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Outlook OutofOffice Autoresponder

For Outlook 2002 or 2003. When you go on vacation or a business trip and you won't have access to a computer, you want people to know that you are not responding to their email because you are unavailable, not that you are unresponsive. So, sending an email back to them instantly is good contact management. Here is what you can do. First, you must have a cable modem or DSL service (Digital Subscriber Line from your phone company) as this technique requires an always-on connection to the Internet from your computer. 1) Turn off 'Edit with Microsoft Word' Make sure that you are not using Microsoft Word as your e-mail editor.

Verify that Word is turned off in Outlook as follows. ---a) Open Outlook, click the Tools menu, Options. ---b) Click on the Mail Format tab ---c) Uncheck the Use Microsoft Word to edit e-mail messages ---d) Click OK 2) Create the Autoresponder message Now let's create the message that will be sent to people while you are away. 1) Open the Inbox folder. ---a) Create a new message (Ctrl-Shift-M) ---b) Type a subject line, such as "Out of the office.

" ---c) Type the message body you want people to see while you're out. ---d) On the File menu, click Save As. ---e) In the Save As Type box, select Outlook Template. ---f) Type the name for the file, like "Autoresponder" and click Save ---g) On the File menu, click Close.

Click No to "Do you want to save the changes?" 3) Create the Rule to run the Template Now that the template is created, we need to create a rule from the Rules Wizard that will use the template file to automatically respond to a person when email arrives. ---a) On the Tools menu, click Rules wizard. Click New.

---b) Click to select the option Start From A Blank Rule. ---c) Ensure Check Messages When They Arrive is checked, and then click Next. ---d) Under Which Condition(s) Do You Want To Check?, select sent only to me, and then click Next. ---e) Under What Do You Want To Do With The Message?, check the reply Using a specific template. ---f) Under Rule description, click the underlined words a specific template ---g) In the Select A Reply Template dialog box, select User Templates In File System in the Look In list. ---h) Select the "Autoresponder" template that you created earlier and click Open.

---i) Click Finish. The rule is automatically named "sent only to me" and is automatically enabled (notice the check mark). 4) Test your work Now send yourself an email.

Your mail will be received into your inbox (or wherever another rule may direct it), and the sending party will receive the template notice. NOTE: Outlook must be set to send/receive mail at some regular interval. Check the settings at Tools | Options | Mail Setup | Send/Receive and make sure that Include this group in Send/Receive is checked and Schedule and automatically send/receive every X minutes is checked. If this works correctly, be sure to disable the rule immediately until you are actually out of the office. And test it one more time just prior to leaving the office just to be sure nothing has changed.

Copyright (c) 2007 The Software Magician.

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