How to emulate the Out of Office Assistant in Outlook 2000

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Article ID: 260987 - View products that this article applies to.
For a Microsoft Outlook 98 (IMO) version of this article, see 248996.
For a Microsoft Outlook 98 (CW) version of this article, see 271709.
For a Microsoft Outlook 2000 (IMO) version of this article, see 248830.
For a Microsoft Outlook (All Versions) version of this article, see 311107.
Note The procedures in this article only apply if you have installed Outlook with the Corporate or Workgroup option. With this option, you can use Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI) services. To determine your installation type, click About Microsoft Outlook, on the Help menu. If you have the Corporate or Workgroup installation, you see "Corporate or Workgroup".
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Summary

When you use Outlook in the Corporate or Workgroup (CW) installation and you are not using Outlook with a Microsoft Exchange Server computer, you cannot use the Out of Office Assistant to automatically reply to messages when you are away from your computer. You can, however, emulate this feature by creating an e-mail message template and defining a rule in the Rules Wizard to automatically reply with the template.

More information

How to define an automatic reply template

  1. On the Actions menu, point to New mail Message Using, and then click Plain Text.
  2. In the body of the e-mail message, type the information that you want to appear in your reply message.
  3. On the File menu, click Save As.
  4. Click to select the Outlook Template check box in the Save As Type box.
  5. Type a name for your reply template in the File Name box, and click Save.

How to define a rule to send an automatic reply

  1. On the Tools menu, click Rules Wizard.
  2. In the Rules Wizard dialog box, click New.
  3. In the Which type of rule do you want to create box, click Check messages when they arrive, and then click Next.
  4. In the Which condition(s) do you want to check box, click to select the Sent Only To Me check box or any other criteria that you want, and then click Next.
  5. In the What do you want to do with the message box, click to select the Reply using a specific template check box.
  6. In the Rule Description box, click a specific template.
  7. Click User Templates in File System in the Look In box, click the template that you just created, and then click Open.
  8. Follow the instructions in the Rule Wizard, click Finish, and then click OK.
The "reply using a specific template" rule is designed to send the reply only once to each sender. This prevents Outlook from sending repetitive replies to a sender from whom you receive multiple messages.

During a session, Outlook remembers the list of users to whom it has responded. However, if you restart Outlook, the list is deleted and the rule starts again for each sender.

Note Outlook must be running for the Rules Wizard to automatically reply to e-mail messages. Also, Outlook must be configured to periodically check for new e-mail messages and set to hang up when finished sending and receiving e-mail messages.

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Article ID: 260987 - Last Review: June 19, 2014 - Revision: 4.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Outlook 2000 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
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