Preview pane and custum forms




I have written a custom Outlook form for an IPM.Note-derived message class
using COM and C++ as described in Ben Goetter's MAPI book. I would like
messages of this message class to be displayed in Outlook's preview pane. How
do I do this?

From surfing the net I get the impression that this is not possible. Only
forms made with Outlook's built-in form designer tool are able to communicate
with the preview pane, and then only if you are careful.

Please prove me wrong.

Best regards,
Jan Reher

Sue Mosher [MVP-Outlook]

Outlook 2007 is the first version to be able to display a custom form layout in the preview pane, using the new form region feature. In earlier versions, the best you can do is "be careful" as you say and remove certain MAPI properties so that the item body (not the custom form layout) shows in the preview pane.

I'm not a MAPI programming but I would expect your IPM.Note.something form to display its Body property in the preview pane.

Sue Mosher, Outlook MVP
Author of Configuring Microsoft Outlook 2003

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


My thanks to Sue for a quick reply.

Yes, I have been reading about Outlook 2007 and the form region feature. It
sounds promising, and it is definitely something we must look into when our
product starts supporting Outlook 2007.

But until then, which are these "certain MAPI properties" that you say must
be "removed" from the message? Displaying just the message body and not my
custom form's own layout is definitely not good enough but it is better than
what we get now, which is "This item cannot be displayed in the Reading Pane.
Open the item to read its contents". So if you have some more information
about this, please tell.

Best regards,
Jan Reher

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