Earlier last week, we moved the Exchange team blog to TechNet (check out EHLO Again! for a brief recap and what's new, in case you missed it). Nino Bilic and some Exchange MVPs pointed out that the blog had actually moved back to TechNet. Well, we’re glad to be back!

More good news: this week, our friends in TechNet informed us that You Had Me At EHLO is by far the number one blog on TechNet – and has been in that spot since day one! Thanks again to the Exchange community.

We’ve faced some issues with migrating downloads and we've been busy fixing URL redirects and links to popular downloads throughout the week. Sorry for the inconvenience folks – please do report any dead links in blog comments or through the contact form. On the positive side, the number of requests we’ve received throughout the week for the Exchange 2010 Mailbox Server Role Requirements Calculator (and its Exchange 2007 sibling), ExFolders and other great tools and scripts we’ve published over the years on EHLO tells us a lot about how popular they are!

Outlook 2010 and Message Headers

We love Office 2010, and it’s no secret that we love Outlook 2010 the most! We love the Office user experience and the ribbon UI. It brings a lot of great Office functionality and frequently-used options to the fore, without having to dive into multiple dialog boxes and layers of menus. It’s a great fit for today’s ultra-high-resolution screens on laptops and desktops, and as this Office Casual video shows, Office 2010 does very well with multi-touch and stylus/pen-based input as well.

The Office team also made sure most keyboard shortcuts power users are familiar with continue to work (for Outlook 2010, see Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Outlook 2010).

As part of this UI overhaul, we lost one of our favorite conveniences in Outlook – the ability to quickly access message headers. Although not something most users would do frequently, Exchange folks do frequently need to see message headers. Sometimes it’s for troubleshooting purposes, but frequently it’s also for the warm fuzzy feeling we get from knowing the message passed through the right SMTP hops, has the expected x-headers, or simply to check if it was processed by the wonderful antispam agents and what the agents really thought of the message.

In previous versions of Outlook, this was as simple as right-clicking a message and selecting Message Options. Quick. No fuss. You’re done, and you’re out. Like a Windows Phone ad. And back to your life.

That shortcut’s gone. No, not the Message Options window itself, but the convenience of the right-click. To access message headers, you must double-click to open the message, click File to access the Backstage view and click the Properties button. Yes, that’s a few more clicks than what most IT folks would like!

Access message headers with 75% fewer mouse clicks

The good news is – Outlook (and Office) is nothing if not customizable.

Here’s how you can add the message headers goodness back to Outlook by customizing the Quick Access Toolbar.

The Quick Access Toolbar is a customizable toolbar that contains a set of commands that are independent of the tab on the ribbon that is currently displayed. Check out more ways to Customize the Quick Access Toolbar (also includes a video).

As an added bonus: you can reduce it to a single click! That's a whopping 75% fewer mouse clicks (compared to the default method in Outlook 2010), in case you're counting, and 50% fewer mouse clicks compared to previous versions.

  1. Click Customize Quick Access Toolbar (it's the down arrow in the Quick Access Toolbar) and select More Commands
  2. On the Customize the Quick Access Toolbar page, click Choose Commands From and then select All Commands
  3. Select Message Options from the list of commands and then click Add
  4. Click OK


    Figure 1: The Message Options button now shows up in the Quick Access Toolbar

To view message headers (or other message options), select a message and then click the Message Options button.

Bharat Suneja