Making Outlook’s Zoom Better

Making Outlook’s Zoom Better

As we’ve discussed elsewhere on the site, Outlook 2010’s Zoom feature can be a real boon for your eyes. But from my perspective, there’s one big flaw to Zoom. It isn’t persistent. That is, when you set the zoom level for an item, Outlook doesn’t remember that setting.

You can zoom the item you are viewing right now, but that setting won’t get applied to other items. Heck, it won’t even get applied to this same item if you close it and open it again. So if you rely on Zoom, you’re going to be doing a lot of messing around with the Zoom controls.

You might expect that Microsoft would have given us the option to set a zoom level that we want to be automatically applied whenever we open an item in its own window. But for whatever reason, they did not do so.

This is where our friends at SageLamp Solutions come into the picture. These guys create software for lawyers and law firms, but occasionally crank out an add-in or utility for Microsoft Office products. Now they’ve come out with a partial solution to the “non-persistent zoom” issue in Outlook 2010, called ZoomIn.

ZoomIn is an add-in for Outlook 2010 (32-bit or 64-bit) running on 64-bit Windows 7.

So what does ZoomIn do? It adds a new Save Zoom button to Outlook, which appears whenever you open an email message to read it in its own window. This new button does what you would expect: once you set the zoom level you want using Outlook’s usual Zoom control, you can click Save Zoom to lock that zoom level in place.

The next time you open an email message to read it in its own window, you’ll get the zoom level you selected, instead of the default 100% zoom. Think of how much time and hassle this can save.

Oh yeah. Did I mention that ZoomIn is totally free for personal use?

Installing ZoomIn

Installing ZoomIn is very easy. Just download and install it following the instructions here. During the process, you may see one of those ominous User Account Control boxes. The screen goes gray and this box appears with the question, “Do you want to allow the following program from an unknown publisher to make changes to this computer?” Don’t worry about it. That’s just Windows 7’s way of saying that ZoomIn needs to set some values to ensure that your changed zoom level sticks after you set it.

Click Yes to finish installing ZoomIn. You may need to restart Outlook for the changes to take effect.

Working with ZoomIn

Working with ZoomIn is even easier than installing it. The most important thing to remember is that ZoomIn only affects email messages that you are reading in their own window. So start Outlook if it isn’t already running and double-click a message in the Inbox to open it in its own window.

Now take a look at the Message tab of the ribbon. More specifically, look to the right of the Zoom button. You will now see a new button called Save Zoom (see the figure below).

zoomin button

So here’s all you need to do to take advantage of ZoomIn:

  1. Open the email message in its own reading window by double-clicking it in the Inbox.
  2. Click the Zoom button in the ribbon to set the zoom level that works best for you.
  3. Click the Save Zoom button. After a moment, a box appears telling you that the zoom level you selected is now the default level.
  4. Click the OK button in the box.

That’s it. Couldn’t be easier. Your new zoom level will be applied whenever you open an email message for reading in its own window.

From here you can:

Go to the Main Outlook 2010 Zoom page.

Go to the Outlook 2010 Email Tips page.

Go to the mail Outlook 2010 Tips page.

Go to the Living With Outlook 2010 home page.

Return to the top of this Making Outlook 2010’s Zoom Better page.

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