Outlook 2016's Funky Portrait Orientation

Written by Luke Arntz on March 28, 2019
[ Outlook ] [ Windows ] [ Snap ] [ Tiling Window Manager ]



Windows 10 Snap Window Feature

I use MS Outlook and Windows 10 at work. I also use Linux and a tiling window manager at home. I long for the day that Windows can manage windows in that way. It’s getting better though.

I make use of the windows-key snap window feature in Windows 10 all day everyday (that I’m at work). It’s as close to a tiling window manager as MS Windows has ever been.


My setup goes like this. I have two monitors. On my far right I like to squish Outlook as small as it’ll go so I just see a list of emails in my Inbox. I can then snap other windows and work like a champ.


For me this, combined with virtual desktops makes me really, really happy! Unfortunately, Outlook started doing something that was extremely annoying. Any time I would click on an email it would change from a list of emails to some kind of half cocked reading pane.

Sometimes I click on an email so I can delete it or move it without reading it. Sometimes I want to select multiple emails to delete or move. But when squished vertically Outlook insisted on opening every email I clicked on once like some kind of monster that hates the unified theory of double-clicking.

I like my emails to open in a new window after I hit Enter or CLICK TWICE.


Outlook 2016 Portrait Mode

The answer to this nonsense is to disable automatic full-screen reading in portrait orientation. This seems like a dandy feature for someone running a outlook on a table or Surface Book or something similar.


Uncheck that box

You can get to those settings a couple ways. Two that I’m aware of are:

  1. File -> Options -> Mail -> Reading Pain…
  2. View -> Layout -> Reading Pane -> Options…


“Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?” - Clark Griswold

Now I can click on a single message and it will be highlighted and unopened just like God intended. It seems like this feature would be more commonly appreciated on a touchscreen setup.

If I were the Czar of Outlook I would say, “Let there be common sense, a single touch shall open for reading, and a single click shall select.”

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