Conditional Formatting of Appointments in Outlook 2010

Outlook 2010Note: if you have problems with Outlook or this feature, please check out the Answers Forum, and/or this tutorial.

Conditional Formatting in is a neat feature that lets you create rules for your appointments, and formats them based on those rules. For example I have a rule:

If subject contains any of the words "interview; screen; informational; recruiting; recruit" then set the color to Orange.

Now all recruiting appointments stand out as orange on my calendar

Prior to Outlook 2010 I could just right-click on an appointment and set up these rules, but since I moved to Outlook 2010 I could not find where to this up. I finally found it, and since it is pretty buried I thought I would share it with you.

  1. Go to Calendar (your calendar is displayed)Microsoft Office 2010
  2. View Tab
  3. Change View >> Manage Views
  4. Select <current view setting> and click Modify
  5. Click Conditional Formatting
  6. Click Add to add a rule
  7. Select the new rule and click Condition

Wasn't that easy?  The result looks like this

Outlook Calendar


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Comments (12)

  1. Joe says:

    Actually, that's not easy. In Outlook 2007, you could right click the appointment and get to that dialog directly. This new approach takes 7 steps, and none of them are intuitive. And there's no Quick Step option for Conditional Formatting. Anyone know a quicker way to get there?

  2. Joe says:

    There is a Quick Step option for View Settings… which is 1 click away from Conditional Formatting (Step 5 from above).

  3. Audrey says:

    How do I change the default  15 minute notification time to 1 day under the appointment tab?

  4. Seth Eliot says:

    In Outlook 2010:

    – File >> Options

    – Select Calendar

    – Under Calendar Reminders you can set the Default Reminder to 1 day

  5. James says:

    Can this be done with time parameters?


    shift 1: 6am to 5pm

    shift 2: 5:30 pn to 11:30pm

    My condition only shows up for the current day. even starting a new view then adding the conditions doesnt help. The logic is sound given the choices outlook provides: start> between> 6:00am and 5:00 pm

    Even tried military time, and it seems to accept all these as they show up correctly.

  6. Keith says:

    Conditional formatting is an old feature

    When I "upgraded" to 2010 all my conditional formatting rules were lost!

    Some Upgrade.

  7. Vassili says:

    I also lost all my conditional formating when I migrated to 2010. An now, sometimes, with no explaination, I loose them all again and have to create them again from scratch. Did anyone else experience this ?

  8. lianne says:

    I want to format my diary so it recognises the intials S2, SS, HB, BS. How to I get them to recognise these as initials on their own and not in a word. I know they are unlikely to come up in words but i have appointments with reference numbers in and you never know.

    Thank you

  9. Alta says:

    I want to colour all meeting invites red where all invitees did not respond or accept.  I went into View Setting, selected conditional formatting, click on condition, select advanced, then all appointment field.

    I selected meeting status equals accepted and select the colour green.  

    I realised then it is only when I accept a meeting and not the required attendees,  HELP

  10. Kevin says:

    @Vassili Yes I too experienced the same thing, when my conditional formatting rules vanished. Don't know why…

  11. Seth says:

    Note: if you have problems with Outlook or this feature, please check out the Answers Forum,…/office_2010

    and/or this tutorial…/use-automatic-formatting-to-highlight-messages.

  12. Mark says:

    @ Joe Another quick way to get to the view settings in the calendar might be to right click on the times listed on the left of the calendar view.  View settings is the last item in that list and then you can jump right into conditional formatting.  In the mail view you can do the same on the column headings.

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