How to color-code appointments in Outlook Calendar

Discovering vital appointments is a bit simpler when you’ll be able to scan for a selected colour reasonably than textual content in Microsoft Outlook Calendar. By no means miss an appointment once more.


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A number of variations of Microsoft Outlook in the past, you may use colour to establish appointments by shortly making use of a class. Outlook not helps this characteristic, though, with just a little roughhousing, you’ll be able to nonetheless get to them. As a result of they are not supported and since you do have to leap via hoops to retrieve them, I do not advocate their use any longer. I count on them to vanish with each improve, and if they do not fully disappear, they could cease working as anticipated, and also you won’t even understand it.

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You possibly can, nonetheless, nonetheless use conditional formatting to paint code appointments. The excellent news is, as soon as the formatting rule is in place, you will not should do something. Outlook will apply the colour routinely. On this article, I will present you learn how to use this characteristic in Microsoft 365’s desktop model of Outlook. You should utilize conditional codecs with different Outlook gadgets, corresponding to electronic mail messages. The method is similar, however you want to be within the applicable window.

I am utilizing Microsoft 365 desktop on a Home windows 10 64-bit system, however you should utilize earlier variations. There is no demonstration file; you will not want one. This characteristic is not supported in Outlook On-line.

Make a plan on your Outlook Calendar colour codes

Earlier than you begin creating guidelines to color-code your appointments, spend a couple of minutes deciding which colours you need to apply and to what sorts of appointments. I can not give a precise rule of thumb as a result of everybody works in a different way. As an illustration, you may colour code appointments by subject material or venture titles. Otherwise you may colour code by whether or not it is necessary or non-compulsory. There are all types of causes you may want a selected appointment to face out.

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The kind of appointment that you just select to color-code ought to have a constant property or content material for the rule to search out. For that purpose, you do must assume all of it out only a bit earlier than diving proper in. We’ll color-code appointments by a set off phrase within the topic textual content, “Restructure Committee.” If somebody sends a message to the group however makes use of a special topic, the situation will not be met. That is why this wants a little bit of up-front planning.

Earlier than we are able to do something although, we want an appointment.

Find out how to add an appointment in Outlook Calendar

Earlier than we add the conditional formatting rule, let’s create an appointment for the restructure committee, as follows:

  1. Double-click Sept. 7, 2021, a Tuesday in your calendar (I am utilizing the Month view; I simply discover it simpler when creating appointments since you get an even bigger image of every little thing that is happening.) Doing so creates an Occasion merchandise. Alternatively, you’ll be able to click on New Appointment and create it from scratch, however for now, use the double-click.
  2. Within the ensuing dialog, enter the title Restructure Committee. When making use of to your personal work, the title must be descriptive and significant so it is simple to search out and keep.
  3. Uncheck the All Day possibility so the beginning and finish instances can be found.
  4. Set the time for 9:00 AM via 12:00 PM, as proven in Determine A.
  5. Click on Save & Near return to the Calendar window.

Determine A


  Create a brand new appointment (occasion).

Technically, you do not have to have an appointment that meets the situation earlier than creating the conditional formatting rule, however the characteristic does work with current appointments.

Find out how to apply the conditional format in Outlook Calendar

With or with out an appointment, making use of a conditional format is straightforward, and Outlook applies the code routinely. You want a situation, which on this case is the topic textual content, “Restructure Committee.” As well as, you want to choose a colour; we’ll use pink.

Let’s get began:

  1. Open the Calendar window and click on the View tab. Then, select View Settings within the Present View group. Within the ensuing dialog, click on Conditional Formatting.
  2. Click on Add to create a brand new rule, and enter a reputation for it, corresponding to Shade Restructure Appt.
  3. Select the colour pink (Determine B).
  4. Click on Situation within the bottom-left of the dialog. That is the place issues can get a bit complicated.
  5. Click on the Appointments and Conferences tab (if crucial, it is the default).
  6. Enter Restructure Committee within the Seek for the Phrases management (Determine C). Do not uncheck the In Topic Subject Solely (default) setting since you need to search for this phrase within the message’s topic. This dialog deserves some exploration later due to its many choices. You will need to find out about all of them.
  7. Click on OK 3 times to return to the Calendar window.

Determine B


  Identify the rule and select a colour.

Determine C


  Specify the situation.

Browse to the appointment for Sept. 7. You will discover the prevailing appointment color-coded in pink as proven in Determine D.

Determine D


  The formatting rule provides pink to the appointment for the restructure committee.

The situation set in step 6 might be totally different. As an illustration, you may select to search for solely the phrase restructure. Otherwise you may click on the Superior tab and add extra phrases apart from restructure, however omitting committee—when specifying a number of phrases, committee may get a number of hits that do not apply to the restructure committee. This instance is easy and would not provide any attainable snags, however issues can get extra complicated when wanted.  

Find out how to make a gathering recurring in Outlook Calendar

The formatting rule will work on current and all new appointment gadgets that match the situation. Use the directions above to create a brand new appointment if you wish to see that at work. Should you choose to make the assembly recurring, the rule will even color-code these, after the actual fact. Open the appointment and click on Recurrence within the Choices group (on the Occasion tab). Outlook will choose the Weekly and Tuesday choices for you, as proven in Determine E.  Once you return to the calendar, you will note an appointment for each Tuesday, in pink.

Determine E


  The rule even handles recurring appointments. 

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