Instead of using email rules to move message, you can leave the messages in your Inbox and use Automatic Formatting rules in a custom view to highlight messages or filters to hide messages.
In Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013, Automatic Formatting is renamed Conditional Formatting. The dialog is identical, only the name is changed.
This tutorial shows you how to highlight and show only messages from specific senders but you can use any criteria in the filter dialog.
In this example, I’m highlighting messages from a sender in Red then creating a copy of the view so I can show only the messages from that sender.
Step 1: Create a Automatic (Conditional) formatting rule.
- Open the Customize view dialog. In Outlook 2010/2013, look for the View Settings button on the View tab. In all versions, right click on the row of field name (or Arrange By) at the top of the message list and choose Customize (or View Settings).
- Click Conditional Formatting button (Automatic Formatting in older versions.)
- Click Add and enter a name for the formatting rule; choose your Font.
- Click Condition
- Select your conditions. If you want to filter by email address, not display name, type the address or part of the address in the From field on the Messages tab. Do not use the From field on the Advanced tab.
- Close the dialogs and apply the view when finished.
Step 2: Copy the view to create a back up.
You can simply copy the view to back it up. If the original view gets messed up, copy the copy and apply it to the folders.
You can also create a copy and add additional filters to it.
Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
Outlook 2007 – earlier
Click on Arrange By to expand the menu and select Custom… then Automatic Formatting button.
Remove or Reset Custom views
If you decide you don’t like the custom views, you can delete or reset them several ways. Or to restore all of Outlook’s views to the default settings, use the /cleanviews switch.
For instructions, see How to Reset the View in Microsoft Outlook
The Automatic Formatting filter dialog uses the same filter dialog as Search folders, Advanced find and Views.
When you are applying filters to domains, use the From field on the first tab for the address or partial address. The From field on the Advanced tab is used for display names.