How To Create Outlook Templates

MS OutlookIf you have an email that you need to send out frequently that uses the same boilerplate text, you don’t want to have to type it out over and over and over again. Here’s how you can create an email template in Outlook to make that repetitive task go much smoother.

First off, you need to create the template. Open up Microsoft Outlook, and create a new email formatting and customizing it however you want. For example, here is a sample email sent to our CompleteCare clients as they join our services:

Once you have it how you want, click on “File”:

Then click “Save As”:

Change the “Save as Type” to “Outlook Template”:

Note: Before you hit “Save”, you may want to change where you are saving the template. By default, it will save to the Outlook Templates folder (c:\users\username\appdata\roaming\microsoft\templates), which is a tad bit difficult to find, but that is where Outlook will look for Outlook templates if you browse from within the program. So if you plan on creating loads of templates, use the default save location. If not, save it somewhere where you can easily find it.

If you ever need to send that email again, there are a couple ways to open back up that template. If you saved the file somewhere easily accessible (like your documents or desktop folders), open up the location, double-click on the icon, and you’ll end up with a fully-formatted email, ready-to-send.

However, if you have a bunch of templates you’ve saved into Outlook’s default folder, you can access them easily enough from Outlook. Inside the main Outlook Windows, click on the “New Items” menu item, which is right next to the “New Email” icon if you’re looking at your email list. You’ll want to browse through that list to and select “More Items” then “Choose Form…”:

Under “Look In”, select “User Template in File System” and select your template you want to open to open up a ready-to-go email from that template:

If you need to open up the “Choose Form” dialog a lot, you can save yourself some time  and add the “Choose Form” dialog to your toolbar. That’s a bit more complicated, but not too awful to setup.

To get an easy-to-access button, right-click on the Outlook ribbon and select “Customize the Ribbon…”

Under “Choose commands from” click on “All Commands”:

Anything that’s available as a menu option in Outlook can be added to your menu. We’re here looking for the “Choose Form…” dialog, so scroll down and select that:

Now you’ll just need to figure out where on the menu to add it. In this case, we’re going to create a new group on the main Home menu just for that function. So select “New” and click on “New Group” down below:

After creating the group, you’ll want to rename the group to something more useful, like Templates. So click on your new group, and then click “Rename” and name it appropriately:

Now that you have a “Templates” group created, click on “Choose Form…” in the left column, then click “Add>>” to add it to your new menu group. Then hit “OK” to save:

You should now see a “Choose Form” menu in the “Templates” group on your Ribbon that you can click on to go straight to the dialog above:

Clicking that will save you some digging through menus to open the template you want to use, taking you right to the main “Choose Form” dialog you had to dig to before.

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