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> How To: Change Windows Mail Preview Pane Display.
James (Jim) Hill...
post Sep 15 2009, 10:40 PM
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I am embarrassed to admit I only recently discovered this setting myself. By default Windows Mail displays the preview pane under the list of messages, which creates a bit of a juggling act to divide the available screen real estate effectively. You can change the preview pane to display beside the message list in much the same way as in Outlook. This method affords more space for viewing emails and virtually does away with the necessity to scroll up and down:

1) Open Windows Mail.
2) Click on View in the main menu and then select Layout.
3) In the Windows Layout Properties window under 'Preview Pane'; click the radio button next to Beside Messages.
5) Click Apply and then OK.

I have found this to be a much improved way of viewing emails and, as with the above/below layout, you can adjust the ratio of screen space allocated; simply hover the mouse cursor over the dividing line until it changes to connected arrows and drag the dividing line right or left to the desired position.
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marko
post Sep 16 2009, 08:25 AM
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Another nice tip Jim, and it used to be I'd advise anyone not to have a preview pane because this is the same as opening an email and would therefore allow email-sent viruses to be executed though I think it's safe to say with the increasing advances in anti-virus software we're covered (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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James (Jim) Hill...
post Sep 16 2009, 09:31 PM
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Hey Marko - Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong mate but I always believed that malware could not be embedded in the body of an email. Malware can certainly be embedded in a link contained in an email or in an attachment but then one would need to click on/open the link or attachment in order to activate it. So, enabling the preview pane view in an email client should not present any additional risk.

It's an interesting point, many security experts are of the opinion we are better off without the email scanning component in anti virus software because it just slows things down and can cause other minor issues while not offering any real extra protection.

The free version of AntiVir is a good example, it doesn't include any email scanning feature but if one ever attempted to open an infected attachment or clicked on a malicious link, AntiVir would immediately spring into action and prevent the process from executing....the same could be said for all anti virus type software. At least, that appears to be the consensus.

That said, I use Avast which of course includes an email scanner and I do leave that active. Just to be on the safe side? Perhaps because old habits die hard?? Or maybe because forewarned is forearmed???

cheers mate....JIM
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marko
post Sep 17 2009, 06:26 AM
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Hi Jim, I'm not exactly sure how real the threat is these days, but it used to be the case it would be possible for someone to execute a script through an email once open and with the preview pane on this is as if you have already opened it. Having said that, I've not heard of many email viruses sent this way lately but that's not to say they're not around, or won't reappear in numbers in the future but it could be MS and others have released patches to prevent this happening in future. Normally, with the preview pane off you have the chance of deciding which emails you want to keep or trash, usually determining such purely from their subject line - it's not always possible to figure out however, but those emails with the subject "Hi, I saw this and thought of you" from an unknown sender would ring alarm bells.

I'm an avid Avast user myself and have never encountered a problem with email viruses, although it's safe to say the anti-virus vendors have came a long way since the introduction of email viruses and so usually offer protection in this area now which I would definately recommend having - it's not the first time I've seen viruses spread through friends because someone didn't actually realise what they were sending or in other cases it's been known for the viruses to rip through the address books of people and forward itself to all the contacts!.

As I say, the threat isn't as bad as it used to be, but it's definately still there in my opinion (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Cheers
Marko
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James (Jim) Hill...
post Sep 17 2009, 08:53 PM
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Fair enough mate, I defer to your superior knowledge.

I actually use the excellent free MailWasher program which sits between the server and email client. All emails are first viewed in the MailWasher interface which shows; Sender, Subject, Date, Size, Attachment, etc. above a summary preview pane. From there, you can identify any unwanted or risky emails and delete them on the server...they never even get downloaded to the computer.

I'm sure you already know all that mate, I have just included that information for anyone else who reads this and may not be aware of this terrific method for dealing with spam and other unwanted or risky emails.

cheers.....JIM
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marko
post Sep 18 2009, 06:13 AM
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MailWasher is indeed an excellent app to have Jim, here's the link for anyone interested in giving it a whirl: https://freewarebb.com/MailWasher-file5559.html
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