How to make email and meeting templates in Microsoft Outlook 2019 and 2016 for PC and MAC?


Last update: April 2019.

Here’s a question we got for a reader:

Hello there, i am a travel agent, and would like to define a custom email template to answer emails that my customer send me. I also would like to speed up my appointment scheduling process and have a template i can use to quickly create appointments and meetings. If it helps, i am using Outlook 365. Thanks upfront for any help you can offer.

Thanks for your question. Here we go ;-):

Creating message templates on Windows

Setting up pre-defined email messages is pretty simple. All you’ll need to do is to type and format an email message and then save it as a template for future use.

Note: for simplicity, in this post, i will be using simple message and meeting template examples, however you can as well define more complex user fillable forms.

Please follow these steps:



  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Hit New Email.
  3. Type your email subject.
  4. Type your email text. Here’s a simple example:

Email_template_body

  1. Insert your signature (if needed).
  2. Now, you’ll need to save your email as an Outlook template file (with the oft extension) for further reuse.
  3. Go ahead and hit File.
  4. Now hit Save As and provide a file name; in our simple example it will be: “Speaking Application Approved”.
  5. Save the email as a template, don’t forget to set the file type to .oft as shown below.

oft_file_Outlook_365

  1. Hit Save.
  2. Close the message.
  3. If prompted, hit Save all changes.

Sending an email based on a template

Re-using your existing templates is pretty simple as well:

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Hit New Items.
  3. Now select More Items.
  4. Select Choose Form.
  5. Now you’ll need to pick the location in which the template you just built in the previous step will be stored. Pick the User Templates in File System location and select the “”Speaking Application Approved” entry as shown below

Choose_Form_example_templates_outlook_2019

  1. Hit Open.
  2. Define your email recipients in the To and CC boxes; define a Black carbon copy (BCC) if needed.
  3. Send your email.

Appointment and meeting templates

In the same fashion, you can reuse predefined formats for your meeting and appointments.

Just go ahead and define your meeting stencil and save it as an .otf file; then send your request to the meeting attendees.

template_appointment_Outlook_2016

Edit your message template

From time to time you might need to modify your Outlook form / template.

In order to do that proceed as following:

  1. Open your form file as shown above in the Reusing templates section.
  2. Make the required changes.
  3. Hit File, then Save As and then save your file using a different name.

Where are templates saved?

Couple of readers asked us in which file path Outlook typically stores all custom stencils.

By default, the location is under your user account. In Windows 10 /8 or 7, it would be: C\:users\<your_user_name>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates.

You can obviously store your files in different locations in your Windows PC operating system.

Tip: If you are unsure of the exact location, you can run a Windows search for .oft files.

Making Templates for mac OS

Defining your custom formats

If you are using Outlook for macOS and would like to define your own custom template formats, proceed as following:

  1. Open Outlook
  2. Hit New Mail
  3. Write your email text – see example below:

outlook_template_Mac_os

  1. From the upper bar hit Save as Template…
  2. Then pick your template folder and hit Save.

Save_template_mac

Send template based messages on MAC

Quite simple. Please follow these instructions:

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. From the upper bar, hit File
  3. Hit New and select New From Template
  4. Your templates folder will open, note than unlike Windows, macOS stores your templates as .emltpl files.
  5. Pick your email template and hit OK.
  6. Complete your email recipients as needed and send your message

Note: Outlook on macOS doesn’t support appointment and meeting templates

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