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Quick Mac Office Tip: Get Rid of Outlook "Documents" in All My Files View

Yesterday, Microsoft released Office for Mac 2011 SP2. It contains a number of important fixes and compatibility updates. I'm happy to report that I've installed it on two Macs so far and have not encountered any difficulties.

One of my least favorite features came back after I installed the service pack, however. I don't like the way Outlook "documents" (email messages, contacts, tasks, etc.) are displayed in the "All My Files" view on Lion. As a matter of fact, it drives me absolutely insane. I get way too much email in the day to have it show in this view. I had struggled with getting rid of those documents in the All My Files view for a while now. I stumbled across a quick and easy workaround.

If you open finder and right-click on "All My Files" in the left sidebar, you can see a menu item called "Show Search Criteria." Click that. You'll see the search criteria open up like the following:

Microsoft Documents Mac All My Files

See that? Microsoft added some search criteria FOR YOU. Just click that minus sign next to "Kind -> Is Other ->" as I highlighted in the image above. Now your Outlook "documents" will disappear from the view.

This doesn't remove those "documents" from your spotlight results. Some of you may want that functionality. If you want to get rid of them from a general spotlight search, you need to employ other methods.

Now for the downside. It seems that every time Microsoft releases a patch for Office, this joyful piece of functionality comes back. At least it did when I installed SP2. You may have to remove the search criteria again later after installing a patch.

Hope this helps someone if this feature bothers you as much as it bothers me :) Have a great Friday!

About Jason Miller