Outlook Tips and Techniques - 01 Nov 1998

We have a public Contacts folder with about 200 entries. How can we include these users in a public distribution list?

You can create a distribution list on the fly with any Contacts folder, either public or in your mailbox. Select the contacts you want to receive your message, and then choose Contact, New Message to Contact. This technique might not be as convenient as picking from the Global Address List (GAL), but once you get the process down, it's quite quick.

Can I synchronize Personal Address Book (PAB) entries with the GAL?

Many people continue to use the PAB for personal distribution lists, either because they find on-the-fly distribution lists in Outlook Contacts (as I described in the previous question) somewhat awkward or because they want to mix internal recipients from the Exchange Server's GAL and external recipients. Unfortunately, Outlook has no mechanism for synchronizing the recipients on PAB distribution lists with the corresponding recipients in the Exchange Server's GAL. In the long run, some of the addresses on the PAB distribution lists start returning nondelivery messages because PAB addresses remain unchanged when addresses in the GAL are updated and the addresses no longer match.

Here's a strategy to consider: Use separate distribution lists for internal and external recipients. The internal list can stay in the GAL. Give a responsible user the necessary access permission to manage it. Store external recipients in a Contacts folder in Public Folders, and show users how to create distribution lists on the fly, as I described in the previous question. Or let users use their personal Contacts folder(s) or PAB for making distribution lists of external recipients. Sending a message to two distribution lists—one internal and one external—rather than to one that combines inside and outside addresses takes only a few more keystrokes.

Can I suppress the To and Cc fields when printing an incoming message? Printing those fields wastes a lot of paper when the message goes to 400 users.

The best solution is to get people either to use a distribution list from the GAL or to put those 400 names in the Bcc field (View, Bcc Field) rather than in To or Cc. Either method hides the detailed recipient list, resulting in a much neater message.

If you do need to print a message with 400 names in the To field, try using File, Save As to save it as an .rtf format file. You can then open it in WordPad or Word, remove the lengthy recipient list, and do any other reformatting.

Tip: If you're using a Contacts folder to generate a distribution list on the fly, as I described in this column's first question, you might want to cut and paste the addresses from the To field (where the New Message to Contact command puts them) to the Bcc field.

When I'm viewing a Contacts folder in the address book, is there a way to see only email addresses, not fax numbers?

For each Contact record, the Outlook Address Book (OAB) displays both the email address(es) and any numbers entered in the fax fields, because it treats fax numbers as valid email addresses. If you want to be able to send both email messages and faxes from Outlook, you can't exclude the fax addresses and see just the email addresses in the OAB.

However, if you keep contacts' fax numbers for record-keeping purposes only, you can keep them out of the OAB by storing the fax information in one of the nonfax phone number fields. Unfortunately, you can't change the label on those fields (or any other built-in field); you must remember which field contains the fax numbers.

I saved all the email messages I've received for the last year onto a CD-ROM. Why can't I access them?

You can save messages from your mailbox to a Personal Folders (.pst) file either by using Outlook's archive function or by moving them manually. If the .pst file is on your local hard disk, you can open it with Outlook 97's File, Open Special Folder, Personal Folder command or in Outlook 98 with File, Open, Personal Folders File. However, if you copy the .pst file to a read-only CD-ROM and try to open it, you will get a message telling you that Outlook cannot open the folders.

The problem is that Outlook requires write access to open a .pst file, even an archive. The solution is to put your Outlook archives on a medium that you can write to, not on a read-only CD-ROM.

How can I put shortcuts to applications rather than to folders on the Outlook Bar?

The Outlook Bar (the vertical bar on the left side of the Outlook window) can contain shortcuts only to folders, not to application or document files. However, you are not limited to just Outlook folders. You can include shortcuts to system folders on the Outlook Bar. For example, you can create a shortcut to a system folder that contains shortcuts to launch your favorite applications.

When you install Outlook 97, you see an Other group on the Outlook Bar (as Screen 1 shows) containing shortcuts to My Computer, plus Public Folders, your Favorites system folder, and if you are using Windows NT, your Personal folder.

In Outlook 98, you see an Other Shortcuts group on the Outlook Bar. This group includes shortcuts to My Computer, Favorites, and Personal, if you are using Windows NT.

To add a system folder shortcut to the Outlook Bar:

  1. Pick the Outlook Bar group where you want to add the shortcut.
  2. Right-click in the gray area of the group, outside any of the existing shortcuts, and then choose Add to Outlook Bar in Outlook 97 or Outlook Bar Shortcut in Outlook 98.
  3. In the Add to Outlook Bar dialog box, under Look in, select File System. In Screen 2, I'm adding a shortcut to the Desktop to the Outlook Bar.
  4. Select the folder you want to create a shortcut to and then click OK.

In Outlook 98, if you do not see File System as an option in Step 2, you need to install the Integrated File Management component. For more information, see the Microsoft Support Online article "OL98: Installing and Using Integrated File Management" at http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q181/8/21.asp.

How do I add components to Outlook 98?

Outlook 98 requires you to go through Control Panel to add components. In Control Panel, choose Add/Remove Programs. At the bottom of the Remove. You might be prompted for Install from Web or Install from CD. Choose the latter if you have the Outlook 98 CD-ROM. Otherwise, the program will connect you to Microsoft's Web site.

After the setup program determines which components are already installed and which are available, you can check off the components you want to add. Click Next and follow the prompts to complete the installation.

Follow the same procedure if you inadvertently installed Outlook 98 in Internet Mail Only mode and need to switch a user to Corporate/Workgroup mode to connect to an Exchange Server mailbox. Installing Corporate/Workgroup mode automatically removes the Internet Mail Only component.

How can I copy a task folder from my mailbox to a public folder and not lose all my views? I want the items to look the same in the public folder as in my private folder.

Outlook stores views for your private folders in your mailbox. Outlook includes a command to copy views from one folder to another. First, switch to the folder that will be the destination folder for the views. For example, if you want to copy views from a mailbox folder to a public folder, make sure Outlook is currently showing that public folder. Then, choose File, Folder, Copy Folder Design. In the Copy Design Form dialog box, select the folder whose views you want to copy, and check Forms & Views. Notice in Screen 3 that you can also copy permissions, rules, and the description of the folder. Click OK to complete the design copying process.

Outlook 98 running in Internet Mail Only mode doesn't offer this command. If you're running Outlook 98 in Corporate/Workgroup mode and don't see the Copy Folder Design command, you must add the Exchange Extensions Commands add-in using the Add-in Manager. Here's how:

  1. Choose Tools, Options, and then switch to the Other tab and click Advanced Options and then Add-In Manager.
  2. In the Add-In Manager dialog box, click Install.
  3. In the Install Extension dialog box, select Emsuix.ecf, and click Open.
  4. Click OK three times to close the dialog boxes and return to Outlook.

Can Outlook display the time the sender sent each incoming Internet message, not the time our server received it?

As you probably know, Internet messages always include a header with a timestamp for each server the message has passed through. Outlook includes several ways to view this information. To see the full headers in Outlook 97, open a message, and then switch to the Options tab. In Outlook 98, open a message, and then choose View, Options.

If you are interested mainly in dates, you can change the folder view to show more than just the Received time, which corresponds to the latest Received field in the message. You can also show the Sent field, which pulls the timestamp from the Date field in the message.

To add the Sent field to the Inbox in Outlook 97, choose View, Show Fields, then drag the Sent field from the list of Available fields on the left to the Show these fields in this order list on the right. I like to put the Sent field just before the Received field.

Getting to Show Fields in Outlook 98 is a little more difficult. Choose View, Current View, Customize Current View, and then click Fields. That sequence displays the Show Fields dialog box, and you can proceed as in Outlook 97.

We like to save copies of all correspondence related to ongoing projects. In Outlook, can we copy messages for each project to a corresponding public folder?

For a user-controlled solution, I'd try to copy these messages with the Outlook Rules Wizard, which lets you copy a message to a particular folder after you send it, based on characteristics of that message. The hardest job is deciding how to distinguish each project's messages from those for other projects.

One method is to create a category for each project. (You can use these categories for appointments and tasks, too.) Then, assign the appropriate category before you send each message; use the Categories box on the Options tab in Outlook 97 or choose View, Options in Outlook 98 or select the button at the bottom of the message form. In the Rules Wizard, create a rule for each project; use the "assigned to category" condition and specify the category for that project and the destination folder in Public Folders.

If your project-related messages consistently contain specific words in either the body or subject or are sent to particular people, you can use the corresponding types of rule conditions to mark project messages with a particular category or send them directly to the public folder. That way, you don't have to depend on the users to mark them. Just make sure that the rules assigning the category appear before the rule moving the items marked with the category.

I've designed a great travel request form in Outlook, but when my travel agent prints out a request, it looks nothing like the form on the screen. How can I get a printout of the travel request to look like it does on the screen?

You have found one of the major limitations of Outlook forms design: Forms are for onscreen work only. Outlook contains no features for controlling the printed layout of a custom form.

If you open an individual item and print it, Outlook uses the Memo style, which prints fields in this order:

  • Outlook built-in fields for that item
  • Custom fields
  • Notes field (containing the body of a message, description of appointment, and so on)

Outlook doesn't print fields that do not contain data.

Using the Memo style is the only way to get the complete text of a message, appointment or other item. However, if the Notes field contains 255 or fewer characters, you can get some control over the print format by creating a Card view for the folder showing all the fields you want to print in the order you choose. To create a Card view for messages, follow these steps:

  1. In Outlook 97, choose View, Define Views, New. In Outlook 98, choose View, Current View, Define Views, New.
  2. On the Create a New View dialog box, which you see in Screen 4, give your view a name and choose Card for the type of view. Click OK to continue.
  3. On the View Settings dialog box, click Fields, and use the Show Fields dialog box to select and order the fields you want to print.
  4. On the View Settings dialog box, click Sort to set the sort order. You might also want to click Filter and add a filter for just the travel request forms (see the next question).
  5. Click OK to close the View Settings dialog box when you've finished setting up the new view. Then, click Apply View to use your new view.

To print one item using the Card view, choose File, Print. Choose Card Style from the Print style list, and choose Only selected items under Print range, and then click OK. The major limitation of this technique is that the Notes field in a Card view can show only 255 characters of data.

Can I view only travel request forms (or messages created with any other particular form)?

You can view only certain forms easily with a filter based on the Message Class field. First, you must add the Message Class field to the current view. Follow the procedure found under the question "Can Outlook display the time the sender sent each incoming Internet message, not the time our server received it?" on page 7. However, add the Message Class field instead of the Sent field. You'll find Message Class listed under All Mail fields.

Next, check the values listed in the Message Class field. Ordinary incoming messages are IPM.Note. Other types of messages show a different Message Class. Note the class for your travel request form, because you'll use it to create the filters.

Create a filter (in Outlook 97, View, Filter; in Outlook 98, View, Current View, Customize Current View, Filter). Switch to the Advanced tab on the Filter dialog box. Under Field, choose Message Class, use is (exactly) for the Condition, and enter the Message Class value that you saw when you added the Message Class field to the view. Click Add to List to add the condition, and then click OK to apply the filter. Screen 5 shows adding a filter for a form published as IPM.Note.TravReq. Click OK once or twice to apply the filter and to see only items using the designated form.

Can I make Outlook use a reminder time period longer than the maximum of two days?

Two days is the longest reminder time in the drop-down list on an appointment form. But you're not limited to the selections on the list. You can type any number of minutes, days or weeks, right in the box provided.

As an Exchange administrator, how can I log on to a user's mailbox? (revisited)

In my September Exchange Administrator column, I reviewed methods for logging on to a user's mailbox. Reader Scott R. Anderson shares what is perhaps the easiest method of all—giving your account the Service Account Admin. permission on the organization or site. In the Microsoft Exchange Administrator program, select the organization or the particular site, choose File, Properties, and then switch to the Permissions tab and grant that permission to your account.

Obviously, the Service Account Admin. permission is a very powerful permission that you don't want to hand out to everyone who might need to administer some part of the Exchange Server. In a large organization, if you follow the rule of granting only the level of access absolutely needed for each task, you probably don't want to give anyone the Service Account Admin. permission. But I think you could justify doing so in a small organization where one person is doing all the administrative work anyway. (I'll entertain opinions to the contrary at [email protected])

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