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Designing and Using Custom Forms in Microsoft Outlook 2013

Adding user-defined fields

There are times when the types of data that you need to share, gather, or track with forms exceed the Outlook 2013 default field definitions. You might want to have your contact form display the hire date and review date, for example, but these fields don’t exist in the Outlook 2013 field list.

You can define new fields that contain information that is relevant to your use of Outlook 2013. These user-defined fields can be bound to a control in the same way that you bind a preexisting field to controls in Outlook 2013 forms.

When you want to implement a new field in a form, start by opening the Design Form dialog box. To create a new form field, you can either open the Field Chooser and click New or click the All Fields tab and then click New.

The New Column dialog box will prompt you for the field name, data type, and display format for the new field. In the Name box, type the name of the new field, such as Hire Date, and then select the data type for the field in the Type drop-down list—in this case, Date/Time. In the Format drop-down list, select the display format for the date (or day, time, and date) layout that you want for the field.

The new field is added to the Select From drop-down list, and you can find the new field in the User Defined Fields In Inbox item. The field can be selected in the Field Chooser and on the All Fields tab. To use your new field, drag it onto your form. You will need to remember to add the field to both the Compose Page and the Read Page, and commonly you will want to set the properties of the field in the Read Page to read-only (on the Display tab).