Using the Query Builder Tab in Microsoft Outlook Custom Views

Outlook Views are an incredibly useful part of Outlook. However, for one reason or another, Microsoft hid the Query Builder tab.

This OutlookWise Tips & Tricks Sheet describes how to show this tab and use it to create queries.

Download the Article in PDF Format

We look at:

  1. Making the Query Builder Tab Visible,

  2. Reviewing the Basics of Outlook Views, and then

  3. Building a Filter using the Query Builder Tab

  4. MX-Contact: Managing Contact Lists Inside Outlook/Exchange

2. Making the Query Builder Tab Visible

Follow these steps to show the Query Builder tab in the Custom View Organiser:

  1. Make sure Outlook is closed.

  2. Open the Registry Editor. (Choose Start, Run; enter regedit; and click OK).

  3. Open the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook, by clicking on the “+” signs next to the folders (keys) and navigating down to Outlook. Note depending on your version of Outlook this will be \9.0\Outlook for Outlook 2000, \10.0\Outlook for Outlook 2002/XP or \11.0\Outlook for Outlook 2003.

  4. Right-click Outlook and choose New, Key:





  5. Type QueryBuilder in the Key edit box. Regedit will default to New Key #1, but you should replace that key name with QueryBuilder.





  6. Close the Registry Editor.

Before using the Outlook Query Tab review the basics of Outlook Views.

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3. Reviewing the Basics of Outlook Views

To use the Query Builder Tab, you need a good knowledge of the standard functionality in Outlook to create custom views, as well as of some of the more advanced topics like the SQL tab. If you are new to Outlook Views, we suggest you review the following articles before continuing.

Profiling Contacts using the Outlook Forms Designer - 02

Outlook Views – Using the SQL Tab

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4. Building a Filter Using the Query Builder Tab

For the purposes of demonstrating use of the Query Builder tab, we will take the same exercise as defined in the article on Using the SQL Tab, namely create a filter restricting the Contacts view to all marketing decision makers located on the West Coast (of the United States).

As reviewed in that article, we can think of this condition as:

(Marketing Decision Makers) AND (lives on the West Coast)

This equated to the conditions:

Job Title contains the word “Owner”

OR

Job Title contains the word “Manager”.

ANDed with the conditions:

State = “WA”

OR

State = “OR”

OR

State = “CA”

To build a filter using the Query Builder page on the Filter dialog box, do the following:

  1. Click View -> Current View -> Define Views (for Outlook 2000 and 2002/XP), or View -> Arrange by -> Current View -> Define Views (for Outlook 2003).





  2. The Define Views/Current View Organizer screen will be displayed:




  3. Click New to create a new View, and enter the View Name (Leave the Type of view as Table):




  4. Click OK. You will then get the View Summary/Customize View dialog:





  5. In this example I’m working with a few fields that do not ordinarily appear in the default Views, namely Job Title and State. So it would be useful to see these fields in the View. To do this click on the Fields button on the View Summary/Customize View dialog:




  6. From the Available fields list (with Frequently-used fields selected in the drop down) Job Title and State in turn and click Add-> to move the fields to the right hand window showing the fields that will appear in the View.

  7. Use the Move Up and Move Down buttons to reposition these fields so that they will display where you’d like them to:





  8. Click OK to return to the View Summary/Customize View dialog.

  9. Click the Filter button on the View Summary/Customize View dialog box:




  10. Click the Filter button and then select the Query Builder page on the Filter dialog box:





  11. Use the Query Builder interface to build your query. When you construct a filter, you actually build a WHERE clause without the WHERE keyword. Notice that you can use the logical AND or logical OR operator to develop the query and move clauses up or down. Add the 2 conditions relating to the Job Title, and change the Logical Group field to an OR condition:




  12. Then add the conditions for the 3 State values:




  13. Click the SQL page shown in Figure 11-2 on the Filter dialog box, and check the Edit These Criteria Directly check box:



  14. Notice the 2 nested conditions are AND’ed together, but the conditions relating to the same field (Job Title and State) are OR’ed together inside each set of brackets. For more details on defining queries using the SQL Tab, refer to the following article:


    Outlook Views – Using the SQL Tab


  15. We then click OK to return to the Customize View screen. Then click OK to return to the Custom View Organizer, and Apply View to save and activate the view:






  16. All the Owners and Managers that are located on the West Coast are displayed in the View – mission accomplished.

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5. MX-Contact: Managing Contact Lists Inside Outlook/Exchange

If you’re looking for an application to assist you with managing a contact list of some kind, whether it be customers, prospects, members, suppliers or whatever, check out MX-Contact. MX-Contact is a CRM, Contact Management and Sales Automation package that runs inside Microsoft Outlook 2000, 2002 or 2003. The system utilises all the standard functionality of Outlook but provides many additional features that transform Outlook into a powerful Contact Management and CRM system.

MX-Contact comprises a Base System, with optional Sales, Marketing and Support modules that can be added at any time. So you can use MX-Contact just for managing the contacts and/or companies you deal with, and the interactions (phone calls, e-mails, appointments, etc.) you have with them, plus use it to manage your sales opportunities, events and/or customer support incidents, by adding any of the available modules.

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www.mxcontact.com