Exploring the Ribbon

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Exploring the Ribbon

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.