Editing Contacts with the full Contact Editing Form in Outlook 2013

I like Outlook 2013, with useful improvements like inline replies, calendar sneak peak and performance improvements. What I don’t like, however, is the default way how double-clicking a Contact works. In Outlook 2013, you get a Contact Card with only a few of the details that you can edit:
outlook2013_contact_default

I prefer the “old” full contact editing form when double-clicking a contact.
You can do that by clicking on Outlook (Contacts) in the View Source section:
outlook2013_contact

 

That will open the full Outlook Contact Editing Form:
outlook2013_contact_full

I learned about this by reading Open the full contact editing form in Outlook 2013 on MSOutlook.info.
The article has more information about this behavior and even provides you with a few options to disable it.

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Send E-mail with 1 minute delay in Outlook

How often did you sent an email, only to realize seconds after clicking the Send-button that you forgot to add an attachment? How many times did you franticly click the “Sent Items” folder, because you thought you just sent a nasty or embarrasing message about somebody to that person by accident? Did you ever get complaints because you accidentally clicked “Reply to All” on a message with a large distribution list?

With Outlook Rules, you can avoid this stress. You can set up a rule that delays the sending of a message with 1 minute. That’s enough time to correct any mistakes, but still fast enough for day-to-day communication.

The instructions and screenshots below are for Outlook 2007, but older and newer versions have similar capabilities:

  1. Tools > Rules and Alerts
    Start from a blank rule >  Check messages after sending

  2. Do not select any conditions in step 1 (just click Next), confirm that this rule will be applied to all messages (click OK)

  3. Select  defer delivery by a number of minutes  as action, click  a number of, specify 1 minute, click OK, Next
  4. If you want, you can create an exception for urgent messages, so that those are anyway sent immediately: check if marked with high importance, click Next
    (Just click Next if you don’t want any exception)
  5. Give the rule a name, click Finish
    If you are using Outlook in an Exchange environment, you will get a warning that this rule will only be active when Outlook is running. Just click OK. (Outlook Rules in an Exchange environment typically run on the server, so that they are applied even if Outlook is not running  on your PC. This is a Rule that only works if Outlook is running)

Once configured, Outlook will wait 1 minute with sending your message after you click “Send”. If you want to make changes to the email during that time, double-click the message in the Outbox-folder. After making the changes, make sure you click Send again. The message will be sent out (again with a 1 minute delay).

Notes:

  • As Outlook needs to be running for this rule to work, you might get a warning message if you try to close Outlook immediately after sending a message, as there still is a message waiting to be sent:Make sure to click Don't Exit and wait 1 minute to ensure your message is sent.
  • If you double-click the message in the Outbox-folder and don’t click the Send-button again, the message will stay in your Outbox and never be sent. Make sure to click the Send-button after making changes. (You can see that the message is ready to be sent as it will show in “Unread” status (i.e. using bold font)
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Fixing slow loading of attachments from Outlook

Do you experience a long wait when opening attachments from within Outlook? And the same file opens in a snap when you save the attachment first on your hard disk, launch the program and then open the file from within the program?

If you answered yes to all questions above, you probable have a DDE issue. DDE (short for Dynamic Data Exchange) allows applications to communicate with one another. For example, when you double-click a document in Windows Explorer, and the associated application is already running, Explorer sends a DDE message to the application, with instructions to open the document on its own, rather than launching another copy of the application. Sounds neat, no?

Well, on my machine, DDE has the tendency to get corrupted… or at least confused. I’m not sure why, but when that happens, it does cause significant delays in opening documents. Not only when launching it from Outlook, also when double-clicking a file in Windows Explorer.

The solution? Disable DDE for those file types that you have trouble with. Like Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. This is the process:

  1. Start > Control Panel > Folder Options
  2. In the File Types tab, select the file extension you want to change (e.g. .doc for Word documents)
  3. Click the Advanced button
  4. Select the Open action, click Edit. You will get a dialog box like this:
  5. Uncheck Use DDE
  6. In the field Application used to perform action, you will see something similar to
    “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\WINWORD.EXE” /n /dde
    Remove everything after the application (in this case /n /dde) and add %1. (Ensure you put %1 between double quotes (“), otherwise this might not work if the folder and/or filename of the document contains spaces).
    The field should now contain
    “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\WINWORD.EXE” “%1”
  7. Click OK, OK, Close

That’s it. One final note: the DDE functionality gets restored when you re-install the application. But that will probably also fix the DDE issue itself, and if not, simply follow the instructions above again.

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