Windows Live Mail Tutorial

Show or hide the ribbon in Windows Live Mail


Instead of menus, Windows Live Mail uses the "ribbon" like applications in Microsoft Office 2007 and later, with all commands separated into tabs, making them -arguably- easier to find. Whether you want to save space, or customize the interface to something that looks more like classic menus, there are four ways to show or hide the ribbon, while keeping all functionality just a click away. Here's a screenshot of the default ribbon: New ribbon in Windows Live Mail 2011 / 2012

Four ways to expand or collapse the ribbon

All approaches get the same result: pick the one you prefer, or remember more easily!

1 Click on the dropdown arrow at the top, called the "Customize Quick Access Toolbar" button: check or uncheck the "Minimize the Ribbon" command at the bottom: Customize the Quick Access Toolbar in Windows Live Mail

2 Alternate method: double-click on any of the tabs in the ribbon, and it will minimize or restore the ribbon (do it really fast, or it won't register!) Double-click on the tabs to expand or collapse the ribbon

3 Yet another method is to right-click anywhere on the ribbon (or on its tabs, when it is collapsed), and choose "Minimize the Ribbon" from the context menu: Toggle the ribbon's visibility through the context menu

4 Finally, you can use the Ctrl+F1 keyboard shortcut: while keeping held down the control key (Ctrl), press F1. This hotkey also works in all programs in the Microsoft Office suite for Windows - versions 2007, 2010, and 2013.

Here's a screenshot of the main Windows Live Mail window with the ribbon minimized: Ribbon hidden in Windows Live Mail

Accessing commands when the ribbon is hidden

As visible from the screenshot above, moving your mouse pointer (cursor) above any of the tabs' labels gives you visual feedback: click on the tab, and its command temporarily dropdown as a floating ribbon. Once you click on a command, it will automatically revert to its minimized state (or click anywhere else in the window to hide it back!) You can also quickly pull down a tab's commands with one of five keyboard shortcuts: Keyboard shortcuts for Windows Live Mail ribbon tabs Alt+F for the "Windows Live Mail" menu.
Alt+H for the "Home" tab.
Alt+O for the "Folders" tab.
Alt+V for the "View" tab.
Alt+S for the "Accounts" tab.

Tip: to show back the ribbon, use any of the four techniques explained earlier.
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