- [ Team LiB ]
Voting by Email
Outlook 2003 enables you to do more with email than just send and reply to messages.
Along with meeting and task requests, you can use Outlook to send and compile votes.
The requirements for voting include
• Recipients must use Outlook.
• Messages must be sent using RTF (rich text format).
When these conditions are met, your message will be sent with voting buttons. When the
recipients vote, their votes are sent back to you and Outlook tallies the votes.
Open the Options dialog and add a check to Use Voting Buttons (see Figure 7.2). This
automatically creates voting buttons using the text in the field. By default, Outlook
includes selections for Approve;Reject, Yes;No, and Yes;No;Maybe. You aren't limited
to using these choices: You can type any text you want to use to label your voting buttons
in the field as long as you remember to use a semicolon as the delimiter between button
Figure 7.2. When enabling voting buttons, select a predefined set of voting button
text or enter your own text, separating the button text with semicolons.
- When the recipient opens the message, she'll see buttons at the top of the form (see
Figure 7.3). Outlook 2003 users can also vote from the Reading Pane by clicking in the
InfoBar and choosing one of the voting selections from the menu.
Figure 7.3. Recipients click on the button to vote and Outlook sends their responses
to you. A recipient can change his mind and cast a new vote as often as he wants;
however, only the last vote is included in the tally.
- Choosing Edit the Response Before Sending opens a reply so that the recipient can reply
as if it were a normal message (see Figure 7.4). This doesn't affect the vote results and
gives the recipient the chance to explain her choice, ask questions, and make a comment.
Figure 7.4. After choosing the vote selection, Outlook offers the choice of
immediately returning the ballot or opening a message form to include a reply with
- When votes come back to you, Outlook keeps a tally on the original message in the Sent
Items folder (see Figure 7.5).
Figure 7.5. After the first vote is returned to you, the original message in the Sent
Items folder displays a Tracking tab. The message must remain in the Sent Items
folder for tracking to work with new voting responses. When it's time to end voting,
move the item out of the Sent Items folder.
- The tracking list prints when you print the message, although the tally in the InfoBar is
not included in the printout. You can also copy and paste the list into a file. Select the
first item in the list, hold the Shift key, and select the last item using the Down Arrow
key, the Page Down key, or your mouse. After selecting the list, use Ctrl+C to copy and
paste it into another program file, such as Excel or Notepad, or even a message or post
Occasionally, votes are not returned in RTF format and Outlook
cannot tally them. Unfortunately, Outlook doesn't enable you to edit
the voting responses on the original message, and you'll have to
count the votes yourself.
Voting works perfectly when all users are on the same Exchange Server, but when done
properly, it works equally well for POP3, IMAP, and HTTP accounts. You just have to
remember to set the message format to RTF and enable each recipient for RTF. To
accomplish that, double-click on an email address to bring up the E-mail Properties
dialog. If this opens a contact form, double-click on the contact's email address to open
the Properties dialog. Choose Send using Outlook Rich Text Format from the Internet
Format field and close the dialog. Repeat this for each address to which you're sending
- the message. Coupled with choosing Rich Text format for the message, this enables your
voting buttons to work when sent to other Outlook users.
If you need to send a voting form to many Internet addresses, open Tools, Options, Mail
Format, Internet Format and change the Internet Format to Send using Rich Text
Formatting. Make this change before creating the message and change it back to plain
text or HTML format after voting ends to prevent problems if you accidentally compose
an RTF message to send to non-Outlook users.
[ Team LiB ]