I always get so excited when I load new beta software, especially
when itís something like Office, which I use a lot. So, Iím always eager
to see what wonderful changes Microsoft has made. When the first stack
of Office 2003 CDs arrived, it was no different.
What the #%*&$! have they done to Outlook!!!??? Surely, this canít
be intentional. It has to be a bug, a glitch, a programming error,
an oversight, something done on a Friday as a joke, after one
too many beers at lunch. Surely, they will fix it before release!
any event, I recently got a refresher course in just how ticked
off I was when I first saw Outlook 2003. My sister just bought herself
a new Dell with Office 2003 Small Business Edition on it. I spent
a good chunk of this weekend helping her move her data to the new
machine, as well as try to ease the culture shock of the new Outlook.
As I did for her, Iíll
help you get rid of the things that bugged my sister (and me, probably
not coincidentally) the most.
What Have They
Done to My Folder List?
first nightmare was the new Navigation Pane, or Aggravation Pain, as
some of you might call it. Thatís the left area when you first open Outlook.
In the past, you either had the Folder List or the Outlook Bar there.
The problem is, if you liked the
Folder List, Microsoft didnít provide you with a sufficiently similar
replacement. OrÖ did they.
this. At the bottom of the Navigation Pane there is a small window with
icons in it. Hover the mouse pointer over them until you find the one
that says Folder List, and click on it. Well, itís not what youíre used
to, but itís closer than the default view, and itís a start.
click the Configure buttons Ľ tool
at the southeast corner of the Navigation Pane. Choose Show fewer buttons. Do this until all of
the large buttons have disappeared.
right-click any item in the bottom area and choose Navigation Pane Options.
If, like some of us, you never plan to change your view from the folder
list, remove the checkmarks next to all of the items. While this, alas,
canít reclaim the real estate at the bottom of the Navigation Pane, at
least it can now look less cluttered.
Grid Lines? Who
the Heck Ordered Grid Lines?
next thing that seems to really annoy Outlook 2003 upgradees are the
grid lines and multi-line listings that appear in message folders. Using
Outlook 2002, you might be able to display 30 messages in the same space
in which you can now only show 12 or so.
on the menu, choose View Ė Define Views. Go ahead. Iíll wait.
Iím so evil.
Yes, I knew thereís no Define Views on the menu. Instead, you now use
the Advanced Toolbar. Right-click any toolbar and choose Advanced. On
the Advanced toolbar, look for a dropdown textbox list that shows the
names of views. Drop it down, and choose Define Views. With View Name
set to Current view settings,
click the Modify Button. In the Customize View dialog box, choose Other Settings.
Other Settings, next to Grid line style, click the list arrow and choose
None. While youíre here, if youíd like to restore some other Outlook
2002-ish settings, go for it! Remove the check next to Show
items in groups. Down at the bottom, remove the check next
to Use multi-line layout in widths smaller thanÖ Great.
Do you like AutoPreview? If not and if itís checked, uncheck it. Do you
like the reading pane? I didnít. So, I choose Off.
Now choose OK, twice, then Close.
there is blank space at the bottom of your message window, thereís a
shortcut for getting to the Customize Current View settings window, which
is where you just visited. Right-click the blank space in your message
window and choose Customize Current View. Remember this shortcut.
Youíll need it for ďrepairingĒ other problems as you encounter them.
A View of Your
you use folders as much as I do, you likely wonít want to go through
that exercise for each and every folder. A better plan is to clone the
view you just created, give it a name, and then apply it to offending
folders. Hereís a quick tutorial.
the message folder you just modified, and choose Define Views from the Current View tool on the Advanced toolbar.
Choose Copy. Give the new
view a handy name such as No Gridlines, accept the other defaults, and
choose OK Ė OK Ė Close.
Now, visit a different folderóone that contains messages. See those
gridlines? Zap em! Using the Current View dropdown tool on the Advanced
toolbar, choose the name view you just created. Presto! No more gridlines.
sit back and admire your handiwork. With just a few keystrokes
and mouse clicks, youíve rolled back Outlook 2003 to 2002. Well, not quite.
There are a lot of changes, and most for the best, for
my money. Now, start clicking and exploring to see whatís under the hood.
For further help with Outlook Advanced issues and VBA, check out our support group here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Outlook_Advanced/