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Question

Is there any easy way in Outlook 2007/2010 to show/hide meetings in a specific category? Preferably only for a specific view (the Month view, in this case).


Note: I was almost done writing this question, adding just one more "What I've tried" option, when I found an acceptable (though imperfect) solution. Remembering this SE blog post I figured I might as well post it after all and answer it myself. And who knows, perhaps someone else has a more elegant solution.


The reason for me personally is that I'd like to hide the "small, recurring meetings" like our daily stand-up meeting in the month view. I'd prefer an Outlook feature that is meant for this (there must be one for this, right?), but I'm open to workarounds or plugin suggestions as well.

What I expected to find somewhere was a list of categories (with added option "No category") where you could select/deselect from which categories you'd see meetings. Something like this mock-up:

Outlook mock-up for show categories


What I've tried

  1. Edit "View Settings", and use a "Filter..." on categories. This has several disadvantages, the major one is that the filter only allows me to choose what I want to show, but not what I want to hide. Even if I tick all categories but one for the filter it would still hide any uncategorized meeting.
  2. Similar to 1, but then using Advanced filters. Still a bit clumsy as changing views can be up to three clicks, but this is the best solution so far (see the corresponding answer below).
  3. Creating a sub-calendar for these "small" meetings that I wish to hide. This felt a bit clumsy and like overkill, but did provide an easy "select/deselect" option to show/hide these meetings.
  4. Search for plug-ins that do this. Couldn't find one (yet).
18

As promised above, here's my current answer to this question. Instructions are specific to Outlook 2007, but slight variations should also work for 2010 and 2013.

  1. In the "View" ribbon, click "View Settings"
  2. Click the "Filter..." option
  3. Choose the "Advanced" tab
  4. Add a rule on the Field "Frequently-used fields" > "Categories"
  5. Enter the Condition "doesn't contain"
  6. Enter the exact category name under Value
  7. Hit "Ok" to close the dialogs
  8. In the "View" ribbon, open "Change View" and choose "Save Current View As a New View..."

Voila, now you have saved a view that filters meetings from certain categories. If you want to switch between the trimmed down view and the full calendar view you can use the "Change View" button in the "View" ribbon.

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  • You should quote your version of Outlook. Those instructions don't quite work for 2010, but the gist is correct. – Paul Sep 7 '15 at 7:43
  • @Paul Sure thing. If I remember correctly this was for Outlook 2007. I've added this to the question. – Jeroen Sep 7 '15 at 7:50
  • Perfect! I would suggest copying the view first, so that the filter settings do not stick to the original view as well. – Nikola Malešević Aug 16 '18 at 12:13
  • Jeroen - Great instructions, but I second what @Nikola Malešević said - copy the view first, then make changes. – Mike Christiansen Nov 13 '18 at 13:04
  • @MikeChristiansen Glad it helped. Feel free to suggest an edit to the answer to add an (possibly optional?) step to do so (I'm not sure where it goes? between 1 and 2?) – Jeroen Nov 13 '18 at 15:59
6

I originally did the advanced filtering suggested here, but found they still show and clutter up the 'Todo bar' at the side of the e-mails as that has no filter option.

I then came across this answer with the very simple "doh, why didn't I think of that!" solution of create another calander. Now I have my re-occuring meetings and reminders seperated out, allowing me to not miss the important ones.

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  • 1
    This is a good option that might work in certain situations, but remember that removing the appointments from the main calendar will affect scheduling (e.g. if those appointments have "Show as: busy", the user will not appear busy during those times on the main calendar, which might be a deal breaker). – kad81 Sep 5 '16 at 5:04
3

I have edited the above answer with the necessary changes to make it work.

  1. In the "View" ribbon, click "View Settings"
  2. Click the "Filter..." option
  3. Click the "More Choices" button
  4. Check off every category except the one you wish to exclude.
  5. Switch to the SQL tab.
  6. Check off the “Edit these criteria directly. All other tabs will be unavailable.” box.
  7. Add another category HOLIDAY with the same criteria to the list.
  8. Add one more piece of SQL syntax to the end:

    OR ("urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office#Keywords" like '%%')
    

    This will allow uncategorized calendar items to display.

  9. In the "View" ribbon, open "Change View" and choose "Save Current View As a New View..." Now you have saved a view that filters out meetings from certain categories. If you want to switch between the trimmed down view and the full calendar view you can use the "Change View" button in the "View" ribbon.

SQL Syntax Example:

"urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office#Keywords" = 'A - Important and Immediate' OR "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office#Keywords" = 'B - Important and Not Immediate' OR "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office#Keywords" = 'C - Not Important and Due Soon' OR "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office#Keywords" = 'D - Uncategorized' OR "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office#Keywords" = 'I - Informational' OR "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office#Keywords" = 'P - Pending Requests' OR "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office#Keywords" = 'Personal' OR "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office#Keywords" = 'Z - Business' OR "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office#Keywords" = 'Z - Important' OR "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office#Keywords" = 'HOLIDAY' OR "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office#Keywords" like '%%'
3

I used your initial approach (thanks so much!), but I wanted to hide the small, recurring appointments that I set for myself from appearing on my calendar.

First thing I did was that I edited my small, recurring appointments for myself as LOW importance.

Then additional changes at your Number 3..

  1. Click the "Advanced" tab
  2. Click "Field" pulldown menu under "Define more criteria".
  3. Click "All appointment fields" and select "importance"
  4. Set "condition" to "not equal to" and then select "value" to "low"

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