Creating a Keyboard Shortcut for “Open New Main Window” on Outlook 2011 on OSX 10.9

This lesson shows you how to create a keyboard shortcut that will open a new main window on Outlook 2011 on OSX 10.9. Often, you will need to create a calendar appointment or review a calendar appointment while reading a related email thread in Outlook. It’s hard to do this conveniently in Outlook 2011 without opening a new main window. You can then switch that window to calendar view. This is not original to me; I’m just adding screenshots to the procedure recommended in an old Macworld OX X Hints article.

How do you open a new main window?

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The command that you want is File>New>Open New Main Window

This will create a new window. Once that window is open, you can switch it to calendar view, either by clicking on the calendar icon, or by using the Cmd-1 keyboard shortcut.

Using two main windows side-by-side, one with email and one with a calendar view

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This shows the result; with a mail window on the left and a calendar view on the right.

Assigning a shortcut key – Cmd-Option-Shift-N

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  1. Start up System Preferences
  2. Click on Keyboard
  3. Click on Shortcuts (item 1)
  4. Click on App Shortcuts (item 2)
  5. Click on the “+” icon (item 3)

Assigning a shortcut key – Cmd-Option-Shift-N (Step 2)

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  1. In the window that appears, enter “Microsoft Outlook.app” for Application. This part is a little bit tricky. On my computer Microsoft Outlook.app did not appear in the default scroll list. I had to scroll to the bottom and then click on “Other Application” and then drill down to Applications>Microsoft Office 2011>Microsoft Outlook.app.
  2. For Menu Title, you must enter the exact menu title, which is “Open New Main Window”.
  3. For the keyboard shortcut, I used Cmd-Option-Shift-N, which was recommended by this article: http://goo.gl/7K7wLQ
  4. Finally, click Add to save your new keyboard shortcut.

Confirming that keyboard shortcut was added

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If you did everything correctly, your screen should look like the above.

Close System Preferences and return to Outlook 2011.

Try out your new key combination and verify that it opens a new main window.

By the way, Cmd-1 will always show the mail window, Cmd-2 will show the calendar window, and Cmd-3 will show the contacts window.

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