Tiling The Reply Message For Easy Reference

NOTE:
Due to data loss with OfficeZealot’s blog server, all comments posted between April 28 and June 8 , 2005 to any of my blog entries were inadvertently deleted.  The end of this blog entry contains the text of the comments applicable to this posting that I was able to recover.

UPDATED Oct. 26, 2004
(As per Ryan’s helpful suggestion below, I’ve added another procedure; updates appended to the end of this blog post)

Have you ever tried responding to a very long e-mail, and you find yourself either ALT-Tabbing back to the original, or scrolling down in your reply message to constantly refer to certain parts of the text? Sure, you can find the original message, open it and tile that window with your reply window horizontally/vertically. But we want a one-click solution! So here’s some VBA and Win32 API code to do just that. This macro is meant to be run with your e-mail reply already open, and it assumes the message you are replying to is selected in your main Outlook window. Put this code into a new module in your Outlook VBA project, and associate it with a button on your new message form:

Option Explicit
Type RECT
Left As Long
Top As Long
Right As Long
Bottom As Long
End Type

Public Const SPI_GETWORKAREA = 48

Declare Function SystemParametersInfo Lib “user32” Alias “SystemParametersInfoA” (ByVal uAction As Long, _
ByVal uParam As Long, lpvParam As Any, ByVal fuWinIni As Long) As Long

Sub ShowReplyMessage()
On Error GoTo EH:

    Dim objReply As Inspector
Dim objMessage As Object
Dim objMessageI As Inspector
Dim lRet As Long
Dim apiRECT As RECT       

    If ActiveExplorer.Selection.Count > 1 Then Exit Sub   

    Set objMessage = ActiveExplorer.Selection.Item(1)
Set objReply = Application.ActiveInspector
Set objMessageI = objMessage.GetInspector 

    objMessage.Display
objMessageI.WindowState = olNormalWindow

    lRet = SystemParametersInfo(SPI_GETWORKAREA, vbNull, apiRECT, 0)   

    If lRet Then
objMessageI.Top = 0
objMessageI.Left = 0
objMessageI.Height = (apiRECT.Bottom – apiRECT.Top) / 2
objMessageI.Width = apiRECT.Right – apiRECT.Left

        objReply.Display
objReply.WindowState = olNormalWindow
objReply.Top = (apiRECT.Bottom – apiRECT.Top) / 2
objReply.Left = 0
objReply.Height = (apiRECT.Bottom – apiRECT.Top) / 2
objReply.Width = apiRECT.Right – apiRECT.Left
End If

Leaving:
Set objMessage = Nothing
Set objMessageI = Nothing
Set objReply = Nothing

EH:
If Err.Number <> 0 Then
MsgBox “Something wrong has happened!”, vbOKOnly + vbExclamation, “UNKNOWN ERROR”
Err.Clear
GoTo Leaving:
End If
End Sub

Update:

This alternate procedure does not depend on you having your reply e-mail already open.  This macro is suitable to be called from your main Outlook window.  Just select the original e-mail in the folder and run the macro – it will open up the original message, and automatically create your reply message and tile both windows for you.  If you use just this procedure, make sure to add the same module level declarations as above:

Sub ReplyAndShowReferringMessage()
On Error Resume Next

    Dim objReply As Object
Dim objReplyI As Inspector
Dim objMessage As Object
Dim objMessageI As Inspector

If ActiveExplorer.Selection.Count > 1 Then Exit Sub

Set objMessage = ActiveExplorer.Selection.Item(1)
Set objReply = ActiveExplorer.Selection.Item(1).Reply

objMessage.Display
Set objMessageI = objMessage.GetInspector
objMessageI.WindowState = olNormalWindow
‘H: 723 L: -4 T: -4 W: 1032
Dim lRet As Long
Dim apiRECT As RECT

lRet = SystemParametersInfo(SPI_GETWORKAREA, vbNull, apiRECT, 0)

If lRet Then
objMessageI.Top = 0
objMessageI.Left = 0
objMessageI.Height = (apiRECT.Bottom – apiRECT.Top) / 2
objMessageI.Width = apiRECT.Right – apiRECT.Left

objReply.Display
Set objReplyI = objReply.GetInspector
objReplyI.WindowState = olNormalWindow
objReplyI.Top = (apiRECT.Bottom – apiRECT.Top) / 2
objReplyI.Left = 0
objReplyI.Height = (apiRECT.Bottom – apiRECT.Top) / 2
objReplyI.Width = apiRECT.Right – apiRECT.Left
Else
‘DO NOTHING; Call to SystemParametersInfo failed
End If

Set objReply = Nothing
Set objReplyI = Nothing
Set objMessage = Nothing
Set objMessageI = Nothing
End Sub

—————————————————————-
COMMENTS RESTORED FROM BACKUP:

Mon 6/6/2005 8:32 PM  Jimmy

How can I rename the button … as of now it reads Project1.ReplyAndShowReferringMessage … It takes up a quarter of my toolbar. Any help would be much appreciated.

Mon 6/6/2005 8:44 PM  Jimmy

The piece of code below vertically aligns the two windows:

If lRet Then
objMessageI.Top = 0
objMessageI.Left = (apiRECT.Right – apiRECT.Left) / 2
objMessageI.Height = apiRECT.Bottom – apiRECT.Top
objMessageI.Width = (apiRECT.Right – apiRECT.Left) / 2

objReply.Display
Set objReplyI = objReply.GetInspector
objReplyI.WindowState = olNormalWindow

objReplyI.Top = 0
objReplyI.Left = 0
objReplyI.Height = apiRECT.Bottom – apiRECT.Top
objReplyI.Width = (apiRECT.Right – apiRECT.Left) / 2
Else

END COMMENTS RESTORE
—————————————————————-

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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