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How to create a custom navigation panel in Outlook



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In the Outlook navigation window, you can navigate to different folders, mailboxes, and groups. However, it contains folders that you can never access but cannot hide. Here's how to create a custom navigation box that shows exactly what you need.

If you only use the Inbox, Sent Items, Deleted Items and Archive, this guide is probably not for you. Just add these folders to your favorites (which you can learn how to do in our guide to the navigation window) and you're good to go. However, if you have many folders, access to different shared mailboxes, or you are a member of multiple Office 365 groups, you may find the navigation panel a bit overwhelming and selfless. Adding all the folders you want to Favorites will not cut it, as there are too many to hold the organization.

Instead, you can create your own custom navigation box that contains exactly what you want, and nothing else. To do this, click the "Shortcuts" icon at the bottom of the navigation window.

This opens the empty shortcuts.

To add a shortcut right click on the shortcuts (right click anywhere else in the box do nothing) and select "New shortcut".

"Add to Folder Panel" panel opens, showing all your available mailboxes. Select a folder you want to add to the shortcut window and then click "OK" (or double-click the folder).

This adds the folder to the shortcut window. You can add as many folders from any mailbox that you have access to as you like.

This is not as neat as possible, so we add a new shortcut group and move some of the folders around. Right-click on the shortcuts and then select "New shortcut group".

This creates a new text box that you can rename what you want.

Give your group a name – we have gone with "Work" and press Enter. Now you can either right-click your new group name and add new shortcuts, or drag and drop shortcuts you've already added. We have pulled and released 3 of the shortcuts that we added earlier.

You can also right-click on a shortcut and use the "Move Up" and "Move Down" options.

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You may have noticed that you cannot add shortcuts to Office 365 groups in the "Add to Folder" panel. However, you can add shortcuts to Windows folders. Open Windows Explorer, locate the folder you want, and then drag it into the shortcut heading (or to a group header you created).

A "Link" tooltip will appear when you hover over the group header, at which time you can release the folder's shortcut to the group.

You can also drag and drop shortcuts to files in the shortcut window, making this a great way to group all your work into one box.

You cannot add URLs directly from a web browser, but you can create a shortcut to a URL in a folder and then drag it on just like a file. When you click on the shortcut, it opens in your default browser, just like any other link. This means that if you have a URL for an Office 365 group, you can still add it to the shortcut window.

When you have the context menu, you can use it instead of the default navigation panel. Outlook opens with which window you opened when you shut down Outlook, so you never have to go back to the navigation window if you don't want to.


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