This article introduces the Ribbon and other components of the new Microsoft Office Fluent user interface, which you see when you read or create a message, task, contact, or calendar item in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007.
Important: This article is designed as a quick reference tool only, and is not intended for training or learning purposes. Some authoring commands in Office Outlook 2007 are not available if Microsoft Office Word 2007 is not installed.
Introducing the new interface
In Office Outlook 2007 in open items, the new Office Fluent user interface replaces some of the menus and toolbars from earlier versions of Outlook with a single mechanism that is simple and discoverable. The Office Fluent user interface is designed to help you be more productive in Outlook, and find the right features for various tasks more easily.
This article is designed for experienced Outlook 2003 users — Help desk personnel, IT professionals, and others who are already familiar with the Outlook 2003 interface — who want to find familiar commands quickly in Office Outlook 2007.
Office Fluent user interface
The primary replacement for menus and toolbars in new and open items in Office Outlook 2007 is the Ribbon, which is part of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface. Designed for easy browsing, the Ribbon consists of tabs that are organized around specific scenarios or objects. The controls on each tab are further organized into several groups. The Ribbon can host richer content than menus and toolbars can, including buttons, galleries, and dialog box content.
Tabs that appear only when you need them
In addition to the standard set of tabs that you see on the Office Fluent Ribbon whenever you start Office Outlook 2007, there is another kind of tab which appears in the interface only when it is useful for the type of task that you are performing currently.
Contextual tools Contextual tools enable you to work with an object that you select in the item, such as a table or picture in an open e-mail message. When you click the object, the pertinent set of contextual tabs appears in an accent color next to the standard tabs.
Menus, toolbars and other familiar elements
In addition to tabs, groups, and commands, Office Outlook 2007 uses other elements that also provide paths for accomplishing your tasks. The following elements are more like the menus and toolbars that you are already familiar with from earlier versions of Outlook.
Microsoft Office Button This button is located in the upper-left corner in an open item.
Quick Access Toolbar The Quick Access Toolbar is located by default at the top of the window in an open item and provides quick access to tools that you use frequently. You can customize the Quick Access Toolbar by adding commands to it.
Dialog Box Launchers Dialog Box Launchers are small icons that appear in some groups. Clicking a Dialog Box Launcher opens a related dialog box or task pane, providing more options related to that group.
Adding commands to the Quick Access Toolbar
Some Outlook 2003 commands are available in Office Outlook 2007 only from the list of all commands in the Editor Options dialog box. To use these commands in Office Outlook 2007, you first add them to the Quick Access Toolbar as follows:
Click the Microsoft Office Button , and then click Editor Options.
In the Choose commands from drop-down list box, click All commands.
Click the command that you want to add, and then click Add.
Repeat for each command that you want to add.
Click the Move Up and Move Down arrow buttons to arrange the commands in the order in which you want them to appear on the Quick Access Toolbar.