Organize messages into pre-defined groups

Try using arrangements to organize your Inbox. An arrangement is a predefined grouping and sorting order for messages. For example, you can arrange your messages by conversation so that they are grouped by message subject or "thread." The threads are sorted by date, and the messages within each thread are sorted based on who replied to whom and when.

Microsoft Outlook provides 14 predefined, standard arrangements that you can choose from. They are available from the View menu.

In this article

More about arrangements

Change the arrangement in your Inbox

Descriptions of the 14 predefined arrangements

More about arrangements

The default arrangement that is used to view messages is the Date arrangement. When you choose an arrangement and view it, the groups of messages are fully expanded by default, with the exception of the Conversation arrangement, in which the groups are collapsed by default.

inbox with conversation arrangement

1. Click the arrow next to a message heading to expand or close the related messages.

2. This message has no arrow; it has no replies associated with it.

3. Messages are indented to show who replied to whom and when they replied.

Although you cannot create a custom arrangement, you can create a custom view with customized grouping and sorting. However, this customizing can be done only in a table view type. Before you create a custom view, read the descriptions of the 14 predefined arrangements to determine whether one or more of them suits your needs.

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Change the arrangement in your Inbox

  • On the View menu, click Arrange By, and then click the arrangement that you want.

view menu showing arrangements

Tip   In the multi-line layout, you can quickly change from one predefined arrangement to another within a view by clicking the Arranged by column heading and then clicking the arrangement that you want.

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Descriptions of the 14 predefined arrangements

The following is a list of descriptions of the predefined arrangements.

Attachments

Groups messages into two groups (With Attachments and No Attachments) and sorts by the received date.

Categories

Groups messages by categories and sorts by the received date.

Conversation

Groups messages by message subject or thread. The sorting order of items in the threads is based on who replied to whom, and the sorting order of the groups is by date. When a new message is received, the entire conversation that it is a part of moves to the top of the message list. By default, only unread and flagged messages are displayed. You can see all messages in the conversation by clicking the arrow next to the conversation heading. To help you keep track of the conversation or e-mail message thread, messages are indented to show who replied to whom and when they replied.

Date

Groups and sorts messages by date. This is the default arrangement, and your view is simplified by hiding unnecessary details. For example, messages received today show the time only. Messages from yesterday show the day and time, and messages that are older than a week show you more detailed date information.

E-mail Account

Groups messages by e-mail accounts and sorts by the received date.

Flag: Due Date

Groups messages by flag and sorts by the due date that is assigned to the flag.

Flag: Start Date

Groups messages by flag and sorts by the start date that is assigned to the flag.

Folder

Groups messages alphabetically by folder names and sorts by the received date. This arrangement is available only in a Search folder.

From

Groups messages by names on the From line and sorts by the received date.

Importance

Groups messages by Importance (High, Normal, and Low) and sorts by the received date.

Size

Groups messages into the following seven categories and then sorts the messages by size:

  • Enormous (> 5 MB)

  • Huge (1-5 MB)

  • Very Large (500 KB - 1 MB)

  • Large (100 - 500 KB)

  • Medium (25-100 KB)

  • Small (10-25 KB)

  • Tiny (< 10 KB)

Subject

Groups messages alphabetically by subject and sorts them by the received date.

To

Groups messages by the name on the To line and sorts them by the received date.

Type

Groups messages by item type and sorts by received date. For example, all e-mail messages are in one group, meeting requests are in another, and task requests in a third.

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Applies To: Outlook 2007



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