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FAQs

If you don’t find a solution, post a question in Microsoft for Mac Product Forums

Before you report a problem

  1. Make sure you are updated
  2. Restart your Mac
  3. Run Repair Permissions using Disk Utility
  4. Check to see if your question has already been answered.
  5. Look in Help (it’s under Help in the Menu Bar) or search OfficeforMacHelp.com for answers.
  6. If you still can’t find the answer then ask on the Microsoft for Mac Product Forums. For best results see How to report a problem.

Also see Microsoft’s list: Known Issues in Outlook 2011

FAQs for Outlook by Topic

  1. Differences between Outlook for Mac and Outlook for Windows
  2. Differences between Outlook for Mac and Entourage
  3. Using Outlook with Word,Excel & PowerPoint
  4. Backup Options
  5. Import Options
  6. Export Options
  7. Send & Receive
  8. Hot Topics – most popular FAQs

FAQs for Outlook

  1. Will I be able to import my Entourage Identity into Outlook for Mac?
    1. What other files will Outlook for Mac import?
    2. How do I get my Entourage X Identity imported into Outlook for Mac?
    3. What do I do if Outlook for Mac won’t import my Entourage 2004 or 2008 Identity?
  2. Does Outlook for Mac import .pst files?
  3. Does Outlook for Mac use a database like Entourage?
  4. Can I backup Outlook for Mac with Time Machine?
  5. Is Outlook for Mac a clone of Outlook for Windows?
  6. Does Outlook for Mac support Exchange 2003?
  7. Can I use Entourage instead of Outlook if I buy the H&S edition?
  8. Will Outlook use format=flowed or otherwise get rid of the hard line break in plain text messages?
  9. Will my Entourage scripts work in Outlook for Mac?
  10. Will I be able to manage numbering sequences as I like – with spacing between points and grabbing previous number sequences or changing numbering types like from 1,2,3 to a,b,c?
  11. Will I be able to highlightcertain texts?
  12. Will I be able to bring up the ruler and manage tabs correctly so things align up properly?
  13. Will I be able to create font sizes outside the predetermined options (ie font sizes 4, 6, 7 or 7.5)?
  14. How do I manage spelling when writing mails with multiple languages? Why can’t I seem to be able to have certain texts, paragraphs or words in one language (function: select language) and others in other languages using the same function.
  15. Is the HTML editor in Outlook for Mac more robust than Entourage’s HTML capabilities?
  16. Can I compose a message using Word then send with Outlook for Mac?
  17. What happened to the Favorites bar we had in Entourage?
  18. I don’t like the new unified Inbox in Outlook for Mac, is there a way to go back to the way Entourage managed folders?
  19. Can I make a signature with a graphic and hyperlinks?
  20. How do I switch Identities in Outlook for Mac?
  21. Are Projects included in Outlook for Mac?
  22. Why can’t I sync my calendar events to iCal/iPhones, etc. through Sync Services?
  23. How do I redirect and resend emails?
  24. Outlook 2011 will not reply or create new emails (asks to rebuild database for some users)
  25. How do you use email merge with Word?
  26. Will Outlook for Mac be able to use the available Plugins you can get for Outlook?
  27. Does Outlook for Mac let me request read receipts to know my messages have been read?
  28. How do I copy events from one account’s calendar to another?
  29. Is there a way to open the progress window, instead of having to hit command 7 each time?
  30. How do I stop Outlook from downloading my mail over and over again?
  31. How do I move calendar items to another calendar after I import?
  32. When I select File > Share> Email As Attachment from Word, Excel or PowerPoing, Apple Mail opens even though I have set Outlook as default.
  33. Where is the “line” button?
  34. None of my events appear on my calendar although they appear in My Day just fine. I also don’t see any categories in calendars list.
  35. I opened Microsoft Outlook, and all of the information (accounts, folders, messages, etc.) is gone.
  36. Outlook no longer finds messages when I search or read/unread filters no longer work.

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(1) Will I be able to import my Entourage Identity into Outlook for Mac?

Yes, you will be able to import from Entourage 2004 and Entourage 2008, but not from Entourage X. Importing from an older version is the same as Entourage’s import from an older version. It will import your accounts, messages, contacts, calendar events, notes and tasks. Projects are not included in Outlook and will not be imported. You will need to reset your folder destination and some actions in rules and Mailing List Manager rules.

Outlook will import:

  • Entourage 2004, Entourage 2008, Entourage EWS
  • Outlook Data File (.pst or .olm)
  • Entourage archive file (.rge)
  • Apple Mail, Eudora
  • Contacts or messages from text file (tab- or comma- delimited, MBOX)
  • Holidays (these files are included with Outlook)

View all options to import into Outlook:





How do I get my Entourage X Identity imported into Outlook?

See direction on the Entourage Help Page How to manually export your data.

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What do I do if Outlook won’t import my Entourage 2004 or 2008 Identity?

See directions on the Entourage Help Page Manually move your Entourage 2004 & 2008 data

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(2) Does Outlook for Mac import .pst files?

Yes, Outlook for Mac will import .pst files. More info

If items are not contained within folders in the PST file they do not import.

Outlook for Mac can only import Unicode-based .pst files which are the standard format for Personal Folders files for Outlook (for Windows) 2003 and later versions.

ANSI-formatted .pst files, also known as Outlook 97-2002 Personal Folders Files, were the standard personal folder format for saving data in Outlook for Windows in versions 97-2002. This file format can’t be imported into Outlook for Mac.

If you have the older version of ANSI-formatted .pst file, there is no automated procedure to convert that file to the newer file format. However, you can create a new Outlook Data File (.pst) in Microsoft Outlook for Windows 2003 or later, and then import items from the older file into the new file. You can then import the new .pst file into Outlook for Mac.

For more information about how to create .pst files and importing items, see Help for your version of Outlook for Windows.

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(3) Does Outlook for Mac use a database like Entourage did?

There is a database but it does not contain the messages and other items as Entourage did. See this blog post for more info.

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(4) Can I backup Outlook for Mac with Time Machine?

Yes, Outlook for Mac can now be backed up with Time Machine.

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(5) Is Outlook for Mac a clone of Outlook for Windows?

No! Many features of Outlook for Windows have been added but the feature set is not exactly alike.

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(6) Does Outlook for Mac support Exchange 2003?

No, Outlook for Mac does not support Exchange 2003. Like the EWS version of Entourage, it requires Exchange 2007 with SP1 RU4 or higher. If you are still on Exchange 2003, you can still use Entourage. Move the Microsoft Office 2008 folder in Applications to your User’s folder and create an Applications folder there. Place the Office 2008 folder in ~/Applications.

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(7) Can I use Entourage instead of Outlook if I buy the H&S edition of Office for Mac 2011?

Yes, you can still use Entourage. See this Microsoft KB for details.

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(8) Will Outlook use format=flowed or otherwise get rid of the hard line break in plain text messages?

Yes. Format=flowed has finally been added.

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(9) Will my Entourage scripts work in Outlook for Mac?

In general, ‘No’. Some very simple scripts may run without modification, but the entire scripting engine in Outlook has been re-written from the ground up and quite a bit of functionally has changed. There are some (welcome) additions, but there are also some omissions. It is likely that 90% of all scripts will have to be modified to work with Outlook for Mac. It seems that the inevitable ‘Tell application “Microsoft Entourage”‘ that starts most scripts can usually figure out the switch to Outlook, but even this seems a little hit and miss. If you have a script that is not working in Outlook, open it in Script Editor and change this line to show “Microsoft Outlook”. If that still doesn’t work, the script will need to be modified to overcome the changes.

Note: there is a separate folder in the Microsoft User Data folder for Outlook scripts Move your script from the Entourage Script Menu Items folder to the Outlook Script Menu Items folder.

More info see Using Applescripts

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(10) Will I be able to manage numbering sequences as I like – with spacing between points and grabbing previous number sequences or changing numbering types like from 1,2,3 to a,b,c?

No, this feature has not available in Outlook for Mac at this time.

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(11) Will I be able to highlight certain texts?

Yes. it’s possible to type text, select it and then “highlight” it so that it appears as if a yellow (or any color) highlighter marker was passed over it.

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(12) Will I be able to bring up the ruler and manage tabs correctly so things align up properly?

This feature is not available at this time. If this is a feature that you consider useful, be sure to let Microsoft know by sending them feedback (via the Send Feedback about Outlook command in Outlook’s Help menu)

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(13) Will I be able to create font sizes outside the predetermined options (ie font sizes 4, 6, 7 or 7.5)?

This feature is not available at this time. If this is a feature that you consider useful, be sure to let Microsoft know by sending them feedback (via the Send Feedback about Outlook command in Outlook’s Help menu)

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(14) How do I manage spelling when writing mails with multiple languages? Why can’t I seem to be able to have certain texts, paragraphs or words in one language (function: select language) and others in other languages using the same function.

With the transition from Entourage to Outlook, spell checking has become much easier for the multilingual user. In Entourage, you would have to tell the application which language you were writing in, and Entourage would check your text in that language alone. Outlook, however, integrates with the spell checking features built into Mac OS X, and can, as a result, behave in a much more intelligent way than Entourage.

The menu items found in Edit>Spelling and Grammar is identical to the menu items found in most Mac OS X applications. Since Outlook uses the same dictionaries, it is now possible to add words to the Mac OS X dictionaries in other applications, such as Safari or TextEdit, and to have these words recognized in Outlook, too. Furthermore, the language you are typing in is now detected automatically; there is no longer any need to tell the application explicitly which language you are using. As a result, it is now possible to mix a number of languages in one single e-mail message and to have the spelling of each word checked in its corresponding language.

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(15) Is the HTML editor in Outlook for Mac more robust than Entourage’s HTML capabilities?

In one word: yes! Granted, that challenge was not difficult to beat, but Outlook is much more capable than Entourage in terms of HTML creation. You can now forward e-mails and have Outlook maintain the complex layout of the original e-mail. Gone are the days when replying to or forwarding a message would result in an e-mail that did not resemble the original message at all. You can still forward e-mail messages as attachments, if you want to (via Message>Forward Special>As Attachment), but the need for that function is not as pronounced anymore. Furthermore, when typing a new mail message in Outlook, you have more formatting choices, such as precise font size settings and highlighted text. A long-standing feature request has also been implemented: you can now insert masked hyperlinks into your e-mail messages.

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(16) Can I compose a message using Word then send with Outlook for Mac?

If the formatting features in Outlook are still insufficient for your needs, you can compose the e-mail message in Word and then either transfer the document to Outlook via File>Share>E-mail (as HTML), or you can simply copy the text and paste it into a New Message window in Outlook; you should find that the entire formatting remains preserved, even if you copy tables or other graphical elements.

Be sure you first make Outlook the default email client. You do that in Outlook > Preferences >  General where you click the Make Default button.

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(17) What happened to the Favorites bar we had in Entourage?

The Favorites Bar, introduced in Entourage 2008, is no longer present in Outlook 2011. If this is a feature that you consider useful, be sure to let Microsoft know by sending them feedback (via the Send Feedback about Outlook command in Outlook’s Help menu)

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(18) I don’t like the new unified Inbox in Outlook for Mac, is there a way to go back to the way Entourage managed folders?

While a consolidated inbox will make the lives of many people a lot easier, some might not want to have this feature, preferring to keep their various inboxes separate. Don’t worry: there’s an easy way to disable this new feature. Click on Outlook>Preferences, bring up the General section, and disable the checkbox that reads “Group similar folders, such as inboxes, from different accounts”. Your folder list should now look the way it did in Entourage.

See New features in Outlook-unified inbox

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(19) Can I make a signature with a graphic and hyperlinks?

Yes. You can create signatures by clicking on Outlook>Preferences and bringing up the Signatures section. Keep in mind that the formatting choices offered in this window are very limited; use the options in the Format menu to format your text, or simply format your signature in Word and paste it into a new signature window. See Creating signatures in Outlook 2011 for additional help.

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(20) How do I switch Identities in Outlook for Mac?

You cannot select switch identities in Outlook, as this Entourage feature is not included anymore. However, there is a way around this. Hold down the Option key when launching Outlook. This brings up the Database Utility. Select + “Create a new identity”, then “Set as Default”.

For years, Microsoft has been trying to convince people that identities are not that great a feature to begin with, largely for security reasons.

If several users want to use Outlook on the same machine, the recommended procedure is to create individual user accounts and to run instances of Outlook in each account. This method is much more secure than using separate identities, since your Outlook data is now protected more effectively inside the user account by Mac OS X itself.

Many people also used identities to create archives of older messages that they could then access rather effortlessly without clogging up their main user database. That functionality is still available in Outlook, but not as easily accessed.

You will need to export your data as .olm file to import into the new archive Identity. File > Export

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(21) Are Projects included in Outlook for Mac?

Outlook doesn’t include Project Center. If you used the Project Center in Entourage and then import your Entourage information into Outlook, Project Center associations are converted to categories. For example, if you added items to a project that was titled “Research Paper” in Entourage, these items are assigned a category that is called “Research Paper” in Outlook.

Outlook for Mac contains the following features to help you organize projects:

  • Categories – You can assign messages, contacts, or any other Outlook items to one category or multiple categories at one time.
  • Rules – You can set up rules that automatically assign a specific category to certain messages. For example, rules can be set up to categorize messages from certain contacts, or categorize messages that contain certain words in the subject.
  • Follow-up flags and due dates –  You can flag contacts and messages for follow up, and add start dates, due dates, and reminders.
  • Smart Folders – You can create a virtual folder that contains any items that meet your search criteria, such as all the items from a category.

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(22) Why can’t I sync my calendar events to iCal/iPhones, etc. through Sync Services.

Currently, Sync Services is only available for contacts.

For Outlook, we entirely rebuilt our Sync Services support from the ground up. Our goal was to take care of those issues that some heavy-duty sync users had experienced. But Sync Services is complex (just ask the engineers at Apple!). For v14.0.0, we were able to get our syncing of contacts to the level of quality that we wanted to ship with. Calendar sync didn’t meet our quality bar for release, so it’s coming in a future update.–Nadyne Richmond | user experience researcher, MacBU

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(23) How do I redirect and resend emails?

Both redirect and resend are missing in Outlook for Mac prior to Service Pack 1 (14.1.0). Update to the latest version of Office.

Note: Redirect is also not available for certain accounts in Entourage as well. It’s related to server settings for Exchange accounts that forbid that, but it should be there for IMAP.

[Get Script Resend on Barry’s Scripts page]

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(24) Outlook 2011 will not reply or create new emails

Reinstall Safari. For more info see Outlook 2011 will not reply, fwd or create new emails and Quit Safari to install or update Office 2011

http://www.apple.com/safari/download/

Unable to reply, send mail in outlook 2011; always asks to rebuild office database

A graphical signature seems to be causing Outlook to want to rebuild its database. Open Signatures (from Preferences) and create a new text only signature. Redirect account to use  new signature using the Default Signature button.

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(25) How do you use email merge with Word?

In Word you can’t merge to email unless you first make Outlook the default email client. You do that in Outlook > Preferences >  General where you click the Make Default button.

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(26)  Will Outlook for Mac be able to use the available Plugins you can get for Outlook?

Sorry. Outlook for Mac does not run plugins at this time. If this is a feature that you consider useful, be sure to let Microsoft know by sending them feedback (via the Send Feedback about Outlook command in Outlook’s Help menu)

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(27) Does Outlook for Mac let me request read receipts to know my messages have been read?

Outlook for Mac does not support read receipts nor does it support delivery receipts. Unlike Entourage, it also does not allow the user to edit an account’s headers to manually add them.

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(28) How do I copy events from one account’s calendar to another?

Outlook 2011 supports copying appointments (events that you put on your own calendar with no other attendees) between calendars of two different accounts but it does not support copying meetings (events with other attendees) between calendars of two different accounts. To copy an appointment, simply drag it and drop it onto the account header or category of the second account. To copy a meeting to a different account, select the meeting and then select Forward from the Meeting menu. Address the forwarded meeting to the second account and accept the invitation when received. Optionally, delete the original meeting request, which will decline the invitation for the first account.

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(29) Is there a way to open the progress window, instead of having to hit command 7 each time?

Yes, Add a schedule to run the script Open Progress Window on startup. Download script and place in the Outlook Script Menu Items folder in this location:  ~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/Outlook Script Menu Items. [Show User’s Library folder]

Create Schedule:

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(30) How do I stop Outlook from downloading my mail over and over again?

If you’re using a POP account then you can’t. This is not an Entourage nor Outlook problem.

When your mail server receives a new message it gives the message a unique ID. This is what mail applications use to determine whether or not to download messages. New IDs get downloaded. Existing IDs don’t. When mail servers are rebooted or reset in some way they often reset the unique IDs. The next time the mail client connects it sees that it has a lot of “new” messages and downloads them again.

You can work through this a couple of different ways:

  1. Edit your POP account settings to delete messages that are older than a certain length of time. Start with five days. If the server is reset then you will only receive the last five days worth of messages again.
  2. Convert to an IMAP account instead of POP. IMAP is made to synchronize with your mail server unlike POP, which downloads and deletes.

Trying to use your POP server as an IMAP server by leaving messages on your server is not a good solution.

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(31)  How do I move calendar items to another calendar after I import?

  • Go to calendar list view
  • Click in the Search box to bring up search option.
  • Do advanced search “Date Created” “Any Date”
  • Make sure filter is set to “All events” in ribbon
  • Select all in list
  • Click and hold, in selected events. Drag events to desired calendar

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32)  When I select File > Share> Email As Attachment from Word, Excel or PowerPoing, Apple Mail opens even though I have set Outlook as default.

Sounds like a corrupt preference files. Try deleting these files in your User’s Library/Preferences folder:

  • com.apple.LaunchServices.plist
  • com.microsoft.Outlook.plist

Under the Apple in the Menu bar select Log out. Login and test to see if you can send via Outlook.

Tip: Running Repair Permissions using Disk Utility in Applications/Utilities can be helpful in cases where preferences are not sticking.

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33) Where is the “line” button?

Start typing underscore then return to make line.

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34) None of my events appear on my calendar although they appear in My Day just fine. I also don’t see any categories in calendars list.

Most likely you’ve enabled the option to hide your local folders. Go to the Outlook menu –> Preferences… and click General. De-select the option Hide On My Computer folders.

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35) I opened Microsoft Outlook, and all of the information (accounts, folders, messages, etc.) is gone.

More than likely you’ve moved or renamed some files or folders. By default Outlook stores its data in your home folder (where ” ~ ” denotes your home folder) here:

~/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/Main Identity

The “Main Identity” folder may be renamed but all folders enclosing it must not be renamed nor should they be moved. To restore your Outlook data restore everything back to its original location. Outlook has no ability to let you relocate your data folder.

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36) Outlook no longer finds messages when I search or read/unread filters no longer work.

Outlook relies on Mac OS X’s Spotlight feature to find and sort messages. If searches or filters no longer work then rebuild Mac OS X’s Spotlight index. (This may take a while depending on the speed of your computer).

The simplest way to force Spotlight to reindex your computer is to go to Apple menu –> System Preferences… –> Spotlight –> Privacy tab and drag your startup disk (usually called Macintosh HD) into the window to exclude it from Spotlight searches. This forces Spotlight to stop indexing the drive. Close the window and wait about a minute. Open the window again and remove the startup disk from the list. This tells Spotlight to begin indexing the drive.

To view Spotlight’s indexing progress click the Spotlight menu icon in the upper right corner of the screen. When indexing is complete then searches and filters in Outlook should work.

Spotlight indexing

 

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