Sort a list of messages, contacts, notes, or files

You can have Microsoft Outlook automatically sort your items (item: An item is the basic element that holds information in Outlook (similar to a file in other programs). Items include e-mail messages, appointments, contacts, tasks, journal entries, notes, posted items, and documents.) by changing the arrangement (arrangement: A predefined combination of grouped and sorted messages in table view.) or you can create a custom sort.

ShowSort items by changing the arrangement


ShowCreate a custom sort

  1. On the View menu, point to Arrange By, point to Current View, and then click a view (view: Views give you different ways to look at the same information in a folder by putting it in different arrangements and formats. There are standard views for each folder. You can also create custom views.) that shows items in a 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.), card, or an icon view type (view type: The basic structure of a view. When you create a view, you must first select one of five view types (table, timeline, day/week/month, card, or icon) to determine how information will be arranged and formatted in your new view.).
  2. On the View menu, point to Arrange By, and then click Custom.
  3. Click Sort.
  4. In the Sort items by box, click a field (field: An element of a table that contains a specific item of information, such as a last name. A Title field might contain Mr. or Ms. Databases such as Microsoft SQL Server refer to fields as columns.) to sort by. If the field you want isn't in the Sort items by box, click a different field set in the Select available fields from box.

If the field you sort by is the same as the field that items are grouped (group: A set of items with one common attribute; for example, priority or status. Also, to group is to combine items with a common attribute under a shared heading in a table or on a timeline.) by, 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 you have chosen.

  1. Click Ascending or Descending for the sort order.
  2. To sort by an additional field, click a field in the Then by box.
Applies to:
Outlook 2003