Note: This post content is applicable to Office 2019,2016, 2013, 2010; desktop and Office 365 versions; Windows 10, 8 and 7;
Post updated on: February 2020
Here’s a question from Deanne:
I work in the Retail industry. I use Outlook in order to manage my contact information. I am quite fond of Outlook as my contact manager, but clearly i need to be able to enhance the basic contact form capabilities. My requirement is to be able to add several fields that will allow me to store the web addresses of the social media profiles of each of my contacts. So long story short, I guess i have a couple questions here: First, how to make the menu item buttons that will allow me to interact with Outlook forms and second: how to actually go ahead and create or modify my Contact form. Any hints are super appreciated. Thanks!
In this post, we’ll teach you how you can easily create custom fillable user forms in Microsoft Outlook. We’ll customize the Contact form as an example, however the process is fully applicable for emails, tasks, task requests, appointment invitations, journal entries and so forth. In addition we have additional tutorials for form development in Excel workbooks and Word custom fillable forms.
OK.. let’s get started.
Working with forms in Outlook is not particularly difficult. Outlook ships several predefined templates, and the basic idea is to customize those templates according to your needs.
As mentioned, In this Outlook forms examples tutorial we’ll focus specifically you how to customize the Contacts form. For convenience, we’ll assume that you’ll want to manage the following social media information for your contact people:
Here’s how our custom Outlook userform will look like:
As noted by the reader above, before we get started with our custom Outlook forms, we need to enable the so-called Developer tab. This will allow us to access the Outlook capabilities we need in order to develop our own forms.
Here’s how to do it:
Microsoft Outlook ships a nice collection of forms related to the main Outlook objects that you can select and jump-start your form development process. That’s very useful because we don’t want to re-invent the wheel. We’ll just go ahead and extend the already existing Contact form stored in your standard forms library.
In this step, we’ll go ahead and create custom form fields (columns0 for the Social Media information.
In this step we’ll add a custom page to the Contact Form. In that page we’ll store the Social Media profile fields.
As you have seen before, your modified Contact form is still in Design Mode. If you want to start using it you should publish it to your Form library. According to your permissions, you might be able to make it available for your own usage or allow other colleague in your organization to use it as well.
Advanced User Note: Your form will be saved as an .oft file in the AppData directory of your home directory:: \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates.
We are almost there. Now it is time to go ahead and give our work a try.
If you are satisfied with the result of your work, you can set your new form as the default Contact form in Microsoft Outlook. Do this only after you have followed the entire tutorial, as this step is irrelevant otherwise.
Proceed as following:
If you are looking for a more in-depth tutorial, make sure you visit this detailed example of an email and appointment template design for Outlook (applicable to both Windows and macOSX)
A couple of readers had some trouble finding the storage location of their custom user forms for Outlook.
By default, the location is under your user account. In Windows 10 /8 or 7, it’s therefore going to probably be: C\:users\<your_user_name>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates.