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Getting to Know Views in Outlook 2007

In Outlook 2007, every Outlook module has its own selection of views. Each type of view is organized to make a particular feature of your information obvious at first glance. You can change the way that you view a view by sorting, filtering, or grouping. You can't go too wrong with views because you can easily create new views if the old ones get messed up. So feel free to experiment.

You don't have to do anything to see a view; Outlook is always displaying a view. The view is the thing that takes up most of the screen most of the time. Most people don't even know that they have a choice of Outlook views; they just use the views that show up the first time they use Outlook. So now you're one step ahead of the game.

Each view has a name, which you can see in several different places:

  • When you click the Organize button and choose Using Views, the current view's name is highlighted.
  • Sometimes, the list of available views appears in the Navigation Pane.
  • If all else fails, refer to the Current View menu, where a mark appears next to the current view's name.

To see the Current View menu, choose View --> Current View. The Current View menu lists all the views available in the current module.

Table/List view

All modules contain some version of the Table view — a rectangle made up of rows and columns. Some Outlook menus also refer to this arrangement as a List view. In either case, if you create a new item (by adding a new task to your Tasks List, for example), a new row turns up in the Table view. You see one row for each task in the Table view.

The names of Table views often contain the word List, as in Simple List, Phone List, or just List. The word List means they form a plain-vanilla table of items, just like a grocery list. Other Table view names start with the word By, which means that items in the view are grouped by a certain type of information, such as entry type or name of contact.

Icons view

Icons view is the simplest view — just a bunch of icons with names thrown together on-screen. The only Icons views that come with Outlook are for viewing notes and file folders. Icons view doesn't show a great deal of information, and some people like it that way. You can easily switch to another view if you ever need to see more.

Timeline view

Timeline view shows you a set of small icons arranged across the screen. Icons higher on the screen represent created items or tasks that began earlier in the day. Icons farther to the left were created on an earlier date.

The Timeline in the Tasks module also draws a line that represents the length of time needed to perform a task if you specified its starting and ending times.

A Timeline view includes four toolbar buttons that enable you to change the length of time you want to view:

  • Today
  • Day (not necessarily today)
  • Week
  • Month

As you can in all other view settings, you can click to move between one-day and seven-day views and back. (It's like changing television channels, but you don't have to argue over who gets the remote.)

Cards view

Cards view is designed for the Contacts module. Each contact item gets its own little block of information. Each little block displays a little or a lot of information about the item, depending on what kind of card it is.

The Cards view shows you only a few items at a time because the cards are so big. To find a name in your Contacts List, type the first letter of the name that your contact is filed under. Before you know it, you see that person's Address Card. Also, be consistent with name order: Always put the first name first (or last) when entering a contact.

Day/Week/Month view

Day/Week/Month view is designed particularly for the calendar. Like a Timeline view, this view adds Day, Work Week, Week, and Month buttons to the toolbar, enabling you to switch between views easily. All these views also display a monthly calendar. You can click any date in that calendar to switch your view to that date.

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