Working with Folders

As you use Outlook to create more and more tasks , notes, appointments, email messages, and other items, and as mail starts to arrive from others, you might find it useful to create other folders to better organize your information.

For example, you might want to organize data by project or by the type of contact. Sent Items is a useful concept. However, mail you sent to Aunt Jane probably doesn't belong in the same folder as mail you sent to the IRS.

You can create folders, change their names , arrange them in a different order on the Outlook Bar, copy them, and even delete them. By learning to manipulate the Outlook folders on your hard drive, you will find it easier to organize your information. Figure 15.1 shows a sample view of a folder structure.

Figure 15.1. The Folder List view is displayed.


There are several ways to display the folder structure:

  1. Click the folder name button (for example, Inbox) at the top of the viewing pane. This drops down the folder list. Click the folder name again or press Esc to remove the folder list.

  2. After clicking the folder name button, while the folder is displayed, click the push pin as indicated. The push pin is located where you would normally find the close box. When you click the push pin, it changes to the Close icon. The pane at the right resizes to display field headers correctly.

  3. Choose View, Folder List.

  4. Click the Folder List tool on the Advanced toolbar, shown in Figure 15.1.

In Figure 15.1, there are several folders within the main folder. These are called subfolders . The term subfolder is relational. When looking upward in the folder hierarchy, you might think of the Contacts folder, for example, as a subfolder. When looking downward, however, if Contacts is subdivided into other folders, you tend to think of Contacts as a folder.


The master container or folder for all of your Outlook data usually is a single file named Outlook.pst or Mailbox.pst . The folder structure you create within Outlook does not show up on your hard disk. The structure is completely internal to the .pst files. If you want to selectively copy contacts, messages, or other Outlook items from one place to another, you'll need to use Outlook rather than the Windows Explorer.

A profile is a group of settings that defines a specific combination of Outlook services (email, fax, address books, personal folder files, and so on). Typically, you need only one profile. However, workgroups, families, and individuals often can use profiles to help further organize their use of Outlook. Profiles are available only in Corporate or Workgroup mode and are created by using the Mail icon in the Windows Control Panel.

Folder List Symbols

When the Folder List is displayed, as in Figure 15.1, notice that some of the folders have minus signs, some have plus signs, and others have no symbol at all. The presence of a plus or minus sign indicates that the folder contains subfolders. If the plus sign is displayed, the subfolders are collapsed (not displayed). If the minus sign is displayed, the subfolders are expanded (displayed). If there is no symbol next to the folder name, the folder contains no subfolders. If you've used Windows Explorer, you're already familiar with the hierarchical use of and + to indicate expanded and collapsed .

You can use the /+ icons to control the level of folders displayed at any time. Clicking a minus icon collapses the folder; that causes all subfolders to be hidden. The symbol changes to a plus to indicate there are subfolders that are not displayed. Clicking a plus icon expands the folder, displaying the next level of subfolders under that folder.

Creating a Subfolder

The purpose of the Folder List is to allow you to organize how your information is stored so that you can access it quickly and efficiently . You can direct Outlook to store various types of information in specific folders.

There are several ways to create a subfolder. Choose a method that fits the way you work, at the time you need it. If the Folder List is displayed, select the folder (for example, Inbox) in which you want to create a subfolder:

  • Right-click the folder name for which you wish to create a subfolder, and choose New Folder.

  • Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the New button on the Standard toolbar and click Folder (note the shortcut key, Ctrl+Shift+E).

  • Choose File, New, Folder from the menu bar.

  • Choose File, Folder, New Folder from the menu bar.

In the next few steps, you'll get a chance to practice changing the view, expanding and collapsing folders, and creating a subfolder to store additional information. The skills you learn in the next few minutes will be ones that you will continue to use as your Outlook skills increase.

  1. Open Outlook if it isn't already open .

  2. If it isn't already selected, click the Inbox icon in the Outlook Bar. It doesn't matter if there are any messages in the Inbox.

  3. Click the Inbox name in the folder banner (the title bar for the Inbox). The Folder List is displayed over the top of the Input window, as shown in Figure 15.2.

    Figure 15.2. The Folder List appears temporarily.


  4. Right-click the first level folder (it might be called Personal Folders, Outlook Today, Internet Folders, or another folder name). Nothing happens. That's because the current view of the Folder List view is just a drop-down list; it's for selecting a folder only. Click the push pin (using the left mouse button) to display a functional Folder List with which you can actually work. The push pin changes to a close box.

  5. Right-click the Tasks icon in the Folder List. From the pop-up menu, choose New Folder. The Create New Folder dialog box is displayed, as shown in Figure 15.3.

    Figure 15.3. Use the Create New Folder dialog box to create a subfolder inside an existing folder.


  6. Click the drop-down menu on the right side of the Folder Contains text box. Notice that a folder can contain only one of six item types: Appointment, Contact, Journal, Mail, Note, or Task. Click the Task option. In the Name text box, type Outlook Tasks .

  7. To change the folder where the subfolder is attached, click a different position in the Select Where to Place the Folder display. In this case, choose the Tasks folder, and then click OK. If the Outlook Bar is displayed, the Add Shortcut to Outlook Bar? dialog box pops up, as shown in Figure 15.4. If you don't want to view this dialog box again, click the Don't Prompt Me About This Again option. In this case, you don't want a shortcut, so click No. If you say Yes, the shortcut will be added to the My Shortcuts group.

    Figure 15.4. The Add Shortcut to Outlook Bar? dialog box is used to automatically add a folder shortcut to the My Shortcuts group on the Outlook Bar.



    After you create a folder, you can make it a shortcut on the Outlook Bar by dragging it from the Folder List to the desired position on the Outlook Bar.

  8. Click the Outlook Tasks folder icon in the Folder List. (If you click the right mouse button, a menu opens instead of displaying the new Task list.) The folder banner now reads Outlook Tasks. A new (currently empty) Task list shows up in the right window.

  9. Click in the Click Here to Add a New Task text box. Type Learn to copy a folder . Press Enter. The task appears in the Task list.

Copying or Moving a Folder

When you copy a folder from one place in the main folder to another, any items in the folder are also copied . When you move a folder, the items are also moved to the new position. When you copy a folder, you end up with two folders (which take up twice as much space as one). Moving a folder from one place to another means that the folder is no longer in the original location.

To move a folder, simply drag it from its current position into the new folder. For example, if you want it to be a subfolder of the Inbox folder, drag it onto the Inbox icon. To copy a folder from one position to another, press Ctrl and drag the folder to the new position. Alternatively, drag using the right mouse button and you'll be prompted to Move, Copy, or Cancel.

You can also copy or move a folder by highlighting it and choosing Edit, Move to Folder (Ctrl+Shift+V) or Edit, Copy to Folder.

If you use the Edit, Move to Folder or Edit, Copy to Folder method (from Outlook's main menu), the Move (or Copy) Folder dialog box is displayed. Click the destination folder. The Move Folder dialog box is then displayed. If you want to create an additional folder as the destination folder, click the New button.

Renaming a Folder

The simplest way to rename an existing folder is to select the folder icon (the name appears blue) in the Folder List and press the F2 key. The folder name text box is highlighted (selected). While the folder name is highlighted, any text you type replaces the existing name. Or, you can press the left or right arrow key to clear the selection, and then use normal editing keys to modify the existing name.


To add a shortcut to an Outlook Bar group that isn't currently open, drag the item onto the group name and hesitate a moment. The group will open. You can then finish dragging to the desired location.

Adding a Folder to the Outlook Bar

In some cases, you might want to add a shortcut to the Outlook Bar. The easiest way to do that is to drag the folder icon onto the Outlook Bar. You can then drag it up or down to position it between existing icons or move it to the top or bottom of the Outlook Bar.

Adding File System Shortcuts

The Outlook Bar can also be a container for shortcuts to file system items such as files, folders, and URLs. Follow these steps to see how to add an item to the Outlook Bar:

  1. If necessary, display the Outlook Bar, and click the Other Shortcuts group.

  2. In the Outlook Bar, notice My Documents and Favorites. If you have files or shortcuts in either of those two folders, you can add those items to the Outlook Bar. Click Favorites. In the right pane (the far-right pane if your Folder List is still displayed), find an item you want in the Outlook Bar and drag it into the Other Shortcuts group.

  3. Click My Computer. Notice that the file system is displayed, similar to what you see if you click My Computer on the desktop. From here, you can display any file or folder on your computer.

  4. Right-click C: and observe the Add to Outlook Bar option. If you click this option, a shortcut to C: will be added to the Outlook Bar.

  5. In the right pane, double-click any drive to display the contents of that drive. Double-click any displayed folder to display subfolders. Right-click any folder and select Open to open it in a new Outlook window. Double-click any file to open it just as you would in Windows Explorer. You can create shortcuts to any file or folder simply by dragging it to the Outlook Bar.

Deleting a Folder

To delete a folder from the Folder List, select the folder icon and press the Delete key, click the Delete button on the toolbar, or right-click and choose Delete "File Name". Outlook prompts for you to confirm the deletion and, in the process, reminds you that deleting sends the folder to the Deleted Items folder.

Remember, if the folder icon isn't selected, you won't be able to delete the folder (or do anything else with it).

Sams Teach Yourself Office Productivity All in One
Sams Teach Yourself Office Productivity All in One (Sams Teach Yourself All in One)
ISBN: 0672325349
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 474
Authors: Greg Perry © 2008-2017.
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