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Display all MS Outlook views simultaneously or in a single instance

Posted on 2011-09-07
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-12

When using MS Outlook (2010), is there any way to display everything in one view rather than having to bounce back and forth between the views?  

For example, if I am looking at my calendar, I must switch to a different view to see my e-mails and a different one yet to see my contacts or taskss or  journal.  Is there any way to configure Outlook so that all of these are displayed at the same time?  I realize that it can be done by opening several instances of Outlook but can a single instance be configured to show all of them?

Question by:Steve_Brady
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LVL 98

Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 400 total points
ID: 36499567
Not as far as I know. You can see folders, inbox, calendar, upcoming appointment and summary tasks in one view. Otherwise, detailed calendar, detailed tasks and contacts need to open a new window. It has been that way in recent versions of Outlook, not just V2010. ... Thinkpads_User
LVL 10

Accepted Solution

Mohammed Rahman earned 1600 total points
ID: 36499851

If your operating system is Windows Seven, you can try the below as a possible solution:
Right click on the calendar in outlook and click on "open in new window". Do the same with contacts, journal, tasks and other windows that you would like to view at once. (screen shot attached for refrence: open multiple windows) open multiple outlook windowsOnce you have all the windows open, launch the task manager, go to the applications tab, press and hold Ctrl and then start selecting the windows you would like to see same time. Then, right click on any one and select Tile horizontally or Tile Vertically. (screen shot attached: select windows in task manager) select windows in task manager

Doing so, you will have a view as in the screen shot: outlook all windows at once.
View all outlook windows at once
In case the OS is XP, open all the outlook windows (contacts, journal, tasks and other outlook windows that you would like). Press and hold Ctrl and then start clicking on the outlook windows in the taskbar that you would like to view all at once. Then, right click on any one and select Tile horizontally or Tile Vertically. (screen shot attached: Tile windows in XP)   Tile windows in XP
LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 36499868
Yes, true. I did interpret the question as a single window per the original post. But what you have shown is a neat way as well. ... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

ID: 36519737
Yes, true. I did interpret the question as a single window per the original post.

That is correct. I was thinking in terms of having everything open in one window.  However, the solution presented by mody2579 is something I had not thought of previously but one that I think may have the potential to do what I would like to do.  The biggest issue for me is the taskbar buttons.  If there was a way to tile windows as mody2579 suggested but have all of them controlled by a single taskbar button, that would essentially be the same as a single window containing all of them, would it not?  Do you know of any way to group taskbar buttons in that manner?
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Rahman
ID: 36519891
Hi Steve_Brady:

You may try right click on the taskbar--properties and select "always combine, hide labels" in the taskbar buttons dropdown. It will look like below.
 all similar windows under single taskbar Icon

Author Comment

ID: 36520145
You may try right click on the taskbar--properties and select "always combine, hide labels"

Yes, that's the setting I always use.  However, even in that setting, multiple Outlook windows cannot be opened with a single click.  Clicking the Outlook icon in the taskbar results in thumbnails of all currently opened Outlook Windows and a second click opens the desired window.  Therefore, to open Calendar, Contacts, Mail, and Tasks require eight clicks -- and if Journal was also included, 10.

The other problem I've come to realize with the "combining taskbar buttons" idea is that even if they could be grouped and opened with a single click, it would necessarily include opening any e-mail draft, partially completed appointment, contact file, etc., that was open as well  (i.e. I don't believe that it could selectively open the major Windows mentioned in the previous paragraph and leave closed the more minor Windows mentioned in this paragraph).

Author Comment

ID: 36520161
You know, I think there is a good chance I may be asking this question in the wrong way.  Instead of asking about the things in Outlook that I think I would need to accomplish my objective, I should step back and actually describe my objective and let you, who know far more about Outlook, tell me how to best get there.

There are actually two things that would get me excited about jumping back into Outlook again:

First is if I could track everything I do (e-mails in, e-mails out, calls in, calls out, files worked on, files saved, etc.) and be able to toggle back and forth between viewing them:

       a) in separate specific locations such as a contact file or by topic or date, etc., and
       b) all combined in chronological order (hence my recent interest in Journal)

For example, after your recent explanation of how I can customize the look of my contact files, I could get really excited about being able to record everything involving or relating to that contact right there in the contact notes section but also be able to view it as part of or in relationship to my overall chronological journal.

Second is if everything could be:
       a) accessed and viewed together in a single specific location, and
       b) opened and closed with a single click

For this one, which is the primary topic* of this thread, I think I may have a fairly easy solution.  That is to use AutoHotkey (AHK) (http://www.autohotkey.com/) code with which it would be quite simple to both open and close selected Windows in a single step and position them consistently in any desired location.

Thanks for your help

*Please don't feel the need to respond to anything other than the topic brought up in my initial question (i.e. Outlook Windows positioning).  The other things I described in order to hopefully put things in a better context but I probably should ask about them in separate threads.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Rahman
ID: 36520340
I was about to suggest the hotkey (after googling) and a work around as below.

We can also select the option "Never Combine" under taskbar buttons drop down. Then, reduce the width of the taskbar icons with a registry edit. This will force the icons to never combine and hide the labels to make the icons small and not consume much space on the task bar. And, by looking at the icon in the task bar we can easily figure out, if its a journal, a task, calendar, a mail and so on.... Below are the steps to the registry tweak and the screen shot that shows the result.

Set taskbar options

1.Open Taskbar properties.
2.In the "Taskbar Appearance" group, change the "Taskbar Button" option to "Never combine" if you don't want stacking.
Adding/editing the registry entry

1.Press Windows Key + R to open the run command
2.Type int "regedit" (without quotes) and press OK
3.Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Control Panel -> Desktop -> WindowMetrics
4.Find the "MinWidth" entry.
5.If it is not there, right click on an empty space and select New -> String Value. Name this entry "MinWidth" (without quotes)
6.Double click on the MinWidth entry. If you want just the buttons to show, set this to 38 if you're using small buttons, 52 if you're using large buttons. Otherwise any value above 38 will work. If you set a value below 38, the buttons will behave oddly.
7.Log off and log back in or restart to see the changes.

1.Press Windows Key + R to open the run command
2.Type int "regedit" (without quotes) and press OK
3.Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Control Panel -> Desktop -> WindowMetrics
4.Find the "MinWidth" entry and delete it.
5.Log off and log back in or restart to see the changes.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 36567655

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