Cannot open oft files



Hello everyone,

I'm in a group of companies from several countries and diferent istalations
of Windows. We have companies with Exchange server and others not. There are
people working with Windows 2000, many with Windows XP and some already with
Windows Vista.

We have a template outlook message created several years ago with a message
page and to other pages for people to input data and then forward the message.

It worked well until Windows XP SP2 came. No need for publishing nor
anything else. Then we had to go around the problem saving the form to disk
and sending it as annex. In some situations we had to clear the registry and
install Windows again.

Now I've Vista in my computer and I can't even open any .oft file. If I
doubleclick an *.oft file, a message appears stating that I can't open *.oft
files and the message opens with only the first page. When I receive massages
with that custom form the same happens. If I open a form from File\New\Custom
forms ... and send it, other people only receive the first page. I've
administrator permissions in my computer.

I've already disabled all the antivirus, security, defender and so on

I've already tried all the solutions I could from
also, amongst many others:;EN-US;290499

Please someone provide me a different solution.

Why can't I even open a *.oft file?

Thanks in advance,

Sue Mosher [MVP-Outlook]

I presume you're using a recent version of Outlook. You really should include that information whenever you post here.

As the first article that you cited explains, except for simple message templates, .oft files can be opened only by accessing the saved file from the Tools | Forms | Choose Form dialog, browsing for User Templates in File System. This means that if the .oft file is sent as a message attachment, the user must save it to the local hard drive first.

Furthermore, any item created with an .oft file won't show its layout to recipients.

The solution, as the first article explains, is to publish the form. Did you do that?

Sue Mosher, Outlook MVP
Author of Configuring Microsoft Outlook 2003

and Microsoft Outlook Programming - Jumpstart for
Administrators, Power Users, and Developers


Thank you Sue for your answer,

I'm using Outlook 2007 in Portuguese.

I have already published the form in different ways, restarted Outlook
countless times and even reinstalled Outlook. I have also cleanned the cache.
I have also tried the registry keys in several ways.

The problems persists:
1 - If anyone sends me a custom form message I only receive the first page.
From the size of the message it's clear that the other pages didn't enter in
the Inbox;
2 - If I receive the custom form as an oft attachment it will open as simple
message. Before opening there is a dialog box indicating that "Outlook as
blocked access to this file..." and to refer to Help, where I can't find
nothing on the subject. When the message appears on the Inbox the size is
also smaller than its original size;
3 - If I try to open an oft message that I have saved in the disk the same
happens, it will open as a simple message, only first page, after the dialog
box warning;
4 - If I create an oft message from Tools | Forms | Choose Form and send it
to others it is received as a simple message.

Plese help.

Thank you,

Sue Mosher [MVP-Outlook]

All the behaviors you describe are normal and expected, in keeping with the behavior described in the first KB article you cited.

For a custom message form to work fully, it must be published to the Organizational Forms library or to each user's Personal Forms library, with the "Send form definition with item" box on the (Properties) page of the form design unchecked. In my experience, few organizations are able to meet those requirements, making custom message forms largely unusable.

Sue Mosher, Outlook MVP
Author of Configuring Microsoft Outlook 2003

and Microsoft Outlook Programming - Jumpstart for
Administrators, Power Users, and Developers

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