Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
There’s No Place Like Home: Outlook’s Main Screen
Using the Folder pane
The Folder pane occupies a tiny strip on the left edge of the screen. Normally,
it’s just big enough to accommodate some text displayed sideways, showing
the names of a few e-mail folders. You can widen the Folder pane by clicking a
small arrow at the top of the list of text labels, and then shrink it back by
clicking the same arrow again.
Outlook speeds your work by letting you deal with several kinds of information
in one place. It does that by organizing those different types of information
into folders. Most people only think about folders when they’re dealing with
e-mail, which is why Outlook only makes its folders completely visible when
you’re dealing with e-mail.
The bottom of the Folder pane can have tiny icons representing each major
Outlook function, but only if you choose the Compact Navigation option. You
can make that happen with these steps:
1. Click the View tab on the Ribbon.
2. Choose Folder Pane ➪ Options.
3. Click the check box labeled Compact Navigation.
Otherwise, you can move between Outlook modules by clicking the
name of a module in the Navigation bar, which is in the lower-left corner
of the screen.
The Information Viewer: Outlook’s hotspot
The Information Viewer is where most of the action happens in Outlook. If
the Folder pane is like the channel selector on your TV set, the Information
Viewer is like the TV screen. When you’re reading e-mail, you look in the
Information Viewer to read your messages; if you’re adding or searching for
contacts, you see contact names here. The Information Viewer is also where
you can do fancy sorting tricks. (I talk about sorting contacts, tasks, and so
forth in the chapters that apply to those modules.)
Because you can store more information in Outlook than you can see at any one
time, the Information Viewer shows you a slice of the information available. The
calendar, for example, can store dates as far back as the year 1601 and as far
ahead as 4500. I use that to see the day when my credit card bills might finally be
paid off, but in this economy, I may need to take a longer view. The smallest
calendar slice you can look at is one day; the largest slice is a month.
The Information Viewer organizes what it shows you into units called views.
You can use the views that come with Outlook, or you can create your own
views and save them. (I go into more details about views in Chapter 16.)