Article ID: 290655 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q290655
For a Microsoft Outlook 97 version of this article, see 168975
For a Microsoft Outlook 98 version of this article, see 182362
For a Microsoft Outlook 2000 version of this article, see 207430
This article explains the differences between fields within an Outlook item and controls on an Outlook form. In addition, this article also provides an overview of how to use the Outlook object model to reference fields and controls.
The Difference Between Fields and ControlsFields (also referred to as properties) actually store data within an Outlook item, such as a contact or a task. The Subject field of a mail message is an example of a field within an item. Fields can be either a pre-defined field that Outlook makes available (such as Subject), or a user-defined field that you can create for your own purposes. For additional information about user-defined fields, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
290656Controls are objects, such as a text box, a scroll bar, a list box, or a command button, that let users control, enter, or change data. When designing a custom Outlook form, you place controls on a form to display data or choices, perform an action, or make the form easier to read.
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290656/ )How to work with user-defined fields in solutions in Outlook 2002
Controls by themselves, provide no storage for the data that is associated with them. In the majority of cases, controls are used to display the contents of a field within the item and therefore should be linked, or bound to a particular field.
Using Fields and ControlsAll of the pre-defined form controls (To, From, Cc, and such) are automatically bound to corresponding standard Outlook fields. However, if you create a custom form and add a custom control, you should make sure that a field is designated to store the data that is associated with the control.
For example, suppose you want to add a text box to your mail message form that will allow people to enter their office location. When you design the new form, there are a few ways to accomplish this.
The easiest way is to click the New button on the Field Chooser to create the Office Location field. Then you can simply drag the field from the Field Chooser onto the form. Outlook will automatically create a text box on the form and bind it to the Office Location field.
You can also add a text box control by dragging the control from the Control Toolbox. This creates the text box on the form to provide a place to enter the office location. Since the control itself provides no storage for the item, the text you typed into the office location is lost when you send the item to someone. You must also bind the control to a field to provide storage for the data. This way, when someone fills in the field and sends the item, the data is preserved when the item is received by someone else.
How To Place a Control on a Form
How To Create a Field to Provide Storage for the Control
To Bind a Control to a Field
Using VBScript to Change Field and Control ValuesMicrosoft 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.
If you have limited programming experience, you may want to contact a Microsoft Certified Partner or Microsoft Advisory Services. For more information, visit these Microsoft Web sites:
Microsoft Certified Partners - https://partner.microsoft.com/global/30000104
Microsoft Advisory Services - http://support.microsoft.com/gp/advisoryservice
For more information about the support options that are available and about how to contact Microsoft, visit the following Microsoft Web site:http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;EN-US;CNTACTMS
(http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;en-us;cntactms)The Outlook object model syntax for referencing controls is quite different from the syntax for referencing fields. The following examples use Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript) to illustrate syntax, but the same code examples can be used with Outlook Visual Basic for Applications, or Automation if you make appropriate modifications for referencing the Item or Inspector objects.
Syntax for Accessing a Control on a Form
Syntax for Accessing a Standard Outlook Field
Syntax for Accessing a User-defined Field
Usage ExamplesIn the "OfficeLoc" example above, these two example lines of code have the same effect on the form.
The first example changes the Office Location field to a new value and the second line changes the text box control Text property to the new value. Since the control is bound to the field, a change made in either place affects the other.
Tips for When to Use Each Method
For additional information about available resources and answersto commonly asked questions about Microsoft Outlook solutions, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/287530/EN-US/ )OL2002: Questions About Custom Forms and Outlook Solutions
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