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Quick Tip: Darken the Outlook List Grouping Headers

One of the nicer features of Outlook 2007 is the way it neatly groups your messages by date or other criteria, but it’s not always easy to see at a glance. There’s a little-known option buried in the settings that will shade the group headings to make them more easy to distinguish.

Here’s the default view, notice how your eyes just brush right over the “Yesterday” without really noticing it.

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To change this setting, go to View \ Current View \ Customize Current View and then click the “Other Settings” button.

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In this dialog you’ll find the “Shade group headings” option, which you’ll need to check. Note that this is a global setting across all views, not just the current one.

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The change should be instant, you will now see the darkened group headings.

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I find this much easier to work with than the default setting, although it’s not quite as “pretty”.

Note: For Outlook 2003, you’ll need to use View > Arrange By > Current View > Customize View: Messages. Thanks Jon!

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 10/29/07

Comments (13)

  1. Jon Humphrey

    FYI, it does work in 2003:

    View > Arrange By > Current View > Customise View: Messages … the rest is the same!

    Thanks for this, it’s helped with the eyes!

    Cheers,

    Jon

  2. Alter3g0

    Nice tip! Also works in Outlook 2003

  3. Mikey Mac

    It sure does work in Outlook 2003…thanks!

  4. Mark

    This does indeed work with Outlook 2003 as well. I like it – thanks!

  5. Travis

    Yes, this works fine with 2003

  6. Mike

    in Outlook 2003 its “View \ Arrange By \ Current View \ Customize Current View”

  7. The Geek

    You guys are great! I added a note to the article.

  8. GLORIA

    ALL MY OUTLOOK FOLDERS HAVE GROUP HEADERS, eg Date: Today, etc…
    EXCEPT MY SENT FOLDER. I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE GROUP HEADERS, AS ABOVE eg Date: Today — Date: Yesterday — Date: Last Week. I CANNOT FIGURE OUT HOW TO CREATE THIS IN MY SENT FOLDER. ANY IDEAS? CHEER. GLORIA GALLAGHER

  9. bob

    How to print Outlook 2007 Folder List?

  10. Jobey

    hey there, i had to reconfigure my outlook on a new computer, and for some reason, i CAN NOT sort by “today, yesterday, last week.” it only gives me the option for “Date: Beyond Next Month.”

    Or, i can separate EACH message, which is pointless.

    Can you help me find how to do it the way your article shows?!

    Thanks!!!

  11. Peter

    Sounds so easy when someone tells you how to do it!!!

    Many thanks, this had been driving me crazy…

  12. neil

    I have Outlook 2010 and the option is not shown, does anyone know how I can do this is 2010 looks like they have droped this feature?

    Cheers!

  13. Chris

    It was dropped from Outlook 2010. Why? Have no clue. Hate Outlook 2010.

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