Change the appearance of tasks

In Microsoft Outlook 2010, you can specify how tasks are sorted, whether completed tasks appear, or choose colors to represent overdue or completed tasks.

What do you want to do?


Change the display order of tasks

Sort all tasks in the task list

  1. In Tasks, on the View tab, in the Current View group, click View Settings.

View Settings command on the ribbon

  1. Click Sort.
  2. In the Sort items by list, click a field name.

 Note    If the field that you want is not in the Sort items by list, click a different field set in the Select available fields from list.

  1. To specify the sort order, click Ascending or Descending.
  2. To sort by an additional field, click a field name in the Then by list.

 Tip    If you are in a table view type, such as List view or Phone view, you can click a column heading to sort by that column.

Move individual tasks up or down in the task list

  1. In Tasks, on the View tab, in the Current View group, click View Settings.

View Settings command on the ribbon

  1. Click Sort.
  2. Click Clear All, and then click OK.
  3. Click Group By, click Clear All, and then click OK twice.
  4. Drag a task up or down in the task list. As you drag the task, a red line with arrows indicates where the task will be placed when you release the mouse button.

Move individual tasks up or down in the To-Do Bar task list

  1. Select an item in the To-Do Bar task list.
  2. Click and drag the item to the position that you want.

As you drag the task, a red line with arrows indicates where the task will be placed when you release the mouse button.

Daily Task List

Move individual tasks up or down in the Daily Task List

  1. In Calendar, in the Day or Week view, select an item in the Daily Task List.
  2. Click and drag the item to the position that you want.

As you drag the task, a red line with arrows indicates where the task will be placed when you release the mouse button.

Prioritize your tasks

If you want to sort your tasks by priority order, you must first specify a priority level for each task. By default, tasks are set to the Normal priority level.

  1. Open the task for which you want to change the priority level.
  2. In the Priority box, click a priority level.

After you assign the priority levels, return to the task list, and then sort it by priority by using the Sort all tasks in the task list procedure in this topic.

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Change the number of tasks displayed

You can change the number of tasks you see in the To-Do Bar and the Daily Task List by making more or less room for them.

In the To-Do Bar

Do either of the following:

  • On the View tab, in the Layout group, click To-Do Bar, and then click Date Navigator, Appointments or Quick Contacts to clear the check mark indicating the feature is on. This removes the feature from the To-Do Bar. To turn the feature back on, click to restore the check mark.
  • Point to the bar between the Appointments section and Task List. When the pointer becomes a Horizontal size handle icon, drag it up or down to increase or reduce the size of the sections.

When you release the mouse button, the number of tasks shown will increase or decrease to fill the available space. You can do the same with the bar between Tasks and Quick Contacts.

In the Daily Task List

  • Point to the bar between the calendar and the Daily Task List. When the pointer changes, drag it up or down to increase or reduce the size of the Daily Task List. The number of tasks shown will increase or decrease to fill the available space.

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Show or don't show completed tasks

By default, when you mark an item as complete, it remains on your task list with a strikethrough line. The exception is the To-Do Bar, where by default, completed tasks are not shown. You can choose whether to display your completed tasks in various views.

Task list in Tasks

  • In Tasks, on the Home tab, in the Current View group, click Active, Today, Next 7 days, or Overdue to exclude tasks that are marked as complete.

All other selections include items that are marked as complete.

Task list in the To-Do Bar

To show completed tasks in the To-Do Bar, do the following:

  1. Right-click Arranged By and then click View Settings.

To-Do Bar Task list

  1. In the Advanced View Settings: To-Do List dialog box, click Filter.
  2. Click Clear All.
  3. Click OK twice.

If you changed the advanced filter in the To-Do Bar to show completed tasks, and now you want to return to the default view of showing only the active tasks, do the following:

  1. Right-click Arranged By, and then click View Settings.
  2. In the Advanced View Settings: To-Do List dialog box, click Filter.
  3. On the Advanced tab, click Field, point to All Task fields, and then click Complete.
  4. In the Condition list, click Equals, and in the Value list click No, and then click Add to List.
  5. Click OK twice.

Daily Task List

  1. In Calendar, in the Daily Task List, right-click Show tasks on.
  2. Clear or select the Show Completed Tasks check box.

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Change the color of an overdue task

  • In the task list in Tasks view     
    1. Click the File tab.
    2. Click Options.
    3. Click Tasks.
    4. Under Task options, click to open the Overdue task color list, and then click the color that you want.
  • In the To-Do Bar    
  1. Right-click Arranged By, and then click View Settings.
  2. Click Conditional Formatting, and then under Rules for this view, click Overdue tasks. Do not clear the check box, or overdue tasks will not appear in the To-Do Bar.
  3. Click Font and then under Color, click the arrow to open the list and then click the color that you want.

 Note    In Calendar, in the Daily Task List, the color of overdue items cannot be changed.

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Change the color of a completed task

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Click Tasks.
  4. Under Task options, click to open the Completed task color list, and then click the color that you want.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2010