Sword in the Stone: Outlook Font Sizes in Preview Pane

oaktrees
oaktrees used Ask the Experts™
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In Outlook, the Preview Pane fonts for Tasks cannot be altered.

From Microsoft's own help pages:

Unfortunately there is no solution as of yet.

And, on the one Macro they unenthusiastically send folks to we read, from the developer:

...unfortunately Outlook doesn't allow direct interaction with the reading pane for automated zooming.

and

People have been complaining about this on MS forums for years but MS has failed to implement this easy fix.

The text pane itself looks like it is uniquely rendered each time.  But, there has to be some kind of default value, like, 1.0?

The Subject
Due Date
Status
Owner

at the top of each one - surely these are all generated at startup.

Got to be a way.

How do you see it?

Fingers crossed and with admiration for the collective skills,

OT
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Bill PrewTest your restores, not your backups...
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
Yes, we've looked at this before, the only way I know to affect these in WIndows 10 is by changing the overall Windows DPI or Zoom, see below reference.  No way to change those headings in just Outlook.

Fonts, sizes and color settings of the Outlook interface - HowTo-Outlook


»bp

Author

Commented:
Hi Bill,

Have tried the DPI/Zoom.  Not a workable option.  To get those values up to be big enough to see you need to zoom to around 225%.

First, as you try to find the right DPI setting, you need log out each time, and close all your open windows.

Close outlook.  Close all other applications / save files.  175% Zoom?  Select.  Log out.  Log in.  Open Outlook.  Open tasks.  To small?
Close outlook.  200?  Select.  Log out.  Log in.  Open Outlook.  Open tasks.  To small?
Close outlook.  225?  Select.  Log out.  Log in.  Open Outlook.  Open tasks.

Then, at 225%, nothing else works correctly.  Keep all other applications closed.

So, when you're working there, you're left with a machine that only can run Outlook, at 225%.  A big productivity hit.

You wrote, "...the only way I know to affect these in WIndows 10 is by changing the overall Windows DPI or Zoom...".  I think you are correct.  So, let's look at the program itself.

I'm thinking that there's some value, or even a registry value, that's controlling these two text sizes.

Clearly, they are defined - somewhere.  

Perhaps there's even an add-on out there, known among the Outlook aficionados, that addresses these controls, if even indirectly?

Here's my idea - I'm hoping that, among our legion of great folks - there's someone who has gotten well under the hood of Outlook itself to see where these things get set.  Skinned knuckles and elbows on Outlook code.

To recap - here's those settings again:

Tasks Preview Pane Fonts Size & Tasks Font Size of Subject, Due Date, Status, Owner headings

I'm thinking it is something inside Outlook itself?  Or, a registry value?

I've got nearly 100 tasks to go through now.  Pretty much vitiates the point of putting them in tasks if I need to close all other applications and run the PC at 225% zoom.

Sword in the stone.  I know.  Hoping.

Many thanks,

OT
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Test your restores, not your backups...
Top Expert 2016
Commented:
If you haven't already, you might try posting on the site linked below, there are some smart Outlook resources there.

Outlook and Exchange Solutions Center



»bp
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Bill PrewTest your restores, not your backups...
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
What version of Windows 10 are you running, is it 1703 or above?


»bp
Bill PrewTest your restores, not your backups...
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
I think the problem is this isn't really an Outlook issue.  Outlook is acting a good Windows citizen, and inheriting those fonts and sizes from the Windows settings that are global in nature and affect all applications.  Yes, Windows does allow some of what it considers "application specific" fonts to be configured, but the one you are after isn't one of those.  So it doesn't actually specify the font or size for that, it just inherits whatever Windows is using.

You might try looking at this tool and see if one of the Windows fonts you can tweak with it affects what you are after.  Just keep in mind that you will change it for all apps that reference that font, not just Outlook.

Advanced System Font Changer - WinTools.Info



»bp

Author

Commented:
Hi Bill,

Links were helpful!

Interestingly, at Slipstick the MOST popular discussion item was:

Adjusting Outlook's Zoom Setting in Email
Lol!

So, following those I found two plugins.

Both changed the Preview of emails.  Curiously, both were mid-size install packages.  A good bit of code.

Neither changed the zoom of the preview pane in Tasks.

Uninstalled.

Then, I spotted this:

I've dug around everywhere to find a way to do this and just stumbled across it accidentally on my own.

Inside the Outlook client, on the bottom right of the Outlook pane, there's the zoom slider bar. Click on the number next to the bar. This pops up a new dialog box that lets you select a zoom level or type in a custom level. There is a checkbox at the bottom that says "Remember my preference." I've closed and re-launched Outlook several times and so far seems to be sticking at the level I set.

I have no idea why MS can't provide a straightforward answer for this, but I finally found it on my own.

And, the modification applies to ALL Preview panes! :DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD  Neither a US$10 add-on, nor US$19.95!  But, right out of the box.

I think you are right - there is good citizenship there at MS on the font sizes.  I wonder if it may be leavened also with a bit of getting it done fast.  The data for

Subject, Due Date, Owner Status, Priority, %Complete

are all pretty...critical items relative to any set of data named Tasks.  Seems like, when I'm using two oceanic sized monitors, as well as a Laptop screen, leaving those unmodifiable at 8px (?) is less than due diligence.

That said, I can ADD those to the Columns (text sizes FREELY modifiable), but then one loses the Subject Line! It gets crowded out.  I put Date Created there only, so that's enough for my modest purposes.

If font size is the most popular on the leading Outlook dedicated site, guess we can hope that, sooner or later, they'll get the message.  Though, it will likely be written in...very small font! :D

Your links let me find the way.  Thanks, Bill!  I'm grateful.

Author

Commented:
:))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))!
Bill PrewTest your restores, not your backups...
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
Well, interestingly I knew about that zoom slider in the preview pane, but honestly based on the way the question was posted didn't think you were talking about the email body, but rather I thought you meant the header info (subject, from, to, date, etc).  Could have saved you a lot of time if I had known...


»bp

Author

Commented:
Hi Bill,

Actually, the the header info is pretty much just as sort of squint-making for me, too.  Good news is that, I can add those int the Columns displayed, which can be controlled by the Views, which are richly customizeable.

Tried the System Font Changer, it, too, alas, does not affect those header info values. :P :)

Thanks, again, for all the good help!

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