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Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Yosemite Edition by David Pogue

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Tailoring the Look of Mail

Apple put a lot of energy into exploiting the size and shape of your screen. In a program made for managing lists and reading messages, you need all the room you can get.

You’ve always been able to tweak Mail’s look, layout, and proportions—but now you have both the modern layout (three columns) and the classic layout (list above, message below). The following pages offer advice in modifying the design of both layouts.

Tweaking the Three-Column Layout

The three-column view is shown in Figure 11-1 at top. Here’s some of the plastic surgery you can perform:

  • Try Full Screen mode. Click the green dot in the upper-left corner to make the Mail window expand to fill your monitor. (See Full Screen Mode for details on Full Screen mode.) Full Screen mode is a natural for space-hungry email, especially on a small laptop screen.

    Note

    In Full Screen mode, any individual message that you double-click pops front and center; the rest of the screen, including all your lists and panes and other messages, fades and becomes inactive. That means you can’t copy and paste from another message, refer to another message, or drag to or from another message. If you want to do something like that, you have to exit Full Screen mode first.

    Mail can have several different layouts. In the standard three-column view (top), all your mailboxes are grouped tidily in the far-left column. You can hide that column, though, so that you have more space for reading (middle). You can also opt for an old-school layout (bottom), in which the messages list is above the message body.

    Figure 11-1. Mail can have several different layouts. ...

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