Editor’s note 8/4/2016:
Post was updated to reflect the rollout of the features.
You send and receive a lot of emails, and it’s natural to make mistakes along the way—you forget how to spell someone’s name, leave someone out of a group email or forget to add a flight to your calendar. We’re bringing new people and calendar features to Outlook on the web to help you avoid these common mistakes and get things done faster. These changes are coming to Office 365 users beginning in a few weeks.
Outlook on the web learns from you
Do you spend extra time trying to add the right recipients to your email? Ever struggle to find someone because of the spelling of their name—is it John or Jon? Have you ever sent an email only to realize that you forgot to add someone? Outlook now helps you avoid these problems.
First, Outlook will save you time when choosing recipients. Just place your cursor in the To: or Cc: line and Outlook will bring up suggested contacts in a drop-down list based on your usage. These are the people you’re most likely to email based on who you’ve been communicating with recently and most frequently.
Suggested contacts learns from you to make reaching the right people easier.
Outlook has long had a spell checker for the body of an email, but what about common variations on the spellings of names? Outlook can help. Outlook will now show you names of people you email most frequently—even if you spell their name wrong. For example, if you occasionally write to “Kathryn,” her name will appear as a suggestion even if you typed “Catherine.”
Finally, forgetting to include people in an email is common. Now, Outlook has help for that too. If you frequently send emails to the same set of people—say, Steve, Anna and Bob—then whenever you email only Steve and Anna together, we’ll ask, “Do you also want to include Bob?” This prompt will not get in your way and will only show when Outlook is highly confident you want to add Bob.
Flying somewhere? Let Outlook make sure it’s in your calendar
Have you ever struggled to find your flight information because you forgot to copy/paste it into your calendar? Moving forward, Outlook will take care of this for you. When you receive a flight confirmation via email from a supported provider, Outlook will gather key information and automatically add it in your calendar—no extra clicks, no copy/paste, no drag and drop.
In addition, Outlook will block out the time of your flight and show the flight number, destination and airport. You will receive an automatic reminder three hours before your flight that includes the original email in the calendar event, so you have all the details handy.
Outlook will automatically add a calendar event for flights detailed in an email.
To find “Events from email” in Outlook on the web, click the Settings icon (gear icon), Options and then Calendar. It’s on by default, but you can turn it off if you want.
Great, you say, but what about other types of events? We like the way you think! That is why we won’t stop with just flights. In addition to supporting more providers, future Outlook updates will support event types beyond flights.
We hope you’ll enjoy these new features. As we continue working to make Outlook more helpful, your input is essential, so please let us know what you think by giving us feedback in UserVoice.
The Outlook team
Frequently asked questions
Q. When will these features roll out?
A. Events from email, which includes automatic flight confirmations, will begin rolling out in early January 2016 to Office 365 First Release customers and the new Outlook.com, which is currently in preview. We expect the feature to roll out broadly to all Office 365 customers by the second half of 2016. (These features are currently unavailable in Europe.)
The new features that learn from you to help you write emails faster will follow roughly a month later, starting in mid-January to First Release customers and then to a broad rollout by early March, including the new Outlook.com.
Q. What Office 365 subscriptions are eligible?
A. The features will be available to all Office 365 commercial subscriptions that include Outlook on the web, including Business, Enterprise and EDU plans.
Q. When will other versions of Outlook support these features?
A. The new features that learn from you to help you write emails faster will be available on Outlook for PC and Outlook for iOS and Android in the first half of 2016. We are evaluating a timeline for Outlook for Mac.
Events from email are stored in your calendar, so they will show automatically in all versions of Outlook (PC, Mac, iOS, Android and Windows Phone) that connect to your Office 365 or Outlook.com mailbox.
Q. What flight providers are supported on Events from email?
A. Flight confirmation emails sent directly to you from Expedia, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines and Alaska Airlines will be supported at launch. We are moving rapidly to support other providers as well as expand the scope of events beyond flights.
Q. If I share my calendar with someone, will they see my flight information?
A. Only if you want them to. The events are marked private by default, so the details will not be visible to someone with whom you shared your calendar.
Q. I like these features and I have some ideas I’d like to share. How do I do that?
A. Microsoft is focused on building products you love, and your feedback is fundamental to our development process. Please tell us what you think and what you would like to see by using Outlook UserVoice.