How-to: Use Hotmail like Outlook

Since last week, the e-mail service Windows Live Hotmail has got an update. Keyboard shortcuts, right-click menus like in Outlook and more details have been added and updated.

Hotmail context menu

Context menu (right mouse button) and keyboard shortcuts

In the recent update, the context menu has been extended with more features. You may show the menu by right-clicking on a message in your e-mail inbox. Now you can also reply, reply to all and forward messages directly using the context menu. The new context menu tasks get added to the existing actions Mark as unread, Delete, Junk e-mail, Move and Show source.

Another possibility for working with Hotmail efficiently are the keyboard shortcuts. From Outlook, you may know the Ctrl+N shortcut to compose a new message, and Ctrl+Enter to send it—they work in Hotmail as well! Furthermore, many shortcuts from other providers with as well, to help you if you’re familiar with Yahoo!, for example. Soon, I’ll publish a complete list of Hotmail keyboard shortcuts.

Individual e-mails

I’m sure you know how to design your e-mails with Hotmail. For example, you can pick your favorite font, or sign your messages with your personal signature.

Now, you can also define a default font for your e-mail messages. This way, you don’t have to set your favorite font over and over again for each new message you compose. Instead, you define a preference for any future e-mails that you send with Hotmail. Just like you’d do it in Outlook.

More new features

The Windows Live team has also enhanced how the Back button in your browser works. Also, e-mail drafts now store their attachments too.

If you have deleted a message in error and can’t find it in your Deleted items folder anymore, there is now a link to restore some of your older e-mail, at the bottom of your Deleted items folder.

Finally, you may have noticed Hotmail’s increased speed? The Windows Live team has added features based on HTML5. More details about this speed boost soon.