I get quite a few complaints from people who say their fonts are tiny (or huge) or the font used for the reply shrinks yet Microsoft Outlook shows they are using a normal size font (such as 10 or 12 pt). Outlook users with high resolutions screens may have a problem reading incoming emails.
This is caused by the Zoom setting.
Zoom Is On When Reading Mail
When your incoming email is zoomed, the easiest fix is to hold Ctrl as you roll the mouse wheel (this is the likely cause for many people).
Keyboarders can use the Ctrl and plus (+) or minus (-) keys to change the zoom level in increments or Ctrl and the zero (0) key to go to 100%.
You can also click the Zoom button in the ribbon and set it back to 100%.
Outlook 2010, 2013, and 2016 have a zoom slider in the main Outlook window status bar (on the right side). Use this slider to adjust the zoom in the reading pane.
If you prefer, you can click on the zoom % (100% in the screenshot) to open the zoom dialog.
Note that changing the zoom setting is not persistent for reading messages. To make the zoom level persistent, you need to use an add-in or a macro. A list of zoom tools is in the Tools Section and a macro is at the end.
When Composing Message, Zoom Is Always On
Many times, when you make the change to a message you are composing and send it, the next message you compose reverts to the goofy zoom setting. This is because making changes to a message then sending the message applies the changes to that message only. If you make the changes then close the message, it should apply the changes to all future messages.
When zoom is stuck on a value (usually a tiny font), you can reset it by changing the zoom level then closing, but not sending, the message. If you change the zoom level then send, the change applies only to the message you changed, not to future messages.
In Outlook 2010 and 2013, the Zoom button is on the Message tab when composing (or reading) a message.
- Open a new message
- Click the Zoom button on the ribbon
- Change the zoom to the desired level
- Close the message.
- Click new message (or reply) and the zoom should be the desired level.
The Zoom Email Windows tool for Outlook automatically zooms all Outlook reading pane windows. It zooms every Outlook window to your specified zoom factor. It's perfect for being able to instantly and clearly see the email and other Outlook windows. Enter code WD9BHK53 during checkout.
ZoomIn can save your preferred Outlook email zoom setting.
Set The Zoom Level Using VBA
While the zoom level is persistent when you change it in the compose mail window, it's not persistent when you change it for incoming messages.
You can use VBA to force the zoom level when you read incoming email in Outlook 2007 or newer, or when using Outlook 2003 with Word set as the email editor. Don't forget to set the desired zoom level in this line:
wdDoc.Windows(1).Panes(1).View.Zoom.Percentage = 150
To use the macro:
- Set your macro security to Low.
- Open the VB editor using Alt+F11
- Expand Project1 to show ThisOutlookSession
- Paste the macro in ThisOutlooksession
- Set a reference to Microsoft Word in Tools, References
- Click in the Application_Startup macro and press the Run button to kick start it without restarting Outlook.
Option Explicit Dim WithEvents objInspectors As Outlook.Inspectors Dim WithEvents objOpenInspector As Outlook.Inspector Dim WithEvents objMailItem As Outlook.MailItem Private Sub Application_Startup() Set objInspectors = Application.Inspectors End Sub Private Sub Application_Quit() Set objOpenInspector = Nothing Set objInspectors = Nothing Set objMailItem = Nothing End Sub Private Sub objInspectors_NewInspector(ByVal Inspector As Inspector) If Inspector.CurrentItem.Class = olMail Then Set objMailItem = Inspector.CurrentItem Set objOpenInspector = Inspector End If End Sub Private Sub objOpenInspector_Close() Set objMailItem = Nothing End Sub Private Sub objOpenInspector_Activate() Dim wdDoc As Word.Document Set wdDoc = objOpenInspector.WordEditor wdDoc.Windows(1).Panes(1).View.Zoom.Percentage = 150 End Sub
How to use the macro
First: You will need macro security set to low during testing.
To check your macro security in Outlook 2010 or 2013, go to File, Options, Trust Center and open Trust Center Settings, and change the Macro Settings. In Outlook 2007 and older, it’s at Tools, Macro Security. If Outlook tells you it needs to be restarted, close and reopen Outlook. Note: after you test the macro and see that it works, you can either leave macro security set to low or sign the macro.
Now open the VBA Editor by pressing Alt+F11 on your keyboard.
To use the macro code in ThisOutlookSession:
- Expand Project1 and double click on ThisOutlookSession.
- Copy then paste the macro into ThisOutlookSession. (Click within the code, Select All using Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C to copy, Ctrl+V to paste.)
Application_Startup macros run when Outlook starts. If you are using an Application_Startup macro you can test the macro without restarting Outlook by clicking in the first line of the Application_Startup macro then clicking the Run button on the toolbar or pressing F8.
More information as well as screenshots are at How to use the VBA Editor.
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