Keyboard shortcuts disappearing in Outlook for Mac

Sometimes, certain keyboard shortcuts in Outlook will work and other times they won’t. Often, they will work once and then stop working until Outlook is restarted. For the most part this is a simple conflict with an item in the Services menu.

I’ve seen this happen with two different keyboard shortcuts:

Shift + Command + R = Message menu –> Reply All
Shift + Command + M = Message menu –> Move –> Choose Folder…

Microsoft is investigating this issue and while other non-Microsoft products experience similar issues not all of them do. Mozilla Thunderbird also uses the Shift + Command + R keyboard shortcut for its Reply All command too but when invoked both the Services menu command as well as Thunderbird’s command are invoked.

In my case, the conflicting commands are introduced by MacGourmet Deluxe 1.2.7, which adds services for extracting recipes from websites as well as creating text clippings from selected text. To restore my application commands to full functionality, I simply changed the keyboard commands associated with the services.

  1. Select Apple menu –> System Preferences… and click the Keyboard preference pane.
  2. Select the Keyboard Shortcuts tab.
  3. Select Services in the left pane.
  4. Scroll through the list of items on the right and look for the same keyboard shortcut that’s failing in the primary application.

    Conflicting shortcut

    For a list of modifier keys and their symbols, search Apple’s Help menu in the Finder for “Key  symbols”.

    Key symbols

  5. Double-click the keyboard command to highlight the shortcut.

    Change service keyboard command

  6. Type an alternate keyboard shortcut that does not conflict with any application shortcuts. A combination of Control + Option + Command + [letter, number or function key] will more than likely not conflict with anything. Alternately, hit the Delete key to remove the shortcut and leave it blank.

    Changed service keyboard command

  7. The keyboard shortcut in the primary application should reappear instantly without having to restart the application.

Conflicting keyboard shortcuts may not always be associated with service commands. Review shortcuts under other system areas such as Front Row and Application Shortcuts.

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