Exchange and Outlook UPDATE, Outlook Edition—brought to you by Exchange & Outlook Administrator, the print newsletter with practical advice, how-to articles, tips, and techniques to help you do your job today.
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July 2, 2002—In this issue:
- More Toolbar Tricks
- The Enterprise-Management Solutions You've Been Searching For!
- Special 2-for-1 Subscription Offer!
- Tip: Where Outlook Stores View Settings
4. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Automate Your Message-System Reporting
- Submit Top Product Ideas
5. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Sue Mosher, News Editor, [email protected])
This is the second of two articles about customizing the Outlook toolbar. Some of the approaches I mention apply to all Microsoft Office programs; others are handy tricks specific to Outlook.
One useful technique is to create custom toolbars that you don't need to keep visible all the time. For example, I enjoy fiddling with Outlook views, but I find it tedious to go through the View, Current View, Customize Current View routine to finally get to the Filter dialog box. So, I've created a new toolbar that has all my favorite View commands, but I leave it out of sight most of the time.
To create a new toolbar, right-click anywhere on the toolbars, then choose Customize. On the Toolbars tab of the Customize dialog box, click New and give the toolbar a name. Then, you can switch to the Command tab and drag commands to the new toolbar. My Views toolbar contains the commands for Filter, Show Fields, Sort, Group By, Automatic Formatting, Other Settings, and Define Views. To turn on the toolbar when I want to work on views, I right-click the toolbars, then select Views from the list of toolbars.
In last week's UPDATE, you learned how to make hyperlinks on an Outlook toolbar. This technique opens up new possibilities for customization. One very practical application is to create a menu that lists the people to whom you send messages the most.
To create a new drop-down menu on a toolbar, open the Customize dialog box. On the Commands tab, find New Menu at the bottom of the Categories list and drag it to your toolbar. Right-click the New Menu button and give it a new name, such as Friends.
To populate the menu, drag any command from the Commands tab onto the blank list area that drops down when the mouse passes over the new menu. Use the New Mail command to get an appropriate email message icon. Right-click the new command button, and change the Name to the name of a person you want to add to your Friends list. Choose Assign Hyperlink, Open; then choose E-mail Address. Enter the person's address; Outlook will automatically add "mailto:" to the beginning of the address to turn it into a hyperlink.
You can repeat the process to add more buttons to launch messages to other people. When you've finished, close the Customize dialog box. Click any button on your new drop-down menu to create a test message.
Adaptive menus are a new Office 2000 feature that takes some getting used to. The commands visible on the toolbars and menus change as you use them. This feature is supposed to make it easier to find the commands you use the most. But some people find adaptive menus just plain annoying. If you're one of these people, you can turn off adaptive menus in any Office 2000 or Windows XP program's Customize dialog box. Go to the Options tab and select the "Always show full menus" box.
Here's one more little toolbar trick: You don't need to open the Customize dialog box to rearrange a toolbar's buttons. To move a button or remove it from the toolbar completely, hold down the Alt key and drag the button to where you want it. To start a new toolbar button group, hold down Alt and drag the button that you want to be the leftmost member of the group just a little bit to the right of its current position.
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(contributed by Sue Mosher, [email protected])
Q: Where does Outlook store its view settings?A: If you've poked around in the files that Outlook creates, you might have found views.dat and assumed that it contains the settings for your Outlook folder views. Views.dat contains information about views but only views for system folders, not for Outlook folders.
Exchange Server's mdbvu32.exe tool reveals where Outlook stores its folder views. If you use mdbvu32.exe to open the root folder of the mailbox store, you see a folder named IPM_COMMON_VIEWS or "Common Views folder." It contains two types of hidden objects: IPM.Microsoft.FolderDesign.NamedView and IPM.Microsoft.FolderDesign.FormsDescription. In other words, these objects are folder views and Outlook forms—in particular, forms published to your Personal Forms library.
However, IPM_COMMON_VIEWS doesn't contain all folder views. It contains any view that you create and designate for use on all folders of a certain item type or on "This folder, visible only to me." If you designate a view for use on "This folder, visible to everyone," Outlook stores the view not in IPM_COMMON_VIEWS but in the folder you're working with. You can see the view if you examine that folder's contents with mdbvu32.exe.
See the Exchange & Outlook Administrator Web site for more great tips from Sue Mosher.
4. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Bob Kretschman, [email protected])
Hypersoft Information Systems released OmniAnalyser 7.1, software that automates reporting on your messaging system and analyzes communication patterns and contents. The product works on systems running Exchange 2000 Server and Exchange Server 5.5. OmniAnalyser 7.1 lets companies collect information about patterns of document usage and the effectiveness of email-based marketing campaigns. The product also measures the number of delayed and undelivered messages in the company and in various parts of the mail system, and it measures traffic numbers between users, departments, and inbound and outbound destinations. Hypersoft licenses the product per server; one server license costs $600. For more information, contact the vendor by email at [email protected]
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