Part 5: Customizing Outlook in VB.NET

Encoder QR Code in VB.NET Part 5: Customizing Outlook

Part 5: Customizing Outlook
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Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 Inside Out
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For detailed information about using VBA with Outlook, see Article 2, Using VBA in Outlook, and Article 3, Integrating Outlook and Other Applications with VBA, on the companion CD.
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Understanding Macros
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So just what is a macro In general terms, a macro is a number of commands grouped together to execute a particular task. Macros are like small programs that operate within other programs. Macros have been around for a long time, and all Microsoft Office products support them at some level. In Outlook 2003, macros are implemented as VBA procedures that are not linked to a particular form and are available from anywhere in Outlook. In Outlook, you manage macros by using the Tools menu, which contains a Macro submenu.
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Using Macros
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Macros are most useful for tasks that must be performed repeatedly without change. Even so, because a macro contains Visual Basic code, it can be flexible and can respond to variables or user input. With the power of scripting, a macro can accomplish a task in the most efficient way in response to specific conditions. Caution Macros can be extremely powerful. This power can be a great asset for you, but it can also mean that any problems can become serious ones. Like many other things, mac ros can be dangerous when used improperly. Inexperienced programmers should take great care when writing and using macros in Outlook. Following are the three basic programming elements you can work with in an Outlook macro:
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An object is a particular part of a program, such as a button, a menu item, or a text field. Objects make up any element of Outlook that you can see or work with. An object has properties, and how you set these properties determines how the object functions. Any part of an object its color, its width, and its value is part of the set of attributes that make up its properties. A method is a task that an object carries out. Methods can be modified based on user input or the value of certain properties.
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Property Method
In general, a VBA macro either determines or modifies the value of an object s property or calls a method. Macros, then, are nothing more than simple programs that use VBA to access or modify Outlook information.
Part 5: Customizing Outlook
Automating Common Tasks Note With the Macro Recorder in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word, you can simply record your mouse movements and keystrokes, and the computer plays them back when you execute the macro. Outlook 2003 doesn t include a macro recorder or any other graphical device for the nonprogrammatic creation of macros. As such, users familiar with program ming basics and VBA will have a head start in learning to create Outlook macros.
Creating a Macro from Scratch
The process for creating an Outlook macro is simple. The process for creating a useful macro, on the other hand, is more complex. Because of that, the discussion of advanced VBA is left for later chapters. In this chapter, I ll fall back on the most basic of functions, the Hello World dialog box macro. This macro creates a function that displays a message box containing the text Hello World. Clicking OK (the only button) closes the message box and ends the macro. To create this macro, follow these steps:
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1 Choose Tools, Macro, Macros to open the Macros dialog box. 2 In the Macro Name box, type a descriptive name for your new macro (no spaces are
allowed). In Figure 27-1, the macro is titled HelloWorldMsgBox.
Figure 27-1. Enter the name for a new macro in the Macro Name box.
3 Click Create. The Microsoft Visual Basic Editor starts, which allows you to add func
tionality to your macro. For those who are not programmers, creating VBA code might seem daunting, but simple tasks are actually quite easy.
Part 5: Customizing Outlook
Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 Inside Out
4 Type the following (see Figure 27-2): MsgBox ( Hello World )
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