Software

How to move Outlook’s flag column


You can rearrange, resize, and even remove all of the columns in Outlook's message list in Mail view -- all except the flag column. Moving that column requires more work:

  1. Right-click any field in the message list and choose Customize Current View from the resulting submenu.
  2. Click the Other Settings button in the Customize View: Messages dialog box.
  3. In the Other Settings dialog box, uncheck the Show Quick Flag Column option in the Other Options section.
  4. Click OK twice.

If you still see a flag, it's the Flag Status field. Outlook doesn't display it by default, so if it's visible, someone has already customized your message list a bit.

Use the Flag Status field just as you would the Quick Flag column. The difference between the two is that you can position the Flag Status field where you like.

If the Flag Status field isn't visible, you can add it (or any field) as follows:

  1. Right-click any field at the top of the message list and select Field Chooser.
  2. In the resulting Field Chooser dialog box, drag Follow Up Flag onto the message list header row.

The Follow Up Flag field is somewhat similar to the Quick Flag column and the Flag Status field. However, instead of displaying a flag, Follow Up Flag displays the text "Follow Up." For me, the field has limited appeal; I don't know why anyone would use it.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

8 comments
undrline
undrline

Aside from the background shading mentioned here in the comments, the major difference between Quick Flag and Flag Status is the ability to flag an item with just one click. By left-clicking on the Quick Flag, it will set that message to the default color (red) follow-up flag. You can't do this with the Flag Status; you have to Right-Click>Follow-Up>Red Flag. At least, that's the way it works on Outlook 2003.

cfeltt
cfeltt

The directions for using Flag Status column were exact and worked great. The only thing I discovered is once it is done, if your flag status comes up with text saying "Color" Flag, Unflagged... to change this right click on the flag column heading and choose Format Columns. Select the Flag Status field and change your setting from "Text with popup list" to "Bitmap with popup list" and you will get your flag icons back.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Your tips are dead on as far as they go, but does anybody know a way to move the Quick Flag column? It appears to be locked in on the far right, but I'd like it on the left. Also, does anybody know how to determine the sort order if I sort the Quick Flag column?

ssharkins
ssharkins

I don't think you can actually move the Quick Flag column, that's why I mentioned the Flag Status field. I've found it works similar to Quick Flag. Is there something Quick Flag does for you that Flag Status doesn't?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I use the flags to group messages together, flag for follow-up, etc. I have added buttons on my tool bar to quickly assign a flag / color to a message or to clear the flag. With Flag Status, only the pennant on the flag changes color. It's very difficult to tell the orange from the red or the green or purple from the blue. With Quick Flag, the entire square is colored, flag and background. It's much easier to tell the colors apart.

ssharkins
ssharkins

I see -- if the Flag Status flag isn't as easy to view as the Quick Flag, it isn't much help to you I guess. You might consider a low screen resolution setting, but that seems like a huge switch for such a small problem. I tried it, and while the size of the flags changed, the colors didn't seem any more discernible at the lower setting. You might just be stuck with the Quick Flag column. I don't know of a way to move it.

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