KC Lemson

By KC Lemson [MS]

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Automatically color items based on their category

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Sorry for the hiatus, I've been OOF sick most of the week. Thus far, my son hasn't come down with my cold yet - I'm crossing my fingers.

Jim asked in a comment on a previous entry if it was possible to color items automatically based on the category.

The answer: heck yeah! Here's how (I'm using Outlook 2003 but I think this should work fine in Outlook 2002 as well):

1. Select the calendar folder
2. View | Arrange By | Current View | Customize Current View
3. Click on Automatic Formatting
4. Click Add
5. Give the rule a name, such as "red"
6. In the "Label" drop down, choose the color (say for example... red?)
7. Click Condition
8. Click the More Choices tab
9. Type the category you want to key off of into the Categories field (I used a really wacky one - I named my category 'red')
10. OK out of all the dialogs
11. Create a new appointment item and type the name of your category into the Categories field at the bottom of the form.

When you save the item, it will automatically be colored as you specified.

Of course you're not limited to automatic coloring only based on category... you could autocolor based on the organizer of a meeting request, the attendees, recurring items, meetings marked as confidential, keywords in the subject...
Comments
  • Thanks! That worked great! I tried to do this with my contacts, changing the color of the font based on the different categories. However, it didn't work there. Do you have any idea why? Jim

  • I'm not sure, it works fine for me (again, I'm using Outlook 2003): 1. Select the contacts folder 2. View | Arrange By | Current View | Customize Current View 3. Click on Automatic Formatting 4. Click Add 5. Give the rule a name, such as "red" 6. Click the Font button and specify a different font color 7. Click Condition 8. Click the More Choices tab 9. Type the category you want to key off of into the Categories field 10. OK out of all the dialogs All of my contacts with the category I typed into step 9 now have a different font color.

  • For another practical example, I have a formatting rule in my Calendar folder to apply a color label (a la KC's first example) to all birthdays and anniversary's, looking for the text Birthday or Anniversary in the subject.

  • Is there any way to do this in outlook 2000?

  • I believe calendar coloring as a feature was first added in Outlook 2002.

  • Okay, it's too bad that I won't be able to do it but thank you for such a quick response! Hopefully our company will do upgrades soon. Have a great day.

  • I have been having problems with this label color feature since Outlook 2002 and I have now upgraded to 2003 with the problem continuing. I have applied the color label to an event on the appointment page but my event labels on the calendar are staying "white". I experimented with the rules and then they changed. I do not want to use rules but I want to apply these color manually thru the appointment form. Can you provide me with any advice as to what may be the problem?

  • I've having the same problem in OL 2002 SP2. I manually set the Label, but the background color in all the calendar views is white. In less than 1% of my events, it will work correctly; the only commonality is that these are changes to a series (with a change to only one occurrence). Thoughts/suggestions?

  • I have a similar problem with Automatic Formatting, it does not work for Categories, but it does work for Flag Status. I am running Outlook 2003 SP3. Any advice would be welcome.

  • I've found the answer after spending a few hours Googling - the fields (columns) that are used in the Automatic Formatting cannot be displayed. I was displaying the Categories field. Hope this helps to save someone else those hours.

  • This question was driving me nuts! I actually did it once & could not figure it out agian! I'm so glad I finally googled it Thanks!!