What’s new in Outlook for Mac 2011


Make a smooth move from Outlook for Windows

Outlook start screen

If you use Outlook for Windows, you probably have important e-mail messages, contacts, and other items that you want to keep. Now it’s easy bring all that information to your Mac. You can create a .pst archive file in Outlook for Windows, and then import the .pst file into Microsoft Outlook for Mac 2011. All imported messages, contacts, and other items will be there for you in Outlook for Mac, so you’ll feel right at home.

Read more: Import a .pst file from Outlook for Windows

Video Icon Watch video: Import Windows items into Outlook for Mac 2011

The tools you want, when you want them

Outlook interface showing the new ribbon

The new Microsoft Office for Mac ribbon helps you find the features and commands that you want to complete tasks quickly. You’ll find the commands that you already know how to use in an intuitive, easy-to-use interface, right at the top of the Outlook for Mac window. When you’re reading your messages, the Home tab contains the most frequently used tools for replying, forwarding, and applying rules, flags, and categories. The Options and Tools tabs provide other useful tools, such as options for arranging your messages and creating new folders.

In addition, the ribbon provides specialized tools when you need them. For example, when you click a meeting in your calendar, the Meeting tab appears and provides buttons for you to respond to the organizer or send mail to attendees. When you click a blank area of the calendar, the Meeting tab closes, and the tools on the Home tab appear again.

Read more: Customize the Outlook window

Video Icon Watch video: Up to speed with the Office for Mac ribbon

Get organized by using categories

Messages and Calendar showing categories

Take control of the endless stream of messages arriving in your inbox by using categories. You can assign color-coded categories to messages, contacts, and other items. This helps you tell at glance which items deserve your attention. For example, you could assign your sister to the Family category (fuchsia), coworker contacts to the Team category (blue), and carpool contacts about your carpool to the Personal category (green). When you receive new messages from these contacts, Outlook for Mac automatically assigns the messages to their respective categories and color codes. Suddenly your inbox is streamlined and helpful.

You can easily assign categories by dragging, or you can filter by category with just one click.

Read more: Filter items by category

Seamless Mac integration

Outlook showing Quick Look

Outlook for Mac works together with some of your favorite features of Mac OS X. For example, Outlook uses Quick Look to view attachments. This enables you to view a multipage document or photo slide show without leaving Outlook.

Similarly, because Outlook for Mac stores messages and other items as individual files, you can use Time Machine to back up your Outlook data.

Read more: View attachments in Outlook and About Time Machine backups and Outlook

Video Icon Watch video: Preview attachments in Outlook


All your e-mail together in one place

Outlook showing multiple accounts in a single inbox

Instead of jumping around between multiple inboxes, you can read all new messages in a single folder. When you have several e-mail accounts, reading from a single inbox can save time and keeps your focus in one place. Or if you prefer, you can keep the accounts separate in the navigation pane.

Read more: Customize the Outlook window

Video Icon Watch video: Use one inbox

Organize messages by conversation

Messages show in conversation view

Condense long e-mail threads, even if the message replies were sent days, weeks, or months apart. Messages that share the same subject appear together in the message list. This makes it easy to follow a whole e-mail conversation.

Read more: View e-mail messages by conversation

Video Icon Watch video: Organize messages by conversation

See your calendar in e-mail invitations

E-mail invitation showing the calendar

When you view a meeting invitation, Outlook for Mac automatically displays your calendar alongside the body of the message. This lets you see whether the proposed time works with your schedule, without having to switch back and forth between your messages and calendar.

Video Icon Watch video: See your calendar in e-mail invitations

Stay focused with My Day

My Day dialog

My Day displays your tasks and appointments at a glance. Even when Outlook for Mac is closed, you can keep My Day open on your desktop to conveniently see Outlook information such as your calendar, tasks, and contacts.

Read more: Display your schedule and tasks on the desktop

Video Icon Watch video: Stay focused with My Day


Coordinate multiple schedules

Outlook showing multiple calendars

Having trouble getting everybody together? You can overlay multiple calendars on top of one another to compare your calendar with a coworker's calendar or team calendar. You can also separate your work calendar and personal calendar, and view them on top of each other in Microsoft Outlook for Mac 2011.

Read more: Change the calendar view

Create professional-looking e-mail

Outlook showing e-mail using rich-text formatting

Make your messages stand out by using rich-text formatting, such as hyperlinks, strikethroughs, highlighting, and signatures. Include charts or tables from Word or Excel to make your point. Or use the Office Photo Browser to quickly add your iPhoto or Photo Booth images to messages.

Read more: Create and send a message

Communicate instantly

Instant message launched from Outlook

If you and your colleagues have Microsoft Lync for Mac 2011, you can use Outlook to see one another’s online status, and then start an instant messaging conversation or an audio or video call.

Read more: Use instant messaging services with Outlook

Find contacts fast

Contacts Search dialog

Outlook can quickly search through all your contacts -- including your organization’s whole address book -- whether you’re online or offline. And it’s easy to update the contacts on your computer with the latest information from your organization’s directory.

Read more: Find a contact

View and create messages that have restricted permissions

Outlook showing IRM protected message

You can read messages protected with Information Rights Management (IRM) in Outlook for Mac. IRM is an information protection technology that helps content authors protect valuable information from unauthorized users. With Microsoft Office for Mac Standard 2011, you can also apply IRM to messages (and attachments) that you create.

Read more: Create a message with restricted permission.

Applies to:
Outlook for Mac 2011