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Conversation grouping (Gmail style) is a great feature in Outlook >= 2007.

The problem is when emails in a conversation have different reply prefixes (e.g. forward or Fwd:). In English it's Re:, but in Polish it's: Odp:. So if a reply is sent from a language other than English in this version of Outlook, the thread is broken, i.e. another thread is created based on the prefix.

Has anyone found a fix to this problem?

Here a partial solution is described:

I would like to fix this from another side; let's call it Client side.

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you mean >= ? (padding) – Alex Budovski May 24 '11 at 19:08
Alex, thanks for pointing out. – Cornelius May 24 '11 at 19:20
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Each email sent by Outlook has a Conversation Index which is a string of letters and digits. E.g.: AD9344034AEC343 (I used HexaDecimal notation as I'm not 100% certain all letters are permitted).

When ever you send a reply - few more characters are added to the Index of the email. So if my email to you had Index ABCD123, your reply will have an Index of ABCD123EF567. And my reply to you will add more to that - until a certain limit. You can tell outlook to sort by the Conversation Index which is agnostic to the language.

Keep in mind - after about 10 replies - the Conversation Index is maxed-out and Outlook no longer recognizes the emails as related.

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Localization in Outlook is quite broken, and there is no solution. Microsoft has seen fit to (badly) translate the "Re" and "Fwd", in defiance of all email standards and best practices.

If you wish to stay with Outlook, the only solution is the one you have already found : Force Outlook for all the correspondents to use the English notation.

If it is possible to change to Thunderbird, then a solution is described in the article Reply indicators, by setting Thunderbird to accept also the other forms, which are then replaced while replying.

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