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9.1. How Do I Search My Items for a Word or Phrase?

Outlook makes searching for your items very easy and provides many advanced features for performing complex searches. All the available search options can be accessed through the Tools menu. The first option is the standard Find dialog box, which is activated with the following steps:

From the Tools menu, select Find and then select Find again. (The Alt I keyboard combination also works from any view in Outlook.) A narrow window appears above your current view. (Actually, this menu option toggles the viewable state of the Find bar so that it can be dismissed using this menu option.) Figure 9-1 shows the Find bar above the Notes view.

Figure 9-1. The Find feature enables you to quickly search for a word or phrases within the current folder.

Note that the Search In value on the Find bar is defaulted to the current view. Therefore, if you're currently in the Notes view and are doing a find operation, Outlook assumes that you want to search your notes. To change that, either type in the name of the folder you want to search (keeping in mind that things such as the calendar, tasks, and notes are simply folders and can be typed in here) or click the down arrow to the right of the Search In label. This drop-down list provides some default entries, such as the current folder, All Mail Folders, Mail I Received, and Mail Sent. If none of these is what you want and you're not sure of the name, click the last entry on the list, Choose Folders. This option displays the Select Folder dialog box, where you can navigate through your Outlook installation's folder tree to locate the exact folder you want to search. (Note that you can select the Search subfolders option on the Select Folder dialog box to search the selected folder as well as any folders within that folder.)

When you're happy with where Outlook is going to search, you need to tell Outlook what to search for. This is done via the Look for text box; type the word or phrase that you're searching for. After you've typed in the text to search for, click the Find Now button. Outlook clears the contents of your current table view and shows the results of the search criteria.



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