Inside Outlook Express

Tips and Ideas

Message Templates

Do you find yourself sending the same message over and over again? Or sending a regular report that changes only slightly each time? Or sending mail to the same person or group of persons? If so, using a template message might make your work faster and easier. However it is not immediately apparent how to create such templates in OE. The only mention of "template" in the OE Help file is in regards to using stationery, which may not always be desirable. The solution is to take advantage of OE's integration with Windows

In OE, begin your message as you normally would. Add addresses, a Subject, the body text, any attachments you might want, in fact, anything that will remain unchanged or change only slightly. When you are finished, just click File| Save As... and save the message to your hard disk as file type *.eml. The filename used will be whatever is in the Subject line.

When you need to use your template, simply double-click the saved *.eml file. After making any changes or additions you need, click Send as you normally would. The template *.eml file will remain unchanged on your hard disk, ready for the next use.

There are two caveats to using this method.

  1. If you put the name of a Group in any of the address field, OE will resolve the Group name into individual addresses when you save the message, just as it does when you send the message. This means that if you change the membership of a Group after creating your template, the change will not appear in the template. You must remove the individual names from the template, re-enter the Group name, then save the template again, overwriting the original *.eml file.
  2. When you open a *.eml file, the Account used for sending the message will always revert to the current default account. If this is not the account you wish to use, click once in the Account field to open the drop-down list of your mail accounts and select the one you want.

Note that you can also create templates for newsgroup messages. Create your message, click File| Save As... and save as file type *.nws. This template will also revert to the default news account, so be sure to change that before you Send the message if you wish to post to a different news account.

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