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FAQs: Category

  1. Color patch doesn't reflect color chosen
  2. Create a compound/multiple category
  3. Categories simply rules
  4. Categories for folders
  5. Mail show up in wrong category on lists
  6. Categories lost after rebuild

Don't forget that you can apply as many categories as you like to any item in Entourage!

1) Why doesn't the color patch on left for category not reflect the color chosen on the right?

Actually, each category really has 2 versions of the color associated with it. One is the color it will use for text in lists and the other is the color it will use on the calendar for calendar events. The second color is generally lighter because it needs to show black text on top of it. The swatch on the left shows the calendar color.

2) How does one create a compound category in Entourage X that contains sets of more than one regular category?

First make the new compound category in Edit/Categories/Edit Categories. Then, once you've got items of both categories displayed, select any item, press command-A to select all. Then click on any item in its category column, and select the top menu item "Assign Categories". That window will come up - you'll see each of the two categories with the "partial" sign "-" in the checkbox. Click the checkbox for your new compound category, but do not click the "Make primary" button at the bottom. Then click OK. Doing it this way, will not assign the compound category as primary, so all the items will keep their usual colors. But now they all have the compound category as a second (or last) category.

Now when you're in the calendar, select this compound category. Everything will show up with the compound name, but you'll know it's one of your two (or more) component categories as well.

In future, when you make new items of either component category, add the compound category as a second category. Do it the same way with Assign Categories so as not to make it primary. If you forget, just go back to the custom view periodically and repeat the same procedure as above.

3) Why do you need categories?

  • Easier sorting of Address Book
  • Use in Rulesl
  • Use categories instead of entering individual addresses; you then have less criteria, making the rule run faster, as well as easing the ability to add new addresses just assign contacts to the category.
    See Rules for more info. Also see Organize your Mail.
  • They give items colour, especially useful in mail views and calendar views.
  • They also allow for some good automation - use categories assigned to contacts, which are automatically assigned to incoming mail linked to those contacts (this is a preference setting) and mail can be filtered against those categories. (for example, business contacts are assigned to the 'work' category AND to either 'customers', 'staff' or 'suppliers'. Now, incoming mail that isn't handled by specifc contact, company or project rules can be swept up by a broader "category is 'work' and category is 'customer'" rule and filed accordingly.
  • Categories (and now, in E2004, Projects) are extremely powerful tools that are a major benefit to Entourage.

4) If I control click on a folder in E-rage , I see I can get to "categories" and pick a certain one, what is this for, I don't get it?

You assign a category to a folder in order to give that folder a colour so it stands out in the folder list. No other reason.

5) Whenever I post a news item, the default Category is None. But as soon as the item is posted, it becomes Personal & Holiday. This happens even if I choose a specific Category.I can't find any preference that makes this happen, and I can't override it other than going back to the newsgroup and waiting until my post appears and then setting it back to None or whatever Category I wanted it to be in the first place.

It's because Entourage recognizes the post is from you and assigns the categories from your contact in the Address Book to the message. You can turn off this auto-assign categories option in preferences, or you can set the category of your own contact to None. You can also create a category "me". This will help identify your posts in threads.

6) Why do categories not stay assigned after rebuild?

Rebuilding a database sets preferences back to the defaults. Categories are personal preferences. Entourage 2008 no longer looses categories and links during a rebuild.