Shared Outlook Categories firmwide = possible?
March 27, 2008 3:03 PM   Subscribe

Is there a way to share Outlook Categories / Master Category list across all users on an Exchange server?

Company has several thousand Contacts in a shared Public folder (separate from each user's own default/personal Contacts) = "Company Contacts" on its Exchange server (using Outlook 2003 at their desks, Exchange/Server 2003 at the server).

There are several dozen Categories applied to these Contacts (which branch handles them, what type of services they provide, who manages the account, etc.).

As it is now, that list of Categories has to be re-built for each new user/workstation MANUALLY, as the Categories in Outlook seem to bind to the individual Outlook account.

To deal with this, we have simply centralized the addition & categorizaion of new Contacts to a few individuals in the firm, and maintained their Categories lists accordingly. Easy enough.

But there's a move on to spread that responsibility out to everyone - so everyone will need that list of categories so that they can properly categorize Contacts they add to that shared list.

Is there a way to share/deploy a Master Categories list firmwide, at one go? I really don't want to have to manually enter those Categories for each and every user profile.

Seems like there must be a way - everyone is using the same Exchange server, same version of Outlook 2003, etc - but I'm coming up empty.
posted by bartleby to Computers & Internet (2 answers total)
The Master Categories list is stored in the registry. The way I did it years ago is by storing a .reg file on a file share and then having each user's logon script auto-import the file.

Better solutions have probably come about since 2002.
posted by qvtqht at 4:09 PM on March 27, 2008

Actually, qvtqht's method is still appropriate for versions of Outlook below 2007.

Outlook 2007 no longer stores the categories in the registry and there is no master category list - it's all "color categories" and whatnot now The categories are part of the mailbox store. You can have a public contact folder on the Exchange server, set up your categories there, and when people use those contacts the categories follow along.
posted by disclaimer at 4:36 PM on March 27, 2008

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