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categories Outlook 2010 not showing for all users

Posted on 2014-02-25
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Last Modified: 2014-03-11
I have Outlook 2010 users on an Exchange 2010 server in a 2003 AD Forest&domain.

In their Public Folders they have a Contact Folder called PUBLIC CONTACTS. Most people see about 100 categories that have been used and are available when categorizing one of these public contacts.

Some users however only see the basic default categories/colours.  What am I missing to enable these users to see all the corporate categories that have been used on these public contacts ??
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Question by:jtd1
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by:David Lee
ID: 39888579
Categories colors are individual, not corporate.  Each person sets their own colors.  Outlook/Exchange does not have a built-in mechanism for sharing/enforcing colors across the enterprise.  There are ways to do it, but nothing that's built into Outlook/Exchange.  Here's an article I wrote on one way to accomplish this.

Category names, however, are enterprise wide.  Are you certain that the category names aren't showing up and it's just not the colors that are missing?
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by:jtd1
ID: 39888619
When she clicks on the category option and then clicks ALL CATEGORIES, only the basics are there.  None of the corporate categories.
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by:David Lee
ID: 39888649
That's the correct behavior.  As I noted above, categories are individual, not corporate wide.  But, if she opens one of the items in the "Public Contacts" folder, then she should see all the categories assigned to that item even though the categories don't appear in her list of categories.
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Author Comment

by:jtd1
ID: 39888911
When she opens a contact from the public contacts and then clicks categories, she only sees the basic categories.
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by:David Lee
ID: 39889012
I understand that.  As I've said, that's the expected behavior.  I'm not asking what she sees when she opens categories.  I'm asking if she sees the categories at the top of the contact when she opens a contact?  Look at the contact in the image below.  She should see the contacts at the top of the item just as you see in the screenshot.  The only difference is that the background on hers should all be white.

Sample contact with categories shown at the top
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Author Comment

by:jtd1
ID: 39890865
My mistake.

Yes, when you open the contact you see the category currently assigned to that contact and they are the categories that she is not seeing in her "category list".

When I right click the category at the top of the contact it shows both the selected category(s) and the available categories. In this case it also says "Not in Master Category list" for the currently selected categories.

How do I get her Outlook to learn all the available categories from these contacts in Public Folders ?
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David Lee earned 500 total points
ID: 39891458
Someone would have to add them or you'd have to use a solution like the one I linked to.  Outlook does not have a built-in way of doing this.
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Author Comment

by:jtd1
ID: 39892001
This does not make sense.  Specially since it is on a PUBLIC FOLDER.  I thought the attributes were included in the mailbox and not the local PC registry for 2010 ?  Why do most others see all the categories ?
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by:David Lee
ID: 39920042
Everyone should see all the categories just as I showed in the screenshot I posted earlier.  What they won't see are a consistent set of colors.  The categories assigned to an item are stored in that item.  But, the colors assigned to a category are specific to each mailbox.
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