Keyboard shortcut of the week: email name look-up

When using MS Outlook, Outlook Express and Outlook Web Access on Internet Explorer you can quickly look up names in your contacts and address books with a keyboard shortcut.

Let us assume you are looking for a 'Thomas Jones', you can type 'tho jo' in the 'To..' field of a new email and hold down the Alt key and press K. Your email program will then either put the right address into the 'To..' field or it will present you with a list of matches, for example, there may be a 'Thomas Johnson' in your address book too, in which case both will be listed. Highlight the one you want in the list and click 'OK'.

As I mentioned, this shortcut works on Outlook Web Access if you access it using Internet Explorer. In order to see the list of matching names you may have to disable pop-ups for that site. To do so click on the yellow bar at the top of the new email page if it appears and set IE to always allow pop-ups from that page.

If you open Outlook Web Access using Firefox or another web browser you can use the same feature by clicking on the 'Check Names' button (pictured). This will then add the text you typed to the list in red, click on this to see the list of matches. Again, pop-up blocking may have to be disabled for that page.

This technique also works with the other address fields: 'CC' and 'BCC'.