Searching using tags and search folders in Outlook web access
February 6, 2008 8:00 AM   Subscribe

How best to use search folders with categories to search through Gmail-style tags, in Outlook?

For various reasons, I'm attempting to implement some form of "tagging" using Outlook 2003.

There are plenty of guides on the web for people who've tried to do this. They all involve creating categories as the tags, and search folders to find them. This I have done, and so far, so good.


Let's say I have a "projects" tag (category), and then multiple separate tags per project. So I may want a search folder to contain all emails for "Projects AND ProjectOne". Unfortunately, search folders do "Projects OR ProjectOne", thus returning any emails tagged with Projects, ProjectOne, ProjectTwo, ProjectThree etc. Not so good. I need a separate folder for each of ProjectOne, ProjectTwo, etc.

I could get around this by disposing of the "Project" tag, but I'd prefer to keep it.

There is a way around this in the desktop client, using views. Here's the recipe: select the search folder, then select from the menu: View | Arrange by | Custom... In the dialog, select "Filter", then select the "More choices" tab, then click the "Categories" tab. Select multiple categories, click OK, then select the SQL tab. Select the checkmark so you can edit it, then change any ORs to ANDs.

Hey presto! Fixed. The search folder for "Project AND ProjectOne" now contains only those emails, and none from the other projects.

However (again).

This doesn't appear to work in web access. The search folders are visible, no problem. But the view settings are gone. The folder reverts to ORing not ANDing the tags.

So the question is: can I get "tag1 AND tag2" (not "tag1 OR tag2") working in search folders, in web access as well as in the desktop client?

A few pre-emptive notes:

Yes, I really want to do this.
Yes, it has to work in web access too.
No, I can't install any fancy software like taglocity. It has to be a "native" Outlook solution. I'm running windows XP and I'm not interested in the Windows desktop search thingy.

Muchos gracias for any suggestions. If I work it out, I'll post the answer here.
posted by ajp to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
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posted by 4ster at 8:19 AM on February 6, 2008

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posted by 4ster at 8:20 AM on February 6, 2008

Response by poster: Um, thanks, but as I said: I can't install any fancy software... It has to be a "native" Outlook solution.
posted by ajp at 8:26 AM on February 6, 2008

Response by poster: Incidentally, for the curious, I followed the instuctions here:

Microsoft's knowledge base seems to suggest that this should work in OWA:

XWEB: Cannot Access Custom Views Created with Outlook in OWA

But it doesn't seem to work - not for me anyway!
posted by ajp at 9:10 AM on February 6, 2008

Response by poster: And I'm using the "premium" version of OWA, i.e. in IE :-)
posted by ajp at 9:13 AM on February 6, 2008

My apologies. I missed that you can't install.
posted by 4ster at 5:30 PM on February 6, 2008

Which verion of OWA are you using - 2003 or 2007? OWA 2007 no longer reads custom views from the Exchange store. I think the only way to accomplish what you want to do is to keep the Projects tag but not rely on it for search folder criteria.
posted by blindcarboncopy at 10:28 PM on February 6, 2008

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