Tip 49: Creating Advanced Filters

Outlook has a very powerful filter available to use with Advanced Find, Views, Automatic Formatting or Search Folders. You can add conditions on one or more of Filter's tabs and the conditions are joined with AND. In many fields you can use AND or OR operators within the same criteria:

Name contains Sue or Bill

Some fields will need a comma for OR:
Subject contains outlook, IMAP

You can't OR different criteria together, even on the Advanced tab.
Name contains Sue
Email address contains @microsoft.com

Won't work. Different criteria always uses AND. However, if you enable the QueryBuilder you can use AND. See Using QueryBuilder to learn how to enable QueryBuilder.

These filters will work on Views, Advanced Find, Automatic Formatting and in Outlook 2003 and up, with Search Folders. Some of the tricks, like the comma one, work in Find too.

Published October 16, 2003. Last reviewed on May 4, 2013.