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Designing and Using Custom Forms in Microsoft Outlook 2013

Publishing and sharing forms

After you create your form and define its behaviors, properties, and settings, you’ll want to make it available to users. First, however, you’ll need to preserve your form in one of these two ways:

  • Save the form as a file.

  • Publish the form to a folder or other location.

Saving forms

You can save a form by clicking File and then clicking Save As. In the Save As dialog box, enter the file name and select the location. The form file is saved as an Outlook Template file (.oft).

Publishing forms

Publishing a form is a lot like saving the form. When you finish your form, you can publish it to a specific folder location. You can publish it to your Inbox or another folder in your mailbox, a public folder, the Organizational Forms Library (with Microsoft Exchange Server), or your Personal Forms Library.

Follow these steps to publish a form to a folder or forms library:

  1. Click Design A Form on the Developer tab.

  2. In the Design Form dialog box, select the location (such as User Templates In File System) containing the form that you want to publish.

  3. Select the form that you want to publish, and then click Open.

  4. In the Form group, click Publish, and then click Publish Form As to open the Publish Form As dialog box. (The first time you use the Publish button, the Publish Form As dialog box will be displayed, but after a form has been saved once, the Publish button will simply save the existing form, overwriting the previous version.)

  5. In the Look In drop-down list, select the folder or forms library where you want to publish the form. (The default is the Personal Forms Library.)

  6. Type the display name and the form name.

  7. Click Publish in the Publish Form As dialog box to save the form in the selected location.

After you publish a form, the folder in which you publish it contains the form itself and all the underlying information that another person’s instance of Outlook 2013 needs to understand the form.

Choosing forms

After you have created a custom form and saved or published it for common use, you will need to select the form to use it. Custom forms are normally stored in a location related to their expected use. Custom forms intended for common use, for example, are usually stored in an accessible network location. If you have a custom form intended for your own use, however, you would store it in the Personal Forms Library. Alternatively, if you want to use a form that you have saved to a folder on your local hard disk, you would store it using the User Templates In File System location.

In each of these cases, to locate your custom form, select the appropriate location in the Look In drop-down list of the Choose Form dialog box, shown in Figure 27-16.

Figure 27-16

Figure 27-16 Select a custom form in the Choose Form dialog box by first selecting its location.

To use a custom form from these (or any other) locations, follow these steps:

  1. Click Choose Form on the Developer tab.

  2. In the Choose Form dialog box, select the location in which your custom form is stored (such as the Personal Forms Library).

  3. Select the custom form that you want to use.

  4. Click Open.