none
Custom Reading Pane and Custom Contact Form RRS feed

  • Question

  • I know I've asked something similar in the past, though let me present the choices I appear to be facing, and neither one are satisfying my boss.

    Here in exhibit 1 I have a customized reading pane but annoyingly it also includes the default reading pane above it and I cannot seem to hide it.

    The above uses an adjoin method with inspectors off with the add-in which still maintains my custom contact form.  I tried using the Replacement methods with the inspectors off, but what is happening is I would now have my contact form default back to Microsoft's undesireable default form.  After spending over 3 hours on the phone with Microsoft live support, they were unable to satisfy our needs as the next best thing was to make my custom contact form a form region, and do a replacement along with inspectors on so the form can also be the reading pane as well as shown below:

    While I am actually fine with this, the concern my boss has is that the users would either need to expand the reading pane or scroll down to the fields they essentially only care about, we don't want these particular fields to necessarily be at the top.

    So basically it appears I cannot have only one custom reading pane appear while having a separate custom form.  Are there any tricks that I could possibly do in my add-in project or registry to make this work as desired, or perhaps at least hide Microsoft's undesireable reading pane in the adjoining method somehow?


    • Edited by jfalberg Tuesday, November 20, 2012 2:31 PM
    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 2:29 PM

Answers

  • The only way you can switch between Form Regions in the Reading Pane is if you design two-different Adjoining Form Regions.  Then they are collapsible/expandable and stacked.  However, I don't think you can switch between the regions using code.  You have much more control over Add-in Express' implementation of Regions.  You can even continue to use VSTO Form Regions in an Add-in Express add-in project if you want to move away from a VSTO project entirely.


    Eric Legault MVP (Outlook)
    About me...
    Try Outlook Appins - affordable and easy to use!

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 7:53 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • I'm not quite sure I understand your design requirement - is it that you wish you could have multiple form displays in the Reading Pane, sort of like tabbed pages?  You could do this with Advanced View and Form Regions in an Add-in Express project.

    Otherwise, if you simply want to show/hide the Reading Pane, you can use Explorer.ShowPane(olPreview, False).


    Eric Legault MVP (Outlook)
    About me...
    Try Outlook Appins - affordable and easy to use!

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 3:49 PM
    Moderator
  • Basically I just want only one simple and small reading pane like the one designed in the first image but without Microsoft's default form showing.  Now if I use Explorer.ShowPane(olPreview, False) method, is it possible to only hide the default form while still showing my customized reading pane?
    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 4:02 PM
  • Are you saying you want a Replace All Form Region visible in the Reading Pane, with an Adjoining Form Region displayed underneath the Replace All Form Region inside the Reading Pane?  If so, I don't believe that is possible.  You can have multiple Adjoining Form Regions stacked in the same location, but Replace All and Separate Form Regions cannot be combined with an Adjoining Form Region, AFAIK.


    Eric Legault MVP (Outlook)
    About me...
    Try Outlook Appins - affordable and easy to use!

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 4:29 PM
    Moderator
  • Only a small form region for the reading pane with nothing else while still having a separate custom contact form for each item. 

    I know the main purpose of the Outlook reading pane is as a form preview but we want to treat it as a small region so users can get directly to the information they need without doing any extra scrolling or clicking.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 4:38 PM
  • Wouldn't a Replace All Form Region do exactly what you need then?  Note though that you are limited to using this with custom message classes only (e.g. IPM.Contact.Foo).

    Eric Legault MVP (Outlook)
    About me...
    Try Outlook Appins - affordable and easy to use!

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 4:49 PM
    Moderator
  • By doing a Replace All, while my reading pane for IPM.Contact.Rolodex appears as desired, the contact item upon opening would only show the limited fields instead of our custom form associated with same class where we have all available fields for entry.
    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 5:21 PM
  • I think you can do what you want by exposing your simple Form Region to the Reading Pane only (set ShowInspectorCompose and ShowInspectorRead to False), and hiding your second full Form Region from the Reading Pane and showing it only for read and/or compose modes.

    Eric Legault MVP (Outlook)
    About me...
    Try Outlook Appins - affordable and easy to use!

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 6:17 PM
    Moderator
  • When I set inspector compose and read to false and re-build/install, this is how each item appears instead upon opening:

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 6:55 PM
  • Well, if you set it to false for both properties it's not supposed to be shown!  Please re-read my last post - this will only work if you show a second form region.  One region is for the reading pane, the other is for the open item.

    Eric Legault MVP (Outlook)
    About me...
    Try Outlook Appins - affordable and easy to use!

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 7:38 PM
    Moderator
  • So if I understand correctly, if I have 2 custom form regions, one for my items and another for reading pane only, I should be able to have the ability with the reading pane to select one region or the other?

    I saw add-in express was mentioned, and while I am vaguely familiar with it, would it be a required product to accomplish where I can have one pane or the other?  I'm not sure if this may be acceptable or whether desired reading pane would stick per user though.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 7:44 PM
  • The only way you can switch between Form Regions in the Reading Pane is if you design two-different Adjoining Form Regions.  Then they are collapsible/expandable and stacked.  However, I don't think you can switch between the regions using code.  You have much more control over Add-in Express' implementation of Regions.  You can even continue to use VSTO Form Regions in an Add-in Express add-in project if you want to move away from a VSTO project entirely.


    Eric Legault MVP (Outlook)
    About me...
    Try Outlook Appins - affordable and easy to use!

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 7:53 PM
    Moderator