Q: Why CTRL-F is NOT Find in Outlook?(Ans: Bill Gates)

By standss Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Have you ever pressed CTRL-F to find something (in Outlook) to discover that it does not work! For some reason CTRL-F does a Forward instead of a Find. Here’s a bit of history as to why this (strange) decision was made and alternative keyboard shortcuts to do a Find in Outlook.

CTRL-F is probably the best and most widely used Keyboard shortcut. Whether you’re using Excel, Word, Internet Explorer, Adobe Reader, Chrome… the list goes on… CTRL-F brings up the Find dialog. Except in Outlook…

Why… Oh Why???
According to The Old New Thing the reason for this strange behaviour is Bill Gates.

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What keyboard shortcuts can you use to Find in Outlook?

Unfortunately there is no way to change how Outlook handles CTRL-F. The two alternatives you can use are F4 or CTRL-SHIFT-F. By the way these shortcuts only seem to work when you have an actual email open (and not from a folder).

Thank you to reader Bruno for the following addition to this tip.

The easiest thing to do is press Ctrl+E, which brings you directly to the Search (= simple Find) function at the top of the Outlook window – and without needing to have an email open.

Hope you found the bit of history interesting. Feel free to rant by leaving a comment below.

Categories : General, Outlook Email Tips, Outlook Search Tips

2 thoughts on “Q: Why CTRL-F is NOT Find in Outlook?(Ans: Bill Gates)

  1. Very annoying indeed, but your suggested alternative shortcuts need some more clarification.
    The easiest was for a simple Find is Ctrl+E, which brings you directly to the Search (= simple Find) function at the top of the Outlook window – and without needing to have an email open.
    The suggested CTRL+SHIFT+F does not bring up the simple Find function but the Advanced Find dialogue – regardless of being in an email or in a folder.
    While F4 exclusively brings up a straightforward Find and Replace box while within a mail.

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