Change Back Message List Look in Outlook 2013

Written By Deepmala
Chirag Arora
Approved By Chirag Arora  
Published On October 5th, 2023
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading

In Outlook 2013, a number of features have been changed as well as added. Along with that, the message list has also been modified a bit. The changes which are reflected in Microsoft Outlook 2013 have been discussed below.

  • Read and unread message envelope icon is replaced by Blue bar
  • Subject is displayed in blue
  • Font size of the sender name is larger in the message list
  • First Line of the message is displayed

The new look of Outlook 2013 is not perceptible by users because of some changes made to the user interface also, the entire look of Outlook is not appealing to the users. Now, the users can see 4-6 messages less in their message list than what was there in Outlook 2010.

The changes were basically done to provide the users a clean interface. Another target of this feature was to ensure that it adapts with all the live tiles on a phone or tablet screen, well. Even though, white is the base color for all Office 2013 applications but most of the complaints of users are targeted towards the look of Outlook.

The following instructions will guide the users to how to manage changes of new features of Outlook 2013 and provides users suitable ways to work with around them.

In Place Of Read/Unread Envelope Icon There Is Bluebar

Any unread message in the inbox of Outlook 2013 will be highlighted in blue colour.The envelope icon which was there in Outlook 2010 is no longer there. A user has the option to change the font type, colour, font size in order to categorize unread and read messages. Moreover, a user can also use the options to display the fonts and colors for specific emails received from particular person.

read and unread blue bar

Change the Color of Subject Displayed in Blue

The blue color of the subject matches with the color of Outlook 2013.However, if you don’t like it and prefer it being rather black again then changes can be incorporated. The users can also change the color of the subject to any color other of their choice. To do it, user can follow the settings below.

  • Click on the “View tab” which is at the top of Outlook. Then select “View Settings”

click on view

  • Then select “Conditional Formatting”. Then click unread messages to make sure it is highlighted. There is a preview of what the font and color will look like. Click the option “Font”.

conditional formating

  • From the “Font window”, you can choose the “font, font style, size, and color”. Make any changes you desire and click on “OK” when you are finished.

set font

  • Select “OK” twice to confirm the changes. Any unread messages will be displayed with the new font and color you have selected.

Decrease the Font Size of the Sender Name

In your message list, Outlook will now use a larger font to display the sender’s name and a smaller font to display the subject of the message. To decrease this font size and make it the same size as the subject, you can create an additional Conditional Formatting rule without setting any conditions but just setting the fonts to smaller. The procedure is carried out in the following manner.

Select tab “View-> button View Settings-> button Conditional Formatting.”

  • Then select Add
  • Name the rule
  • Select the Font button
  • Set the Font size to Smaller

While naming the rule, users can name it for example; Standard font size

To Stop Displaying the First Line Of A Message In Message List

outlook 2013 message preview

Choose the “View tab” and then click on the “Message preview” button. And select “off” among four options which are:

  • 1 Line
  • 2 Lines
  • 3 Lines

Create a Distinct Separation Between Emails

It is difficult to recognize each and every mail item separately because of the ‘all white look’ and absence of icon against each item. For better visibility, a user has the option to modify view by adding a grid line style. This is done in the following manner:

Select “View”-> “View Settings”-> button “Other Setting”-> from dropdown box, select: Grid line style

Outlook 2013 other settings gridlines

The user has the option to select between four types of separators which are listed below:

  • Solid
  • Small dots
  • Large dots
  • Dashes
  • No grid lines

Extra Tip: Place the Navigation Strip Back In the Navigation Pane

If the users are really favoring the Vertical viewing space, then they can configure the Navigation strip to put it back into the Navigation Pane. In order to carry out the settings, refer below:

Select View| Folder Pane|Options|Compact Navigation

Output: Items Are Apparent

A result for a screen which has 768 pixels in height has been shown below:

  • Outlook 2013: Default view shows 14.5 items
  • Outlook 2013: Default view depicts 8 items
  • Outlook 2013: Compact Navigation, custom view shows- 11.5 items
  • Outlook 2013: Minimized Ribbon, custom view, Compact Navigation shows 13.5 items.

Here, the Windows dpi configuration is set to 100% and Outlook is maximized.

Bottom Line

Looks should not be deceptive because Office 2013’s interface isn’t appealing to a lot of users but it certainly fulfils the purpose of a large number of users in a very well organized manner. The interface has been designed according to Windows 8 style which works well in case of touch-enabled devices. The design has been incorporated to speed up the performance level. However, users who don’t find the appearance of the User interface for Outlook 2013 acceptable can make changes suiting their requirements with the above mentioned guide.

Also Read: What to Do If Attachments Appear In the Message Body?