Where is the Organizer?

Last reviewed on June 8, 2013   —  14 comments

Previous versions of Outlook each offered an Organize pane which allowed users to quickly apply colors to messages from specific users.

This is Outlook 2007's Organize pane:

Organizer pane

The Organize pane was removed from Outlook 2010. Instead, users will need to create Conditional formatting rules in the view. While this is more work, especially for simple rules, I believe it will reduce confusion – many users had no idea that Organizer created Automatic formatting rules in the current view. When they changed views or moved items to other folders, the coloring was lost and they had no idea why. (Using the /Cleanviews switch will erase all custom views, including those created using Organize or Conditional formatting. )

Note: Automatic formatting was renamed Conditional formatting in Outlook 2010 to better reflect what the feature does.

Video Tutorial


Create Conditional Formatting Rules in a View

To create Conditional formatting rules, you need to open the Advanced View Settings dialog. There are several ways to get to this dialog in Outlook 2010, the easiest is to switch to the View tab, then click the View settings button.

Advanced View Settings

Now click the Conditional Formatting button, then click Add to create your formatting rules.

Conditional formatting rules

Conditional Formatting Tips

To format all messages from a domain, add the domain name to the From field on the General tab. When you use the From field on the Advanced tab, Outlook looks at the Display name field, not the email address field.

Create a conditional rule for all messages from a domain

Rules are tied together using the AND operator. A single rules From Mary OR To Mark is not possible unless you enable the QueryBuilder.

More Information

Using the QueryBuilder

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlookforums.

14 responses to “Where is the Organizer?”

  1. Tia

    All I would like to do is color code the names of incoming emails, for example all the emails from my teammates are in red, the ones from my principal are in purple, etc. How do i do that ?

  2. MIchelle

    WHy doesn't microsoft just reinstate the organizer?????????

  3. Keith

    I wanted to know who is the "organiser" of appointments taht mysteriously appear in my outlook calendar. As usual, help is useless unless you know the jargon the programmer is talking in.
    All I want to be able to do today is stop people putting items in my calendar without talking to me about them.

  4. Donna Gregory

    Thank you Diane! Your video was great! Task accomplished! :)

  5. Michele Swidowski

    Will the color coding of the email name change for previous emails or just after the conditional formatting is set.

  6. Joan Tedeschi

    WOW...what a pain just to color code an individual name. 2007 was soooo easy.

  7. Ashraf Khundukji

    great tip and guide .. thanks

  8. Jeanne Peacock

    I'm trying to color code some emails and trying to follow the instructions but when I get to Conditional Formatting it’s greyed out I can’t click on it. What can I do, not sure why it’s like that.

  9. Jeffrey Friedman

    Very helpful solution BUT when I tried to add a new Conditioning Format the "Add" Button in Outlook 2010 was greyed out. Could this be because I had maxed out the number of colors applied when I was using the same mail box via Outlook 2007?

    How can I reactivate the Add button so that I can apply color via rules in Outlook 2010?

    Is there a limit in 2010 to the number of conditional formats you can have?

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