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You can send meeting requests, task requests, voting button forms, and custom forms that you design to another user via the Internet under these conditions:

  • The other user is also using Outlook.
  • In the case of a custom form, the other user has already published the form to their Personal Folders Library. (See note below).
  • The user's address is enabled for rich-text formatting (RTF). See below for the different procedures for Corporate/Workgroup (CW) and Internet Mail Only (IMO) mode.
  • In Outlook 98 later versions, the message is sent in rich-text format, not plain text or HTML. Outlook 2002 tends to handle this automatically, using RTF whenever it sees a custom form is involved, assuming that the user's address is enabled for RTF.

If all these conditions are not met, the user receives your message as a normal Outlook message, not a special form.

Rich-text formatting in CW mode or Outlook 97, 2002, or 2003 | RTF in IMO mode | Notes | More Information

Rich-text formatting in CW mode or Outlook 97, 2002 or 2003

To set RTF for a one-off address:
  1. Before sending the message, click the Check Names button or press Ctrl+K.
  2. Double-click each underlined address to display its properties.
  3. Check the box for Always send to this recipient in Microsoft Outlook rich-text format, and then click OK.
To set RTF for an entry in a Contacts folder:
  1. In the Contact item, double-click each underlined E-mail address.
  2. Check the box for Always send to this recipient in Microsoft Outlook rich-text format, and then click OK.
  3. Close and save the item.
To set RTF for a custom recipient in the Exchange Server Global Address List or Active Directory (administrators only):
  • Exchange 5.5 and earlier: In the Microsoft Exchange Administrator program, on the Advanced tab of the custom recipient's properties, check the box for Allow rich text in messages.
  • Exchange 2000: In Active Directory Users and Computers, on the properties of the contact, look on the Exchanged Advanced page for the Use MAPI rich text format check box.

Also see: 

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RTF in IMO mode

To set RTF for an entry in a Contacts folder:
  • In the Contact item, make sure that the box for Send plain text only is not checked.

One-off recipients are enabled for RTF by default.

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There is another option for sending forms via the Internet that does not require the recipient to have a published copy of your form. On the (Properties) tab of the form, in design mode, you can check Save form definition with item. (If you publish a message form, Outlook will pop up a message suggesting that you set this option.) However, we generally do not recommend this approach for these reasons:
  • Setting that option one-offs the form, embedding the form definition in the item, so that instead of sending a 3kb message, you might be sending a 3kb message + a 150kb form.
  • If the item contains code, the recipient may see an ambiguous Enable/Disable Macros prompt and will need to choose Enable Macros -- not a good choice in any security-conscious organization.
  • Alternatively, the code may not run at all. This will be the case if the recipient has the Outlook Email Security Update, Outlook 2000 SP2, or Outlook 2002. These versions of Outlook do not permit code to run from one-off forms. 

In a Microsoft Exchange Server environment, RTF must also be enabled on the Internet Mail Service. See XCLN: Internet User Cannot Display Form Sent via Mail Connector.

Messages should never be sent in RTF format to people who don't use Outlook or Exchange. If you do send them RTF, they will get a mysterious Winmail.dat attachment and will not be able to open any file attachments included in your message. 

If a custom message form contains a statement that sets the Body property, such as

Item.Body = Item.Body & vbCrLf & vbCrLf & "Some text"

the message automatically converts to an RTF format message in Outlook 2000 and earlier versions. In Outlook 2002, it converts to RTF only if the user's default message format is RTF.

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