I need to assign the category colour Orange (renamed "Follow Up") to quite a number of emails I send out. At the moment I click Tags > Categories > and select the colour. Is there a way to create a short cut to assign this category, just before sending it out?

My preferred solution if possible is a button in the ribbon to click to assign this before I send it out. But if not possible, other solutions are also OK e.g. keyboard shortcut.

Note that I have tried setting the shortcut key in Outlook under Color Categories (Ctrl-F2), but this didn't seem to work when composing email. It works when I want to tag emails in a folder, but that's not what I need.


Unfortunately, Outlook doesn't support keyboard shortcuts for categories in a message window.

The possible workaround is to create the VBA macro like this:

Sub AssignCategory()
    If Not ActiveInspector Is Nothing Then
        ActiveInspector.CurrentItem.Categories = "Follow Up"
    End If
End Sub

After that you'll be able to customize the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) on message window by clicking small drop-down arrow in the upper left corner (next to save, undo, ...). There, click "More Commands..." and select "Macros" in the "Choose commands from" box. Now you can select AssignCategory macro and "Add>>" it to QAT.

Voila! Now you can use keyboard shortcut to assign "Follow Up" category to the currently opened message, just press ALT and you'll see the number assigned to the macro.

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