Color-Code Contacts by Category: MS Outlook

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Outlook provides a new feature in versions 2000 and forward that allows you to color-code items that meet certain criteria. Using this feature you can identify a set of items without having to group or sort them. In fact, Outlook does it all for you!

First you have to assign a common Category code to each contact you wish to assign to a color group, and then you can apply a color to that category group.

To assign categories to your contacts:

  1. Launch MS Outlook.
  2. In the Contacts folder on the Tools menu, click Organize.
  3. In the Organizer, click Using Views, and then click to select by Category. The (none) group contains those contacts to which you have not assigned a category.
  4. While still in the Organizer, click Using Categories.
  5. In "Add contacts selected below to," click to select the category you want to add the Contacts to.
  6. Hold down the CTRL key and click to select each contact that you wish to add to the category.
  7. After selecting all Contacts you wish to add to the category, click Add. This adds the category code to each selected contact. Repeat steps 4 through 6 for each category group you wish to define.

To apply color-coding to your category groups:

  1. In the Organizer, click Using Views, and then click to select the view you wish to see your Contacts in. Note that you can only see the color-coding you are about to apply in this selected view. If you want color-coding in other views, you must set them up separately using these procedures.
  2. Click on "Customize current view," and then click Automatic Formatting.
  3. Click Add, and then type a name for the new rule. In this case, it may be beneficial to name it after the Category you assign the color to.
  4. Click Font, select the desired color, and then click OK.
  5. Click Condition, and then on the More Choices tab, click Categories.
  6. In the Available Categories list, click to select the category being color-coded, and then click OK to close all dialog boxes.

This will apply the selected color to Contacts with the selected Category code. Repeat steps 2 through 6 for each color group you wish to define.

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