Posted by: kurtsh | July 6, 2022

HOWTO: Automatically visually highlight important emails in your Outlook inbox

Want emails from your boss in your Outlook inbox to stand out in red & bold?

Want emails from VIP customer contacts in your inbox to use a slightly BIGGER font?

Outlook “Conditional Formatting” can accomplish this easily and make important emails “pop” in your inbox with very little effort on your part.

Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Open Outlook (Win32)
  2. Click the “View” menu item.  The View bar will appear.image
  3. Click the “View Settings” button in Current View. The “Advanced View Settings:” dialog box will appear.image
  4. Click “Conditional Formatting…” button. The “Conditional Formatting” dialog box will appear.image 
  5. Click on the “Add” button.  A new conditional formatting “rule” will appear called “Untitled”.image
  6. Select “Untitled” in the “Rules for this view:” list box and change the name in the “Name:” field.

    Then click the “Condition…” button to set up what emails you want to highlight. The “Filter” dialog box will appear.image

  7. Click “From…” to select what person or persons you wish to highlight.  Once selected, click “OK” to go back to the “Conditional Formatting” dialog box.image
  8. Click the “Font” button tp configure how you wish the line item to appear.  You may change the font, font style (bold, italics, etc.) size (smaller, normal, big, bigger), color (red, blue, etc), & effects (underline, strikeout).
  9. Click OK 3 times to return to the Inbox view.

The highlighting from your conditional formatting should take effect immediately.  In my case, I created a Conditional Formatting rule that looked for all of my customer’s CIOs and made them:

  • Red
  • 14pt font
  • Bold

A typical highlighted email in my inbox looks like this:



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