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You Too Can Be an Outlook Specialist


Steve Link

Have you heard of the Outlook Specialist certification? This is a "diploma" that certifies your knowledge of the Microsoft Outlook program. It is an indicator to your employer and others of the undeniable expertise you have for the Outlook program. This article will briefly cover a very useful subject that is in the exam and will guide you to other resources to prepare your study for the Outlook Specialist certification.

This is adapted from my book "Are You Certifiable? (In Outlook, At Least)" which is available from my web site.

An extremely useful and extensive function is message views. You can view the messages in your folders using a myriad of different settings but this brief article covers only a few general settings.

First, we will set up a filter view that contains only the word "EBay" in the subject. Start by clicking the View menu item. Next place your mouse cursor over "Arrange By," and then "Current View". Now click "Customize Current View". On this screen click on the "Filter" button. The first tab shown should be Messages. In the "Search for the words" field type the word "EBay" and verify that "Subject field only" is selected in the "In" field. Click "OK" twice and this view is now active. This can be verified with the phrase "(filter applied)" displayed to the right of your folder name (in Outlook 2003, at least).

Next, we will add a date range to this view. Once again click the View menu and then "Arrange By-Current View-Customize Current View." With the Messages tab shown again, select "Received" from the Time dropdown (located at the bottom of this screen) and "last month" from the field beside of that. Click OK twice again.

You have just applied a filter that will display only messages containing the word "EBay" in the subject and were received within the last month.

Now that we have shown how to customize a view let's build on that and add saving that view for further use.

Click on the View menu again. As you did before, you will put your mouse over "Arrange By" and then "Current View." This time click on "Define Views." You will see the default views already defined. If desired these can be modified but we will start fresh and create a new view. Click on the "New" button. On the next screen you can name the view, select the type and who/where it is used. Name it "Test View," select "Table" as the type of view, and select "This folder, visible only to me" in the bottom section. Click the "OK" button. Now you can create the specifics of this view following the procedures above or create your own specialized view. Click the "OK" button when finished to add this to your list of views. Select "Test View" and click the "Apply View" button to use the view you have just created.

Now that you know how to create and apply views we will complete this with clearing the applied settings. Once again, click on the View menu and then put your mouse over "Arrange By" and then "Current View." To clear the view selected click on "Messages" or any other view in the top part of that menu box.

As promised, I will now give you some reference materials on your quest to becoming a certified Outlook Specialist. Of course, my main suggestion is my book "Are You Certifiable? (On Outlook, At Least)," excellent books on Outlook are by QUE and Microsoft Press, there are also many excellent web sites such as and My final advice is to look on your favorite search engine for "Outlook Certification books" (or sites, whichever method you prefer).

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