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The Navigation Pane (Outlook 2003): A First Look

The Outlook Bar (left) is out; the Navigation Pane (right) is in.

This "new-look" feature of Outlook 2003 replaces icons with buttons. The functionality of the new Navigation Pane is, however, basically the same as that of the Outlook Bar. You use the Navigation Pane to switch from one part of Outlook (Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Notes) to another. All you have to do is click the button that corresponds to the part of Outlook you want to go to.

The big difference between the Navigation Pane and the Outlook Bar is that while the Outlook Bar is all icons and icon groups, the Navigation Pane is more than just buttons. In fact, the buttons occupy only a small part of the Navigation Pane. The greater part of it is given over to features that support whatever part of Outlook you're in.

Mail is the best example of what we mean. When you're in Mail, that part of the Navigation Pane that isn't occupied by buttons displays your mail folders, so you can see them and navigate to them easily. It also displays your favorite mail folders in a separate pane.

(Posted 07/16/2004)