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Five surprisingly great things about Outlook 2013

Rick Broida | Feb. 26, 2013
I've made no secret of my dislike for Microsoft Outlook. In fact, last year I announced my plans to "divorce" Outlook in favor of a smaller, faster mail client.

4. Attachment reminders

Borrowing a page from Gmail, Outlook can now warn you when it appears you've forgotten to include an attachment referenced in the body of your message. It's a small thing, but if you're constantly on the receiving end of "You forgot the attachment!" emails, this should come in mighty handy.

5. Themes

Who says Outlook can't look pretty--or at least less drab? You can dress it up with your choice of visual flourishes, including about a dozen themed backgrounds (calligraphy, clouds, stars, etc.) and three color schemes (but only white, light gray, and dark gray, alas).

Still not perfect, though

Much as Microsoft has made great strides in improving Outlook's interface, a lot of the behind-the-scenes settings menus (especially for things like advanced views) remain incomprehensible to mere mortals. And Outlook 2013 is not what I would call competitively priced: You either need to buy it as part of Office 2013/365 or pay $109.99 for it on its own.

Still, I'm happy to see this product making progress, both in terms of productivity and simplicity. Finally, Outlook feels less like an adversary and more like an ally. Your thoughts?


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