Join Jess Stratton for an in-depth discussion in this video Customizing the inbox, part of Outlook 2013 Essential Training.
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With Outlook 2013, there are some great options for customizing the way you read your mail to make it work exactly how you feel comfortable. The way you work may not be the same way your neighbor works. That is why we are given all these options. So let's get started customizing the way the inbox looks. We do that by going to our Inbox and making sure we are on this View ribbon tab. Let's go through these and I will show you all the things that you change. The first options are your Current View. This is where you can actually decide what kind of view you want to be in.
Any saved views that you have will show up here also. It defaults to Compact View. Now you will notice that all my icons are all compact here on the right-hand side. I can change this. I can go into Single View. Now it spreads everything out a little bit more, you will notice. I can further change it by going in to Preview and turning the Preview pane off completely. Now it's even wider and things are a little more spread out. I am going to go back into the Compact View, which is the default.
Now over here, are things that we can do with our actual messages to change the way they look. You will notice that there are several emails in here that have to do with the Budget planning meeting. It can be a little confusing once you start getting a very long email thread going. So all I have to do is come up here and place a check mark besides the Show as Conversations button. It is going to ask me if I want to do this to all mailboxes or just this folder. Right now I am in the inbox. I am going to keep it that way, so I am going to select this folder, to only make this change to the inbox.
Now what has happened is every single email that had to do with the Budget planning meeting, including all replies are nicely tied up in a conversation thread. But to get to it, I can click this arrow and expand it. Here are all the emails. When I am done reading them, I can minimize it and now they are nicely packaged again. To uncheck this at anytime, I can uncheck Show as Conversations, and again, choose that I only want to do it to the inbox.
Now moving along, we can change how the messages are previewed. You will notice that in addition to the subject line on an email, I can also see a little bit of text about what's in the body of the email. I can either make that bigger, or I can turn it off completely by selecting Off. Now I only see the subject line. Over here we have the Arrangement options. This is how we actually change the way that the messages are sorted in the inbox.
Right now, by default, they are sorted by date. You can see here is today's mail and here is the last week's mail and it goes further from there. I can click on Reverse Sort over here and have the oldest messages be at the top and the newest ones be down at the bottom. I can change the sort order by anything I want that is in this list. For example, I can sort by who the email is from. As you will see, it starts with A from Akee, but I can also Reverse Sort this column, too, and have the last alphabetical sender be up top.
So play around with these, because I can also change them by size, in which I can see my largest email is at the top, that includes all the attachments or again, I can Reverse Sort and have the smallest ones at the top. I can also Add Columns to my inbox if I want. Don't forget right now we are on the Compact View, but if I wanted to move the sliders over, all of a sudden I can see that there's a lot more columns in here than I initially thought there were. I can add more anytime by going up to Add Columns.
I can also change the order they are in. For example, you can see that the attachment icons are all the way to the left-hand side. I can move those by selecting them and choosing Move Down. Or I can move any icons up that I want to be first in the list. I can also Add and Remove any columns as I want. If I want to get rid of it, I can simply click Remove. Once I am done, I can choose OK and then all my changes are made.
You will see that the paperclip icon is now down at the back, because we pushed it further down in the column list. If at any time I want to go back to my Compact View, I can either move the slider along, or come up here and click this Reset View. That will bring everything back to the way that the default view is supposed to look. I can also change the layout up here. For example, I can change my Reading pane. If I do not like it on the right-hand side, I can always put it on the bottom of the screen.
I can use these sliders and make it bigger or smaller. I can also turn it off completely right from here. Finally, if I have made a lot of changes to my view, such as I have worked hard and put a lot of columns in a lot of different places and I don't want to lose those changes, I can actually save this view as a Custom View. I can go to Change View, choose Save Current View as a New View, and give it a name.
Now whenever I want to come back to that, I can go back to my View tab, click on Change View, and put it on My View. So that's how you work with layouts and views in Outlook. I encourage you to through and explore all these options and get your inbox setup exactly the way you like it.
- Exploring the Ribbon
- Adding an IMAP, Exchange, or POP account automatically
- Connecting to iCloud or SkyDrive
- Saving attachments
- Searching mail
- Flagging messages
- Using mail rules to process messages
- Replying to and forwarding a message
- Adding signatures
- Creating new contacts
- Creating and responding to meeting invitations
- Setting up advanced options