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Is it possible in Outlook 2010 to bind a keyboard shortcut to the "Find Related -> Messages in this conversation" functionality?

I tried the "Customize Ribbon" and "Customize Quick Access Toolbar" options to get a button that could be bound to an Alt-key combination, but I am unable to find the "Find Related" command, or the "Messages in this conversation" command in the list of available commands.

If anyone has resolved such an issue, please help.

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migrated from Oct 8 '12 at 11:35

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Disclaimer: I realize this isn't for Outlook 2010, but this may provide you with enough inspiration on how to build based upon the Outlook 2007 structure.

Note: The following example could be built using a VBA Macro or Outlook Plugin.

If you locate where "Related Messages" exists in the CommandBar hierarchy (Outlook Menu structure) - you can leverage the Copy mechanism and place the existing CommandBarButton in the Standard CommandBar (in the case of Outlook 2007). Once you've done this - you can rename the Caption and assign a different shortcut key (see below for reference). In this example, we can use Alt+M to trigger the "Related Messages" advanced find dialog.

VSTO Reference

Outlook.Explorer explorer = Application.ActiveExplorer();

// retrieve menu toolbar for this explorer
CommandBar menuBar = explorer.CommandBars.ActiveMenuBar;

for (int i = 1; i <= menuBar.Controls.Count; i++)
    if (menuBar.Controls[i].Caption == "&Tools")
        var toolsMenu = menuBar.Controls[i] as CommandBarPopup;
        for (int j = 1; j <= toolsMenu.Controls.Count; j++)
            if (toolsMenu.Controls[j].Caption == "&Instant Search")
                var searchMenu = toolsMenu.Controls[j] as CommandBarPopup;

                for (int k = 1; k <= searchMenu.Controls.Count; k++)
                    if (searchMenu.Controls[k].Caption == "&Related Messages...")
                        var related = searchMenu.Controls[k] as CommandBarButton;
                        var relatedClone = related.Copy(explorer.CommandBars["Standard"]);
                        relatedClone.Caption = "Related &Messages";


In Outlook 2010, you may just try doing the following since there isn't a standard commandbar (it was replaced by the ribbon UI). The usage would then be Alt+M and then Enter to trigger the "Related Messages" advanced find dialog. However - this hasn't been tested though.

var relatedClone = related.Copy(menuBar);

VBA Reference

Sub AddRelatedMessages()
   Dim menuBar As CommandBar
   Dim toolsMenu As CommandBarPopup, searchMenu As CommandBarPopup
   Dim related As CommandBarButton, relatedClone As CommandBarButton
   Set menuBar = Application.ActiveExplorer().CommandBars.ActiveMenuBar

   Dim i As Integer, j As Integer, k As Integer

   For i = 1 To menuBar.Controls.Count Step 1
        If (menuBar.Controls(i).Caption = "&Tools") Then
            Set toolsMenu = menuBar.Controls(i)
            For j = 1 To toolsMenu.Controls.Count Step 1
                If (toolsMenu.Controls(j).Caption = "&Instant Search") Then
                    Set searchMenu = toolsMenu.Controls(j)
                    For k = 1 To searchMenu.Controls.Count Step 1
                        If (toolsMenu.Controls(k).Caption = "&Related Messages...") Then
                            Set related = searchMenu.Controls(k)
                            Set relatedClone = related.Copy(Explorer.CommandBars("Standard"))
                            relatedClone.Caption = "Related &Messages"
                        End If
                    Next k
                End If
            Next j
        End If
    Next i
End Sub
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I don't think 'Related Messages' reside inside Instant Search. I added Instant Search to Quick Access Toolbar but can't see any drill-down options. – digitguy Mar 21 '12 at 7:03
'Related Messages' resides in Instant Search for Outlook 2007. Unfortunately, I don't have Outlook 2010 to see where it lives. – SliverNinja Mar 21 '12 at 13:07
Yes you are right. It used to be in Outlook 2007, but in 2010 it has been rearranged and now I am not able to find it :(. – digitguy Mar 21 '12 at 13:47

I think it should be alt + F then (alt + C).

But it is not working with me as when I do (alt + F) it goes to file tap.

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How does this answer my question? – digitguy Nov 30 '12 at 12:55

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