Designing an Outlook Custom Mail form RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello

    I am very new to Outlook development (but not to vb coding).

    I want to design a custom Outlook form (OFT?) so that my client can send a bespoke email with one piece of information (an address) completed. The recipient then clicks on reply and enters two dates and a comment on the form and sends the mail back. I will then have  some vb code in Outlook that extracts the address, the dates and the comments and stores these in a csv file.

    I have started by designing a form from a message form, removed the message box and added my fields from the controls menu to both the Compose page and the Read page.

    When I test this form two things are immediately obviously wrong.

    1. In the Outlook preview pane I can only see my signature data and not my fields. 

    2. However, if I open the email I can then see my custom fields - although the address I entered when sending the email is not there.

    Can anyone point me at a really easy tutorial that shows me how to do this. It ought to be really easy (!).

    Thanks in advance


    Roy T

    Friday, May 1, 2015 2:46 PM


All replies

  • Hello Roy,

    This is a well-known limitation. No custom form
    can be displayed in the preview pane. You can develop an Outlook form region if you need to support the reading pane (Outlook 2007 and later versions). See Blank Email in Reading Pane for Custom Form for more information.

    I'd recommend developing an add-in instead. In that case you can create a form region which can be shown in the Reading pane in Outlook. Custom forms is an old technology. See Creating Outlook Form Regions for more information.

    Friday, May 1, 2015 3:02 PM
  • Hi Eugene

    Thanks for your reply. If I were to go down the path of creating an add-in can that be called from another program?

    The problem I have is that I have another program that will be running the necessary code to send the emails. My original intention was that the code would send the email using the template. I extract the address from a database; complete the address in the template; send the email and the user replies by completing a couple dates and a comment field in my template and sending the reply. My vba code in outlook would then strip out the dates and the comment into a csv file and another program would update the database with this information.

    Thanks again for your interest


    Roy T

    Tuesday, May 5, 2015 7:28 AM
  • See Walkthrough: Calling Code in an Application-Level Add-in from VBA .

    Also you may consider standard communication mechanisms such as WCF (.net remoting) and etc.

    Be aware, you can implement all the required functionality in the add-in without calling any external applications to extract the data from the db. See Walkthrough: Creating Your First Application-Level Add-in for Outlook .

    Tuesday, May 5, 2015 11:58 AM