Outlook 2010 conditional formatting

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kitty27

Member
I've just switched from version 2002 to 2010. In 2002 you could organize emails with colors. I found in 2010 version where that option is but it won't let me add new people to make colors. even in the older version it kept telling me i could not add new rules, i've exceeded the limit. All the people i had colors in prior are still there but the add button isn't an option. What do i have to do to add more people?
 

Cathy Rhone

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2013 32 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server 2010
Are you using a custom view or rules to set colors/categories? If a custom view, how many names per color and how many different colors are you using? There is a limit to the number of names per filter and number of filter rules, but i forget what the limits are.

One solution is to use Categories and apply colors by category.
 

kitty27

Member
I go to the View tab, View settings, Conditional Formatting. I'm trying to organize my inbox with colors. All the people i had in the older version stayed the same and i can edit them but it wont give me option to add new colors/people. When i go in conditional formatting, its reads at top Rules for this view, there is a check box and says Mail received from... and i can pick colors for certain people. I really didn't understand the apply colors by category. dont think that's what i was looking for.
 

kitty27

Member
Are you using a custom view or rules to set colors/categories? If a custom view, how many names per color and how many different colors are you using? There is a limit to the number of names per filter and number of filter rules, but i forget what the limits are.

One solution is to use Categories and apply colors by category.

I go to the View tab, View settings, Conditional Formatting. I'm trying to organize my inbox with colors. All the people i had in the older version stayed the same and i can edit them but it wont give me option to add new colors/people. When i go in conditional formatting, its reads at top Rules for this view, there is a check box and says Mail received from... and i can pick colors for certain people. I really didn't understand the apply colors by category. dont think that's what i was looking for.

 

Cathy Rhone

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2013 32 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server 2010
OK, that's where i though you were. There is a limit to the number of conditional formatting rules you can create and also to the number of conditions. There is a limit to the number of colors you can use so once you hit too many conditional format rules you'll repeat colors.

The category method assumes you assign the same color to several people and instead of applying colors to addresses, (billy, mark, mary or sue are green and john, jack, rebecca, and donna are blue), you would assign the green category to billy, mark, mary and sue and the blue one to john, jack rebeccap and donna. Then create the conditional format rule for all messages with the green category, show in green and one for the blue category in blue.

In this screenshot, i have two colors, blue and green - messages with the blue category use blue conditional formatting while green has green formatting. You can then use Rules to set the categories on message from specific senders so you don't have to assign the categories yourself and unless you use Exchange server, you shouldn't hit the limits for rules as quickly as you do for conditional formatting.

colors.jpg

also, rather than redoing all conditional formatting rules, i'd keep most of the current formatting rules - replacing and merging only what i needed to, to add a new rule. For example, if you have several rules assigning the blue color, switch one to use categories and those addresses plus all new address that should be in blue will be assigned the blue category.
 

kitty27

Member
I go to the View tab, View settings, Conditional Formatting. I'm trying to organize my inbox with colors. All the people i had in the older version stayed the same and i can edit them but it wont give me option to add new colors/people. When i go in conditional formatting, its reads at top Rules for this view, there is a check box and says Mail received from... and i can pick colors for certain people. I really didn't understand the apply colors by category. dont think that's what i was looking for.


do i have to delete all my previous colors to even add a category?
 

Cathy Rhone

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2013 32 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server 2010
You will need to remove one rule so you can set up another, but beyond that, you can keep the existing automatic formatting rules.
 

kitty27

Member
You will need to remove one rule so you can set up another, but beyond that, you can keep the existing automatic formatting rules.

i deleted one rule, the add button is now active but i'm still not sure how to make people in my inbox appear with certain colors? i don't really understand the caterogize option. will it allow me to make people certain colors. the rules seem very confusing and dont' seem to have option for colors.
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
You need to do it in 2 steps - apply categories to messages using rules then use automatic formatting to assign colors to categories.




The rule will be something like mail from sally or mary or john or phil, apply blue category. Then the automatic formatting rule will apply the color blue to the blue category.
 

kitty27

Member
I apologize for not understanding this, i'm pretty quick to learn things but this still got me so confused. Ok so for instance i want to make myself Purple. So in my inbox i set myself to Purple category. But i don't understand how to write the rule to make my name appear in purple.
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
The rule will read - All mail From [your email address] assign purple category. When you create this create, the address book will come up - you can just type the email address in the address field, you don't need to select it from the address book.




Or if you want all mail sent only to you, use all mail To me assign purple category.




Screenshot of the rule:




http://www.slipstick.com/ss/rules.png
 

kitty27

Member
Capture.jpgit seems it keeps asking for more rules, even if i hit finish the color doesn't not apply to the person in my inbox, still shows black. Am i doing this right? Could Outlook have made this easier to use? Is there a chance this will be changed in the future?
 

kitty27

Member
this is picture from my inbox. I have the catergory selected next to the people, wrote the rule. Will it change their names to color selected in the category box?Capture2.PNG
 

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Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Yes, if the category is assigned to a message, and autoformatting rule based on that category will color the text.
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
If you a) have a conditional fomatting rule in the current view that colors mail in the orange category and b) assign the orange category to a message, it should work. You can't just apply the orange category, you need the autoformat rule in a view too.

So in addition to the rule in the screenshot in a post above, you need to

autoformat.png

If I'm misunderstanding the problem - in that the automatic formatting works correctly if you assign the category yourself but rules wizard isn't assigning the category, then its a problem with rules wizard. Begin by testing the rule with on condition - either the To or From address.
 

kitty27

Member
Thanks for all your help Diane, I got it to work a couple times. Unfortunately I have to delete a lot of my rules to create new ones. I just wish they could make it a whole lot easier. Perhaps if they just have you the option when your in someones contact to just change the color there. I'm not a computer programmer but it just seems easy enough. I'll keep playing with it and see how it goes. Thanks!
 

kitty27

Member
I just figured it out. All the rules I had in before the upgrade to 2010 i can just add new people to existing rulesCapture.PNGtom was one of my original rules. so if i just go to his rules and go to advance setting and i can add new people there without having to delete any rules to make new ones. and it will make new people appear in the inbox with the color i selectedCapture2.PNG
 

Forum Admin

Senior Member
that's great - it will definately be easier as long as the rule doesn't have a limit (I think it does, but have no idea how many names total each rule will hold.)
 

kitty27

Member
so far so good. I was able to add about 4-5 people to my existing rules with no errors. some of my old rules were duplicating colors so i am hoping to mayb condense some of those down so i can make new rules. but this was soo much easier and i don't have to use the categories. they really didn't help anyways. it would be nice to maybe have some more colors but for now i will stop complaining. this just makes my inbox so much easier having people in different colors, it just stands out so much more. it took awhile to figure out but i'm not one to be defeated easily. and that paid off. thanks for all the help. it at least got me in the right direction. i hope this can help someone else.
 
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