Applying Outlook Stationery to more than just new messages

For those of you who love to use stationery to format your Outlook HTML e-mails with fancy images and backgrounds, you probably hate the fact that you can’t apply stationery to e-mails that you are replying to – only to new e-mails.

Fear not!  By using the earth shattering power of Outlook VBA macros, you can “trick” Outlook into altering the format of an existing e-mail to insert styles and images from any of the default stationery provided.

I know – it is not good e-mail etiquette to change the format of messages that you are replying to.  After all, non-Outlook users may have an e-mail client that doesn’t support HTML messages.  However, businesses (who would like all outgoing e-mails to adhere to the look and feel of their company letterhead) and style conscious e-mail users may find have the option of applying stationery to their reply messages very handy.

Keep in mind that the following sample has not been tested with custom stationery.  It is only designed to work with stationery files that use one set of <STYLE> tags, a background image in the <BODY> tag, and one optional embedded image enclosed in a <CENTER> tag after the <BODY> tag.

This sample is also intended for people who are already somewhat familiar with using macros in Outlook.  If you’re not and you want to get up to speed, devour this page:

Visual Basic and VBA Coding in Microsoft Outlook:
http://www.outlookcode.com/d/vb.htm

For more info on how Outlook deals with HTML formatting, see this page:

HTML Mail with Microsoft Outlook:
http://www.slipstick.com/mail1/html.htm

To get started, you can download the sample code.  Just import the three source files into your Outlook Visual Basic Editor, and map the ReplyWithStationery macro to a custom toolbar on an e-mail form.

Eric Legault

Microsoft Outlook MVP (15 yrs). Author: Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Step By Step. Consultant/speaker/Outlook add-in builder/SharePoint pioneer. Guitarist: Maiden Canada (Iron Maiden tribute band)

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