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Over the years that OWA has been developed we’ve kept our focus on improving user productivity through supporting many of the timesaving features present in Outlook and other Windows applications. Unfortunately many users don’t realize that these features are available in OWA since features like hot-keys aren’t often available in web applications. I think we need to do some work to make some of these features more discoverable, but until we do we’ll need to use postings like this one to spread the word that OWA is not your run-of-the-mill web mail application.
I decided to do this posting after talking with a candidate that was interested in filling our OWA Test team opening (still hiring, e-mail owajobs if you are interested) who said that she very frequently used OWA, but the thing annoyed her the most about OWA was the lack of type-down search. As much as I do love showing type-down search to people who make that comment and watching their jaw drop, I decided to do my part in making some of this “hidden” functionality in OWA more visible by compiling some of my favorite hidden features in this blog post. I started with the top 10 features, but there was just too much useful functionality to share, so I had to make it the top 11 features for now, and I’m sure I’ll be adding more later.
For the full listing of hotkeys see the OWA Help documentation.
Remember that a message needs to be selected and have focus for many of the hot-keys to work.
Then open the “Compose New Mail” form, switch back to the message list view and drag a message from you inbox to the “Compose New Mail” form and let up on your mouse button. Voila! It’s now in the body of your new mail.
There you go, that’s 11 tips to improve your productivity using OWA. If any of these are helpful to you, please pass them on to your coworkers so that more people can benefit from the full power of this awesome web application. If you are an Exchange Admin, why not print off this list and send it to your users, or post for them to read on your intranet.
I’ll try to keep updating this list to add new hidden features as I think of them. Also stay tuned to this site, because this will certainly be one of the first places to update you on the new features in our next version of OWA.