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Description of limitations in Outlook object model

This article was previously published under Q294869
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
For a Microsoft Outlook 97 version of this article, see 172752.

For a Microsoft Outlook 98 version of this article, see 182402.

For a Microsoft Outlook 2000 version of this article, see 208527.
This article describes known limitations you may encounter with the Microsoft Outlook object model. The following topics are covered:

  • Overview
  • Changing Option Settings
  • Changing Folder Properties
  • Changing the Mouse Pointer to an Hourglass
  • Changing the Status Bar
  • AdvancedSearch Method
More information


Unlike other Microsoft Office programs that have “full” object models, such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, the Outlook object model primarily focuses on items and the folders in which they're contained. This means that while you can manipulate items, forms, and certain aspects of folders, many of the commands or settings that are available through the user interface are not available when programming. The Outlook object model does not parallel the Outlook user interface.

IMPORTANT: The scope of this article is limited to using Visual Basic-based programming technologies with the Outlook object model, and may not take into account possible solutions using the Collaborative Data Objects object model or other Microsoft Exchange-related programming technologies. For more information about these technologies, please consult information provided by the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) at the following Microsoft Web site:

Changing Option Settings

There is no way to programmatically change many of the program-levelsettings in Outlook, since the object model does not expose them.Examples are many of the settings in the Options dialog box on the Tools menu.

Changing Folder Properties

You cannot change many options or properties related to folders. This includes AutoArchive settings, permissions settings, synchronization settings, and the default form for a folder. As a possible workaround, you may be able to use the Collaboration Data Objects (CDO) object model to access the corresponding MAPI properties. Information about doing this is available at the following Web site:IMPORTANT: Microsoft Product Support Services cannot support reverse-engineering undocumented Outlook MAPI properties in any way.The third-party products that are discussed in this article are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.

NOTE: The Outlook 2002 object model does include a MAPIFolder.ShowAsOutlookAB property that allows you to set a contact folder as an address book. For more information about this property, see the "ShowAsOutlookAB Property" Help topic in the Outlook Visual Basic Reference (Vbaol10.chm).

Changing the Mouse Pointer to an Hourglass

You cannot control the appearance of the mouse pointer using the Outlook object model. If you are writing code within Outlook that takes some time to process, you cannot directly force Outlook to display an hourglass pointer if Outlook does not do so automatically.

Changing the Status Bar

There is no way to change the status bar text in Microsoft Outlook. The status bar is not exposed as it is in other Microsoft Office object models.

AdvancedSearch Method

There is a maximum of 100 simultaneous searches that can be performed by using the Outlook user interface and the Outlook object model.
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:
287530 OL2002: Questions About Custom Forms and Outlook Solutions
OutSol OutSol2002 simulate

Article ID: 294869 - Last Review: 10/26/2013 17:20:00 - Revision: 3.0

Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition

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