Customize views in Outlook 2016 for Mac

If you spend a lot of time using Outlook 2016 for Mac, you want to set it up to support the way that you work. For example, to create more space to see your mail and calendar items, you can hide some elements. You can also move, add, remove, or resize columns so that information is presented in the way that you want to see it.

Minimize or expand the ribbon

You can minimize the ribbon so that only tabs appear.

  • On the View menu, click Ribbon.

    Tip: You can also minimize the ribbon by clicking the active tab, or by clicking Collapse Ribbon button .

Hide or show the folder pane

  • On the View menu, click Folder Pane.

Ungroup mail folders

By default, Outlook groups similar folders, such as Inboxes, from all your mail and Microsoft Exchange accounts. This feature can make it easier to read all your messages at one time, without having to move around between mail folders. If you want, you can turn off this feature so that each account and all its folders are separated in the folder list.

  1. On the Outlook menu, click Preferences.

  2. Under Personal Settings, click General.

      The General icon is shown in Outlook Preferences.

  3. Under Folder list, clear the Group similar folders, such as Inboxes, from different accounts check box.

Reposition or hide the reading pane

The reading pane, sometimes called the preview pane, lets you read items without opening them. You can customize the reading pane according to your preferences. The reading pane can be positioned on the right of the Outlook window, below the item list, or turned off.

  • On the Organize tab, click Reading Pane, and then click an option.


    • To change the size of the reading pane, rest the pointer on the border between the reading pane and the item list, and then drag the border.

    • The reading pane is not available for Calendar view.

Customize the item list

The item list is the list of messages, contacts, tasks, or notes. By default, the item list is displayed vertically between the navigation pane and the reading pane.

Note: The item list is not available for Calendar view.

Change the sort order in the item list

  • On the Organize tab, click Arrange By, and then click an option.

Choose columns for the item list

If the reading pane is hidden or positioned below the item list, you can choose the columns you want to appear at the top of the item list. The available columns vary, depending on the type of items in the list.

  1. On the Organize tab, click Reading Pane, and then make sure that Bottom or Off is selected.

  2. On the View menu, point to Columns, and then click a column name. Columns in the current view are identified with a check mark.


    • In the item list, you can click on a column heading to sort by that column.

    • To rearrange the columns, click a column heading, and then drag it to a new position.

    • To resize a column, rest the pointer on the right edge of the column header until the pointer changes, and then drag the edge.

Change the size of text for incoming messages

  1. At the bottom of the navigation pane, click Mail.

  2. Click a message, and then on the Format menu, click Increase Font Size or Decrease Font Size.

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