The most important thing about receiving e-mails is reading them, of course. Outlook provides two methods of reading e-mails. You can read them in the Reading Pane, or you can open individual e-mails.
Working with the Reading Pane
By default, the Reading Pane is shown at the right of mail folder views but optionally can be displayed below the folder view or can be turned off entirely. You saw how the Reading Pane looks on the right of the folder view in Figure 3.1; the Reading Pane displayed at the bottom of the folder view is shown in Figure 3.3. This arrangement displays more information for each e-mail in the folder but shows less of the message text in the e-mail selected in the Reading Pane.
Figure 3.3 Displaying the Reading Pane at the bottom of the folder view shows less text than displaying the Reading Pane on the right of the folder view.
Figure 3.4 shows the Inbox with the Reading Pane turned off.
To change the position of the Reading Pane or to turn it off, do the following:
Select View, Reading Pane.
Click Right to display the Reading Pane on the right, Bottom to display it on the bottom, or Off to turn it off.
Figure 3.4 When the Reading Pane is turned off, you must open an e-mail to be able to read it.
Using the Reading Pane makes it easy to read e-mails without having to open them. If there is more message text than will fit in the Reading Pane screen, you can use the scrollbars to scroll down the message text so that you can read it all. I use the Reading Pane to work with e-mails the vast majority of the time and rarely open an e-mail to read it.
Opening an E-mail
To open an e-mail, either double-click on the e-mail, or right-click on it and select Open from the context menu. Opening an e-mail automatically marks it as having been read.
The advantage to reading an e-mail by opening it is that you can view more text at one time in a long e-mail without having to scroll, especially if the e-mail window is maximized. If you prefer to keep the Reading Pane closed, you will have to open your e-mails from the Inbox to be able to read them.