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Use the View Tab

How to Use the View Tab in Outlook

Whether you're working with your Mail, Calendar, Contacts, or Tasks, you'll always have several views to choose from.

Change Views

  1. Click the View tab on the ribbon.

    The commands available on the View tab will change depending on what you're working with, but you can always change views.

  2. Expand the Current View group if necessary.
  3. Click Change View.

    Like the buttons on the ribbon, these options will vary.

  4. Select a view.
    • Compact: Displays brief details about the message in the message list and displays the Reading Pane.
    • Single: Displays each message as one line in the message list and displays the Reading Pane.
    • Preview: Displays each message as one line in the message list and hides the Reading Pane.
      Use the View Tab

Folder Pane

The Folder Pane usually appears on the left, displaying a list of folders. You can customize how it appears.

  1. Expand the Layout group, if necessary.
  2. Click the Folder Pane button on the View tab.
  3. Select a Folder Pane option.
    • Normal: Displays the Folder Pane on the left.
    • Minimized: Hides the Folder Pane.
    • Off: Turns the Folder Pane off.
    • Favorites: Toggles whether Favorites are shown or not.
    • Options: Controls how many Folder Pane categories display and specifies the order they appear in.
      Use the View Tab

Reading Pane

You can also adjust where the Reading Pane appears.

  1. Click the Reading Pane button on the Layout group.
  2. Select a Reading Pane option.
    • Right: Displays the Reading Pane on the right.
    • Bottom: Displays the Reading Pane on the bottom.
    • Off: Turns off the Reading Pane.
      Use the View Tab

To-Do Bar

There is also a To-Do Bar that you can choose to turn on and customize what displays.

  1. Click the To-Do Bar button on the Layout group.

    You can choose to display one or a combination of your Calendar, People, and Tasks list.

  2. Select a To-Do Bar option.
    • Calendar: Displays your calendar in the To-Do Bar.
    • People: Displays your contacts in the To-Do Bar.
    • Tasks: Displays your tasks in the To-Do Bar.
    • Off: Hides the To-Do Bar.
      Use the View Tab

People Pane

You can also turn on the People Pane, which displays information about the contacts you're dealing with.

  1. Click the People Pane button on the View tab.

    The People Pane is available in two sizes.

  2. Select a People Pane option.
    • Normal: Displays the default view for the People Pane.
    • Minimized: Minimizes the People Pane from view.
    • Off: Hides the People Pane from view.
      Use the View Tab
View Tab (Mail)
Change View Change the current view to another view.
View Settings Change the settings for the current view.
Reset View Reset the current view back to its default setting.
Show as Conversations Display messages grouped in conversations.
Conversation Settings Adjust the settings for how conversations are displayed.
Message Preview Preview a message without opening it.
Arrangement Change the way messages are arranged in the inbox.
Reverse Sort Reverse the sort order of the current view.
Add Columns Choose which fields are show in this view.
Expand/Collapse Expand or collapse the groups in the list.
Folder Pane View Outlook’s Folder Pane.
Reading Pane View Outlook’s Reading Pane.
To-Do Bar View Outlook’s To-Do Bar.
People Pane View Outlook’s People Pane.
Reminders Window Open the window for Outlook’s reminders.
Open in New Window Open a new message window.
Close All Items Close all items that are open.