Create custom voting buttons to your Outlook 2016 and 2019 messages


Last updated: October 2018

Applicable to: Outlook 365, 2019, 2016, 2013; Office 365 and Standard.

A somewhat not well known capability of Microsoft Outlook is the fact you can use it as a simple voting tool. In this post will show you how to insert custom voting buttons to poll your colleagues opinions on different matters through email.

Here are some use cases i can think of:

  • Decide on the location of a corporate or group event
  • Gather user feedback about a proposed meeting timing
  • Choosing a farewell present for a colleague or friend leaving town
  • And many more…

In order to keep it simple, this post will focus on using the voting buttons delivered by Outlook, which would typically fit a work group or small department scenario. Voting solution that applies to larger organizations or cases in which other email clients, such as Gmail, Outlook.com and Yahoo are beyond the scope of this post.

Setting voting buttons in Outlook

  • Open Outlook and click on New Email in the Home ribbon.

2015-11-16 12_44_58-Inbox - vinod06061996@outlook.com - Outlook

  • Now while you compose a mail click on Options in the ribbon and click on the Use voting options drop down box.
  • Approve;Reject option will make opinion on a task to others whether to Approve/Reject.
  • Yes;No option used for questions asked by the sender which can be voted as Yes/No.
  • Yes;No;Maybe option is same as the previous one, but adds the extra option maybe.
  • Custom option helps us create our own answers for voting.
  • ; ” is used for the separation for each entry.

2015-11-16 12_46_36-Untitled - Message (HTML)



  • Select anyone of the options and you can see that there is an indication for the usage of voting button.
  • Enter the address and subject in the space provided.
  • Click send to receive answers from others about the voting option you set.

2015-11-16 12_50_13-Are we going somewhere this weekend_ - Message (HTML)

Inserting buttons into Outlook emails (example)

Let us say I want to know which of the three albums (revive, the hills, listen) are best and I want to ask this to my project colleagues.

  • I click on Custom in the use voting options to include the names of the albums.
  • In the voting and tracking options, I enter Revive;listen;the hills.

2015-11-16 13_04_31-Properties

  • I enter email address of my project colleagues along with my voting question and final project report.
  • Click send.2015-11-16 13_05_15-Final project report and vote me for the question - Message (HTML)
  • The email recipient will be prompted to cast his vote using the buttons attached to the message as shown below:

2015-11-16 13_11_14-Inbox - vinodmvd@yahoo.in - Outlook

In case of questions feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for reading :)

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1 comments
Paula Baisden says April 26, 2019

This does not work for the outlook 365 new version. There is no ribbon with an options tab to even click on.

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