Create a Category Toolbar in Outlook 2007


I met Nathan Elson for the first time yesterday when I responded to one of his tweets. In his tweet Nathan asked if some twitterverse resident knew of a way to modify Outlook and “create a toolbar button that assigns a category”. He explained that he would rather add or remove categories from his emails by clicking a single toolbar button rather than having to click Outlook’s Categories button and select from the resulting pull down menu. Two clicks versus one unless of course the category Nathan wants doesn’t appear on the pull down list. When that happens he’ll have to click All Categories from the pull down menu and then choose a category from the Color Categories dialog-box. That drives the click count to three and introduces the possibility of scrolling the list in order to find the category he’s looking for. While I might debate the logic of building a new toolbar to save a single click the toolbar could actually save two clicks and possibly prevent the need to scroll too. The discussion wouldn’t be complete without mentioning that Nathan could eliminate all clicks and the need for a toolbar by assigning a shortcut key to each category. Of course he’d have to remember the shortcut key and Outlook allows a limited set of shortcut keys, enough for just 11 categories. If he has more than that, then he’s out of luck.
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