Outlook: Changing a Task's Default Due Date

When I create a new Task in Outlook 2000, I want the due date to default to the current date. Can I use the current date without coding?

The noncode approach is to create a custom task form that sets a default value for the due date. You can then use a free Microsoft tool to replace the default task form with your custom form. To create the custom form, follow these steps:

  1. Click Tools, Forms, Design a Form.
  2. In the Design a Form dialog box, under Standard Forms Library, select Task, then click Open.
  3. After the Task form opens in design mode, click the (P.2) tab. The Field Chooser should automatically appear; if it doesn't, select Form, Field Chooser.
  4. Drag the Due Date field from the Field Chooser to the (P.2) page. This step will create two controls on that page—a label and a text box. The text box will show the data for the Due Date field.
  5. Right-click the Due Date text box and select Properties. In the Properties dialog box, click the Value tab, which Figure 1 shows.
  6. On the Value tab, go to the Initial Value section, then type Date() in the text box. Outlook will automatically select the Set the initial value of this field to check box. Click OK to return to Design a Form.
  7. Click Form, Display This Page to hide the page you just customized.
  8. Select Tools, Forms, Publish Form to publish the customized form to your Tasks folder. You might want to name the form DueToday, with a message class of IPM.Task.DueToday.
  9. Close the customized form, but don't save the changes.

After you publish the form to your Tasks folder, you can launch the form from the Actions menu in the Tasks folder. Forms published to a folder appear below the folder's Actions menu. If you want to use this form for all Tasks, download the Outlook 2000 Forms Administrator tool (formswap.exe) from http://www.microsoft.com/office/ork/2000/appndx/tool box.htm#outladm. The page at http://www.microsoft.com/office/ork/2000/journ/outtoolsintro.htm explains how this tool changes the registry to make a custom form the default task form.

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