**DISCLOSURE: While I am contracted to Microsoft Corporation, I am not an employee. The articles that I write are not meant to represent the company, nor are they meant to represent me as an employee or spokesman for the company. As has always been the case, all articles on this website represent me and nobody else.
After yesterday’s article about sharing your calendar in Outlook was published, it took less than an hour for someone to tell me that it did not work. “Mitch, you told me to go to the Insert menu. There is no Insert menu!
Outlook is a tool that is both self-contained (everything happens in the same window) and expansive (when you click something, a new window opens). Because of that, sometimes the same action will have different menu options, depending on whether or not you are under the main window.
The screen capture above is of a reply to an email which is in the self-contained window. On the right side of the screen (just below the ribbon toolbar) there is a button that says Pop Out. Clicking that button will do exactly what it sounds like… it will pop the email out of the main window. When I do that, this is what appears:
Instead of the standard Microsoft Office menus (File – Home – Send / Receive – Folder – View – Help – Message) I see the context menus for the e-mail… File – Message – Insert – Draw – Options – Format Text – Review – Help. These menus might change even further – if I insert a picture or a table into the body of my message and select that item, I will get a Picture or Table menu on my screen. There are more than just those two, these are simply the ones that I use most often.
As with so many things, in Outlook context is everything. You might not see the ribbon options you were expecting if you are not in the right context. Don’t worry… there are much more confusing problems that will arise, with much more difficult solutions. Fortunately, this one is an easy one to answer, and I thank my readers who pointed this out.