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    New Lounger
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    Short story:
    I would like to be able to have a shared pool of e-mail signatures that any member of my team can use, as a way of allowing all of us to have access to the same standard text inserts. I want the files shared in 'real time' so that any change made to a signature (or any new signature) is immediately available to all without them having to do any installation, etc. Essentially, a series of 'workgroup template signature'. Or Quick Parts.

    Anybody know how (if?) this can be done?

    Thanks!

    Matt

    Long story:
    I work on a team with 4 other people and our job functions are largely the same. We do a lot of communication via e-mail Ė software support and implementation Ė and I have been using e-mail signatures as a quick way of generating standard e-mails. It works great until such time as you realize others probably would benefit from those same standard e-mails and you ask how thatís possible. I have figured out how to get the signature files and then set those up on the othersí machines. It works great until such time as you make a change to an existing signature and realize you now have to set up the edited signature file on everybody elseís machine.

    So what I am looking for is a way to create a pool of signatures/quick parts/whatever that are shared so that if anyone makes a change to the signature, that change is instantly presented to the other users. I thought maybe I could do it with Quick Parts, but havenít been able to find a way, as the quick parts appear to be stored in a local file on the userís machine and I canít find a way to put them in a central file.

    I'm only interested in the ends, not the means. If what I can do is possible in a largely similar way to what Iím describing but would use a widget as opposed to a signature, thatís fine. I just donít know enough to know what I donít know enough about. Iím in an Exchange environment where I can do all the fancy stuff like view other people calendars, schedule appointments with others based on their free time, etc.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt McDonald View Post
    I would like to be able to have a shared pool of e-mail signatures that any member of my team can use, as a way of allowing all of us to have access to the same standard text inserts. I want the files shared in 'real time' so that any change made to a signature (or any new signature) is immediately available to all without them having to do any installation, etc. Essentially, a series of 'workgroup template signature'. Or Quick Parts.
    Since you reference, Quick Parts, I assume this is for Outlook 2007. Does Outlook 2007 recognize workgroup templates? The Outlook 2007 editor has a Word heritage, but it also appears to have some important differences from Word...

    Two other thoughts:

    In the bad old days of Outlook 2000, I developed some VBA code to "insert" text into a document using the VBA command SendKeys (and text saved in .txt files). This required the cursor to be in the right place and assumed certain preexisting formatting, so it was quite limited. Also, SendKeys occasionally seems to drop a keystroke, which can cause a variety of problems. But you could keep it in mind as a backup.

    During the Outlook 2002 days, I wrote some VBA code to populate the clipboard with a list of attachments, which the user then could paste into the message. The code supported both plain text and HTML formats (but not RTF). This required an extra step by the user and wiped out anything else on the clipboard, so it was not an ideal solution. The code was compiled into a COM Add-in, and I'm not sure where it is any more. But the general idea that you can build inserts on the clipboard is another fallback.

    == Edit ==

    One other possibly important thought: Outlook 2007 marks all signatures with a formatting code that prevents them from being spell-checked. If the inserts will be modified by the end users, that could be a problem.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscher2000 View Post
    Does Outlook 2007 recognize workgroup templates?
    Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to. If it does, I can't figure out how it works. Quick Parts are stored in Normalemail.dotm, which seems to be stored locally and I cannot find anyplace that's exposed to the user where you can tell Outlook where the normalemail.dotm is stored and point it out onto the network.

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Hi Guys (just testing the Replies section as well)

    I don't have Outlook 07 as yet, but would one of the following suggestions help?

    1. Autocorrect. If you are using Word as your Outlook Editor, I would imagine it also includes Autocorrect as part of its function. You could set up an auto correct code that inserts the correct address (or whatever) just by typing in the code. You can export and import Autocorrect databases (in Office 2003 anyway), so updates could be run as a macro maybe?

    2. We use a program that adds a disclaimer to any of our outgoing email (those that leave the office network), you might be able to modify this layout, and ALL emails that are outgoing would get the change, which could include any generic addresses you require.

    3. set up a macro that automatically updates the Signatures folder of each user. In my office I have a signature for internal email, a signature for external email, and a signature for external email with my direct contact details on it. I use the Internal email as my name and extension component, and then just insert the External or External Direct as separate pieces below my Internal signature. That means I only need to modify one of the signatures to effect a generic change to all of them.

    Hope this helps in some way!!

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