Easy to use Email templates in Outlook 2003?

MarkHastings

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2003
Messages
12,013
I send out emails on a pretty regular basis and I want an easy way of creating a template. I used to be able to do this on my Mac and it was wonderful, but in Outlook (on the PC) I am finding it extremely difficult.

I am following these instructions:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/as...865001033.aspx

I got my template saved, but when I go to load the template (through the forms menu), it takes FOREVER to load the info. Perhaps it's because we use an exchange server, but by the time I load the forms menu, go through all of the pull downs (which also take a while), choose the template, then strip out the fact that my signature gets placed ABOVE the template (as well as the signature I saved in the template)
- it would have been MUCH easier to have typed out the repetitive text that I needed in the template.

Is there an easier way to do this? I loved how my Mac Mail program set up templates...I'd just save what I wanted as a template and then I'd double click the template (in the left hand view) and WHAMMO! The template would open with the email addresses in place, the subject and the body text in place, as well as my signature - I'd just have to customize the body a little and then hit SEND! Easy and Done!

I know I can set up a text file and just copy and paste the text I need, but there HAS to be an easy way to open a template (without LONG waits for menus to pop up, and navigating through tons of menus, etc.)....

Ugh! Ideas?
 

Paul Padilla

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
767
Hey Mark.

Several users on my Exchange 2003 server do precisely what you're looking at. Exchange isn't the reason the template is loading slowly, but I'm really not sure what is. I can't imagine you have enough information in the template to drag things down. Create another basic template and see how it performs. Also, try doing the same on a different machine for comparison.

One tip I would have would be to customize your toolbar in Outlook to add the "choose form" menu choice as a button. After that, I have not found a way to change the default menu choice to "user templates in the file sysem." You'll still have the drop down to contend with.

One other thing I've stumbled on before is using a saved Word document. Not to copy & paste, but when you click the E-mail button in Word it obviously brings up the To & Subject lines. Since you're using Exchange, Word is hooked into Outlook including the GAL. When the To & Subject lines come up, they save the last information that was used along with the document. When you send, you have the option of using the text, as formatted, as the body of the E-mail. This also frees you from the limitation of Rich Text which Outlook templates require.
 

MarkHastings

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2003
Messages
12,013
I don't have Outlook on any of my other PC's in my office - we have the web access, but that obviously won't help.


Anyways, thanks for the tip on using the "Choose Form" as a button, that is a big help, but I am still running into a major lag when I click that button. I just timed it and it took 16 seconds to open the window


I assumed it was because of the communication with the Exchange server, but maybe there's something else wrong? I'll have IT look into it.

Question, once the window does open up, when I select "User Templates in File System" it goes right to my template (i.e. no lag)...but when the window first opens, it defaults to "Organizational Forms Library" and has 2 listings of "EmailList" - I wonder if that's causing the lag? I wonder if the forms menu is trying to load them from the exchange server (which is why it takes 16 seconds)?

Is there any way I can have this window default to "User Templates in File System" when it opens? Since these are located on my local system, it might not need any communication with the server. That might solve my slow down.
 

Paul Padilla

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
767
There may be a registry hack for changing the default list that displays but I've never found it. 16 seconds is horrible...it should be relatively instantaneous. Our organizational forms window has 25 different entries. Most of them are different versions of the same template, but still. It pops right up for me. It actually isn't loading anything, per se, at that point, no more than Outlook is normally looking at the information store on the server.

Are you physically connected to the network, or are you connecting via VPN? That could account for some of the lag.

Also, if you are physically plugged in, do you have the XP (or any other) firewall enabled? I've noticed some lag in that configuration. If you're behind a company firewall there's no reason to have it on unless company policy insists on it.

Have you given the Word method a shot?
 

MarkHastings

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2003
Messages
12,013
Hmmm, I don't use an exchange server at home, but the forms menu in my home Outlook popped right up.I'm kind of cofused about your explanation, but I would rather prefer to get this email form thing to work out first. I'll see what IT has to say.
 

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