Exploring Navigation Pane in Microsoft Outlook 2007

Posted by: Minal Agarwal , on 5/15/2009, in Category Outlook 2007
Views: 58874
Abstract: Navigation Pane in Microsoft Outlook 2007 helps you navigate through your mails and manage different folders. You can customize it to make your job easier. So in this article we will explore the Navigation Pane in detail.
Exploring Navigation Pane in Microsoft Outlook 2007
The Navigation Pane as the name suggests helps you navigate through your mails, folders and your favorites. It is leftmost column in the default Outlook window. Navigation Pane contains links to your Mail folders, Calendars, Contacts, Tasks, Notes, Folder List and Shortcuts. You can switch between these folders on the Navigation Pane and the corresponding content would be displayed in the Reading Pane. The Navigation pane will appear in all views unless you put it off. It may not look same in all of them.  But you can always customize the view of the Navigation pane. We will learn that in a short while. To add the Navigation Pane to your Outlook interface; Go to View > Navigation Pane > and choose the right view option.
View menu > Navigation Pane
The contents of the Navigation pane change according to the view you are working in. For example Mail view, Contacts View, Calendar List View, Folder List View and so on. The default view is Mail Folders View. You can choose and switch between these views with the help of buttons and commands given in the Navigation pane. To understand how a Navigation pane looks like, see the image below:
Navigation Pane
This is an expanded view of the Navigation Pane. If you pull down the blue horizontal splitter that divides the main view area and the view options (point over it and when cursor changes to a double-headed arrow, drag it), each of this view option will collapse to the bottom of the pane and will be visible in the form of icons (now shown next to each view; e.g. Mail icon is an open envelope, so on).
Buttons on Navigation Pane
Customize the buttons on the Navigation Pane
1.    Add or Remove buttons:
Click on the small drop down arrow, at the bottom of the Navigation Pane. From the menu choose ‘Add or Remove Buttons’ and then click on the button you want.
Click menu
2.    Change the Display order of the buttons:
Choose ‘Navigation Pane Options’ to launch the Navigation Options window as shown below:
Navigation Pane Options
Choose the button and click on ‘Move Up’ or ‘Move Down’ buttons to rearrange their order. To revert to the default order, you can always click on the Reset button.
3.    Change the number of buttons displayed:
From the menu (shown above in point 1.) choose ‘Show More Buttons’ or ‘Show Fewer Buttons’.
By default Outlook 2007 displays buttons in the available space of the Navigation Pane. If you increase the width of the pane (Read point 4.) it will add more buttons that would fit in that space. But if the width is less and you choose to show more buttons, Outlook would push the previous buttons upwards to accommodate more buttons in the bottom bar.
4.    Change the width of the Navigation Pane:
Point your cursor to the right border of the pane, when the cursor changes to a double-headed arrow, hold down left key on your mouse and drag towards right to increase its width and towards left to decrease it.
5.    Minimize the Navigation Pane:
By minimizing the Navigation Pane, you can allot more space to the Reading Pane in your Outlook window. To minimize the pane do either of the following:
a.    Click on Double Arrow Min arrows displayed besides the title of any view (Mail view, Calendar View, Folder List View, etc)
b.    Go to View > Navigation Pane > Minimized.
Minimized Navigation Pane
The Navigation Pane would now be visible as a very narrow bar and displays headings, subheadings of folders and various view buttons. You can expand the pane any time by clicking on Double Arrows Max on the top of the pane. The pane will regain its previous width.
NOTE:  If you close your Outlook session with a minimized Navigation Pane, next session will also be launched with a minimized Navigation pane.
6.    Add Favorite Folders
Favorite Folders are where you can add your frequently visited folders and place it at the top of the Navigation Pane.
To view the Favorite Folders go to View > Navigation Pane > Favorite Folders. Then just click and drag the folders to the Favorite Folders.
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This article has been editorially reviewed by Suprotim Agarwal.

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Minal Agarwal, Expression Web MVP, MCDST, works as a freelance web designer (SaffronStroke) working on Expression Web, Photoshop and other Graphical tools. As a hobby, she also runs a famous Food site called Foodatarian.com. Follow her on twitter @ saffronstroke

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