Known issues with developing Office Outlook 2007 form regions

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SUMMARY

This article discusses the known issues related to developing Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 form regions.

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Adjoining form regions can only appear at the bottom of the first form page

You cannot create an adjoining form region and make it appear at the bottom of all form pages. The form region only appears at the bottom of the first page.

Custom fields may not persist on separate form regions

If you implement a separate form region that contains custom fields, the fields do not persist on newly created items if the user does not select the separate form region. We recommend that you programmatically add the fields to the folder that is used. This issue is a design limitation that is specific to separate form regions.

The UserProperties collection may not be valid in the GetFormRegionStorage event

If you implement a form region that contains an unbound control, the UserProperties collection will not be valid in the GetFormRegionStorage event when the item is first opened. This issue is a design limitation.

Single-line TextBox controls only support 4,096 characters

Single-line TextBox controls support 4,096 characters. If an Outlook 2007 TextBox control is set to the default setting of single-line, the maximum number of characters that can be used in the control is 4,096. If you set the TextBox control to multiline, the limit is 64,000 characters.

Separate read and compose pages may not work

Form regions for separate read and compose pages only work with message and post forms. When other types of forms have separate read and compose pages, the pages are always treated as if the pages are in compose mode. This issue is a design limitation of how form regions were implemented.

Messages may be sent as Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format (TNEF) when you use a form region

Messages may be sent as TNEF with a Winmail.dat attachment if the following conditions are true:
  • You create an adjoining form region on a mail message (IPM.Note).
  • You add the Accounts button or the E-mail Account field to the region.
  • You access the properties of one of those controls.
This is a known problem that Microsoft is investigating for a future fix.

The FormRegion.IsExpanded property is always true until a form region appears

The IsExpanded property of a FormRegion object is always true until a form region appears. This issue is related to how Outlook 2007 initializes form regions and when the relevant events in the Outlook object model occur.

The Publish command may not work with form regions

You may create a Replace or ReplaceAll form region for a custom message class (Outlook 97 through Office Outlook 2003 custom form). When you do this, you may receive the following error message when you try to republish the custom form:
Error: Cannot determine where to save this form because of an error.
To work around this problem, use the Publish As command instead of the Publish command. This change enables you to overwrite the previously published form.

The ShowFormPage and HideFormPage methods do not work with form regions

The ShowFormPage and HideFormPage methods do not work with Outlook 2007 form regions. If you develop a form region and do not want the form region to load, return an empty variant or string in the GetFormRegionStorage event.

An adjoining form region may not appear after you send a task request

If you create an adjoining region for a task, send a task request, and then create an unassigned task, the region does not appear on the newly created task. To work around this issue, save and then reopen the task.

A ComboBox control does not automatically select possible values when you type

The Outlook 2007 ComboBox control does not support the automatic selection of possible values as the user types characters. This issue is a design limitation of the control and matches the behavior of other built-in Outlook ComboBox controls. However, the Windows Forms 2.0 ComboBox control that was used in Office Outlook 97 through Office Outlook 2003 custom forms did support this functionality.

You must set olkCommandButton.Picture property values in twips

The olkCommandButton.Picture property has Height and Width properties that return values in twips. A twip is a unit of screen measurement that is equal to 1/20 of a point. To be compatible with most other positioning aspects of the Outlook object model, these values must be converted to pixels.

The complete form region may not load correctly

If a control on a form region cannot load, Outlook 2007 does not correctly load the rest of the controls or correctly lay out the region. To work around this issue, use the ItemProperty method to check the binding properties on a known control in the region. Use this method to make sure that the properties are valid. If the properties are valid, the form region loaded correctly.

Form region icons may appear in reduced resolution

Form region icons on the Ribbon may appear in reduced resolution if you use them in graphically limited scenarios. For example, you use Remote Desktop or Terminal Services in Windows. This issue is a design limitation and is expected behavior in Outlook 2007.

"Blank" .ofs files may cause unexpected results

You can save a form region .ofs file without any controls on the form page. Typically, you do this if you have a Microsoft Component Object Model (COM) add-in that dynamically adds a control to the form region. However, this action may result in unexpected visual defects when the region appears after you programmatically add controls. To avoid this issue, add a placeholder control to the form page before you save the .ofs file. Then, use code to replace the control on the form.

Non-US characters in a form region XML file must be encoded in UTF-8 format

The XML parser in Outlook 2007 assumes that the XML file is in UTF-8 format. If you must use non-US characters, you must encode the characters in UTF-8 format. You cannot use the following methods:
  • Save with byte order mark (BOM) characters
  • Use the Encoding standard to specify a different encoding

Form regions may not load if registry values are inaccurate

If leading whitespace characters appear in the registry key for a form region, the form region will not load. This issue is a design limitation. Outlook 2007 does not strip out extraneous characters.

Fields on form regions may not be available in the Outlook 2007 user interface

You can use parts of the Outlook 2007 user interface to select custom fields from forms from Outlook 2003 or from an earlier version of Outlook. For example, the search interface enables you to select custom fields. However, you cannot directly select fields from an installed form region in these scenarios. If you must make custom fields available for users in various scenarios, you must consider this behavior when you design the solution. One workaround may be to use the new Folder.UserDefinedProperties collection in Outlook 2007 to add a field to a folder programmatically.

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Article ID: 929592 - Last Review: January 16, 2007 - Revision: 1.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2007
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbinfo kbexpertiseadvanced KB929592

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