Editing Email Messages and adding the feature to your Quick Access Toolbar in MS Outlook

Office 365 / SharePoint Blog

Have you ever received an email with a subject line of “Help”, “Question”, or even one without a subject line at all? Do you wish that you could change the subject of those emails to something more useful?

Besides “Help” or “Question”, I get quite a few emails that just say “hi” in the subject line, or “could you….” or something along those lines. Sometimes they are one-off emails so it’s not too much of a problem, but other times the emails actually need to be kept, and “Question” just isn’t enough information for me to be able to refer back to or find the email at a later time.

Changing the Subject Line in an email is actually very easy:

  • Open the email in its own window by double-clicking the email in your inbox.
  • Place the cursor in the subject line and make your edits
  • Save the email.

There may be times however, that you also need to edit the actual email that you received. Maybe there’s an incorrect date that you need to fix, or maybe someone misspelled your (or someone else’s) name. You could always forward it to yourself and save the forwarded version, but Outlook has a better feature called Edit Message.

This Edit Message feature is hidden under the Actions dropdown in the Move section of the MESSAGE tab when the email is open in its own window.

Because I use this feature fairly frequently, I added it to my Quick Access bar in Outlook.

Here’s how:

  • In the main Outlook Window, choose the FILE tab
  • Then choose Options
  • Choose Quick Access Toolbar
  • From the Commands Not in the Ribbon dropdown, choose Edit Message and click Add
  • Click OK to save

Other ways I use the Edit Message feature:

Oftentimes I get SharePoint related emails after a string of emails has been sent between other people, and then when SharePoint comes up, I get included at that point. Oftentimes the email subject line is referring to something that only the committee people know about, and has nothing to do with my scope of knowledge.

Once I figure out what it is I’m supposed to help with, I take the pertinent content from the email string and place it at the top of the email that I received, so that I don’t have to search for it again. Alternatively, if there’s a lot of information, I bold or color portions of the message so that they stand out for me.

I then change the subject line to help me find the email again later. I usually include the committee or department name in the subject as well as a better summary for what the question was.

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