I am using Quick Steps to label e-mails as "next action", "action", etc. and put them into an archive folder.

Right now, these quick steps do a "clear all categories" and then add the appropriate action category (to avoid having multiple action categories labeled).


When using "Clear all categories", if I wanted to use an additional category besides my action categories, they would be removed.


How do I tell a quick step to remove a category from a message? The only option appears to be "clear all categories."

  • Can you explain the problem better? I'm not sure I know what the issue is to advise. Are you asking that if you selected some categories it would automatically clear all and then apply but not have this rule for others? – Dave Jul 23 '12 at 13:41
  • Hi Dave, I think an example would help: I have e-mails in my inbox. The "Next Action" QuickStep marks it with the category of "S/Next Action" and moves it to my archive. Now, if I want to make that a "waiting on status", my Quick Step for "Waiting On" removes all categories (and thus the "Next Action") and then applies "Waiting On". But if I use an unrelated category (e.g. "Project A", "Announcements", those get lost too. So I'm looking to set 5 actions within the quick step so it only removes my status categories before re-applying the new status. – SeanKilleen Jul 23 '12 at 14:01
  • This can't be done via rules and alerts since it doesn't handle conditional formatting - this will be a VBa answer which I can't do. Sorry, hope someone else can. – Dave Jul 23 '12 at 14:08
  • Hi Dave, FYI, QuickSteps are a separate feature than rules and alerts. But I appreciate the attempt at help anyway! – SeanKilleen Jul 23 '12 at 14:10
  • Yes, sorry - there is no way to do this in quicksteps but I had tried using the Rules and Alerts based upon category changes from your quickstep selection. I then researched and realized it doesn't support conditional formatting - sorry for confusion – Dave Jul 23 '12 at 14:11

Not exactly the Quick Step (since you can't use Quick Steps to remove partucular categories, you can only clear all), but you can use the free Categorize Outlook Items tool for that. You can add the button for this tool on a ribbon and specify required categories to assign and clear (you can even use * masks to clear categories, for example: "*Action"). After that you can run it in a single click.

DISCLAIMER: I recommend this free tool because I'm one of the developers, so feel free to ask any further questions.

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