Outlook Tips and Techniques - 01 Jun 1998

When printing in Outlook, can you hide private items, as you can in Schedule+?

If you mark items as private, you can use a filter to exclude them before you print. The secret to printing from Outlook is to arrange the view to include the fields you want to print—grouped and sorted the way you want to see them. In other words, the current view controls the content of the printout.

To filter private items in a calendar, follow these steps:

  1. Choose View, Filter.
  2. On the Filter dialog box, switch to the Advanced tab.
  3. Click Field, then under Frequently-used fields, select Sensitivity. Set the Condition to not equal to and the Value to Private.
  4. Click Add to List, and then click OK to apply the filter. You will now see only nonprivate items in the calendar, and only the nonprivate items will print.

You can save this view so you can reuse it without building the filter again. In the Current View box on the toolbar, type in the name you want to use for the saved view (perhaps Public Appointments), then press Enter. In the Copy View dialog box, shown in Screen 1, specify which folders you want this view to be available to.

I use different subfolders in Calendar to enter events and appointments. How do I merge the subfolders into another calendar folder to print?

You can use the Current View box on the toolbar to switch to the Active Appointments view, select all the appointments, and then copy them into an empty Outlook Calendar folder. Repeat this procedure for each subfolder until you have copied the contents of all the subfolders into one big Calendar folder.

However, a better approach might be to use Categories instead of subfolders to group the events and appointments. If you use subfolders, you're missing out on two key Outlook features that are unique to your main Calendar folder:

  1. Outlook triggers reminders only for appointments in the main Calendar folder.
  2. Only the main Calendar folder reports your free and busy time to other users on the network.

To use Categories (e.g., Personal and Business) instead of subfolders to organize appointments, use the Categories field at the bottom of each appointment or event item to assign the item to one or more categories. You can either type a category into the box next to Categories or click Categories for a list. Screen 2 shows an appointment marked in the Business category.

To put these categories to work, choose View, Filter to create a filter. Then switch to the More Choices tab, where you'll find the Categories field. If you marked business appointments with the Business category, choose the Business category as the condition for the filter, as Screen 3 shows. You'll see just the Business appointments. You can create a different filter to show only the Personal appointments. For each filter you want to reuse, save it as a view, as I described in the preceding item.

I get tired of switching back and forth between the Inbox and my Calendar. Can I have them both open at once?

You can open as many Outlook windows as you need and show a different folder in each window. For example, let's assume you followed the instructions in the previous question and assigned the Business and Personal categories to your appointments. Here's how you can view them in two separate Calendar windows:

Right-click the Calendar icon in the Outlook Bar, and choose Open in New Window. Apply a filter to show only the Business category in this window. Using the same method, open another Calendar window. Apply a filter for the Personal category to this window.

These steps open three Outlook windows—one for your business calendar, one for your personal appointments, and the original window, where you can view email, Contacts, and other Outlook components. If you have all three windows open when you close Outlook, Outlook will restore the two Calendar windows, with their filter settings, the next time you run Outlook. I have my copy of Outlook set up to show the Inbox and, in a separate window, the Calendar.

A user created a subfolder in his Sent Items folder. When he moves sent messages to the new subfolder, Outlook sorts them by the sender instead of the recipient (the Sent Items folder sorts by recipient). Can I add the To field so the user can sort by the recipient?

This question is related to views. Any new mailbox folder for messages includes the From, Subject, and Received fields, but not the To field—even if the folder is a subfolder of Sent Items. Therefore, the user just needs to create a new view that contains the To field.

Choose View, Show Fields, or View, Field Chooser to add the To field to the view. You'll probably also want to add the Sent date. You can change the sort order and then save the view as I described earlier so you can use it on all Mail folders.

Why can't I print a colleague's daily calendar, even though I have Delegate access? The weekly and monthly calendars print fine.

You might not suspect it, but this problem is a permissions issue. The Daily Style for printing from a Calendar folder usually also includes the TaskPad, which shows your colleague's to-do list. Because the items on the TaskPad come from the Tasks folder, if you don't have permissions for your colleague's Tasks folder, the Daily Style won't print.

You can solve the problem in two ways. You can have your colleague choose Tools, Options, and use the Delegates tab to give you permission to view the Tasks folder. Or you can follow these steps to omit printing of the TaskPad:

  1. When you're ready to print the calendar, choose File, Print.
  2. In the Print style window, select Daily Style, then click Page Setup.
  3. On the Page Setup dialog box, clear the TaskPad box under Options.
  4. Click Print.

How do I send a copy of a Contact record to someone who uses Outlook but doesn't have a mailbox on our Exchange server?

Make sure the recipient's address is set for rich-text formatting. Before you send the message, click the Check Names icon on the Toolbar, and then double-click the underlined address to display its properties. In the Properties dialog box for a one-time address or an address from the Personal Address Book, check Always send to this recipient in Microsoft Exchange rich-text format. For addresses from an Outlook Contacts folder, double-click the underlined address in the message to bring up the Contacts record. To get to the address' properties, double-click the address in the E-mail field, and check the box for rich-text formatting on the Properties dialog box that appears.

When you've set the recipient for rich-text formatting, you can send a Contact item, appointment, or any other Outlook item as an attachment. Either drag it into the message, or choose Insert, Item from the message's menu.

We gave Send on Behalf Of permission to our president's assistant to send email messages on behalf of our president. However, our test message appeared as though it came from the assistant, not the president. How do you get the email to look as though it came from the president rather than the assistant?

You're looking for the Send As permission, not Send on Behalf Of. An individual user cannot grant Send As permission; only the Exchange Server administrator can perform this task. To give Send As permission, you must use Exchange Administrator to change the permissions for the president's mailbox and grant Send As permission to whoever needs it. Also, make sure that the sender chooses View, From Field in the message window to display the From field and enters the account that the sender wants to send from.

Consider, though, whether you want to grant Send As permission rather than Send on Behalf Of. With Send As permission, if the assistant sends messages and uses the president's account in the From field, recipients see the messages as originating with the president; the messages give no sign that the assistant was involved. If the assistant turns into a disgruntled employee and sends prank messages to employees and customers, the damage could be devastating—and you have no way of proving the assistant's involvement. Much safer—and every bit as professional—is to use Send on Behalf Of and have messages go out from <assistant> on behalf of <president>. Note that if you use the Delegates tab on the Tools, Options dialog box to grant access to your Outlook folders, you are also granting Send on Behalf Of permission.

How do I make incoming messages move automatically into various folders?

Microsoft gives you two choices. You can use the Inbox Assistant feature or the Rules Wizard. Inbox Assistant uses a dialog box, and the Rules Wizard walks you through the process of creating a rule by letting you make choices on a series of screens. For most people, the Rules Wizard will be easier to use.

Inbox Assistant installs as part of the Outlook 97 Exchange Server components; Rules Wizard is an add-on for Outlook 97. See the FAQ at http://www.slipstick.com/exchange/ rwizfaq.htm for details about how to download and use it. Outlook 98 installs Rules Wizard by default, but you can use the Add-In Manager to disable the wizard if you need to use Inbox Assistant. In Outlook 98, you access Add-In Manager from Tools, Options, Other, Advanced Options, Add-In Manager.

You might want to use Inbox Assistant rather than Rules Wizard in two cases:

  1. If you need to create a forwarding rule to send the message exactly as you received it, with headers intact (for example, if you are forwarding all your mail from the Exchange Server to an external Internet account). This setting is available only in Inbox Assistant (for Exchange Server 5.0 and 5.5).
  2. If you need to create an automatic reply rule to run when you are not logged in to the Exchange Server. With the Rules Wizard, reply rules require an Outlook template .oft file. Inbox Assistant rules let you create the reply template in your mailbox, so it can work for you even when you're not logged in.

Why do some rules work only when I'm logged in to the Exchange Server?

Certain rules apply only when you're logged in because they require a component on your local system. Examples include

  1. A Rules Wizard reply rule, because it requires an Outlook template .oft file
  2. Any rule using a custom action, because a custom action needs to access the.dll file (found on your local system)
  3. Any rule that moves a message into a folder in a Personal Folders .pst file
  4. Rules Wizard rules that set a message flag or category, or perform any actions on outgoing messages, because these rules require Outlook components that are not installed on the Exchange Server.

One other client-only rule is worth mentioning. If you create a rule to move or copy incoming items to an Exchange Server public folder, this rule applies only when you're logged in. Microsoft explains that this type of rule is profile dependent and needs a logged-in user to get the security context in which the rule was created and make sure that the user has permission to create new items in the public folder. A workaround is to create a rule to forward items to the public folder's email address rather than move them to the folder.

For more information about how these rules work, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article "XCLN: Exchange Client Inbox Assistant Rules FAQ" (http://support.microsoft.com/ support/kb/articles/q154/7/74.asp).

Can I get Microsoft Knowledge Base articles without going to Microsoft's Web site?

You might not think this question is related to email, but it is. Microsoft lets you retrieve up to five Microsoft Knowledge Base articles by sending an email message to [email protected] with the Subject field containing the article numbers you want, separated by commas. In response, you'll receive the articles as email messages in your Inbox. If you find this service useful, build an Outlook form to make it even easier, so you won't need to remember either the address or the syntax for requesting articles.

How do I build an Outlook form to request Microsoft Knowledge Base articles?

Here's a step-by-step guide to this month's project, building an Outlook form to request Knowledge Base articles.

  1. Start by clicking the New Mail Message icon to create a new message.
  2. Type "[email protected]" in the To field.
  3. Type "Q######, Q######, Q######, Q######, Q######" in the Subject field.
  4. In the body of the message, type these instructions: "To request a Knowledge Base article, replace Q###### with the article number, such as Q154774. You may request up to five articles with each message. If you request fewer than five articles, delete the extra 'Q######' entries from the Subject field. After you've entered the article numbers, send the message. You will receive the requested articles by email in a few minutes." Feel free to add other appropriate instructions.
  5. Either choose File, Save As to save the message as an Outlook template .oft file, or choose File, Publish Form to save it in either your Personal Forms Library or the Organization Forms Library, so everyone can use it.

To use the Knowledge Base request form, choose Compose, New Template or Compose, New Form (depending on whether you saved it as a template or a form), select the template or form you created, fill in the article numbers you want, and then send the form.

I also built a more elaborate version of this form as an exercise in using controls on an Outlook form and in sending an item programmatically using Visual Basic Script (VBScript). You can find it on my Web site at http://www.slipstick.com/exchange/olforms/mshelp.htm.

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