Use Colors to Identify Specific Messages in Microsoft Outlook 2013

I use Microsoft Outlook 2013 as my email client. One of the things I like about this powerful product is the ability to use “conditional formatting” to help identify emails based on unique criteria, like when they are from my boss. Outlook has supported this for many years but many people don’t know it is possible, or even how to make it work.

  1. In Outlook 2013 , click the View menu.
  2. Click View Settings button in the Current View group. on the toolbar.
  3. In the resulting dialog window, click Conditional Formatting.
  4. You’ll see a number of built-in formats in the Conditional Formatting dialog. Click Add.
  5. Give the new conditional format a descriptive name, like “From Boss”.
  6. Click on the Font button. You can assign other formats, but in this case, we want to color the message – that’s a Font attribute.
  7. From the Color dropdown, choose a color. I use Red to make them easier to see in a busy inbox.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Now that you have the color, you need the condition you want to apply. Click Condition (under Font). A dialog will appear.
  10. In this case, you want to colorize messages from your boss. You could click FROM to access email addresses from your address book.
  11. Click OK three times to return to the Mail window.

If messages in your Inbox match the condition, Outlook will immediately apply your new rule and color the emails appropriately. You can create many conditions, using this process.


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