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How to ignore keywords for conversation threading

Posted on 2010-11-16
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Calling all Outlook / VBA experts! I've been pounding my head against my desk for quite some time trying to figure out how to do this.

The issue is, some users have an Outlook add-in that adds certain keywords to the subject of the message when they reply. There are only a handful of these. Naturally, because the subject is now different, these will show up as a separate conversation in Outlook 2007.

Allow me to illustrate with an example. I send John, Bob, and Mary an e-mail with the subject: "Hey there!". John replies with the subject "RE: Hey there!". Outlook groups this in the same conversation. Mary decides to forward his reply to me, again, and the subject now reads "FW: Hey there!". This is also grouped in the same conversation. However, when Bob replies, the subject is now "RE: Hey there! (PRIVATE)", and this is grouped into a separate conversation. Any further replies to Bob's message will now be grouped into the second conversation.

What I want to do is filter keywords such as (PRIVATE) and have them ignored much like RE: and FW: for the purposes of conversation grouping. That way, regardless of the presence of these keywords, Outlook will group everything into the same conversation.

I really hope this is possible! The first person to figure this out will become my personal hero for the remainder of the year =)
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Question by:poison5151
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rdan2 earned 500 total points
ID: 34151395
Hmm good question - I know people have this problem when getting emails from different localised outlook versions too (ie AW: instead of RE:)

Have never done it, ut I would probably create an outlook rule to process incoming messages and look for specified words in the subject (ie your '(PRIVATE)' string) and make the action "run a script"

You could then write some vba to strip the words you dont want out.  I did a quick google and found this - it should be adaptable to what you want:
http://www.outlookbanter.com/outlook-vba/39177-how-do-i-script-change.html
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by:poison5151
ID: 34157651
Figured this out. Turns out that changing the subject alone doesn't do the trick, you have to change the ConversationTopic property. Then, it turned out that Microsoft decided to make that read-only, so I had to install Redemption and use its RDO objects to get this accomplished.

What a nightmare! I'll be happy to write an article / post a walkthrough regarding how to do this if someone else runs into this issue.

rdan2 - thanks for your help, it turns out all I needed was a place to start =)
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by:rdan2
ID: 34159206
No problems at all - I was hoping you would get it working so I could hear how you did it.

Well done!
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