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  1. #1
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    Outlook rules (Outlook 2003)

    Outlook 2003 is doing a really nice job finding and deleting spam. Recently I noticed that I am getting two or three messages a day with no subject. Or nothing in the subject. Can I create a rule that deletes messages like this. I tried for selecting nulls in the subject, but the continue button will not come active. Same for spaces. Any suggestions??

    Steve Auerbach

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Outlook rules (Outlook 2003)

    I've worked around this in the past by using the ASCII equivalent. For nulls, this would be the keystroke ALT+0000, and for spaces it would be ALT+0032 (hold the ALT key down and enter these values on the numeric keypad).

    I don't know if it will work, but as I noted, it's gotten around some text interpreters that I have had to deal with in the past.
    -Mark

  3. #3
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    Re: Outlook rules (Outlook 2003)

    I tried the suggestion using ALT 0000. The ADD button does not come active and so I can not proceed. In short, Outlook does not recognize ALT 0000 as a character

  4. #4
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    Re: Outlook rules (Outlook 2003)

    Here's something to try, then. Since it is a null, your are not inputting anything into the form. Try hitting the space bar first, and then deleting it, and lastly adding the null character to see if the ADD button then becomes active.
    -Mark

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    Re: Outlook rules (Outlook 2003)

    Nevermind the previous post, Outlook will simply not recognize the NULL character in ASCII. It does, however, recognize the space character.

    I tried hunting through the PST file that Outlook uses with a hex editor to see if I could make some sense of where the rules are stored, but even though I can find the place in the file where they live (which will be different in every PST file anyway), they are encoded in such a way that you cannot do anything with them.

    I do believe that null characters are a lost cause for rules. <img src=/S/sad.gif border=0 alt=sad width=15 height=15>
    -Mark

  6. #6
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    Re: Outlook rules (Outlook 2003)

    Is this a VBA opportunity? Are there VBA smart folks reading this who might help? Or
    Is this an opportunity for Woody to point out that while Outlook does an excellent job of flushing junk, it does not handle mail with no subject

  7. #7
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    Re: Outlook rules (Outlook 2003)

    Hmmn, I think all of the above may apply here!
    -Mark

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    Re: Outlook rules (Outlook 2003)

    Someone here was writing a custom rule using VBA, which is possible in Outlook 2002 so I assume it is possible in 2003. But I don't know if it worked out in the end. (I don't recall whether I tried it myself.)

  9. #9
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    Re: Outlook rules (Outlook 2003)

    As a receiver of relatively substantial amounts of daily spam, I would recommend the small cost of a Spam Filter. If you follow the links in this post, you can get SAProxy for USD 10 - which is extremely effective. You could also try looking on the Software Finds and Wants Board.
    Gre

  10. #10
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    Re: Outlook rules (Outlook 2003)

    ...or anything that uses Bayesian filtering, the current rage in spam filtering products.
    -Mark

  11. #11
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    Re: Outlook rules (Outlook 2003)

    Your not reading, or don't understand, my original posting. Outlook 2003 traps the great majority of the spam I get every day. It traps well over 100 messages each and every day with zero false positives (as far as I can see) and zero training. Why would I consider adding a spam program to trap 3 or 4 spams a day that the program misses? Especially as most of them have null subject lines. Why?

  12. #12
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    Re: Outlook rules (Outlook 2003)

    Easy now <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> I have not misread a single thing, and I do not believe anyone else has either. As it stands, the results of this discussion speak for themselves. Without VB scripting, you cannot force Outlook to recognize the null character, and maybe not even then. The only other option is an add-in of some kind. If you can live with 3 to 4 junk emails a day, then it would seem that your original question has been answered. You must decide for yourself whether or not you can live with those stray messages that manage to infiltrate your inbox.

    My solution for some time has been to use Mailwasher Pro in conjunction with Outlook. I read my mail in there, and only download to Outlook what I want to keep and/or respond to. In that sense, Mailwasher has become my first line of defense and my primary mail reader. It will automatically delete anything that is blacklisted once it is set up properly. It is not perfect, but as long as there is spam I cannot believe that there ever will be a perfect answer.

    So I turn the question of "why" back to you. Why? Evidently you do not want to receive the unsolicited junk. Your options are limited, but at least you have options instead of none at all.
    -Mark

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