How to slim down Outlook’s Message List

Outlook is very busy…sometimes too busy. Some of the default settings are overkill. If you’re like me, you want more message and less extraneous information about the message. By default, Outlook 2002 and 2003 use as many lines as necessary to display information about each message. If you don’t need all that information, stop wasting precious screen space that you could put to better use -- like viewing the actual message. Fortunately, Outlook lets you customize what you see.

Unfortunately, finding a setting to reduce the space sucked up by too much information isn’t easy, but it’s there. To reduce the Message List entries from two or more lines to just one, do the following:

  1. Choose Arrange By from the View menu and then select Custom.
  2. In the Customize Views: Messages dialog box, click Others Settings.
  3. Uncheck the Use Multi-Line Layout In Widths Smaller Than option.
  4. Click OK twice.

Unchecking this setting forces Outlook to summarize message information on one line. If you really need to see more, hover the mouse over the line to see it all.