Over the years there’s been an ever-growing need for more and more information packed into one program – Microsoft Outlook. Microsoft has tried to meet this need with things like the reading pane, to-do bar, status bar, ribbon, etc, etc.
Microsoft also understands that sometimes you just want to focus on the task at hand – whether it’s reading an email, reviewing your calendar or managing your tasks. Starting in Outlook 2010, the status bar now has the option to switch between Normal and Reading view. In Normal view, much of the screen real estate is taken by your calendar preview, to-do list and preview pane (if you have them turned on), but switching to Reading view temporarily removes all these extra items and lets you focus on your task at hand.
To enter Reading view, simply click on the icon that looks like an open book at the bottom right-hand corner of Outlook.
To switch back to normal view click on the icon just to the left of the Reading icon.
Try it for yourself!