tab, there are four other tabs:

  1. The File tab: This tab contains commands for customizing Outlook and printing email messages, calendars, and task lists.
  2. The Send/Receive tab: The Send/Receive tab contains commands for sending and receiving e-mail. Additionally, commands are available to manage downloads and email server behavior.
  3. The Folder tab: This tab contains commands for managing email folders and their associated properties.
  4. The View tab: These commands allow you to customize the layout of Outlook’s conversations, message preview, Reading pane, To-do pane, and People panes.

Outlook’s Ribbon

The Outlook ribbon is a group of toolbars divided into tabs that contain commands for frequently used tasks. The ribbon adapts to your activities in Outlook. The Attachment tab, for example, appears when you’re working with e-mail attachments. Once you’ve sent or downloaded an attachment and moved on to another email, the Attachment tab vanishes.

Modify the Ribbon’s Appearance

Collapse the ribbon if it takes up too much space and you want to see more of the Outlook message area. To collapse or expand the ribbon, select Switch Ribbons (the arrow in the lower-right corner of the ribbon).

When the ribbon in Outlook 2019 and Outlook for Microsoft 365 is collapsed, the most frequently used commands for each tab are displayed. Previously released versions of Outlook displayed only the tab names.