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I have a rule in outlook which matches the letters XYZ and I noticed I was getting the wrong e-mails filtered by this rule. After opening the e-mail and searching for the string I found somebody's last name included XYZ!

I want Outlook to only match XYZ if it is not "part of a word" so it must be "alone" and surrounded by whitespace on either side.

Is this possible or do I need to find a new way to filter these messages?

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This kind of whole-word matching isn't currently available in Outlook (the filter feature isn't that strong :) ), but this Outlook MVP answer shows a workaround that works in most cases: you can search for XYZ surrounded by delimiters that you specify, and it will look specifically for those.

For example, filtering by XYZ (with spaces on either side) will filter out "Tomorrow the XYZ is on sale!", but it will unfortunately not filter out "Tomorrow-XYZ sale!" (since it has a hyphen, not a space, on the left side) or "XYZ sale tomorrow!" (no character on the left side).

However, I expect that you find false positives in the filtering engine more problematic than false negatives, so at least this workaround will mean that Outlook won't think actually good emails should be filtered out (even though the reverse may be true).

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    This would result in 99.99% working I'm sure vs now it's always wrong. I'm going to try both yours and @Perry approach tomorrow. Thanks – FreeSoftwareServers Apr 5 at 5:44
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Agree with Niayesh Lsky, this is not realizable for Outlook currently. In addition to typing space on both side of the word, I'm wondering if a search folder is helpful to you.

When creating criteria for this search folder, you can set "is exact" XYZ. enter image description here

Reference: create a custom search folder in Outlook

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