My boss often dictates email messages to a user who, being under pressure to type quickly, sometimes presses Ctrl+Enter accidentally and sends the message before it's finished. How can I disable that key combination?

You can disable Alt, Ctrl, and Shift key combinations by editing the Windows registry or deploying a setting in a Group Policy Object (GPO). The Web-exclusive article "Restricting 'Reply to All'," April 2005, InstantDoc ID 46342, explains the general procedure for disabling key combinations. However, Ctrl+Enter is a special case: You need to add the administrative template file for Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 (Outlk11.adm) to Group Policy Editor (GPE) before you can disable this key combination.

A new set of .adm files is available for Office 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) from http://www.microsoft.com/office/orkarchive/2003ddl.htm . Look under Office 2003 Policy Template Files and Deployment Planning Tools for the self-extracting file named ORKSP2AT.EXE. After you extract the .adm files, open the GPO you want to modify and, in GPE, right-click User Configuration, Administrative Templates. Choose Add/Remove Templates and add the newly extracted Outlk11.adm file, which contains the Outlook 2003 Group Policy settings. (If you're using an earlier version of Outlook, you'll need to download and use the .adm file appropriate for that version, along with the other Microsoft Office 2003 Resource Kit downloads for that version.) Then navigate to User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, Disable items in user interface, Predefined. Open the setting for Disable shortcut keys, choose Enabled, and select the Ctrl+Enter (Send in a Mail item) check box.

That policy setting corresponds to a REG_SZ (string) value in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\DisabledCmdBarItemsCheckBoxes registry key named CtrlEnter. The string value to disable Ctrl+Enter is 13,8. To enable Ctrl+Enter, change the value to 0. Alternatively, you can configure the CtrlEnter value as a user preference setting, rather than a policy setting, in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\DisabledCmdBarItemsCheckBoxes.