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Make Categories a search refinement criteria in the search UI

I find it frustrating that it is currently difficult to search by categories in Outlook online. The only way to do it is to type 'category:categoryName' in the Search box. Moreover you must remember the exact name of the category you want to search on.
So please add Categories to the search refinement criteria alongside Folder, From, Date in the search refinement criteria UI; don't force me to remember all my categories by heart!

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Gilles Couzin shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

I just wanted to update everyone. You are now able to search for categories in a few different ways.

1) You can just type the category name into the search box at the top and it will do a category search.

2) If you have a message that has the category applied, just click on it and it will search.

For bonus, you can add the category search as a favorite and it will add it to your favorite folders on the left. one click to easily get all of the messages with that category.

Hope this helps!


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  • Hassan Faghihi commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    item design and look and this search matter looks cool, but the placement in the tree is so crowded... it was good at the end like old time....
    categories consume whole page and then i just reach my other mail box, which is more needed, even junks should be accessible and in eye view field, as your lost mail mostly found in there...

  • pe548@outlook.com commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I can understand 'bugs' - but I am at a loss to understand design that would embarrass a college freshman. I found the following response from Micrsoft about the fact that SEARCH BY CATEGORY is no longer present. The solution is to scroll through hundred of emails to notice the color of the text on the category. I think I'll design a database that way...just scroll through all of your names and addresses and look for the state code NY - it's in yellow. Her response: " Color categories allow you to easily identify and group associated items in Outlook.com and a great way to visually group similar messages, tasks, contacts, or calendar events. To learn more about this functionality on Outlook.com or Outlook.com beta, refer to this support article."

  • pe548@outlook.com commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    You have removed the ability to search by a category. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!! Your help file should be the clue - it describes how to create a category but no longer describes how to use a category.

  • Wendy Jeansson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Fully Agree, what is the use of Categories if you can no longer search them ??
    Just went and categorised a whole lot of emails, not realising that the search function was not available in the beta version

  • Mary M commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    List of emails found in Search needs to indicate the folder location, both in the list, and near the top of the email when the message is opened - as the old version did.

  • Martin Thomas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The search function is a lot less useful than the previous search function:

    It does not allow you to narrow the search to a particular folder.
    It does not list the folder or categories of emails.

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