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How to Use the New Full Screen View in Outlook for Mac

The Office for Mac Team is on a roll, ringing in the New Year with new features for the 2016 revision launched in mid-2015. One of the neat new features is Full-Screen View support in Outlook 2016 for Mac. It’s a native feature of OS X, but some programs have taken a bit of time to catch up. Now that it has arrived in Outlook with the new updates, here’s a look at how to use it and what to expect.

Activate Full Screen View in Outlook 2016 for Mac

First, you need to ensure you have the latest updates for Office 2016 installed. Check out our article for instructions about the new updates and how you can get them. Once you have those updates installed, launch Outlook 2016 for Mac. Then maximize the window to get the full-screen view feature.

Activate Full Screen

Full screen is more than just an immersive experience. When you open a message background distractions are removed placing clear focus on the content. When you want to exit focus view, just click outside the message window, to return to the main Outlook screen.

Minimize message

You can also multi-task, when in full-screen view. To display more than one message at a time, open a message, then minimize it. Open another message, and then click the message tab for the message you had previously minimized.

Message Tab

Outlook 2016 will automatically split the screen between both messages.

Split View

I initially experienced difficulty activating focus view with two messages on the screen. It turns out if your Mac uses a default resolution 1440 x 900, it will instead toggle the messages. If you happen to own a Mac with a Retina display, do the following: Open System Preferences then click Display

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 9.41.28 AM

Select the Scaled radio box then click the third option. Do note, this might limit the performance of your Mac. I find it really strange I had to do this to get the feature working in Outlook 2016 for Mac.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 9.42.00 AM

OS X El Capitan Split View Support

Outlook 2016 for Mac also takes advantage of the new OS X El Capitan feature, Split View. This one calls for an even higher resolution, minimum 1550 pixels. To activate it, click File > New > Main window. Split View with Outlook 2016, lets you setup an additional main window, which you can use for managing your calendar, tasks or another inbox. I could not get it to work because of the limitation of my resolution.

Split View with Outlook 2016, lets you setup an additional main window, which you can use for managing your calendar, tasks or another inbox. I could not get it to work because of the limitation of my resolution.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 9.45.05 AM

The Outlook for Mac Team notes these are early days; more work is being done to refine the feature. Hopefully, we will see better support for older Macs with lower resolution. Let us know what you think of the new feature.

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2 Responses to How to Use the New Full Screen View in Outlook for Mac

  1. Pam Alexander August 9, 2016 at 1:19 am #

    Nightmare for me – I got into fullscreen for a single Outlook email by mistake and now can’t open any email without it becoming full screen. How do I get out of it please?? many thanks Pam

    • Phil T August 22, 2016 at 2:05 pm #

      Pam Alexander — I haven’t tried this myself, but try using the esc key on your keyboard(?)

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