Outlook: Color Coding Email

last updated 10/9/2020

What is Color Coding Email?

Color coded emails will appear with a font color/size/type specified by you for any specific rule you create.


Want to make sure you don't miss that important email from your principal? Create a customized rule for any email from them. Follow the steps outlined below to get started!


NOTE: These color coded effect will ONLY appear in the Microsoft Outlook application on your computer or laptop. It will NOT appear using the web or app version.

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1. Open the Microsoft Outlook application on your computer (not the web version).

2. Click the View tab (at the top of the screen).

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3. Click the View Settings button on the ribbon.

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4. Click the Conditional Formatting... button on the pop-up window.

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5. Click the Add button on the pop-up window.

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6. Click in the Name box and name the rule.

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7. Click the Condition... button to set up the rule.

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8. Condition Instructions

Apply to all message FROM a specific user/email address:

Example: All emails from your building principal.

  • Click the From... button.
  • Find the user in the address book.
  • Add them to the From box.
  • Click OK.
  • Click OK again to return to the Conditional Formatting pop-up.



Apply to all messages where the SUBJECT CONTAINS a certain word or phrase:
Example: All emails with "Tech Tips" in the subject line.

  • In the Search for the word(s): box type the word or phrase you want to search by.
  • Make sure the In: drop down box has subject field only selected.
  • Click OK to return to the Conditional Formatting pop-up.



Apply to all messages where the SUBJECT/MESSAGE CONTAINS a certain word or phrase:

Example: All emails with "training" in the subject or message body.

  • In the Search for the word(s): box type the word or phrase you want to search by.
  • Make sure the In: drop down box has subject field and message body selected.
  • Click OK to return to the Conditional Formatting pop-up.
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9. Click the Font... button to set up the font color/size for the rule.

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10. Font Instructions

  • Click on the options to change the font type, style, size, and color.
  • Click OK to return to the Conditional Formatting pop-up.
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11. Click OK, then click OK again.

The rule will be applied to any NEW email messages received where the condition is true.

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