Originally Posted by Brazilian Joe Outlook
…The Ugly, ugly, ugly
Constructing searches is also utterly broken. First: you can't use boolean searches unless you go on the arcane 'Raw Query'mode. It's always an 'AND' search, there is no way to change the multiple criteria to an 'OR' search. Want to get email from either firstname.lastname@example.org
? Good luck with raw searches. They are not a problem for me, but the average user will not grok them. And they shouldn't have to, for certain trivial cases.
But wait, there's more. do you think you can group two folders in a single advanced search? Well, I found a way, but not without much hair-pulling and head-banging on the keyboard. are you still following me? Let me elaborate.
First, folders inside Outlook aren't folders in a tangible sense, like folders inside your disk. Surely, Outlook arranges the files in folders on disk, but it's for it's internal organization only, and the structure means nothing for the average user. It's just a bunch of folders and subfolders named as two-character hexcodes.
Outlook folders are there only to represent the mailbox structure, and there is no 'folder tree' exposed in any way to the searches. So, if you want to do a smart search picking up only the files inside a specific folder and its subfolders, you are out of luck. There is no way to do it, period.
You can concatenate one or more folders though, like I found out, in an extra-convoluted way.
First you must locate a file in your first folder which is there and only there. The easiest way is to create a draft with a unique word like 'rumpelstiltskin' or 'mytzoplyk' and move the draft there.
Then you must locate the real file on-disk using the Terminal, with the command-line version of spotlight, mdfind. This file will be in an obscure folder in the not-intended-for-humans structure created by Outlook. Still using the Terminal, you must locate the 'so-and-so-FolderID' file attribute, which you do using 'mdls', another command-line program which lists all attributes useable to perform searches using Spotlight. If you are still with me, you are brave.
With this valuable information, you can then start to write your Raw Query: so-and-so-folderID = (number) || so-and-so-folderID = (other number) . You must search for a unique file on each folder to get its ID using the command line. Simple, don't you think?
Only, it may not work, because Raw Queries are not as Raw as you may think. On the Search ribbon, there is a group of four buttons to the left, which set a super attribute to your search. If you left it on the 'folder' option, your 'Raw Query' will have an invisible restriction and will take place only in the current folder. You must click on 'All Folders' to be able to concatenate folders using the above excessively-arcane way.
And, for some reason, the Smart folders are at the BOTTOM on the left pane. It's like they knew it was so broken they wanted to hide it. Outlook for Windows has 'Favorite Folders' on the TOP of the left panel. Apple Mail has its smart folders (which work as advertised) at the top too, it's where it makes sense. Outlook for Mac's Smart Folders don't work, but if they did, they should be placed where it makes sense: at the top of the left panel (or let the users decide).
So, if you come from windows, and especially if you are a power email user, don't delude yourself thinking that Outlook for Mac will solve all your problems.
If you are willing to give up a bunch of functionality to ditch windows and go all-mac though, feel free to give it a try. But buyers beware, this Outlook is still in its infancy, and its immaturity shows up on its lack of options, polish and ill-advised interface decisions.