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The new Outlook.com

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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  • aileen_sherman@hotmail.com commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I hate it! Too much going on on one page. Very difficult to notice a new email when there are 3 different "columns" of information (folders {left}, email list {middle}, read pane{right}).

    I also hate the new "Focused" and "Other" in the inbox (regular version and new beta version). Please just put them all back together. Now I have 3 "folders" to check (focused, other and junk).

    Please add the "BLOCK SENDER" feature for all emails not just the ones in the junk folder. I shouldn't have to mark an email as junk then have to go to the junk folder to then block the sender. Too many steps!

    Please add the "SWEEP" feature to the junk folder not just the inbox (focused & other). I get too many emails in my junk folder and want to "sweep" messages from specific senders but can't. I have to delete the messages 1 at a time. VERY time consuming!

    With the new beta version I can't just click/select several emails from several senders to "SWEEP". Now can only sweep 1 sender at a time but only after opening their email. Again, WAY TOO TIME CONSUMING to clear stuff from my inbox. I like the version that I was using MUCH better!

  • Ron commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I understand the need to display ads, however there needs to be a better compromise on use of the display space. The beta version does not let me see the list of emails and the full content of the selected email on my business computer screen. A "thin" banner across the top would be better than the side banner.

  • Rob Earle commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    There is too much clutter, the panels take up too much space from actually reading/writing the email.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I think that the beta version of outlook.com looks untidy. I like the neutral and tidy look of the current version. The new one has too many colors and elements that disctract me from the relevant content. I don't like the additional column that shows the content of the email. If I want to read an email, I'll click on it. In my opinion, there's no need for that column, since it makes the interface look too full.

  • Que commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I was able to hide the menu/navigation pane (Inbox, Junkmail, Drafts, etc) which allowed me to see only two columns which is a cleaner look. I can view my emails in my inbox in column one and column two I can view my email message. This is a good layout. It would be nice to have a short video that includs all the bells and whistles. I don't like the look of outlook mail I haven't found a way to customize it.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is far too many columns to view easily and keep track of visually. There's simply too much going on at the same time.

    I am glad to have more options, but I'd like to be able to click back and forth and choose the one (or two) I'd like to have front and center at any given time. Otherwise, the screen is too busy for me.

    I would also like to be able to disable the options that I don't use or that don't apply to me - for example, I don't have/use Skype, so I'd like to be able to turn that off. (If I ever get it, I'll go and turn it back on, etc.)

    For me, the visual presentation is: Simpler is Better/Easier.

  • Bert Mariani commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The listing on the left, the from who in the middle, the ads on the right
    take too much space.
    Its the email itself that needs the most space so that it can be easily read.

  • sdb1a@hotmail.com commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I don't like the new Outlook Beta at all and will transfer to another similar service to the old Outlook if you shut it down. I prefer a large window space to read a complete message NOT silly little boxes. There's too many columns and separation which I think is unnecessary and more confusing. It's no good if your eyesight is bad.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I do like the beta version but there is one thing which is holding me back from using it.
    I receive quite a number of email per day and therefore I like the broader column to get a quick overview what can be deleted. With the beta version I have to scroll down more.
    Further, I do not like how I select messages. In the old version I could tick the select all button and all the emails in view are selected. I then could select which ones I wanted to keep and delete the rest. This way I was in full control what I wanted to delete. This does not function with the beta version anymore. First, if I select all then really all the emails are selected and not those in view. Hence, I do not see what I get rid off when I press delete. Second, it appears to me that I could not deselect single items. It would be nice if this select functionality would be restored.

  • DX commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    remove the infinite scrolling bar, that's the absolute worst thing about outlook it makes the entire inbox a mess when you have a lot of email, searching for emails is a pain **********, yahoo's page by page system is MUCH more practical.
    the vertical divide just gets in the way e-mail previews work better as a horizontal thing, and the tiny preview in the left does not work, takes up too much space and makes the whole thing too clunky, there should be no favorite folders by default, and an option to rearrange the left column. the overall icon and emoji design is awful, the top bar design is too inconsistent, some of the designs are amazing but have the square buttons covering it, while some really bad ones get to have transparent squares or just the white main icon.
    outlook should just start anew, I have an account here since the 90s and it was nothing but downhill from the moment the infinite scrolling was added, this is not tumblr, i want to be able to look for my e-mails fast and efficiently not wasting time dealing with something finicky that wastes A TON of time. the e-mail has poor security as often i get spam from my own account despite not opening any new message, and blocking senders seems useless as the spam just keeps coming.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The Outlook and vertical panel filters is fine and fresh. If I want to read an email, I want to read the whole thing. Instead, I only get half an email with no obvious button press to turn off side column menu filters. This should be a reading emails 101 for me, as a many option. Search engine is excellent.

  • Rebecca commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I don't like the size of the panels, especially the horizontal ones. They are too big, thus leaving an insufficient amount of space for what I really want to see. My email account should be about my email, not about some panels.

    This is my opinion even after using the settings to adjust it to a full-screen list and after reducing the size of the vertical column that has the folders.

  • Magic Chris commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I don't like the 3 column-Design. When I want to read an E-Mail the screen is too small! I think its better to leave the layout like it was.

  • Magic Chris commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I don't like the 3 columns Design. When I want to read an E-Mail the screen is too small! I think its better to leave the layout like it was

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The body of my email is cut off on my screen and I am not able to fit it or minimize the folder column to view better. I also do not like that I can not open my message as a separate window as I can on outlook.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I don't mind the 3 column set-up but the third column with the actual email in it is too narrow. It is difficult to read the text. The first two columns should be more narrow. Or you should have an easy-to-find option to expand an email so you can view it more easily.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It has many columns and this is a bit of a mess, I could not open the email in full screen as in the current version, it was very bad to see the email, even pulling the columns manually

  • Tessa Bain commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I just want my e-mails in reverse order of receiving them as it's always been with no filtering or separations whatsoever.

    I can figure out myself by looking at the date on it whether or not it came in "today" or "this month" and I can decide for myself if I want to be reading anything that has come in no matter when. I specifically don't use Yahoo because of having a similar layout to this nonsense. I WILL be closing my account here after nearly 2 decades of using the Microsoft e-mail service as my main and switch permanently to Gmail (I already have 4 accounts there, another as my main e-mail won't kill me) if this doesn't change before being pushed out as more than a test.

    One straight line of e-mails just like it is in the normal version is what I want. Period. If I didn't I wouldn't be using this service in the first place just like Yahoo.

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