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4 column layout is not good for reading email content.

the screen is separated into 4 columns: folder list, email subject list, email content and ads. I do not mind ads but it takes a huge potion of screen if 4 columns!
I can't read the email content in such a small column area!
No one write an email that expected people read in column!

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Anonymous shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

Hi all – First off thanks for all of the valuable feedback. We review it all and try to ensure we are addressing things! I just wanted to give some updates about all of the feedback about the multiple columns

We totally understand that some of you really do not enjoy the multi column or reading pane on the right hand side.

So we have introduced a few quick settings that will allow you to configure the experience in a way that is pleasing to you.

Once you are logged into your mailbox (and in the Beta) do the following
1) Click on the Gear in the top right hand corner
2) This will show the Quick Settings Pane
3) The items you will likely want to configure are Reading Pane. For this you can Either turn it off, have it on the bottom, or on the right.
4) Message Preview – If you want the more single line view of your messages (subject only), turn this off.

One thing to call out, as you make changes in the quick settings pane your inbox will update right away. This should help you find the setting and experience that you enjoy the most.

Please keep all of the great feedback coming!

David Los

201 comments

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  • mrcat meow commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    What I hate about the new Outlook is that mail, calendar and people take up an entire vertical bar when they used to take up a tiny horizontal bar. I don't mind the reading pane but my main gripe with it is the behaviour of it. The old Outlook's reading pane behaviour was much better. I'm still missing move all and any future emails to a folder

  • Rob Earle commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Thanks for the update. I would say that actually the 4 column layout is really good ONLY on a big screen. For normal laptop sized screens it simply doesn't work.

  • Derek R commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    My question is, why is there a whole dedicated "column" for the Calendar, People, Photos, etc. buttons? This was much better the way it was before, with those buttons directly below the folders list. This took up virtually no noticeable space. The new way takes up a considerable percentage of the entire width of the screen. Please at least change this part back.

    David Los, can this please be done?

  • Allan Follack commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This seriously can't be your resolution to this problem? Changing the reading pane settings is nothing new and has nothing to do with the problem described. A complete waste of time reading this NON RESOLUTION!

  • Pascale Bezaud commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Cette nouvelle version ne me plaît pas du tout! Et si j'utilise l'ancienne version je ne peux plus "déplacer vers"!!! Donc j'utilise bêta juste pour ranger dans mes dossier! Je vous en prie, faites que ce soit comme avant!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree with the OP. Mail set out across 4 columns involves too many 'clicks' to get to and read an email. The ads column takes up too much screen space, the email not enough, the folders are reduced, the contacts are difficult to find - overall, Microsoft, you have made the simple task of reading and sending emails a total nightmare. I hate the new Outlook. Please provide a fix for users who, like me, want to go back to a simpler method of a daily function - quickly, please.

  • April commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Emails are too small for older eyes and small screens. It doesn't say how many total emails or how many are being deleted at a time. I want my old format back!

  • Isaac Prince commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Life is already boring enough. Why making all these technology so bring. The screen is all covered up with too many sections. All of my old mail from decade are being shown. Please! do not tamper with my screen, I do not like it.

  • Jimmy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Also, can't double click and bring the message up full screen apparently. NOT thinking about us more "mature" customers.

  • ELOIZA commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Yes, Yes, Yes!! i can't read anything of the mail, the column of the folders use too much space, the ad is too invasive and its worst wen you are in a little monitor like mine.

    Nevertheless i like how i can see the full title of the mail in the inbox.

  • Allan Follack commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    100% agree and have mentioned this before as the reason I do not use the beta. Get rid of the icons for mail calendar etc on the far left and put them back below the nav pane. This should make the reading pane bigger.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    You ALL need to STOP clicking online adverts. Facebook is run entirely on advertising - it works for them! Someone's clicking to buy a new car when looking for a toothbrush.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Agree. Making the view in my browser bigger didn't help that much. The font was still too tiny, and there is no way to open that email by itself. I tried clicking on open in new tab but nothing happened.

  • Janos Herczog commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I must get rid of the right side colomn, it is so annoying and limit the letter size of the main mail. Please kill it.

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