Make changes to the Reading (preview) Pane

You can preview messages in your Inbox (or other mail folders, like Sent Items or Drafts) 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 to suit the way that you like to read your messages.

 Note   To make the text larger or smaller, see Change the size of the text in the Reading Pane.

The Reading Pane to the right of the Inbox

Security  You can view messages safely in the Reading Pane. Potentially malicious scripts or attachments are not activated or opened automatically in the Reading Pane. Although most malicious attachment types are blocked by Outlook, messages and attachments from unknown or unsolicited senders should always be treated with caution.

In this article / What do you want to do? / I want to



Turn the Reading Pane off or on

 Note   You must turn the Reading Pane on or off for each of your mail folders individually. Turning it on in your Inbox, for example, will not display the Reading Pane in your Sent Items folder until you make this change for that folder, too.

Do one of the following:

  • Turn off the Reading Pane    
    • On the View menu, point to Reading Pane, and then click Off.
  • Turn on the Reading Pane    
    • On the View menu, point to Reading Pane, and then click Right or Bottom.

Top of Page Top of Page

Mark messages as read after previewing in the Reading Pane

In your Inbox, the names and dates of unread messages are bolded, indicating that you haven't opened them yet. You can set up the Reading Pane to change the unread status after you've viewed a message in the pane, rather than opening and reading them from your Inbox.

Unread messages are bolded in the message list

Unread messages are shown in bold in your Inbox.
  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Other tab.
  2. Click Reading Pane.
  3. Select the options you want.

 Tip   To quickly display the shortcut menu for the Reading Pane, right-click the border of the Reading Pane next to the list of messages.

Top of Page Top of Page

Position the Reading Pane on the right or bottom of your Inbox

  • On the View menu, point to Reading Pane, and then click Right or Bottom.

 Tip   To turn off the Reading Pane and view more of the list of messages, on the View menu, point to Reading Pane, and click Off.

Top of Page Top of Page

Move through messages by pressing the Space bar (single key reading)

Single key reading using the space bar allows you to move quickly through your messages in the Reading Pane. The space bar scrolls the current item. At the end of the item, it jumps to the next unread item in your message list.

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

Turn single key reading on or off

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Other tab, click Reading Pane.
  3. Select Single key reading using the space bar to turn it on.

Clear Single key reading using the space bar to turn it off.

Top of Page Top of Page

Hide the message header

The Reading Pane header You can hide the header in the Reading Pane if you prefer not to see header details. You'll still see the message subject and sender's name.

  1. On the View menu, point to Arrange By, and then click Custom.
  2. Click Other Settings.
  3. Under Reading Pane, select the Hide header information check box.

 Note   To show message headers, clear the Hide header information check box.

Top of Page Top of Page

 
 
Applies to:
Outlook 2007