How-To Geek

Make’s Reading Pane More Like Outlook

One of the biggest irritations of using the built-in Mail application on OS X is the antiquated reading pane that shows up below the message list, especially since most modern email clients let you move the reading pane to the right to take advantage of our widescreen monitors.

There’s a small plugin for Apple’s that changes the interface so the reading pane is on the right instead of below. All you have to do is install it, that’s it.

After installation, your reading pane will move over to the right:


If you want to go back to the way it was, run the installer again and choose to uninstall.

For Tiger:

Download Letterbox plugin for

For Leopard:

Download WideMail from

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/29/07

Comments (5)

  1. Richard

    Antiquated is in the eye of the beholder. I think that having the reading pane on the side looks awful, it pane belongs below. This is one of the few times that I think that Jobs and Apple are right.

  2. The Geek

    I’ve just gotten really used to Outlook 2007 now… so it feels much better on the right.

    Of course, Outlook does a better job of compressing the message list when it’s smaller because it switches to two lines instead of just one. I’m not sure if thunderbird does the same, but I know Pocomail does, which is what I use for my personal email on my Vista box.

    In the end it’s all about perceptions, you are correct… I’m coming from a background in Windows so it just feels better to me that way.

  3. Scott Hungarter

    actually, i’d love to know how to make the reading pane look more like OFF. i HATE it altogether! and i cannot find out how to turn it off in apple mail 3.2. please help!

  4. Rebecca

    THANK YOU!!!!

  5. Nayan

    I didnt find the download link for Snow Leopard OS 10.6

    Can u pls update me on the same.

    Thanking you in advance,


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