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OS X El Capitan: The Missing Manual 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), which is still around. The following pages offer advice for modifying the design of both layouts.

Tweaking the Three-Column Layout

The three-column view is shown in Figure 16-2 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 Button for details on Full Screen mode.) Full Screen mode is a natural for space-hungry email, especially on a small laptop screen.

    Tip

    In El Capitan, Apple finally fixed one of the biggest frustrations of Mail in full screen: When a message was open, you couldn’t get to any other message (to refer to it or copy from it, for example). Now, when you click outside an open message, it collapses to the bottom of the screen, where only the title bar is visible. Now you’re free to peruse other messages; the first one pops back up when you click its title bar.

    Similarly, if you begin writing several messages, they can all be accessible at once; they sprout ...

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