Sunday, April 1, 2007

Dealing with Outlook 2007’s issues


By Bill Mann

Last month I told you that I love Outlook 2007, and I do. But I love it a little less now than I did last month, thanks to two issues that have surfaced since then. When either of these two problems hits, they make life with Outlook 2007 more difficult than it needs to be. This month I'll tell you about these two issues, and describe some fixes that may work for you.

The RSS reflux issue

The first issue is the lesser of two evils, and might be called RSS reflux. Outlook 2007 has the ability to view RSS feeds. This is a great feature, and works well most of the time. However, sometimes, with some feeds, I ran into trouble. I would read an article from the feed, then delete it if it wasn't of further interest.

"I love it a little less now than I did last month..."

A few days or weeks later, the same article would reappear as an unread article, as if I hadn't read it yet. For example, an article on VMware was posted to one of the feeds I read on March 1. I read it and then deleted it. The article reappeared on March 20. It appeared in Outlook as an unread message with a date of March 1, as if I hadn't already dealt with it. I checked around and found that other people were having similar problems with feeds from other sources.

For people using Cached Exchange Mode, we found a solution that worked in some cases. That was to change how Outlook synchronizes unread articles on the feeds that were giving us trouble. For some people, setting the Synchronization filter on troublesome feeds to only synchronize unread messages solved the problem, assuming that they didn't delete articles after reading them.

To implement this "fix" you would right-click the feed in the Navigation pane, then select Properties. Next, on the Synchronization tabbed page, click Filter. This opens the Filter dialog box for that feed. On the More Choices tabbed page of this dialog box, shown in Figure A, you can tell Outlook to only synchronize articles that are unread.


Keep old articles from resurfacing by adjusting the feed Synchronization settings. (click for larger image)

This fix worked for some people, but not others. It's not clear why. And even when this fix works, it'ss unsatisfactory in that it involves keeping old articles whether you want them or not. This just adds more stuff to the PST file, which becomes particularly troublesome when we get to the next issue, the PST problem.