When reading email messages in Microsoft Outlook 2010, you can quickly increase the available space for the message list (message list: The middle part of the main Outlook window that displays the contents of the selected folder.) and 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.) by using the Reading button on the status bar. The status bar appears at the bottom of the Outlook window.
Switch mail reading views
In Mail, two views are available — Normal and Reading. In Reading view, the Navigation Pane, To-Do Bar, and the Outlook ribbon are all minimized. This view provides additional width for the Reading Pane.
- To turn on Reading view, on the status bar, click .
- To turn on the default Normal view, on the status bar, click .
When minimized, you still have full access to the items in the Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The column on the left side of the Outlook window that includes buttons for the Mail, Calendar, and Tasks views and the folders within each view. Click a folder to show the items in the folder.) and To-Do Bar. Click either and a temporary expanded view appears. When you click elsewhere in the Outlook window, the Navigation Pane and To-Do Bar return to their minimized view.
Likewise, when the ribbon is minimized, you can click a tab and the full ribbon temporarily appears. When you click elsewhere in the Outlook window, the ribbon returns to the minimized view.
Top of Page
Minimize or expand elements individually
The view buttons minimize or expand the Navigation Pane, To-Do Bar, and ribbon at the same time. To minimize or expand one element, do one of the following:
Minimize or expand the Navigation Pane
- At the top of the Navigation Pane, click the Minimize the Navigation Pane or Maximize the Navigation Pane arrow.
- On the View tab, in the Layout group, click Navigation Pane, and then click Minimized or Normal.
- Keyboard shortcut To minimize or expand the Navigation Pane, press ALT+F1.
Minimize or expand the To-Do Bar
- At the top of the To-Do Bar, click the Minimize the To-Do Bar or Maximize the To-Do Bar arrow.
- On the View tab, in the Layout group, click To-Do Bar, and then click Minimized or Normal.
- Keyboard shortcut To minimize or expand the To-Do Bar, press ALT+F2.
Minimize or expand the ribbon
- Click Minimize the Ribbon or Maximize the Ribbon arrow..
- Double-click a ribbon tab.
- Keyboard shortcut To minimize or expand the ribbon, press CTRL+F1.
Top of Page