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Search in Outlook 2007 custom categories

We have a public contacts folder in Exchange that we have created a custom form for with categories integrated in the form so we don't need to update everyone's Master Category List.  We used info on this site to create it http://www.outlookcode.com/d/forms/reqcat.htm.  It works great, except when we go to Search in outlook 2007 by categories it shows only a drop down list of the categories on the local PC's Master Category list.  I don't care about having a drop down list just a box to type in is fine.  How can we fix this to be able to search by categories?
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ggoble
Asked:
ggoble
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2 Solutions
 
David LeeCommented:
Hi, ggoble.

How are you trying to search?  If you are using "Advanced Find", then you can type anything you want into the Categories field.
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ggobleAuthor Commented:
We are trying to use the Instant Search feature which would be part of Desktop search in XP.  They want to be able to do it on the top of the screen in the public folder rather than going into Tools > Instant Search > advanced find.  It is important that the view is filtered so they can export the filtered list.
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David LeeCommented:
Instant Search is "as is".  There's now way I can think of to modify it's behavior.  Perhaps you should rethink the use of the custom form with and it's built-in categories.  I wrote an EE article on how to set up a corporate categories system that enforces standard categories across a team.  Here's a link to it: http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/Software/Office_Productivity/Groupware/Outlook/Outlook-2007-Corporate-Categories-System.html
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ggobleAuthor Commented:
Thanks, I'll take a look at that option more in depth tomorrow and get back to you.
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David LeeCommented:
You're welcome.
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ggobleAuthor Commented:
I am implementing your fix in a test environment, but am wondering how I edit the script to not delete all the local categories on their PC's.  I see it could be a option, but I am not good at creating scripts, any insight would be appreciated.
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David LeeCommented:
Either the personal or the shared categories must be marked in some fashion that sets them apart from the rest of the categories.  Say for example that you prefix all shared categories with a pound sign (i.e. #).  You could then modify the ClearCategories subroutine to ignore any category that isn't prefixed with a # character.  Something like this.
Private Sub ClearCategories()
    Dim intIndex As Integer, strCat As String
    For intIndex = Outlook.Session.Categories.count To 1 Step -1
        strCat = Outlook.Session.Categories.Item(intIndex)
        If Left(strCat, 1) = "#" Then
            Outlook.Session.Categories.Remove (intIndex)
        End If
    Next
End Sub

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ggobleAuthor Commented:
That should work, only thing we would want to do it set the private categories to have the pound sign instead.  If you have any advice on how to set that let me know.  I've been side tracked on a different project the last 2 weeks and haven't had time to implement all of this, but want to award you the point for being so helpful.   Thanks.
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David LeeCommented:
Thanks and you're welcome.  I'm glad I could help.  

Are you saying that you want to prepend a pound sign to all private categories?  If so, then you'll need to instruct your staff to do that.  I don't know of an automated means of doing that.
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ggobleAuthor Commented:
Yes, We'll have the staff do that, just wondering on the last script section you supplied for "Private Sub ClearCategories" if that would need to be different to leave the categories that start with #, and clear all the rest.
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