New form for creating travel time appointments in Outlook

Articles in the "Outlook Travel Time Appointments" series

  1. Add travel time appointments in Outlook
  2. New form for creating travel time appointments in Outlook [This article]

I still use my code to create travel time appointments in Outlook.  I updated it a little while ago, though, to streamline it.  It now uses a VBA form to ask for the travel from and travel to times in one dialog:

The travel time form now lets you create both appointments from one dialog.

This saves a little real estate in the ribbon because now you only need one button:

The custom button runs the macro for launching the form and creating the appointments.

It also saves time because you can have it create both appointments in one go.  If you don’t need the to or from appointment created, leave its field blank.  You can download the two form files below, extract them anywhere, then in the VBA editor you can click File->Import File… and select the .frm file. (1.6 KiB)

You can copy the updated macros below and paste them into ThisOutlookSession in the VBA editor (and delete the macros from the old version).  The OpenOutlookFolder macro hasn’t changed, but is included for convenience.  The CreateTravelAppointment macro is now called CreateAppointment and the only change is that it sets the appointment’s category to Travel.  The CreateTravelToAppointment and CreateTravelFromAppointment macros are now combined into one called CreateTravelAppointment.  This is the macro you want your ribbon button to execute.

Outlook macro to assign retention policy when item is deleted

I described in another post how I need to assign a retention policy tag to items in my Deleted Items folder because there isn’t a retention policy tag set on the folder.  I also set a different tag to items in my Sent Items folder.  While I run the script in that post every week or so, because of the large volume of mail I receive and subsequently delete, the script will sometimes need to process over a thousand items.  Updating that many items with EWS is not the fastest process, so I looked into how Outlook can do it for me at the time a message is put in its respective folder.

Applying a personal tag to sent items is easy because a rule can be created to assign the tag when items are sent:
Outlook RuleTo have a tag assigned when items are moved to the Deleted Items folder, I needed to create a macro that runs when the items are moved.  This can be done with an event that is registered when Outlook starts.  Paste the following code into ThisOutlookSession and restart Outlook.  (You will want to change the two constants to be the GUID and number of days for your tag.)

Both the rule and the macro only run when Outlook is the client doing the operation, so any messages sent or deleted from a mobile device (or OWA) won’t have the respective tag assigned. This means I still have a need to run the script, but it will need update far fewer items and, therefore, complete in much less time.

Add travel time appointments in Outlook

Articles in the "Outlook Travel Time Appointments" series

  1. Add travel time appointments in Outlook [This article]
  2. New form for creating travel time appointments in Outlook

I like having travel time appointments in my calendar so that my free/busy accurately reflects that I am unavailable, but also so that I am reminded with enough time that I need to leave. I used to use an add-in from Instyler (no link since the site is no longer active) that allowed me to add travel to and/or from appointments to a selected calendar item, but it doesn’t work with Outlook 2013. So I chose to write a macro several years ago to do it. Like my attachment rename macro, when someone asked about using it in a newsletter, it gave me an opportunity to fix the main limitation in my use case: multiple accounts.

The original code leveraged the Applicaton.CreateItem() method, which creates the item in the default folder of the respective item type (olAppointmentItem, in this case). But I have long had two Exchange accounts in my profile, work and personal. I couldn’t get it to create the appointment item in the selected calendar. So I figured out how to open a particular calendar based on the folder path of the selected calendar.

The macro works against single-occurrence appointments and meetings. (Working with recurrences is messy.) There are actually three subroutines and one function. Two of the subs are for indicating which type of travel appointment to create, to or from. The third sub is for actually creating the appointment item, and the function is for opening the target calendar. I modified the ribbon for appointment items to add a button for creating a “travel to” appointment and a button for creating a “travel from” appointment. Each will prompt for how long the travel time should be, defaulting to 30 minutes. The travel to appointment sets a reminder, but the return travel appointment does not. It also uses the subject of the selected item to construct the subject of the travel time appointment. Paste these four code blocks into the VBA editor and then you can assign your added buttons to the CreateTravelToAppointment and CreateTravelFromAppointment subroutines.

Rename Outlook attachments before you send them

Edit (June 29,2017): I have made a couple minor changes to the code. One resolves the issue with to-be-renamed attachments being removed from the well when you don’t rename all attachments. The other may resolve the issue with the “path does not exist” error that some have gotten. I can’t be sure because I am unable to reproduce the error.

I often send PowerShell scripts via email. But because .ps1 is a Level 1 attachment, the recipient, if using Outlook, won’t be able to access it (by default). This means I need to rename the file before attaching it to the message. I don’t like doing that, however, because then I have to rename it back after attaching it. I can also compress (zip) the file or make a copy and rename that, but I still have extra files that I then have to delete. I would much rather deal with the file in the context I am sending it: Outlook.

I wrote a VBA macro several years ago that allows me to rename attachments after adding them to the message. Recently, I had an opportunity to share it with somebody so I took the time to update it to accommodate additional scenarios. For example, I discovered that when replying/forwarding a message that has inline images, those are included in the attachment collection, so I had to find a way to exclude those. The same is true when an embedded message is attached. Since the macro was being shared with others, I also added some additional error detection logic to deal with scenarios that normally wouldn’t apply to me or I could deal with one-off.

To use the macro, paste it into ThisOutlookSession in the VBA editor and save it. I modified the ribbon of the new message form (just using the built-in ribbon designer) to add a button that I labeled Rename Attachments and used one of the available icons (there aren’t a lot to choose from), clicking the button runs the macro. (You have to change the default macro security settings in the Trust Center because it isn’t digitally signed.)