Fsck'ing Outlook 2003

I really ought to put this into GQ for a factual answer, but I’m fucking fuming over this piece of shit, and I feel comfortable swearing about here in The Pit.

Why the hell is it that every time Microsoft “upgrades” their shitty-ass products, it adds all these stupid “extra features” that frustrate the hell out of me? You know that I had to search Google Groups to figure out how to turn off XP CD autoplay? Hint: it’s not part of the OS any more. But today’s concern is specifically with Outlook 2003.

I just got the corporate load of Office 2003 today, which replaced the perfectly working Office XP. I’ve figured out how to get my folder list back, but I can’t get rid of the stupid “Navigation Pane.” There’s not preference for it. I’ve erase all of the stupid ass buttons, but now it’s taking up a good chunk of the Folder List pane with the dumb-ass shaded grey emty box. So…

[li]How do I get rid of the Navigation Pane entirely?[/li][/ul]
Okay this is Office-wide, but I use Outlook almost more than anything. The stupid shaded grey menu bars offer a high degree of contract compared to the rest of all of the Office windows. This is distracting as hell, because instead of concentrating on the task at hand, the damn high-contrast keeps irritating me. It’s like the feeling of having someone stand behind you as you work. Because MS constantly violates their own goddamn interface standards changed in the Display control panel do nothing, and there’s no preference that I can find. So…

[li]How do I get rid of all of the high-contrast grey?[/li][/ul]
Okay, I want to check my calendar, so I select it in the folder list. Now my entire goddamn folder list becomes a moving target because a useless stupid little calendar occupies a pane that’s inserted above the folder list. Doesn’t Microsoft employ and goddamn interface people? Itdoesn’t even take a high-priced expert to tell them that moving targets on people is stupid-stupid-stupid. Now I click on another folder in the folder list, and of course the calendar disappears and eveything fsck’ing shifts again.

[li]How do I make the calendar behave?[/li][/ul]
Okay, I admit I’ve not researched the last question myself – it’s probably (hopefully) completely obvious. But I’ve already spent an hour resetting all of the stupid, insulting preferences in all of the Office apps (correct the first letter of sentences – wah-wah-wah; select the entire word when selecting – I want my milk and cookies; auto-make hyperlinks – I want my mommy). This moving folder list was the final straw. I just can’t believe this shit that we’re forced to use. Hello? I don’t know why we ever replaced PINE and WordStar.


On the View menu, click Navigation Pane.

Can’t help you. Decaf?

Don’t select it in the folder list. Add a button for the calendar. At the bottom of the Navigation Pane, click Configure buttons, click Add or Remove Buttons, and then click the calendar button.

You sound like one of my clients, a tax accountant who uses DOS programs from 1992 running on Windows 98. Last month, he got his first internet connection. He has never used a browser, never been to a web page, never had an email address. The only reason he upgraded was his tax program shut down the BBS he use to dial into to get his updates. He was fuming that they were forcing him to use the internet to update now!

Change is good.

Thanks, Fear Itself. You tried but weren’t at all helpful – not your fault and it’s appreciated anyway!

Is the entire navigation pane called the “navigation pane”? Just another sign of Microsoft’s stupid inconsistency. The program seems to imply that the “navigation pane” is just that little area at the botton of the left-side pane where all of the buttons are. I don’t use nancy-boy buttons, and even though I erase every single button there’s still the dang empty area where the buttons are “supposed” to be in Microsoft’s facist world view. That’s what I don’t want to see.

Well, the problem is the folder list disappears completely, which is hardly better than having it shift vertically a few centimeters! Second, the pushbutton area is one of the things I’m trying to make disappear completely! In any case, now that I’ve played with it further, there’s just no way to get the correct, non-moving-target behaviour that one should expect – it’s worse than the moving trashcan in OS X (yeah, there are impefections there, too, but at least Cmd-Delete eliminates the need).

The vast difference is that I’m an early adopter of virtually everything. I’m not afraid of change nor too rigid in my ways. I’m just pissed because as a perfectly capable programmer in my own right, I know that there’s no excuse for this bullshit that’s been foisted upon us. It’s bad marketing people (likely) or lazy programmers (probably not as likely).

:slight_smile: Typically – but arbitrary change just to fill a white paper in order to force my company to cough up another several million dollars for licensing and support is majorly pissing me off. Add to that that I’m coming here to get support rather than getting from Microsoft what my company’s paying for.

Moving on, a few other things that I’ve since discovered:

[li]When I hit F1 for help, instead of the Windows help application opening, my whole dang window slides to the left and a new pane opens for help. I’ve figured out how to undock it, but it’s still not the windows help application, which means learning yet another arbitrary paradigm for the use of Microsoft software.[/li][/ul]

[li]How the fsck do I look at someone else’s Calendar? I used to have a perfectly good icon on the toolbar to do so, and I think it was in the file menu. Now the godforsaken “help” system instructs me: “In Calendar, click Open a Shared Calendar.” Well, that’s not a menu path, and there’s no option for such in the lousy shortcut menus. How the hell am I supposed to know where my boss and his boss are???[/li][/ul]

I use Office:Mac at home, and I actually rather like it. Why the hell does Microsoft sabotage their native platform?

Here’s a link to an article called Configuring the “classic” interface in Outlook 2003. Does this help?

Yes. Here is everything MS is willing to reveal about the Navigation Pane. May or may not answer your questions. (who am I kidding? :wink: )

Dewey Finn and Fear Itself, thank you both. I think I’ve gotten it reasonably tolerable… I still Pit Microsoft though, except for their Office:Mac team (one of whom’s a 'Doper). Now if I could get rid of the task bar icon without enabling XP’s auto-hide unused icons and configuring that whole mess, I’d be relatively happy.

I wonder if someone in IT accounts for 1/2 day lost productivity of all salaried engineers when they calculate the cost to “upgrade” our productivity applications…

And FWIW, I wouldn’t really go back to using WordStar.

If you go here and then click the “Send Questions” link halfway down the page, you should be able to submit comments about the product. The comments get dumped into a database and then fed to the product groups.

If you go to the Outlook discussion groups, you can also post your comments and questions–the newsgroups should be monitored by employees in the product group. I can’t guarantee that you’ll get a reply, but they should note the issues and feed them into the product planning process.

Oh shit, yes! I’ve been meaning to ask about this for a long time. I resigned myself to the newer look, and still hate it. I’m going in to work early tomorrow to set it up. Thanks! :slight_smile: