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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger
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    Outlook appt/task creator (WinXP/OutlookXP)

    Having just read the entire thread associated with the current star post, JohnBF: Outlook Attachment Removal Manager (OL 2002 SP-2), with great interest, I wondered if anyone knew of a facility for creating appointments and tasks from a plain text email message, ie sent from an outside location to yourself at home?

    Yousoftware have one as part of the package mentioned in the star post above, which I have, but it only does appointments, not tasks, and most of the time it doesn't work - I get messages from the software saying it doesn't recognise the date format, or the time, or something else, and since it doesn't give you any indication of which message it's referring to I can't even tell what it's going on about!

    The idea behind it is wonderful, though: wherever you are, you just create an email, give it the subject "Create appointment" and put in two basic lines of content:

    Date: --/--/-- --:-- (hah!)
    Subject : "Dentist"

    and, if required, several extra optional ones (location, duration, and a few others I can't remember off the top of my head) and send it to yourself. The email is converted on receipt to an appointment.

    Since my office system sends everything in plain text format, appointments and tasks sent to myself at home arrive as plain emails in somewhat of a mess and have to be deciphered manually, so this seemed like a great utility. If it worked.

    And, of course, I'd love something similar for tasks!

    I expect I'm just indulging in some wishful thinking here, but I thought I'd just ask ... <img src=/S/grovel.gif border=0 alt=grovel width=31 height=23>
    Beryl M


  2. #2
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    Re: Outlook appt/task creator (WinXP/OutlookXP)

    It would be possible, but would take a bit of coding to parse out the information from the body text, and changes to the text layout would cause the code to fail.
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
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  3. #3
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    Re: Outlook appt/task creator (WinXP/OutlookXP)

    That's probably why the yousoftware version keeps failing, then.

    I think my problem with their date formats is they've tried to include so many ways of laying out the date (all American, and therefore very few 'native' to us in the UK) that I can never remember what I can use and what I can't!

    I wouldn't even mind if the text layout did have to be exactly correct, as long as I knew what the exact layout had to be! <img src=/S/sigh.gif border=0 alt=sigh width=15 height=15>
    Beryl M


  4. #4
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    Re: Outlook appt/task creator (WinXP/OutlookXP)

    The good part about writing custom code is that it would probably do a better job on the dates than US-predisposed software; you can predetermine your own date format - but then you'll have to stick with it! (In the Excel Forum there are several discussions about the propensity of Microsoft Excel to assume dates are US mm/dd/yyyy format no matter what your local settings.)
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
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  5. #5
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    Re: Outlook appt/task creator (WinXP/OutlookXP)

    Yes, I've tripped over that problem in XL before - in fact I think I've been behind, or at least part of, several of the threads on the subject over the years!

    As I said, though, I wouldn't mind having to stick with one format as long as it was one that came naturally to me in the first place! <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    Beryl M


  6. #6
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    Re: Outlook appt/task creator (WinXP/OutlookXP)

    Since you do some coding, if you want to code the text parsing, set up the layout how you want, treat the body of the message as a single string with no child Properties (unlike Word where words, sentences and paragraphs can be recognized as ranges, and attributes can read and written - in Outlook Item Body text, none of those Properties are available, it's one big string).

    You should try working with th Outlook Object model - it's strange at first, and not fully exposed, but not so hard to get into. Once you have the parser tested, someone in this forum can help you wrap some OL message identification and handling code around it. (2003 is easier than XP because of some additional Session Events.)
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
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    Re: Outlook appt/task creator (WinXP/OutlookXP)

    Sounds like a possibility (she says nervously!) but I have to admit so far I haven't even been able to *find* the code in Outlook, let alone work with it! VBA wasn't even available in Outlook98, which, until I got XP at home, was all I'd ever worked with ...

    Some pointers to 'how to' articles for complete newbies on getting started with Outlook VBA would be much appreciated!
    Beryl M


  8. #8
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    Re: Outlook appt/task creator (WinXP/OutlookXP)

    Try The Super-Easy Guide to the Outlook 2000 Object Model (OL2000 and OL2002 aren't very different)

  9. #9
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    Re: Outlook appt/task creator (WinXP/OutlookXP)

    Looks good, thanks Hans - anything labelled "super easy ..." has my vote!
    Beryl M


  10. #10
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    Re: Outlook appt/task creator (WinXP/OutlookXP)

    In addition to Hans' advice, here
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
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  11. #11
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    Re: Outlook appt/task creator (WinXP/OutlookXP)

    Thanks, John; I'll check those out too.

    <img src=/S/headthrob.gif border=0 alt=headthrob width=15 height=15> I have to admit my head is swimming at the moment - I started this thread by asking if anyone knew if this particular type of program was available, and somehow from that it's gone into I'm going to learn an (almost) totally new programming language in a program where I've never even found the code window, let alone used it, and write the program myself!

    The trouble is time here - <img src=/S/sigh.gif border=0 alt=sigh width=15 height=15> while the company pays me to learn something on their time and apply it, that's fine, but when it's for me personally and has to be done on my own time - well, let's just say I have to have an overwhelming need to be able to do it before I can afford to allocate the time to it!

    Thanks everyone, anyway, and maybe one day ...!

    <img src=/S/whisper.gif border=0 alt=whisper width=29 height=17> PS In fact, since the company is upgrading to Office/Windows 2003 soon, maybe they *will* want me to learn and apply it here ...! <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15> I'll have to keep my fingers crossed!
    Beryl M


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