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Control Entourage from the keyboard Apps
This might be old news for some of you, but it wasn't to me, so here it is...

I just discovered this today (after having used Entourage since 2001, and Outlook Express since 1999): you can cycle through the panes in Entourage's main window with the Tab key, and then use the arrow keys to navigate between items (i.e. folders in the left pane, and mails in the upper right/middle pane, depending on where you have the preview pane). Shift-Tab reverses the direction of your focus' movement. This allows me to browse my mail with the keyboard which is great because I tend to be a keyboard control type of person anyway.

Of course, there's always Command-1 for mail view, Command-2 for your adress book, and Command-3 for the calendar, plus the OS X standard Command-~ for cycling through windows.
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Control Entourage from the keyboard
Authored by: Frederico on Apr 03, '06 05:26:17PM

Much of Entourage's key navigation is based on standard Finder navigation dating back to System 6. Little surprise, as Entourage (and Outlook Express) are clearly based on Claris Emailer constructs, and developed by the same folks who left Claris for MS.

While you're navigating your Folders via arrow keys, don't forget to try Command and Option keys with both right and left, as well as up and down arrow keys to help open and close folder and subfolder sets. Note also that typing any alpha or numeric key will jump folder selection to the next nearest folder name equivalent. I only wish I could find a way to leap past or eliminate the Microsoft News Server entry, which prevents me from quickly entering my 'Mail Views' (Smart Lists) definitions. Anyone else notice the lack of alpha superiority here when it comes to pushing an MS technology over user preferences?

Other fun things to explore, for those of you who despise the 'one-window-fits-all' user mode, is that Command-Option 1, 2 and 3, etc. will open separate instances of your Mail, Calendar, Address Book, etc.; this is exceptionally useful when you need to reference multiple items at once, drag and drop objects from one folder, view or document to another, etc. Entourage will even remember where you like your calendar vs. your address book, so, again, if you have ample screen real estate, you can spread your windows out across your work area.

I recently loaned all of my input devices (I typically have four pointers attached at a time) to my Father so he could evaluate them for his new needs as he navigates Parkinson's disease. As I sat there at work without a single mouse or pointer of any kind, I barely noticed the loss while in Entourage (as opposed to Safari, e.g.), which I could successfully navigate and organize/reorganize, file, delete, etc., the day's 400+ emails with considerable ease. I only rarely missed the ability to right-click or command-click an object, all of which had key-based workaround that took only slightly longer than the mouse (e.g., moving an email to a specific folder).

I was inspired by this to re-approach my Father's situation, by making him re-aware of the massive speed advantages, and vastly superior motor-control advantages keystrokes offer. Unfortunately, he is on WinXP and Outlook, which, despite emanating from the same company, do not share very similar design and user philosophy. There are simply things in Outlook that positively demand the mouse and fairly deft motor controls to perform. Sad. Things will likely never improve, either, as MS tends to make things worse on the Windows side, not better, over time, and my Father is too old to start over on the Mac (despite 20 years of begging him to make the switch). Thankfully Mother made the switch long ago.



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Control Entourage from the keyboard
Authored by: allenwatson on Apr 04, '06 09:20:37AM

Use Entourage's excellent Help menu to look up "Keyboard shortcuts"; you will get a complete list of the many keyboard shortcuts available.

A couple of my favorites: ctl-opt-] (or [) for "Delete this message, open next /previous unread message" when reading a message or viewing it in the preview pane. Without the Option key (just ctl-] or ctl-[) it does "next/previous unread message" without deleting the current one.

If you substitute the Cmd key for ctl, these commands move to the next/previous message regardless of read/unread status.

---
Microsoft MVP for Entourage
AppleScripts for OE and Entourage



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