Beginning Microsoft Outlook with JAWS


What is Outlook? Part of the Microsoft Office Suite of productivity software, Outlook is a desktop mail client. What does that mean? It is a program on your computer that will let you access and manage your email. A mail client is also referred to as en email reader or a Mail User Agent (MUA).
What’s the difference between Gmail or Yahoo and Outlook? Gmail and Yahoo are web-based email services. This means that you can only access your email via these services when you have an internet connection. Outlook however, can be used without a connection to the internet, though some functionality (like sending and receiving messages) requires the internet. Further, while Gmail and Yahoo are email services, Outlook is an email client. This means that you can take theoretically any email service (including Yahoo and Gmail) and access and manage it via Outlook.
Why would I use Outlook? Outlook has many advantages in general over web-based email services. Outlook stores your emails of your computer, so you can access your correspondence without an internet connection. Further, with local storage, you have more control of your emails for file storage and backup. Further, Outlook doesn’t just offer email, but also has features for managing your calendar, contacts, tasks, and notes. Lastly, while web-based email services will allow you to use some hotkeys and may work reasonably well with JAWS, Outlook has a huge amount of hotkey functionality and works extremely well with JAWS.
What about using Outlook for mobile? Microsoft recently launched the Outlook app for iOS. It works very well with VoiceOver. It has been nominated for the iOS 2016 App Hall of Fame for the website AppleVis, a community-powered website for blind and low-vision users of Apple’s range of Mac computers, the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV and Apple Watch. Further, if you have a service like Gmail or Yahoo, you can always go to these websites to manage your email on top of using Outlook. You should see all changes in Outlook represented on the web interface and visa-versa.

Navigating Outlook

Move around within the folder pane or through messages in the inbox, outbox or folders by item. Arrow keys
Move to the first/last item on the screen in the folder pane or inbox, outbox, and folders. Page up/ Page down
Move between the Outlook window, the smaller panes in the Folder Pane, the Reading Pane, and the sections in the To-Do Bar, and show the access keys in the Outlook ribbon. F6
Move between the Outlook window, the smaller panes in the Folder Pane, the Reading Pane, and the sections in the To-Do Bar. Tab
Switch to Inbox. Ctrl+Shift+I
Switch to Outbox. Ctrl+Shift+O
Go To Folder Ctrl + Y
Switch to Mail. Ctrl+1
Switch to Calendar. Ctrl+2
Switch to Contacts. Ctrl+3
Switch to Tasks. Ctrl+4
Switch to Notes. Ctrl+5

In-session Exercise

Open your inbox and look at your most recent emails. Spend some time navigating through the emails.

Sending and Receiving Emails

Open Message Enter
Reply to message Ctrl + R
Reply all to a message Shift + Ctrl + R
Forward message Ctrl + F
Delete message Del
Create new message Ctrl + N
Move to the Subject Field Alt + U
Send Message Alt + S / Ctrl + Enter

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