Are you looking for a simple way to learn more about Microsoft Outlook? Our Outlook TechMail is just what you need. This e-mail message contains valuable information that can save you time and effort. This article showcases only a small sample of what this TechMail has to offer. Get information on installation, security, configuration, and much more, all delivered straight to your inbox—absolutely free! Sign up for the Outlook TechMail today!

One-off forms explained
If you do much in the way of form programming for Outlook, you’ll soon come across the odd term “one-off forms.” Not only is the name of this form unusual, but it also doesn’t offer a clue as to what these forms might actually be.

A one-off form is simply a form that has the form definition and code saved with each item. (This differs from a normal form in which the form definition and code are saved in a forms library and loaded from there each time an item of a specific class is opened.)

For example, take your average message item, such as an e-mail to coworkers. When they receive the message and open it, it’s just a basic message, and they can use the message form in their own standard forms library.

However, if you create a custom form and e-mail coworkers using it, they may not have access to that form since it only exists on your machine. Actually, the item may not look right—if it opens at all. A one-off form solves this problem by embedding the form definition and code in the item so coworkers can open the item and the form at the same time. (You could say that this item is self-contained.)

Using one-off forms
The purpose of one-off forms is to make the form’s definition and code available to users who may have cause to open the item but don’t have access to the custom form the item is associated with.

The most common way to create a one-off form is to check the box that says Send Form Definition With Item on the Properties tab when designing a new form (see Figure A). (To design a form, go to Tools | Forms | Design a Form.) Here are two other frequently used methods:

  • Edit a form for which a number of items already exist in the folder, make changes to the form, then save the changes. Now, that one item will have a customized form attached to it, while the rest of the items of the same class will use the default form.
  • Another way for a form to be one-offed is if there is VBS code attached to the form for automation, and the form includes code that uses methods of the Action object or the Form Description object.

Figure A

The advantages and disadvantages of one-offed forms
Now we’re going to focus on the pros and cons of one-offed forms. Mainly, you’ll use a one-off form if you’re sending items that depend on custom forms, such as client records, to people outside your organization—people who can’t access the same organizational forms libraries you and your internal users can. For the folks outside your organization, including the form definition with the item will enable the item to behave normally even on remote computers.

The cons are that one-offed items tend to be somewhat larger in size (the overhead of storing that form definition) than regular forms. Also, opening one-offed items often triggers the Outlook security warning, adding an extra (sometimes disconcerting) step to the process.

If you decide to change a one-offed form back to a published form, change the message class of that item with a macro.


Have handy Outlook tips like these sent directly to your inbox

If you would like to read more tips, sign up for the Outlook TechMail. Let us know what you think about this article and the Outlook TechMail by posting a comment below or by sending us a note.


 

Are you looking for a simple way to learn more about Microsoft Outlook? Our Outlook TechMail is just what you need. This e-mail message contains valuable information that can save you time and effort. This article showcases only a small sample of what this TechMail has to offer. Get information on installation, security, configuration, and much more, all delivered straight to your inbox—absolutely free! Sign up for the Outlook TechMail today!

One-off forms explained
If you do much in the way of form programming for Outlook, you’ll soon come across the odd term “one-off forms.” Not only is the name of this form unusual, but it also doesn’t offer a clue as to what these forms might actually be.

A one-off form is simply a form that has the form definition and code saved with each item. (This differs from a normal form in which the form definition and code are saved in a forms library and loaded from there each time an item of a specific class is opened.)

For example, take your average message item, such as an e-mail to coworkers. When they receive the message and open it, it’s just a basic message, and they can use the message form in their own standard forms library.

However, if you create a custom form and e-mail coworkers using it, they may not have access to that form since it only exists on your machine. Actually, the item may not look right—if it opens at all. A one-off form solves this problem by embedding the form definition and code in the item so coworkers can open the item and the form at the same time. (You could say that this item is self-contained.)

Using one-off forms
The purpose of one-off forms is to make the form’s definition and code available to users who may have cause to open the item but don’t have access to the custom form the item is associated with.

The most common way to create a one-off form is to check the box that says Send Form Definition With Item on the Properties tab when designing a new form (see Figure A). (To design a form, go to Tools | Forms | Design a Form.) Here are two other frequently used methods:

  • Edit a form for which a number of items already exist in the folder, make changes to the form, then save the changes. Now, that one item will have a customized form attached to it, while the rest of the items of the same class will use the default form.
  • Another way for a form to be one-offed is if there is VBS code attached to the form for automation, and the form includes code that uses methods of the Action object or the Form Description object.

Figure A

The advantages and disadvantages of one-offed forms
Now we’re going to focus on the pros and cons of one-offed forms. Mainly, you’ll use a one-off form if you’re sending items that depend on custom forms, such as client records, to people outside your organization—people who can’t access the same organizational forms libraries you and your internal users can. For the folks outside your organization, including the form definition with the item will enable the item to behave normally even on remote computers.

The cons are that one-offed items tend to be somewhat larger in size (the overhead of storing that form definition) than regular forms. Also, opening one-offed items often triggers the Outlook security warning, adding an extra (sometimes disconcerting) step to the process.

If you decide to change a one-offed form back to a published form, change the message class of that item with a macro.


Have handy Outlook tips like these sent directly to your inbox

If you would like to read more tips, sign up for the Outlook TechMail. Let us know what you think about this article and the Outlook TechMail by posting a comment below or by sending us a note.