facebook google plus twitter
Webucator's Free Upgrading to Microsoft Outlook 2010 Tutorial

Lesson: The Ribbon

Welcome to our free Upgrading to Microsoft Outlook 2010 tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's Upgrading to Microsoft Outlook 2010 course.

In this lesson you will learn about the Ribbon in Outlook 2010.

Lesson Goals

  • Learn how to use the Ribbon.
  • Learn about on-demand tools on the Ribbon.
  • Learn about View options in Outlook 2010.
  • Learn about the Outlook Social Connector.

Exploring the Ribbon


The Ribbon is the display you see at the top of the Microsoft Outlook window. It is your primary interface with Outlook. It allows you to access most of the commands available to you in Outlook. The Ribbon is composed of three types of objects: tabs, groups, and commands.


There are four main tabs on the Outlook Ribbon. The Ribbon is dynamic, and will change, depending on what view you are in. However, while in Mail view, these tabs are as follows:

  1. Home. The Home tab includes commands you can use to respond to and manage your email messages.
  2. Send/Receive. Use the Send/Receive tab to update Outlook items, as well as work offline.
  3. Folder. The Folder contains commands you can use to organize your mail into folders.
  4. View. Use the View tab to change views, set up Conversation view, and customize your Outlook layout.

Note that the File tab is not a typical tab. The File tab takes you to the Backstage view where you manage, rather than make changes to, your document. The Backstage view is covered in the next lesson.


Functionally related commands in Outlook are organized in groups on each tab. The following table lists the groups found on each tab:

Tab Group
  1. New
  2. Delete
  3. Respond
  4. Quick Steps
  5. Move
  6. Tags
  7. Find
  8. Send/Receive
  1. Send and Receive
  2. Download
  3. Server
  4. Preferences
  1. New
  2. Action
  3. Clean Up
  4. IMAP
  5. Properties
  1. Current View
  2. Conversations
  3. Arrangements
  4. Layout
  5. People Pane
  6. Window

In some groups, you will see a button in the lower right corner next to the group name. This is the dialog box launcher. Opening a group's dialog box gives you access to additional commands associated with the group.


Commands are controls that enable you to accomplish specific tasks, such as creating a new message, forwarding a message, creating new folder, or deleting messages.

On-demand Tools on the Ribbon

One of the new features in Outlook 2010 are tools on the Ribbon that appear on demand, as you work. These tools will automatically appear as you work with your messages. They will be relevant to what you are doing at the time.

For example, if you are inserting a table in an email, when working in the table, you will notice that the Ribbon in the message displays the Design and Layout tabs, along with Table Tools.

When you click out of the table, these tools are no longer displayed.

View Options

There are a number of different view options in Outlook 2010. To customize your Outlook view:

  1. On the Ribbon, on the View tab, in the Current View group, select Change View.
  2. 2. On the View tab, in the Arrangements group, select how you would like your view to display your messages, for example, by Date, From, or To.
  3. To reset your View settings, on the View tab, in the Current View group, select Reset View.

Outlook Social Connector

The Outlook Social Connector is an Outlook 2010 add-in that allows you to view social network data about your message senders and recipients. The results of the Social Connector appear in the People Pane, which appears at the bottom of the Reading Pane.