Like nearly all aspects of Outlook 2011, the Office suite's mail program that replaces Entourage, Microsoft’s coders seem to have thought of everything when it comes to printing. Each of the program’s five categories comes with its own set of printing options. Here’s a quick rundown.
Want to ensure that everyone knows whom this message came from? Check the “E-mail addresses in message header” option. If you’d rather not waste ink and toner on images or backgrounds, you can turn them off before you print. You can also customize the name that appears atop your printed messages. As with every other section of the program’s print features, Outlook lets you display or hide page numbers and the time and date when you printed the message.
Outlook lets you print calendars by the day, week, month, or—if your job follows an unorthodox schedule—a custom work week set in Outlook’s preferences. Within each time frame, you can set starting or ending times or dates for the items printed. Outlook can print every item on a given calendar, or only those items placed within a specific category, allowing you to distinguish last week’s client meetings from your Thursday afternoon workout. Your calendar printout can also include tasks and flagged items with whatever due dates you specify.
Outlook lets you decide which categories of its contacts database to print, including company names, IM accounts, home and business addresses, and much more. You can designate the order in which each contact’s first and last names are printed, whether to alphabetize by name or company, and whether you’d like a page break between the sections for each letter of the alphabet. If you’d like to print only the contacts you’ve selected, there’s a menu for that, too.
Need to print out all the tasks due this week, or all those you haven’t completed yet? A pulldown menu lets you decide how to filter your to-do list. As in Contacts, Outlook lets you choose which Task categories you want to display, including start dates, due dates, reminders, and any notes you’ve made about your tasks.
Outlook’s simplest set of printing options lets you turn off notes’ images and backgrounds, and quickly designate whether to print every note, or just those you’ve selected.
The attention to detail in all five modes is just another example of the thoughtful way Outlook 2011's programmers considered the needs of business users. Outlook won't change the toner cartridge for you, but for nearly every other printing need, it's got you covered.
[Nathan Alderman is a writer, editor, and dutiful paper recycler in Alexandria, Va.]