OL2000: Command Line for Creating a Pre-Addressed E-mail Message

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Summary

This article describes how to use command line switches to create a new e-mail message that is pre-addressed (with the To field filled in automatically). You can do this in one of the following ways:

  • Using a desktop shortcut.
  • Using the Microsoft Office Shortcut Bar.
  • Using the Shell command.

More information

Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language being demonstrated and the tools used to create and debug procedures. Microsoft support professionals can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure, but they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific needs.
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How to Use a Desktop Shortcut

There are two methods to create a desktop shortcut for pre-addressed mail. Use the first method if you send the e-mail through the default mail program. Use the second method if Outlook is not your default e-mail program.

Method 1

  1. Right-click a blank place on the desktop, point to New, and then click Shortcut.
  2. In the Command Line box, type: <mailto:> followed by the full e-mail address of the person you want to send the e-mail to.
  3. Type a name for your new shortcut.
  4. Double-click the shortcut to launch a blank e-mail message. As Outlook is your default e-mail program Outlook opens and processes the message.

Method 2

To create a shortcut on your Windows desktop that automatically creates a new pre-addressed e-mail message, if Outlook is not the default e-mail program, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click a blank area of your Windows desktop, point to New, and then click Shortcut.
  2. In the Command Line box, type the following
    "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Outlook.exe" /c ipm.note /m <full e-mail name>
    where <full e-mail name> is the complete e-mail address of the recipient (For example, JohnDoe@msn.com.)

    NOTE: You may have to modify the path if you did not install Outlook to the default setup location.

  3. Type a name for the shortcut, for example, Mail to John Doe.
  4. Click Finish.
NOTE: If you want to use a custom form in your desktop shortcut, use its message class rather than IPM.Note. For example, if the custom form you want to use has a display name of "MyForm," (without quotation marks) then the message class should be IPM.Note.MyForm, and the following is the command used to create a message using the custom form:
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Outlook.exe" /c ipm.note.myform /m <full e-mail name>

How to Use the Microsoft Office Shortcut Bar

To add a button to the Office Shortcut Bar to automatically create a new pre-addressed e-mail message, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click your Office Shortcut Bar, and then click Customize.
  2. On the Buttons tab, click to select the Microsoft Outlook button, and then click OK. The Office Shortcut Bar should now contain an Outlook button.

How to Add the Command Line Switch to the Outlook Button

  1. Right-click the Outlook button on the Office Shortcut Bar, and then click Properties.
  2. Click the Shortcut tab.
  3. Click to position the insertion point at the end of the text in the Target box, type a space, and then type the following
    / c ipm.note /m <full e-mail name>
    where <full e-mail name> is the complete e-mail address of the recipient (For example, JohnDoe@msn.com).

  4. Click OK.
The Outlook button on the Office Shortcut Bar starts Outlook if it is not already running, and creates a new e-mail message to JohnDoe@msn.com.

How to Use the Shell Command

To automatically create a new pre-addressed Outlook e-mail message by using the Shell command, follow these steps:
  1. Start Microsoft Word.
  2. On the Tools menu, point to Macro, and then click Macros.
  3. In the Macro Name box, type SendMail, and then click Create.
  4. Type the following sample code in the Visual Basic for Applications editor
    Shell "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Outlook.exe /c ipm.note /m <full e-mail name>"
    where <full e-mail name> is the complete e-mail address of the recipient (For example, JohnDoe@msn.com.)

  5. On the File menu, click Close and Return to Microsoft Word.
  6. On the Tools menu, point to Macro, and then click Macros.
  7. In the Macro Name box, click to select SendMail, and then click Run. The SendMail macro creates a new e-mail message addressed to the recipient that you chose in step 4.
If Outlook is running, the e-mail message opens quickly. If Outlook is not running, there is a delay while the Windows Messaging System starts in the background.

NOTE: Using the Shell command is very restrictive. You can better automate the contents of a new e-mail message with Visual Basic for Applications or VBScript.

Single Command-Line String for a Message with Subject and Body

NOTE: The procedures that are outlined in this section assume that the you are familiar with creating the type of objects listed in the implementation list.

In order to create a preformatted and pre-addressed e-mail message, it is necessary to build a command-line string with the following parameters:
mailto:<to email>?cc=<cc email>&bcc=<bcc
mail>&subject=<subject text>&body=<body text>
Where the following variable definitions apply:
   Variable                        Field Entry
   --------------------------------------------------------------
   <to e-mail>          e-mail address to appear in the To field
   <cc mail>            e-mail address to appear in the CC field
   <bcc mail>           e-mail address to appear in the BCC field
   <subject>            text to appear in the Subject field
   <body text>          text to appear in the Body of the message

				
Note the position of the question mark (?) and ampersand (&) characters in the command-line syntax.

In addition to the field designations, you must use ASCII hexadecimal equivalents as variables for punctuation characters. The following variables are used to represent commonly used characters:
Space ( ) %20
Comma (,) %2C
Question Mark (?) %3F
Period (.) %2E
Exclamation Point (!) %21
Colon (:) %3A
Semicolon (;) %3B
The following is an example of a command-line for the Subject and Body text using these variables:
   &subject=Hello%20World%21&body=How%20are%20you%2C%20John%3F
				
This command-line yields the following information:
Subject: Hello World!
Body : How are you, John?

Uses of the Command-Line String

This command-line string may be used in the following implementations:
  • In the Open box of the Run command line.
  • In the Properties of a desktop shortcut
  • In the Address Bar of Internet Explorer 4.0.
  • In the body of an Outlook Express e-mail message.
  • In the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) code of a Web page.

References

For more information about automating Outlook, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
201096 : OL2000: How to Automate Outlook from Another Program

232309 : OL2000: How to Set a Form's From Field Using VBScript

146636 : OL2000: Questions About Custom Forms and Outlook Solutions
For more information about Outlook command-line switches, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
197180 : OL2000: Additional Command-Line Switches
For more information about controlling the starting of Outlook, click Microsoft Outlook Help on the Help menu, type "Control what happens when you start Outlook " in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topic.
Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.

Properties

Article ID: 197782 - Last Review: June 22, 2014 - Revision: 2.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Outlook 2000 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbhowto KB197782

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