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2,808 Tutorials

Use Call-Out Arrows to Add Emphasis to Outlook Emails

One of Outlook's lesser-known features is its Shapes tool, which lets you add lines, arrows, and other helpful artwork to your messages.

It's precisely because a picture is worth so many words that many of us embed images in our emails.

Of course, sometimes an image alone can't convey what you want to say. But if you're an Outlook user, you can add arrows to call out specific areas.

For example, suppose you're working with a design company that's developing your new Web site. You want the art guys to increase the size of certain thumbnails, so you email a screenshot of the site and describe what you want changed.

This would go a lot easier if you used arrows to point to exactly the problem areas. In Outlook 2010, you can do exactly that. Here's how:

1. Create a new email in Outlook.

2. Copy and paste an image into the body of the email, or click Insert, Picture and choose an image to include.

3. Now click Insert, Shapes. You'll see a drop-down list of all the available shapes, including lines that terminate at one or both ends with arrows. For purposes of this tutorial, click the single-arrow line.

4. Move your cursor over the body area of the email. You'll see that the cursor has changed to large plus sign. Click and hold your mouse where you want the line to begin, then drag to where you want the arrow to point.

5. Next, you'll probably want to adjust the color and weight (i.e. thickness) of the line. While it's still selected, click Shape Online, then click a color. Click it again, mouse over Weight, and then choose a thickness (from 1/4-point to 6-point).

6. If you want to move either endpoint of the line, click to select it, then click and drag either of the little handles on either end.

There are lots of other tweaks and adjustments you can make to your arrows, most of which are fairly self-explanatory. Experiment a bit and you should have no trouble learning the ropes.

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