Despite the fact that there is no ctrl+f feature to search in Outlook, and instead you must use ctrl+e, I still cannot seem to find any method to search contents of an individual email. ctrl+e only allows you to search a folder, as far as I can see.

i.e. I am looking for a string in one specific email, I am not trying to find an email by a string.

It's pretty important to be able for me to do this, because I am constantly getting emails with long lists of CC, and being able to perform a standard search for text on the currently displayed email would be a huge timesaver.

As it is now, I have to copy and paste the entire email into some kind of word pad and do ctrl+f to see if someone's name is already there or if I should forward the message.

5 Answers 5



You can use the Search function from the ribbon within an e-mail: Find Button

This will find text within an e-mail.

In the upper-right of your inbox, there is a search box. This box searches all e-mails and their contents (minus attachments).

There is also a search tab that you can enable.

More information here.

search ribbon

  • @CayetanoGonçalves see edit.
    – Kruug
    Apr 11, 2013 at 16:00
  • 3
    So, the trick is to double click the email and open it into its own window? How inconvenient! But this works! Marking as solved.
    – Ryan Ward
    Apr 11, 2013 at 16:04
  • 1
    Yeah, not many tools exist for the reading pane to do what you wanted. It's more of a preview to aid in a quick-find a specific e-mail.
    – Kruug
    Apr 11, 2013 at 16:05
  1. Double click to open the email.
  2. Press F4 to bring up the search box, and search the contents of this email.

PS: I haven't been able to figure out a way to fire up such a search without opening the email. Yes, a huge inconvenience, no doubt.


You can search the body of emails using the "Body" section of the search in Outlook. Attached is a screen shot of where you would search for text in the body of an email.Outlook Search

  • Sorry, I don't mean that I am looking for messages with certain information in it, I am looking for certain information in one specific email.
    – Ryan Ward
    Apr 11, 2013 at 15:59

To search for a singular WORD or TEXT STRING among the contents of a specific email in MS Outlook 2010:

  1. Open the email
  2. On the ribbon menu at the top of the email you will find an icon that looks like a little pair of binoculars with the word "Find" just to the right of it.
  3. Click that "Find" icon and a small, wonderfully useful window entitled "Find and Replace" will appear. This provides all the options you'll need to quickly locate the WORD or TEXT STRING you're searching for.

I have found a better way then I could find elsewhere.
This is for finding text in an email currently being previewed in the preview pane.
Make a macro that opens the email and then brings up the find text dialog.

Sub FindText()
  SendKeys "^o{F4}"
End Sub

Then assign this macro to the ribbon wherever you find it most helpful.
I add it to the quick access toolbar and in its own group on the home tab.
Sadly, I have found no way to make this fire with a keyboard shorcut.

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