Tech Tip Tuesday: Color Code Messages in Outlook

by Kristie Burk

I hope that you enjoyed last week’s April Fool’s article!

After returning from spring break, you may find that you have a large amount of email in your inbox. Today’s tech tip will help you organize your incoming mail to make important messages easier to find.

Outlook will let you color code your messages.  For example, messages to me from my supervisor (Dr. Mussoline) appear in red so that I can find them more quickly. Subscription messages that arrive from blogs or other websites appear in green so that I know they’re less important.

To color code your own messages, do the following steps:

1. Go into the Outlook client and click on view and then view settings.

2.  Click on conditional formatting.

3.  Click add.

4.  Give your “rule” a name.  For example, you can call the rule “My boss” or “Subscriptions” or whatever you’d like.

5. Click on font to change the color, font, size or style. Make the changes and then click ok.

6.  Click on conditions to establish the rule.  For example:

  • Write any keywords in the search for the word(s) field.
  • Type a name in the from field to change the color/font on any messages from a particular person.
  • Click where I am and then select some options.  You can choose to change any messages to blue, for example, for any email on which you are on the cc line.

7. Click OK three times until you return to your inbox.

Did you find this tip helpful? Let us know at


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