How categories and calendar labels from earlier versions are updated for Office Outlook 2007

In Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, categories have colors associated with them and are renamed accordingly as color categories (color category: A keyword or phrase with an associated color that helps you keep track of items, such as messages, contacts, and appointments. You can use color categories to easily find, sort, filter, or group items.). By associating colors with categorized items and placing the colors prominently in open items, such as contacts, and in table (table: A view type that displays a list of items (rows) and their attributes (columns). Use this view to display details about items. Table is the default view type for Inbox and Tasks.) views, such as your Inbox, you can easily identify and track categorized items.

When you upgrade to Office Outlook 2007 from an earlier version of Outlook, your categories and categorized items are still available. Calendar labels are replaced with color categories.

In this article


What happens to my existing categories after I upgrade to Office Outlook 2007?

  • Categories from earlier versions of Outlook still work the same way. For example, you can still group and search among categorized items. In Office Outlook 2007, the Categories column is more visible, and you can easily sort categorized items.
  • Calendar labels from earlier versions are replaced by color categories in Office Outlook 2007. The color categories provide the same functions as calendar labels. The calendar items that are associated with the calendar labels get the same color or the closest color match in Office Outlook 2007.
  • The new Categorize menu Button image in Office Outlook 2007 displays six new default color categories, which are named for their colors, such as Red Category. The menu also displays the categories that are assigned to contacts and notes, or calendar labels assigned in earlier Outlook versions. The menu displays up to 15 color categories at a time. To see the complete list of available color categories, which includes the new default color categories, all your previous categories, and the previous calendar labels (now replaced with color categories), click All Categories on the menu.
  • As a precaution against unintentionally adding categories received from others to recipient category lists, color categories that were assigned only to e-mail items are not automatically added to the Office Outlook 2007 list.
  • Categories that are assigned both in Office Outlook 2007 and in earlier versions of Outlook are visible in open items, such as message headers, open contacts, and open calendar items. You see the assigned color and the name of the color category at the top of these items. If multiple categories are assigned to an item, all categories are visible.
  • In the multiline view of your Inbox, if multiple categories are assigned to a mail item, a maximum of three colors is displayed at one time in the Categories column. However, all the assigned category names and colors appear near the top in the open item. In single-line view, however, you can view all assigned categories in the column.

ShowUse single-line view in your Inbox to see columns

You can quickly change between single-line view and multiline view by dragging your Inbox window wider or narrower. Column headings, such as Categorize, are only visible in single-line view.


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How do categorized items look and work when I switch between versions of Outlook?

  • Categories from all versions still work the same way. For example, you can still group and search among categorized items.
  • If you assign a color category to an item in Office Outlook 2007 and look at the item in an earlier version of Outlook, the name of the assigned color category is visible only in the Categories column in a table view. In some cases, you may need to scroll to see the Categories column. If you assign a category to an item in an earlier version and then look at the item in Office Outlook 2007, the category name and closest color match are visible.

 Note   If you plan to work in different versions of Outlook, you can easily coordinate the color category names and colors so that they are consistent in the different versions.

  • When an item is categorized in the earlier version and the item is viewed in Office Outlook 2007, the color block in the Categories column appears differently in table views. Although the color is the closest match to its color in Office Outlook 2007, it appears as a flat color block to distinguish it from items that are categorized in Office Outlook 2007, which have a smaller color block with rounded corners.
  • If you assign a color category to a contact or Calendar item in Office Outlook 2007 and then open the item in an earlier version, you see the name of the assigned color category at the bottom of the open item, in the Categories box. For the calendar item, you also see the color associated with the color category in the Calendar Label box. The color is the same as in Office Outlook 2007 or the closest match available.
  • If you assign a color category to a note in Office Outlook 2007 and then view the note in an earlier version of Outlook, it has the same color or the closest match available.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2007