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ARCHIVED: In Microsoft Outlook, how can I categorize my Contacts and send email using the categories?

If you want to send email to or arrange meetings with people on your Contacts list without using your Personal Address Book or personal distribution lists, you can use the category function in Outlook. To do this, you must first categorize the Contacts you want in a specific group. Once they are categorized, you can send email to that category.

Note: Contacts entries have no default category. Consequently, individual Contacts that you have not categorized will display with "none" when viewed by category.

To categorize your Contacts:

  1. In Outlook, go to your Contacts section.

  2. Select the individual Contacts you would like to put in a particular category by holding down the Ctrl key while clicking the entries you want.

  3. To categorize, from the Home tab (Outlook 2010) or the Edit menu (Outlook 2007), click Categorize.

  4. From the drop-down list, click the box next to any of the predefined categories. You can also create your own category by clicking All Categories at the bottom of the drop-down list.

    Note: Individual Contacts can belong to more than one category.

  5. Click OK.

To send email to all the Contacts in a category:

  1. In Outlook, go to your Contacts section.

  2. To view by category in Office 2010, from the Home tab, click the drop-down arrow in the "Current View" section and select By Category. In 2007, from the View menu, select Current View, and then By Category.

  3. Click the category to which you want to send email.

  4. To send mail in Outlook 2010, from the Home tab, select Email. In Outlook 2007, from the Actions menu, select Create, and then New Message to Contact. In Outlook 2003, from the Actions menu, select New Message to Contact.

If you have an unusually large group of people to whom you want to send mail, or if you want to protect their confidentiality, you might want to create an email distribution list using IU List; see On IU List, how do I request a new mailing list?

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Last modified on November 16, 2012.

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