Outlook 2003: Cannot edit default Contact Form

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makanda

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POP3
Hi, I run Outlook 2003 on my home laptop. I do not use Microsoft Exchange Server. I do not share my information with others nor do I intend to in the future.



I have created a custom form in Outlook to schedule appointments and interview applicants.

It is essentially a one page check list of questions and responses I make with applicants over the phone.

I import my applicant contact information into Outlook via Contact Genie and that all works perfectly.

I have saved my custom form as the default form in my Contacts Folder and all new contacts successfully use that default form.

My problem is, I now need to edit the default form but Outlook keeps calling up the original form without my changes.



The changes I need to make are critical so I cannot simply do a work a round using the old form.

I have tried everything I can think of but I simply cannot modify edit or change that default form.

Every time I make a change and try to save the updated form as the default contact form, Outlook keeps using the old form.

I suspect that there is a copy of the original form that I may have saved in a different folder somewhere that Outlook keeps accssing but I cannot find it.

Any help I can get will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Jerry

 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange

makanda

Member
Outlook version
Email Account
POP3
Diane,

First let me thank you for your reply. I have asked this question on several forums. It has been viewed over a thousand times, but you are the only person to answer it.

Thank you.

I did what you suggested but it Outlook is tenaciously calling up the old form.

I cleared the cache as directed. When I followed the directions for a deeper cleaning by removing any .dat files from the FORMS folder ... there were none there.

I tried to hunt down every possible version of the old form and delete it from my computer.

Thank you for the tip regarding changing the version number of the form.

My original form was set at version 2.0. I had been saving edited versions at 2.1, 2.2, etc. I did not know that the first number was the version number. Had you not made that suggestion I wouldn't have known to make those changes.

I have since saved the file as version 3.1 but it does not make a difference. Outlook continues to pull up the old form.

I have even gone as far as uninstalling and re installing outlook. My uninstall program supposedly does a deep registry clean to make sure all the old files are gone.

But to my dismay when I opened the newly installed program all of my calendar and contact information was still intact and like a vampire returning from the grave, the old version continues to be the only version Outlook recognizes.

Question: When I originally installed this form, I did so using a saved template off of my hard drive. That template is the same form as the one that will not go away. Is it possible that it is that template that is being called up each time in preference to the edited version of the form that I publish in the Contacts folder?

Just a thought.

Anyway, thank you for your help. This problem has me stopped dead in the water. I need to get it corrected and your help is greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Jerry Probst

Dallas, TX
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Because you are using a template, not a published form, the version # matters less.

Because you are using templates, I think what has happened is that each contact probably has a 'one-off form'. Rather than use a template from the hard drive, i would publish the form - you can then use docmessageclass to change everything to the new published form. But first, check and see what the message class is for each item, mostly because I'm curious. :)

You can use a list view (like phone list) and and the message class field to the view. I have not checked it in a scenario like your so i don't know if it will show the default message class or something else.

docmessageclass - http://www.publicshareware.com/download/DocMessageClass.zip

how to publish a form Publishing Custom Forms in Outlook | Slipstick Systems
 

makanda

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Outlook version
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POP3
Thank you Diane,

Right now, all contacts have the following message class: IPM.Contact.Contacts 4.0. Contacts4.0 is the default form in the contacts folder.

Jerry
 

makanda

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Outlook version
Email Account
POP3
Hi Diane,

I have a thought and a question.

First, I do disaster work during hurricane season. I use this Outlook scheduling forom to make appointments with contacts in the field.

Things are starting to heat up in the tropics so I am starting to feel an increased urgency to get this problem resolved.

The custom form that Outlook won't let me change is already laid out. The edits I need to make actually lie with a few fields that use drop down lists that I have pre defined in the advanced properties.

Thinking of a work-a-round, I wonder of those field properties are saved within the form itself or if Outlook stores them independentally of the forms themselves.

If I am able to revise the lists and still use the old form, I can live with that.

I am going to try it out to see if it works.

But I am interested in your thoughts.

Thank you

Jerry
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
The lists are stored in the forms, not in Outlook.

If Contact4.0 is set as the default, it's published - I was originally thinking this comment meant you were using a template for the new items too.

Question: When I originally installed this form, I did so using a saved template off of my hard drive. That template is the same form as the one that will not go away. Is it possible that it is that template that is being called up each time in preference to the edited version of the form that I publish in the Contacts folder?

Try this: make your edits to the form and publish it using a new name - then use docmessage class to apply it to the existing items (if needed) or just use it for new items by changing the default form.
 

makanda

Member
Outlook version
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POP3
Good News!

When I tried editing the drop down values It Worked!

I was able to make several corrections and get the form working as I intended. There are a couple minor issues that I have. (mainly a couple lables that don't want to change, but the rest of the form is working and published (Now as Inspections6.2) as my default contact form. I have successfully imported some test contact data into Outlook and it works.

Thank you for your assistance and for the references you sent me. They helped. Each time I made a change I adjusted the version / form numbers. I then published the file with a new name reflecting the version/form in my contact folder.

I then saved the form as a template on my hard drive.

Next I set the new form as the default in the contacts folder and deleted the previous version from the Forms manager. Finally I cleared the cache and applied the changes.

It all seems to work good enough that I can now move on.

I am saving this whole configuration as a virtual snapshot withing VirtualBox and exporting the Virtual Machine so I have a operable backup in case I mess things up in the future.

Thank you so much for your help. As a new storm is beginning to develop in the Gulf of Mexico I was beginning to panic that I wouldn't get this problem fixed.

Yours truly,

Jerry Probst
 

makanda

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Outlook version
Email Account
POP3
Much appreciated,

Now that I have it working there are two fields I would like to add if I can. Perhaps you can give me some guidance how to accomplish what I need to do.

I have an address field. I would like to create another field that will look up that address in Google Earth or Zillow (a real estate web site). What I am thinking is creating some code that will take the address info and plug it in as a link in a new field that will do an address lookup of either site when clicked.

I would think it is a simple task, but it may be beyond my simple capabilities.

What I need to know is would I do this sort of task as a Macro or do I need to write code? I think I can figure out a macro ... doubtful about my coding skills.

Thanks again. Almost there. :)

Jerry
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Outlook has the Map button, although Outlook 2003's is not customizable.

How to Customize Outlook’s Map Link | Slipstick Systems

You would need to use code to pass the address to the map program. Zillow uses /homes/#-st-city-st-zip/ format, so you'd need to parse the address and replace the space with -, not a big deal as there are functions available to do that. Even getting the address won't be that difficult.

Boy does this sound like more fun than the project I'm supposed to be doing today.... LOL

FWIW, I tested it with the instructions on that page - Zillow will accept + as a separator so

http://www.zillow.com/homes/<0s>+<1s>+<2s>+<3s> works about half - it's not completely loading the page until I reload it. It could be a Win8 thing though... In any event, it's not going to help you with Outlook 2003.
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
As an fyi, and because my curiosity got the best of me :) - here is a basic macro that uses Zillow and the contact's mailing address. It works in outlook 2003 - zillion is very forgiving with addresses, so no need to remove the spaces, although the url would look nicer.

the url would be nice... Use VBA to Map a Contact’s Address | Slipstick Systems I'm still working on the page and will probably do a little tweaking and probably remove the spaces from the address.
 
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