Why does Outlook map Ctrl+F to Forward instead of Find, like all right-thinking programs?

It's a widespread convention that the Ctrl+F keyboard shortcut initiates a Find operation. Word does it, Excel does it, Wordpad does it, Notepad does it, Internet Explorer does it. But Outlook doesn't. Why doesn't Outlook get with the program?

Rewind to 1995.

The mail team was hard at work on their mail client, known as Exchange (code name Capone, in keeping with all the Chicago-related code names from that era). Back in those days, the Ctrl+F keyboard shortcut did indeed call up the Find dialog, in accordance with convention.

And then a bug report came in from a beta tester who wanted Ctrl+F to forward rather than find, because he had become accustomed to that keyboard shortcut from the email program he used before Exchange.

That beta tester was Bill Gates.

Comments (97)
  1. pc says:

    I really have always wondered that. What a story. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Toby says:

    And that is the only reason we have to stick with that annoyance until the end of Outlook (or our life)?

  3. anonymous for obvious reasons says:

    That is quite a demonstration of the fact that CEOs and top-level management should not go into the management of details of this kind.

    Not a microsoft fault, happens everywhere, everytime.

  4. foo says:

    Ha. So training myself to use F4 in Outlook was his fault.

  5. Grzechooo says:

    Cue angry rant about how MS is dumb

  6. foo says:

    Come to think of it, me learning to do most things with a pc was indirectly his fault.

  7. lister says:

    Would have been nice to have included an option in Outlook to switch CTRL+F to Find. Or vice-versa.

  8. SimonRev says:

    I don't blame anyone specific, but that is one of my huge pet peeves about Outlook — you cannot search in the reading pane and you have to press a goofy hotkey to do so.  What I find harder to believe is that either aligning all of Office's hot keys or at least adding the ability to customize hotkeys never overcame the -100 point barrier in the past 19 years.  But thank you for sharing that because I had always wondered what insanity gripped that decision.

  9. Paxxi says:

    Word and excel is quite annoying in that regard, when they're running with Swedish GUI ctrl+f is bold and ctrl+b is find. Always takes me a try or two before getting it right when switching languages.

    I assume this is because bold in Swedish is called fetstil and someone probably didn't think of today's MUI enabled versions where you actually can change easily between them.

  10. Joshua says:

    I must be the only guy who thinks / is the appropriate key for find.

  11. mjb says:

    That is pretty lame. It could have been configurable, and had the "sane default" as find

  12. Boris says:

    Since I'm often getting log excerpts pasted into messages, I've run into this issue numerous times, but unless I'm missing something obvious, it isn't even possible to change the behavior in Outlook Options. I'm really curious about the -100-point argument for such a checkbox.

  13. xpclient says:

    But it doesn't make sense to preserve just this one feature (keyboard shortcut) in the name of backward compatibility if everything else about Outlook has been reimagined a million times, people's workflow broken, time wasted, features removed for no justifiable reason, addins broken and the UI fiddled with beyond repair.

  14. Ferdinand says:

    -100 points – starting point.

    +50 points – every keyboard-shortcut-loving Windows user in the world wants it.

    +25 points – everyone else won't care about or be affected by it.

    +20 points – we can label the checkbox "Are you and your immediate male ancestors named William Gates?"

    -10000 points – Bill wants the box checked by default.

  15. moe says:

    The question is: Which mail program did he use before?

  16. Mc says:

    I thought hang on Control+F  does do the find in Outlook.   It turns out that I'm automatically  pressing  Control+Shift+F  without realising it.

  17. T. West says:

    xpclient, after training a bazillion Outlook users that Ctrl-F is forward, I suspect switching at this point would be a net welfare decrease…

  18. alegr1 says:

    Raise your hand if you ever use Ctrl+F for Forward. Anybody? Anybody? Oh well.

    Then there was another mail program (which was "not a mail program, but a database!"), where F5 was not a refresh, but Lock. Last I've heard, they changed F5 to be a Refresh. Though few people care anymore.

  19. morlamweb says:

    @alegr1: user of "another mail program, that's not a mail program, but a database" here.  F5 does indeed now trigger a refresh.  I don't remember when they made the switch; it think it was during their v7 series.  I remember running into this when using "mail program" v4, 5, and 6.  Nowadays, though, I use F5 frequently to refresh the screen without fear of application locks.

  20. Brian_EE says:

    Maybe the blog software could apply a -100 point starting score to xpclient's posts….

  21. unpronouncable.shime says:

    raise your hand if you ever use Outlook.

  22. Tristan says:

    More to the point, why F4? Most other programs I'm used to have F3 bound to "find".

    (maybe that post-dates Outlook though)

  23. Me says:

    I use outlook almost literally all day everyday…

  24. Paulo Eduardo Neves says:

    Even worse is the localized version of Office products. In the Brazilian Portuguese version, all the short cuts have been translated. Ctrl-S instead of saving, is the underline shortcut. Result: my Excel tables have a lot of underlined cells, as some random words in my Word documents. Sometimes I lost a file because I shutdown my computer and didn't save the file.

  25. SimonRev says:

    @Tristan:  Usually F3 is repeat last find and Ctrl+F is find.  If a previous find has not been executed, then often F3 will map to Find.

    That would actually be a very interesting Blog post if Raymond has the inclination (and knowledge):  The evolution of hot keys in Windows.  IIRC, in Win3.1 Shift+Insert, Shift+Delete and Ctrl+Insert were copy, cut and paste instead of Ctrl+C, Ctrl+X and Ctr+V.  How did we get the hodgepodge of de facto standard shortcut keys we use today?

  26. Sciolus says:

    > That is quite a demonstration of the fact that CEOs and top-level management should not go into the management of details of this kind.

    Gates isn't an idiot, and I doubt this bug report was arrogance. If you want to get people to switch from a competitor's product to yours (and remember Outlook was an upstart in 1995), you have to make it as easy to switch as possible. That includes keeping users' workflow as consistent as possible.

    In this particular case it was a bad call, but you know, in general.

  27. GR says:

    I think that Ctrl-F is pretty common shortcut for "forward", but "forward" as in "forward one character". It's common in Unix world, Emacs (and others) has i.t

  28. CTRL+F --- always fails me on outlook says:

    By the usage of CTRL F on other apps, you get to try to find in an email with that same key sequence and you get the Forward email !! :( LAME honestly… other thing, not only in swedish you get CTRL+b to Find, in spanish it's too (Buscar) and that gets mapped for all the find related tasks in Spanish Windows and Spanish Office and other apps too…..  How do you get the find dialog box in an email in outlook?

  29. sedulous.ape says:

    And when you fix this, add the Ctrl-+ to increase the font!

  30. Ctrl-F is Forward?

    (Tries it)

    Huh, look at that. I've always used Alt-W.

  31. parkrrrr says:

    @SimonRev, you do not recall correctly. Or at least, you do not correctly recall the assignments; you got the keys right. Shift+Insert is paste, Control+Insert is copy, and Shift+Delete is cut. Those keys all still work, most places. I know, because I still use those keys most of the time due to many years of muscle memory.

  32. libraryatnight says:

    Wow, I was just yesterday annoyed by this and wondering 'why on earth is it like this?!'

  33. Maciej says:

    Best keyboard shortcut for Outlook is Alt+F4.

  34. Jim says:

    Of course the more recent solution to this confusion is to have the preferred shortcut of ctrl+e displayed at all times: it's in the search box, which is also visible at all times.

  35. Clodney says:

    After years of using Outlook and then having to switch to Notes, one of the things that kept tripping me up was that Ctrl+F would not forward, and Ctrl+Enter would not send.  I still use those keys all the time, and until I saw this post I had never even considered the fact that I use Ctrl+F as find in lots of other contexts.  I just kept them compartmentalized without even realizing it.

  36. JJJ says:

    And then there's the e-mail client I have to use that maps ctrl-f to find, except the find dialog that comes up is for a global search through all mailboxes.  To find text in the e-mail you're actually looking at, you press F2…

  37. Jim says:

    What a story! Bill Gates was a Beta tester, I hope that the current one is too or once for a while?

  38. SH at work says:

    It's always been a small annoyance, OTOH:

    Ctrl+Shft+F => Advanced Find

  39. I kind of wish all programs let you rebind your keyboard shortcuts.

  40. Geoolympics says:

    Bill gates should apologize in public for his crimes against the users of the world!

  41. Pete says:

    I guess I'm with the minority here as I use CTRL+F and CTRL+Shift+R (reply all) all the time in Outlook. So much that I do it in my web based email by mistake which is especially annoying with the CTRL+Shift+R (reloads the page).

  42. dariopy says:

    It took me several years to forget and forgive Bill Gates for IE6. Now you made me hate him again.

    I hope you're happy.

  43. Aldonio says:

    I passionately hate the fact that every Windows and Office application translates the hotkeys. This forces me to use the English version of their programs if I want to avoid guessing which hotkey was meant for opening or saving a file…

  44. Nick says:

    I use Forward more in Outlook than I use Find. I'm glad Ctrl+F binds to Forward since I use that function far more than I get confused how to Find.

  45. @Aldonio if you hold down Alt you should see a visual representation of the hotkey for each action.

  46. Henk says:

    If you think about it, someone on Gates' level would be the only one requesting something like that. He doesn't need to find text in a mail, he doesn't even read them.

    Instead he justs forwards all messages to his secretary and then does other important stuff.


    I am one of all those users that frequently is freaked out for one second because all the text is now gone and there is an empty window in front of him.

  47. Gabe says:

    Ken Hagan: Office was marketed as a single suite well before 1995 (although it was not produced as a single team until them), however that's not relevant — the product in question was Exchange Client, which was not a formal Office suite member.

    The first version of Outlook came out in 1997, shipping both with Exchange and Office. Outlook was actually a replacement for Exchange Client (a mail app) and Schedule+ (a scheduling app).

    So Outlook has behavior that is backward-compatible with Exchange Client, which had to be backward-compatible with MS Mail, which no doubt used Ctrl-F as Forward because some other popular systems used it.

  48. John R says:

    I would have just said "no" and would have closed the issue.

  49. Kevin Ogden says:

    @foo:  No, most things you learned with a computer are NOT his fault.  Many other computing platforms existed before and after Microsoft.  That would be like me saying that everything I learned about computers was Nolan Bushnell and Jack Tramiel's fault.  (Atari 800 and Atari ST platforms).  In fact, MS was even a latecomer in the GUI game.  Atari, Apple and Commodore all beat MS to the punch by a decade with the ST, Mac and Amiga.  And all 3 of these platforms were far superior to Windows until WinNT was released.  The PC was a crippled joke until Win9x/WinNT hit the scene.

  50. ZöBook says:

    > Gates isn't an idiot, and I doubt this bug report was arrogance. If you want to get people to switch from a

    > competitor's product to yours (and remember Outlook was an upstart in 1995), you have to make it as easy to

    > switch as possible. That includes keeping users' workflow as consistent as possible.

    But it says "he had become accustomed to that keyboard shortcut from the email program #HE# used before Exchange", is talking about himself, not the customers they are trying to to attract to they product and that may be used to that particular shortcut.

    [This is an anecdote, not a transcript. Close reading is inappropriate. -Raymond]
  51. Kai G says:

    Jim, Ctrl+E opens the search box, which finds emails that contain some string.  But I think the Ctrl+F function they are looking for is another function: it searches through the current email for the first occurrence of a string.

    I miss Ctrl+F.  I will try F4 the next time I'm sitting in front of Outlook.

  52. Kevin Ogden says:

    @Ken Hagan: Yeah, I remember buying Microsoft Office 4.2 for the mac back then.  Going back even further, the earlier GUI versions of Word and Excel were Mac products.  Word for Dos was awful and most people were using WordPerfect for DOS instead.  Word for Windows took a while to catch up.

  53. John says:

    Raymond I enjoyed the story, sorry others can't take it for what it is at face value, keep posting these I love em!

  54. dave says:

    >Raise your hand if you ever use Ctrl+F for Forward.

    All the time. Except that what I *intended* to do was to find something.  And then I'm sitting there wondering why the hell I've got this new-message window on-screen.

  55. William ML Leslie says:

    Maybe he was an emacs user?

    I guess then search would have been Ctrl + S.

  56. tbg says:

    f*** the conventions if boss wants it, boss gets it.

  57. Luis Mora says:

    This is the greatest tale I've read in a very long time. I always wondered why the heck Ctrl + F didn't open the search window in Outlook. It happens everytime. My current job is full of that do-what-the-boss-say attitude, and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone. Thanks for sharing!

  58. Ken Hagan says:

    Did anyone try to argue him out of it? After all, if every other program (including the rest of the Office(*) suite) maps Ctrl+F to find then it's a fairly good argument that Outlook should follow suit.

    (* Perhaps an anachronism. Was this before Office was marketed as a single suite?)

  59. Dave says:

    Two anecdotes about "another mail program, that's not a mail program, but a database" from the company that liked it so much, it bought the company:

    The person who orchestrated the takeover was "reassigned" not long afterwards.  Rumours that he was reassigned to Van Diemen's Land with only a CICS dump for companionship are probably unfounded.

    At one point the CEO of the company that bought the company apparently had his own personal not-a-mail-program server with a dedicated full-time admin to make sure that his email worked at all times.  Not sure if it's got any better since then.

    (Why are we not allowed to name names here?).

  60. morlamweb says:

    @Dave: see the ground rules: blogs.msdn.com/…/77681.aspx

  61. colajc says:

    I wonder if there is a similar story for why the non-changeable default reminder for an all-day appointment is 6am the previous day (for example: Sunday). Because surely nobody made a conscious decision to do that.

  62. Evgeny says:

    This issue is almost nothing comparing to massive keyboard shortcut issues in MacOS.

  63. Sam says:

    @Evgeny: What issues? MacOS makes far more sense. After a while, you start to guess shortcuts and they work.

    Rule 1: First letter of the command plus shift then control if it's already taken

    Forward. Command-F? No that's taken for find. Cmd-Shift-F.

    Check for new mail. Cmd-N? No that's create new message. Cmd-Shift-N it is.

    Go full screen. Cmd-F? Taken. Cmd-Shift-F? Taken. Cmd-Ctrl-F? Done.

    Reply. Cmd-R. Reply to all. Cmd-Shift-R

    Rule 2: Option modifies the behavior of the original command.

    Open mail as new window. Normally making a new message is Cmd-N. But I want to open an old message. Cmd-Option-N.

    Hide mail. Cmd-H. Hide everything but mail. Cmd-Option-H.

  64. derape says:

    Thank god you can assign shortcuts as you want…


  65. q says:

    Ctrl-F is OK. Ctrl-S for Send, however, is plain and simple sabotage! I can't remember how many occasions, more or less embarrassing, stemmed from sending unfinished emails, some of them being in a "not suitable for general audience" brief (but expressive, if you know what I mean) draft state. Having worked for a long time in an environment where sudden power glitch would cause a reboot and loss of unsaved content, I have a deeply ingrained habit of pressing Ctrl-S (for Save) every minute or so, which doesn't appear to be influenced much by conscious control.

    I was immensely grateful when in Outlook 2010, Ctrl-S was changed to Save Draft or something similarly harmless.

  66. Jon says:

    Fits the companies to a T:

    Steve Jobs demanded things be changed due to strong personal opinions on appearance.

    Bill Gates demanded things be changed due to strong personal opinions on legacy behavior.

  67. Boris says:

    Can we focus this discussion on a checkbox in Outlook Options? Since there is legacy behavior to be preserved, no problem, but right now I see under Outlook Options / Mail / Send messages a very nice checkbox saying "CTRL + ENTER sends a message". Consequently, under Replies and forwards, we could have an analogous checkbox saying "CTRL + F forwards a message".

  68. AdSR says:

    With Ctrl-S "gone" it now is Alt-S. Usually that is no problem, unless you have both Polish and English keyboard layouts installed. Then you may want to type the letter "ś" (AltGr-S) but you end up sending the email if you've switched to English and forgot about it. I see in the forums that a lot of people have problems with this.

  69. Daniel says:

    I at least hope he did a little power dance after getting his way.

  70. Hotgas says:

    This story is not true at all…

    The REAL story was that there was a programmer who changed this for a different reason. True, the programmer happened to be Bill Gates, but the real reason for the change to "CTRL + F" was that he wanted quick access to his favorite function: foo()

  71. Mike Dimmick says:

    @Boris: Whenever you add an option, you have just doubled your test burden. You need to ensure that the option is fully tested with other combinations of options to ensure that it works correctly in those combinations. Usually your test matrix will include this new option in combinations of options, but it's extra work to handle.

    Far better to make a design choice than introduce an option. That's why, when I read about the decision to add an option to VS2013 Update 3 to remove ALL CAPS from the UI, I recommended that they just remove ALL CAPS and remove the option. (The option in the dialog controls a registry key that already existed in Update 1 – I recommended removing the registry key as well.)

  72. foo says:

    @Kevin Odgen. Meh, I was just generalising from the perspective of him owning one of the companies that made the pc platform ubiquitous in the 1990's. I suppose I should have faulted some low entropy state at the beginning of the universe instead.

  73. Juan says:

    I would lost my job because I won't ever conceded it since it breaks UI experience. The most I'd have done is put a checkbox in the options dialog and it would be unchecked by default.

  74. Boris says:

    @Mike: but making a design choice probably isn't an option here. A lot of users will have added CTRL + F to their muscle memory, and why bother them? I don't care if the current behavior remains the default; all I'd like is the ability to change it for myself. Yes, it will have to be localized, documented tested etc., etc., but I'm curious why the request remains so insignificant to the Office team – what is the -100-point argument in this case?

    [This creates the reverse problem of "I can't sit down in front of a computer and start using it because somebody customized all the keybindings." That's why keybindings are rarely customizable, or if they are, the customizations are limited. -Raymond]
  75. DWalker says:

    @MikeDimmick:  All Caps is gone in VS2013 update 3?  YAY!  

    I have been dreading, REALLY dreading, upgrading to VS 2013 simply because of the all-caps menus (which is exactly why I don't use Excel 2013, and I use Excel ALL the time).  I hope this gets to Word and Excel 2013, if it hasn't already.  Thanks for the note, this is huge!  Huge, I say!  :-)

  76. Boris says:

    @DWalker: but what is your specific usability argument against the all-caps menus? I haven't had any problems whatsoever. Zero.

    All I can say is that the new Team Explorer interface took some getting used to, and I easily found an addon that would let me change the color scheme in VS 2012, and I _really_ have a problem with the missing Alerts Explorer, but that's pretty much it.

  77. alegr1 says:

    @Mike Dimmick:

    Your suggestion would help a Pointy Haired Boss to make an obvious decision: don't introduce the option, remove the registry key, leave ALL CAPS. Because that's the most cost effective path. Users be damned.

  78. Bryan W says:

    @Dwalker: You can always just run the powershell/regedit command to eliminate the all caps menus. There's a batch file out in the ether that does the same for all Microosft 2013 apps too.

  79. bduhbya says:

    "I must be the only guy who thinks / is the appropriate key for find." <– From earlier comm enter.  I think the same way and I think this is simply vi/vim brain washing.  But at least is't not EMacs style (crtl-s).

  80. Boris says:

    @Raymond: sure, but I'd expect this keybinding to be configurable per user. Even if we're looking at a married couple using the same personal machine, with unrestricted access to each other's files, it doesn't mean they can't create separate accounts with their preferred settings. Also, this would clearly be a limited customization, designed to address the legacy deviation by merely swapping the functionality of F4 and CTRL + F. The new arrangement would also be easy to remember: F4-"ward".

    ["Bob, can you help me with my computer?" "Sure thing." Bob finds the message and hits Ctrl+F expecting it to forward, but instead it invokes Find, because that's how Alice configured it. Oops. (Disabling a hotkey is one thing. At least hitting the disabled hotkey doesn't screw up anything. But exchanging the meaning of two hotkeys is a whole different level of crazy. "Oh, sorry, I forgot to tell you. I remapped Ctrl+C from "Copy" to "Exit" because I'm used to hitting Ctrl+C to exit programs.) -Raymond]
  81. Boris says:

    @Raymond: but we're limiting the scope of this customization. As noted above, I'm hitting CTRL+F all the time expecting it to open Find, and the worst that happens is that I need to discard the message about to be forwarded. The problem is even lesser in reverse, since the Find window isn't as harmful.

    (Naturally, since I don't work for Office and don't exactly have an overview of all the issues, this is more of a thought experiment, but I think the discussion at least should be heading more in this direction.)

    [In this particular case, it may not be quite so bad, but in general, allowing arbitrary keybindings leads to chaos. (Even though nobody cares, I am okay with Ctrl+F for Forward; I use it a lot, and the conflict with Find never bothered me.) -Raymond]
  82. Ahura Mazda says:

    Wasn't F4 the Find shortcut in Notepad several versions ago?

  83. 12BitSlab says:

    Many of the function key standards (e.g., F5=Refresh) come straight from IBM's SAA world.  SAA is "Systems Application Architecture".  I suspect, but don't know, that some of these standards may have crept into the MS world when MS & IBM were jointly developing software.

    In any event, thanks to Raymond for the behind the scenes look at how a decision was made.

  84. kovacm says:

    When Apple made Apple II it had extra modification key for CUT, COPY and PASTE (to dodge interference with old CTRL key) while IBM/Microsoft/PC world was still in whirlpool of CP/M (called it DOS) where every program has it's own shortcuts…

    or: "The idea that Bill Gates has appeared like a knight in shining armour to lead all his customers out of a mire of technological chaos neatly ignores the fact that it was he who by peddling second-hand, second-rate technology, led them all into it in the first place." Douglas Adams

  85. Bluesixty says:

    ROFL, that is an awesome story :) Thanks Raymond, I loved the surprise ending.

    It's good to be king!

  86. stevesi says:

    Wasn't it also the shortcut in winmail and wzmail, as I recall?

  87. NaveenMaurya says:

    Okay. First mystery solved. Now who made F5 to lock program in Lotus Notes? O_o

  88. I was going to agree with xpclient on the change point but I noticed that I forwarded a lot of things in Outlook but never tried to find anything. I surely tried to search for stuff, the shortcut for which is always F3. I do know that the dictionary definition of "search" and "find" allows them to be used somewhat interchangeably, but I noticed that in computing, these collocate with different things.<em></em>

  89. Daniel says:

    "I can't sit down in front of a computer and start using it because somebody customized all the keybindings." — Sorry, Raymond, but I disagree with you in this case. (1) It is like a car manufacturer wouldn't built in adjustable seats in their cars, because Bob has problems entering Alice's car because she adjusted the seat to her needs. (2) When you start working on a foreign computer, e.g. because you are a service technican, you can train yourself using there mouse to either do your work or to configure your default shortcuts to your needs.

    [I am not a service technician, but I use other people's computers a lot. For example, I'm debugging somebody else's computer. Or I'm doing an in-person code review. Or somebody asks me to their office because they need some advice, and I demonstrate the solution on their computer. Or I'm in a meeting and offer to take the minutes because the meeting scribe is too engaged in the discussion to take notes. -Raymond]
  90. Leo Davidson says:

    Regarding the other program, The Not-A-Mail-Program Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken, Bringer Of Infinite Darkness, Shambling Torment On The Edge Of Sanity Version 9 (TM), I believe if you dig into the history of that piece of ssssoftware you will find the major design decisions were made by Satan himself.

  91. Dave says:

    @Leo: It's not quite that bad. The real story (I had to interact with them in a previous life) was that they lived (and probably still do so) in their own private universe in which they're all user interaction experts (and security experts, and database experts, and networking experts, and …) and know better than anyone else how things should behave (they would make ideal academics, and indeed many of them are, as long as they're never let near anything involving product development).  They've been cut off from reality for the entire time the company has existed, and insist on inventing everything (databases, security, networking, message formats, UI) from scratch because they know how to do it better than anyone else.  Normally evolutionary pressure would kill something like this pretty quickly (OLPC tried the same thing, everything was custom-built and reinvented because they knew better than everyone else), but for some reason the other company managed to survive.

  92. Leo Davidson says:

    It's not an absolute rule but I think consistency between programs for one user is generally a lot more important than consistency between machines for different users.

    The two or three Undo/Redo/Undo-All/Redo-All standards are really bad there, as it's common to use various text and image editors, and who can remember which uses which of Ctrl-Z / Ctrl-Shift-Z / Ctrl-Y / Ctrl-Shift-Y for the four things? I'm really glad those hotkeys can be edited in most editors, at least.

    Just as I want all my apps to be in English, I wouldn't want to be lumbered with an app that only ran in Spanish with the justification that it is less confusing for my mum  if she flies over and sits at my desk. And I accept the fact that if I go to her house I am going to struggle and keep asking her what things say, because her PC is set to Spanish.

    A nice way to solve the problem of sitting at someone else's desk would be if UIs had a quick way to flip them back into Standard Mode, for hotkeys, or into other localizations, for languages. (It could even load a specific user's settings, if profile/settings data could be loaded in that way as a guest on another user's desktop. A different concept to logging in as another user on another desktop. I could have a USB stick or type in a URL that lets the app know how I want it configured, and flip back to the main user's config when I am done helping them.)

    It'd be a pain in the behind to do with what we have to work with now, which hasn't really changed *fundamentally* since the 90s, but you could imagine it being a feature of a standard UI framework provided by the OS, and available to all apps that use it, if the framework was designed well enough to abstract the UI from the application code. Maybe one day.

  93. Marc K says:

    The first few times I got stung by this, I just thought Outlook couldn't search the active message.  My work around has been CTRL-A, CTRL-C, then paste the text into notepad, which doesn't have this problem.

    They definately should have tried to ditch the legacy behavior when moving from Exchange Client to Outlook.

  94. alegr1 says:


    And the Father of that abomination even brought some very groovy product to Microsoft, which became part of Office, but I'm not acquianted with any of those 7 people who ever used it.

  95. 640k says:

    This week all testers got fired. :)

  96. Sam Truong says:

    Irrespective of all that, it is still much better product than apple.

  97. Gordon Shumway says:

    He should have been terminated right then.

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