Make changes to the Reading (preview) Pane

You can preview Microsoft Outlook items without opening them by using the Reading Pane (Reading Pane: A window in Outlook where you can preview an item without opening it. To display the item in the Reading Pane, click the item.). You can also customize the Reading Pane according to your preferences.

 Tip    The slider at the bottom of the Outlook window makes the Reading Pane text larger or smaller.

What do you want to do?


Turn on, turn off, or reposition the Reading Pane


 Notes 

  • You can reposition or turn off the Reading Pane in any folder in Outlook. The other options described in this article, however, are available only in mail folders.
  • You must turn on or off the Reading Pane each of your mail folders individually.

The Reading Pane is turned on by default. Do one of the following:

  • To turn off the Reading Pane     On the View tab, in the Layout group, click Reading Pane, and then click Off.
  • To turn on or reposition the Reading Pane     On the View tab, in the Layout group, click Reading Pane, and then click Right or Bottom.

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Mark messages as read after previewing in the Reading Pane

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Click Advanced.
  4. Under Outlook panes, click Reading Pane.
  5. To turn this feature on, select the check box at Mark items as read when viewed in the Reading Pane, and then enter a number in the Wait n seconds before marking item as read box.

To turn off this feature, clear the check box at Mark items as read when viewed in the Reading Pane.

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Turn on or off single key reading

Single key reading using the space bar lets you move quickly through your messages in the Reading Pane. Each time that you press the space bar, the Reading Pane content scrolls down one page. At the end of the item, the next unread item in your message list appears.

Single key reading is turned on by default, but you can turn it on or off at any time.

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Click Advanced.
  4. Under Outlook panes, click Reading Pane.
  5. Select or clear the Single key reading using the space bar check box.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2010