Software

Office challenge: What's the quickest way to create a task, contact, or calendar item from an email message in your Inbox?

This week's Office challenge tests your knowledge of Outlook and shares the answer to last week's question on entering document information in Word.

If you receive an email that contains information you want to use to create a task, do you really have to re-enter the information as a task? Or let's suppose you want to add the item to your calendar or create a new contact. You'd think this chore would be common enough to be automated. How can you create a task, contact, or calendar item from an email message? Last week we asked… Can you get Word to enter information about your document? Yes, you can, and there's more than one way to accomplish this task. Bill.tkach was the first to share my favorite solution: Field codes (or Quick Parts in Word 2007). In my opinion, field codes offer the most efficient solution for entering information about the file. For instance, to enter a document's filename, you'd do the following:

  1. Position the cursor where you want to display the results of the field code.
  2. Choose Field from the Insert menu to launch the Field dialog box.
  3. In the Field Names control, select FileName. Doing so will update the Field Properties list, accordingly.
  4. In this case, you can choose a letter case, such as First Capital.
  5. If you want the file's full pathname, be sure to check the Add Path To Filename option.
  6. Click OK.
The FileName field code inserts the document's filename and updates automatically if you rename the document. Not all field codes update automatically, so that's something to check into when using field codes. A few other members, Cruffin, M-3, Happymedia, Ggryder, and Amasa, also offered this simple solution. Jeroen suggested the AutoText feature, which can actually require fewer clicks. However, text generated by this feature doesn't update automatically. That might be exactly what you want though. Cruffin and Manieverster both mentioned using document properties, which is another possibility. A special thanks to Happymedia for taking the time to offer comprehensive instructions. As always, thanks to everyone for the great solutions!

About Susan Harkins

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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