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Menu customization in Outlook 2013 RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a couple questions revolving around customization in Outlook 2013 and haven't been able to find a clear-cut answer yet, so I thought I'd try here.

    First, is it possible to add custom context menu items to the context menu that appears when you right-click a message in the Inbox?  This new menu item would also need to trigger a custom event, and not something that is predefined in Outlook.

    Second, is there a way to add new keyboard shortcut commands to Outlook that will trigger a custom event?  This is in line with the customized context menu in the first question, where we would want users to be able to trigger events of our add-in from a keyboard shortcut or context menu on the message itself.

    Thanks!
    Phil

    Wednesday, March 12, 2014 2:55 PM

Answers

  • Hello Phil,

    Yes, it is possible. Starting from Office 2010, you can customize built-in context menus just as you can the other components of the Ribbon UI. This XML-based context menu extensibility model is based on the familiar Ribbon extensibility model. This means that you can use the same XML markup and callbacks that you currently use to customize the Ribbon UI. Please read more about context menus in the Customizing Context Menus in Office 2010 article in MSDN.

    There is a keytip tag in the ribbon xml (with the corresponding getkeytip callback). Thus, you can specify the keyboard shortcut for your ribbon controls. You need to implement keyboard hooks (using Windows API functions) if you need to get more than just a ribbon shortcut.


    Wednesday, March 12, 2014 4:22 PM

All replies

  • Hello Phil,

    Yes, it is possible. Starting from Office 2010, you can customize built-in context menus just as you can the other components of the Ribbon UI. This XML-based context menu extensibility model is based on the familiar Ribbon extensibility model. This means that you can use the same XML markup and callbacks that you currently use to customize the Ribbon UI. Please read more about context menus in the Customizing Context Menus in Office 2010 article in MSDN.

    There is a keytip tag in the ribbon xml (with the corresponding getkeytip callback). Thus, you can specify the keyboard shortcut for your ribbon controls. You need to implement keyboard hooks (using Windows API functions) if you need to get more than just a ribbon shortcut.


    Wednesday, March 12, 2014 4:22 PM
  • Thanks for the article.  I read through that and did some tests in Word, and I think it puts me on the right path, but I'm wondering if you'd be able to offer any examples of how this is specifically implemented in Outlook.  This is my first time developing anything in Outlook, so I'm not certain how creating a macro enabled Word document translates to Outlook.  Also, are these XML-based ribbon changes something that have to be configured on a per-workstation basis, or is this something that can be added to the installation of Outlook so it is automatically deployed to all instances?  Thanks again for your assistance.
    Wednesday, March 12, 2014 6:26 PM
  • You need to develop an add-in, not VBA macro. It will work only on the machines with the add-in installed.

    See Outlook 2010: Extending the User Interface . Also you may find the Show and Hide Context Menu Items in Outlook 2010 (Norm Estabrook) article helpful.

    Wednesday, March 12, 2014 9:08 PM