Home > Sample chapters > Microsoft Office > Outlook

Organizing Your Contacts List in Microsoft Outlook for Mac 2011

Searching for Contacts

When you have many contact records stored in Outlook, scrolling through them all to find a specific one can be time consuming. It can also be nearly impossible if you can’t remember the contact’s name.

That’s when the contact search feature of Outlook can come in handy. It enables you to search through your contacts lists to find records that match the search word or phrase you specify. If you can’t remember a contact’s name or which contacts list he’s in, no problem—you can search globally, though all fields and lists. Search results appear in their own window. You can select a contact in the window and use buttons beneath the contact name to create a new email message or schedule a new meeting, right from that window.

Outlook also offers an advanced search feature that you can use to set up multiple search filters. For example, suppose you want to find all contacts with companies based in California. You can set up multiple filters and Outlook will attempt to match the criteria in all filters to list just the contacts you’re looking for.

In this exercise, you’ll experiment with both simple and advanced search features that you can use with your contacts lists.

  1. In the Find a Contact box on the Home tab, type andr.

    httpatomoreillycomsourcemspimages825492.png
  2. Press Return. The Contacts Search window appears with search results displayed.

    httpatomoreillycomsourcemspimages825494.png
  3. In the search box at the top of the Contacts Search window, click the X button to clear the search characters. Then type hum.

  4. If no search results appear, click the menu on the left beneath the search box and click Search All Fields. If there are still no search results, click the menu on the right beneath the search box and click All Folders. Outlook should display two contacts who work for Humongous Insurance.

  5. In the search box at the top of the Contacts Search window, click the X button to clear the search characters. Then type Friends. No search results appear. Even though the Friend category has been applied to at least one contact record, you cannot use this simple search feature to search based on category.

  6. Close the Contacts Search window.

  7. On the menu bar, click Edit, and then click Find and Advanced Find or press Shift+Command+F. The Search contextual tab appears, along with a line for entering filtering criteria.

  8. On the Search tab, click the All Contacts button.

    httpatomoreillycomsourcemspimages825498.png
  9. In the search box above the contacts list and reading pane, type and. After a moment, the contacts list is filtered to show only those contact records that contain the text string and.

  10. On the filter line, click the Item Contains pop-up menu to display its options. Then click Last Name. The contact list is filtered to show only those records with the characters and in the Last Name field.

  11. On the filter line, click the Contains pop-up menu to display its options. Then click Does Not Contain. The contacts list is filtered again to show all records that do not contain the characters and in the Last Name field.

  12. On the filter line, click the Last Name pop-up menu to display its options. Note that it includes most fields.

  13. On the filter line, click the Does Not Contain pop-up menu to display its options. Note that the options that appear on this menu vary depending on the field that is selected in the menu beside it. When this menu isn’t needed, it does not appear at all.

  14. On the Search tab, click the Name button. Another filter line appears with the Display Name option chosen from the first pop-up menu. This offers a quick way to filter contact records by name.

    httpatomoreillycomsourcemspimages825502.jpg
  15. On the Search tab, click the Email button. Another filter line appears, this time with E-Mail Address chosen from the first pop-up menu. This offers a quick way to filter contact records by email address.

    httpatomoreillycomsourcemspimages824746.jpg
  16. On the Search tab, click the Company button. Another filter line appears, this time with Company chosen from the first pop-up menu. This offers a quick way to filter contact records by company name.

    httpatomoreillycomsourcemspimages825504.png
  17. On the Search tab, click the Has Phone button. Another filter line appears, this time with Phone chosen from the first pop-up menu and Exists chosen from the second pop-up menu. This offers a quick way to display only contacts with at least one phone number in their contact record.

    httpatomoreillycomsourcemspimages825506.png
  18. On the Search tab, click the Has Address button. Another filter line appears, this time with Street Address chosen from the first pop-up menu and Exists chosen from the second pop-up menu. This offers a quick way to display only contacts with at least one address in their contact record.

    httpatomoreillycomsourcemspimages825508.png
  19. On the Search tab, click the Flagged button. Another filter line appears, this time with Follow Up Flag chosen from the first pop-up menu and Not Completed chosen from the second pop-up menu. The contacts list is cleared out because no records match the current filtering criteria.

    httpatomoreillycomsourcemspimages825510.png
  20. Beneath the Search tab, click the button on the right end of each filter line except the one for Display Name. As the filter lines are removed, the contacts list items should reappear.

  21. On the Search tab, click the Modified button to display its options.

    httpatomoreillycomsourcemspimages825512.png
    httpatomoreillycomsourcemspimages825514.jpg
  22. Click This Week on the Modified button. Another filter line appears, this time with Date Modified chosen from the first pop-up menu and This Week chosen from the second pop-up menu. The contacts list is filtered to show only those contacts modified in the past week.

  23. Click the This Week menu, and then click Today. The contacts list is filtered to show only those contacts modified today.

  24. On the far-right end of the Date Modified filter line, click the button. The line and its filtering are removed.

  25. On the remaining filter line, choose State/Province from the first pop-up menu, and Is from the second pop-up menu. Then type CA in the text box. The list is filtered to show only contacts with addresses in California.

  26. On the Search tab, click the Company button to add a Company filter line. Then click Exists on the second pop-up menu. The list is filtered to show only contacts with addresses in California and the company name included in the contact record.