Save Time with Single Key Reading

Microsoft Outlook is a wonderful email client that you probably use on a daily basis; as such it should be saving you time and boosting your productivity, not hindering you in any way. There are plenty of tips to save you time in Outlook, and this one allows you to browse through your Outlook emails quickly and efficiently. This trick is known as single key reading.


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What is Single Key Reading?

Single Key Reading is just a simple and quick way to read and scroll through emails in your inbox. Why is this so efficient? Well, using this space bar trick means you won’t have to click out of one message to click into a new message in Outlook just to get through the large piles of emails in your inbox. With single key reading, your hand doesn’t have to constantly stay on the mouse or move back and forth between the keyboard and mouse, allowing for a more comfortable experience in Outlook.


Using Single Key Reading

Select an email in Outlook, and then use the space bar on the keyboard to scroll through the message. When you arrive at the end of the email you’re in, just press the space bar once more and it will automatically move onto the following email. Now once again you can use the space bar to scroll through the next email. This allows you to simply focus on what you are reading and saves you a lot of time. Here’s how to set it up in Outlook 2007-2013:

Setup for Outlook 2007:

  • Click on Tools and then select Options
  • When the Options dialog box shows up, click the tab that says Other. Underneath where it says Outlook Panes, click on the button that says “Reading Pane”
  • In the Reading Pane dialog box, check the box that says “Single Key Reading using space bar” and click OK
  • Click OK in the Options Dialog Box.

Setup for Outlook 2010, 2013 & 2016:

Outlook Reading Pane - turn on single key reading
  • Go to File and then choose Options
  • In the Outlook Options dialog box, head to the bar on the left hand side and click on Mail. Underneath where it says Outlook panes, click on the Reading Pane
  • In the Reading Pane box, check the box next to “Single key reading using space bar” and then click OK.
  • Click OK again in the Outlook Options box.

Now you are all set to use this time saving trick in Outlook!

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