Outlook Tips and Techniques - 11 Jan 2001


How can I change the default font for the text in appointments?

Appointments, contacts, tasks, and journal items all use the default font set for messages. To change this font, choose Tools, Options and switch to the Mail Format tab. Under Stationery and Fonts, click Fonts. When the Fonts dialog box pops up, click Choose Font next to the box labeled When composing a new message.

Because I wanted to know when an email message I receive also has Bcc recipients, I added the Bcc column to a view in my Inbox. Why is the column always blank?

Bcc stands for blind carbon copy (dating back to the days before photocopiers). An incoming item never shows whether the message has blind recipients.

The only views in which the Bcc field is relevant are views of items that you sent. If you add the Bcc field to your Sent Items folder, for example, you'll see names in the Bcc field on those items on which you included Bcc recipients.

I made the mistake of importing some data into Outlook twice. How can I delete the duplicates?

Although Outlook doesn't provide an automatic method for removing duplicate items, a view can help you identify the items for deletion. Try creating a new table view for the folder that includes the Created date and time field, or add the Created field to an existing table view. Click the Created column to sort by creation date. Items that you import as a group display a Created time within a few minutes of one another, making it easy to select them and either delete them or move them to another folder until you're sure you don't need them.

How can I send a Web page as an email message in HTML format?

The File, Send menu in Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) offers two email choices: Page by E-mail and Link by E-mail. To make Page by E-mail work, you must first set your default Outlook message format to HTML. Choose Tools, Options, then switch to the Mail Format tab; select HTML from the Send in this message format list.

Why can't I edit the email address for a contact directly in the Contacts folder view, in the same way I can edit an address?

Each email address field that you see in a view represents three separate properties that hold the display name, address, and address type (e.g., SMTP). Outlook doesn't let you display only the address portion in a view. This complexity means that you can't just edit it in-cell, as you can with addresses and phone numbers.

How can I change the default color scheme of a saved calendar when I use Outlook's File, Save as Web Page command?

Most of the color and font settings are controlled by a file named cal.css. When you first publish a calendar to a Web folder, Outlook copies this cascading style sheet file to the folder. You can then edit the style sheet in Microsoft FrontPage or even a text editor to change the styles. Outlook usually doesn't try to copy over the new style when you save subsequent calendars, but just in case it might, you can set the file to read-only.

Can I use command-line switches to send a message with an attachment to a particular recipient?

Yes, Outlook includes several useful command-line switches, documented in Help and in the Microsoft article "OL2000: Additional Command-Line Switches" (http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q197/1/80.asp). You can even combine some of them, as in the command

"C:\ program files\microsoft office\office\outlook.exe"
	/c ipm.note /m [email protected]
	/a "C:\my documents\my file.doc"

which sends an attachment to a specific recipient. You must enter the command on one line in a DOS prompt or command window, taking care to use quotation marks around any filenames that include spaces.

In the Exchange client, a user could right-click a message, choose Properties, and change the subject line under the General tab. Can I make the same change in Outlook 2000?

Outlook 2000 doesn't work the same way as the Exchange client that shipped with Exchange Server 5.0 and Exchange Server 4.0, but you can adjust the Outlook view settings so that users can change the values of editable fields right in the view. To turn on this in-cell editing feature in the Inbox folder, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the column headings in the appropriate view, and choose Customize Current View.
  2. Click Other Settings.
  3. Under Rows in the Other Settings dialog box, select the Allow in-cell editing check box.
  4. Click OK twice to return to the view.

Now, you can click in the Subject field for any message in the view and edit the subject. You can't edit the From or Received fields, however.

Can I add a counter to an Outlook 2000 distribution list (DL) to show the number of entries in the list?

Outlook 2000 has a limit of 165 entries in each DL that you create in a contacts folder on Exchange Server. The Microsoft article "OL2000: (CW) Problem Adding a Large Number of Items to a Distribution List" (http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q238/5/69.asp) explains this limit. Many users might find it useful to see at a glance how many members each list contains. The ideal way to make this information visible is to keep the membership count in a property in the item so that you can include it in a view.

Any time you want to display a property in a view, the first place to look for an appropriate property is in the Field Chooser. Switch to the Contacts folder, display the Phone List or any other table view, right-click the column headings, then choose Field Chooser. In the Field Chooser, you can display the All Distribution List fields list of properties.

Unfortunately, the Field Chooser shows no DL property for the member count. This omission doesn't mean that such a property doesn't exist—only that the Field Chooser doesn't include it and, therefore, you can't easily display it in a view. Outlook items have many properties that the Field Chooser doesn't show. To see these other properties in a view, you generally need to use a custom form and write code for the form that puts the property value into a field that does appear in the Field Chooser.

To see all the properties, press Alt+F11 to open the Outlook 2000 Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) development environment, then press F2 to display the Object Browser. Outlook DLs use the DistListItem object. The MemberCount property is under the properties for DistListItem, which Figure 1 shows. I found it easily by selecting the Outlook library from the top drop-down list, then typing count in the search box below the drop-down list.

The MemberCount property doesn't work quite the way you might expect. Specifically, if you add a new entry to a DL, Outlook doesn't immediately update the MemberCount property. The MemberCount is accurate, though, when you open an existing DL.

One workaround, therefore, is to save the MemberCount information to another property—a property that is visible in the Field Chooser—when an item opens. To create a custom DL form that displays its MemberCount, follow these steps:

  1. Choose File, New, Distribution List to open a new blank DL item.
  2. Choose Tools, Forms, Design This Form to put the DL into design view.
  3. Choose Form, View Code to open the form's code window.
  4. In the code window, type in the procedure in Listing 1.
  5. On the form, choose Tools, Forms, Publish Form to publish the form to the forms library for your Contacts folder.

The code in Listing 1 uses the built-in Mileage property to store the information about the number of members. (Using the built-in property, which you can use for any purpose, will make it easier to use this form in many different Contacts folders.) When the item opens, the code compares the data in Mileage with the current MemberCount and updates the item as needed.

How do I use the custom DL form you described in the previous question? Can I make it my default DL form?

To use the form, go to your Contacts folder, click Actions, then choose the name of your custom DL form from the bottom of the Actions menu. Add some members to the DL, save and close it, then open the DL again. Opening the item the second time triggers the code in Listing 1.

To make Outlook use this custom form for all your DLs, you can download and run the Outlook 2000 Forms Administrator tool from the Microsoft Office 2000 Resource Kit. See http://www.microsoft.com/office/ork/2000/journ/outtoolsintro.htm for more information about the tool.

I've created the custom DL form you described. How do I make Outlook show the member count in a view?

A Contacts folder view usually doesn't display the Mileage property. In fact, if you look at the Field Chooser again, you'll see that Mileage isn't listed as a DL field. However, the Object Browser shows that Mileage is indeed a DL property. To add the Mileage property to a Contacts folder's table view, you need to display the All Contacts Fields list. Mileage will be on the list, and you can simply drag it to the column headings to add it to the view.

Can I create a view that shows only DLs?

You can easily filter a Contacts folder view to show only DLs. The trick is knowing which field to use for the filter and what value to specify. Try this approach:

  1. While viewing your Contacts folder, choose View, Current View, Define Views.
  2. Click New to display the Create a New View dialog box.
  3. In the dialog box that Figure 2 shows, for Name of new view, enter Distribution Lists; for Type of view, choose Table; and for Can be used on, select All Contact folders.
  4. Click OK to save the new view. When the View Summary dialog box appears, click Filter to display the Filter dialog box.
  5. On the Filter dialog box, go to the Advanced tab, which Figure 3 shows.
  6. Under Fields, choose All Contact fields, and select Message Class. Under Condition, choose contains. Under Value, enter IPM.DistList— the name of the base message class for all DLs. Click Add to List.
  7. Click OK to return to the View Summary dialog box.
  8. Click Fields, and make sure the fields for your view include the Mileage field. As I mentioned in the previous question, the Mileage field is on the All Contacts Fields list.
  9. When you've finished customizing the view, click OK to save the view settings and apply the new view to the current folder.
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.