Change the appearance of tasks

You can customize the Tasks view to meet your needs. For example, you can specify the order in which your tasks appear, or you can choose not to display your completed tasks.

What do you want to do?


Change the display order of tasks

Do one of the following:

  • Sort all tasks in the task list    
    1. In Tasks, on the View menu, point to Current View, and then click Customize Current View.
    2. Click Sort.
    3. In the Sort items by box, click a field by which you want to sort. If the field that you want is not in the Sort items by box, click a different field set in the Select available fields from box.

(If the field that you want to sort by is the same as the field by which items are grouped, Microsoft Outlook sorts the group headings instead of the items within each group. To sort the individual items in a group, click a field in the Sort items by box that is different from the Group By field that is specified.

  1. Select Ascending or Descending for the sort order.
  2. To sort by an additional field, click a field in the Then by box.

 Tip   If you are in a table view type, 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 menu, point to Current View, and then click Customize Current View.
  2. Click Sort, 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. Use the red line to position the task.
  5. To save this order as the default, on the Actions menu, click Save Task Order.
  • 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.

To-Do Bar appointment section screenshot

  1. Release the mouse button when the pointer reaches your choice of the destination for the task.
  • 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.

Daily Task List

  1. Release the mouse button when the pointer reaches your choice of the destination for the task.
  • Prioritize your tasks    

If you want to sort your tasks in priority order, first you need to specify a priority level for each task. By default, tasks have a Normal priority level; however, you can change this level to Low or High.

  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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Turn the calendar on or off in the To-Do Bar

  • On the View menu, point to To-Do Bar, and then click Date Navigator.

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Reposition or turn the Reading Pane on or off

New in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 is the ability to view the Reading Pane in Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Notes, and Journal. By default, in the Navigation Pane, when you open the To-Do Bar Task List, the Reading Pane appears at the bottom of the window. You can also turn on the Reading Pane when you are in the task list in Tasks view.

To turn on or off, or to change the position of the Reading Pane in any view, do the following:

  1. On the View menu, point to Reading Pane.
  2. Click Right, Bottom, or Off.

 Note   When you click an item in the To-Do Bar or in Calendar in the Daily Task List, the item is not displayed in the Reading Pane.

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Show or don't show the 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, in the Navigation Pane, under Current View, click Active Tasks or Overdue Tasks 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.

To-Do Bar Task list

  1. Click Custom.
  2. In the Customize View: To-Do Task List dialog box, click Filter.
  3. Click the Advanced tab.
  4. Click Clear All.
  5. 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. In the To-Do Bar, right-click Arranged By.

Arranged By option in To-Do Bar

  1. Click Custom.
  2. In the Customize View: To-Do Task List dialog box, click Filter.
  3. Click the Advanced tab.
  4. Click Field, point to All Task fields, and then click Date Completed.
  5. In the Condition list, click does not exist, and then click Add to List.
  6. Click Field, point to All Task fields, and then click Date Completed.
  7. In the Condition list, click on or after.
  8. In the Value text box, type today, and then click Add to List.
  9. Click Field, point to All Mail fields, and then click Flag Completed Date.
  10. In the Condition list, click does not exist, and then click Add to List.
  11. Click Field, point to All Mail fields, and then click Flag Completed Date.
  12. In the Condition list, click on or after.
  13. In the Value text box, type today, and then click Add to List.

Filter dialog box

  1. 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

Do any of the following:

  • Change the color of items in the task list in Tasks view     
    1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
    2. Click Task Options.
    3. Click a color in the Overdue task color box.
  • Change the color of items in the To-Do Bar    
  1. In the To-Do Bar, right-click Arranged By, and then click Custom.
  2. Click Automatic Formatting, and then under Rules for this view, select the Overdue tasks check box.

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

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Change the color of a completed task

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. Click Task Options.
  3. Click a color in the Completed task color box.

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Rename a task

  1. Click any task in the task list in Tasks view, in the To-Do Bar, or in Calendar in the Daily Task List.
  2. Press F2.

 Tip   Instead of pressing F2, you can pause after step 1 and then click again. It is important to pause, because two rapid clicks are considered a double-click that will open the item.

  1. Enter the new name for the task, and then press ENTER.

 Note   In the To-Do Bar, you can click and begin typing to rename the item.

Link to a contact

  1. Open the task.
  2. At the bottom of the task window, click Contacts.

ShowThe Contacts button is missing

If you do not see the Conacts button, do the following:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Preferences tab, under Contacts and Notes, click Contact Options.
  3. On the Contact Options dialog box, under Contact Linking, select the Show Contact Linking on all Forms check box.
  1. In the Select Contacts dialog box, under Items, select the contact that you want to link to this task.

To select multiple contacts, click one contact, hold down CTRL, and then click each additional contact.

To view linked items from a contact, open the contact, and on the Contact tab, in the Show group, click Activities. To view a specific item type, in the Show list, click the item type.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2007