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Microsoft Outlook 2010 : Using Outlook with Exchange Server (part 2) - Voting in Outlook

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1/15/2013 10:38:46 AM

2. Recalling a Sent Message Before It Is Read

There are many reasons why you might want to recall a message. For example, perhaps the message contains a mistake or is now obsolete. You can recall a message that you have sent so long as the recipient has not read it and the message is still stored on a computer running Exchange Server. Messages sent to recipients using other mail servers cannot be recalled.

To recall a sent message, double-click the message in the Sent Items folder to open it. Click Actions in the Move group on the ribbon, and then click Recall This Message to open the dialog box shown in Figure 4. Select whether you want to simply delete all unread copies of the message or delete them and replace them with another message. You can also receive a response reporting the success or failure of each recall attempt.

Caution

For a number of reasons, unread messages often cannot be recalled. You should always take the time to verify the content of a message before sending it.

This dialog box is displayed when you attempt to recall a message.

Figure 4. This dialog box is displayed when you attempt to recall a message.

3. Copying Global Addresses to Your Contacts Folder

On occasion, you might want to copy addresses from the GAL to your personal Contacts folder. For example, maybe you use a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) or smartphone that synchronizes your Contacts folder to your mobile device, and that device does not support Exchange Server directly. The device would not synchronize the GAL, but you might want a few entries available on your mobile device. You can copy those items to the Contacts folder, and from there, they can be synchronized to your mobile device.

You can copy addresses from the GAL to your Contacts folder easily by following these steps:

  1. Click Address Book on the Home tab on the ribbon.

  2. Click the address that you want to add to your Contacts folder. You can also select multiple addresses using the Shift and Ctrl keys.

  3. Choose File, Add To Contacts. The entry from the GAL opens in a contact form.

  4. Make any necessary changes.

  5. Click Save & Close. The contact information is now stored in your Contacts folder.

4. Voting in Outlook

The Outlook 2010 voting feature is useful when you want to solicit input from a group of message recipients. Perhaps you are looking for approval on a proposal, you are holding an informal election in your organization, or you just want to get the group's input on an issue.

You can use Outlook's voting feature with non–Exchange Server accounts as well as with Exchange Server accounts.

Tip

The Voting feature supported by Outlook is certainly useful, but it isn't a substitute for a formal approval process. If you have Microsoft SharePoint deployed in your organization, consider using workflows in SharePoint to automate approval processes for documents and other items.

With the voting feature, you solicit and tally votes from the group. Outlook 2010 provides predefined voting responses, but you can also create your own. In this section, you'll learn how to include voting buttons in messages, tally returned votes, and configure voting options.

Here's how voting works in general: You create a message containing the question or document on which the group will be voting. Next, you add voting buttons to the message. Next, you send the message. Recipients cast their vote by clicking the appropriate button. Outlook 2010 prompts them to confirm the vote and then sends the reply back to you.

Sending a Message for a Vote

Sending a message for a vote is simple. In fact, so long as you want to use one of the Outlook 2010 default sets of voting options, the process takes only a few clicks.

Using the Default Voting Responses

Use the following steps to create a message and add voting buttons to it:

  1. Start Outlook 2010, and then open a new message or open an existing message from your Drafts folder.

  2. On the Options tab, in the More Options group, click Message Options to open the Properties dialog box.

  3. In the Voting And Tracking Options area, select the Use Voting Buttons check box. In the drop-down list, select the group of voting buttons that you want to include, as shown in Figure 5.

    Select the voting buttons that you want to include using the Properties dialog box.

    Figure 5. Select the voting buttons that you want to include using the Properties dialog box.

  4. Click Close.

  5. Edit your message. Include any message attachments and configure message options, such as importance level, if needed.

  6. Click Send to send the message.

Using Custom Responses

Outlook 2010 doesn't limit you to the default sets of voting options (such as Accept/Reject). You can create your own set that includes the responses that you need for any situation. For example, suppose that you're planning a company appreciation banquet and need to finalize the menu. You want to give everyone a choice of entree and collect those responses for the caterer. What better way to do that than electronically, through Outlook 2010?

Here's how:

  1. Compose your message.

  2. On the Options tab, in the More Options group, click Message Options to open the Properties dialog box.

  3. Select the Use Voting Buttons check box.

  4. Click the text field in the Use Voting Buttons drop-down list. Delete the existing text. Type your custom vote options separated by semicolons, as shown in Figure 6.

    You can create custom vote responses in the Use Voting Buttons text field.

    Figure 6. You can create custom vote responses in the Use Voting Buttons text field.

  5. Click Close.

  6. Make any final adjustments to the message as needed.

  7. Click Send.

Casting Your Vote

When you receive a message that includes voting buttons, Outlook 2010 displays a message in the InfoBar to indicate that you can vote. Click the InfoBar and then choose an item, as shown in Figure 7.

Voting is easy: Just select an option to cast your vote. Outlook 2010 displays a simple dialog box asking whether you want to send the vote now or edit your response. To send the message without modification, select Send The Response Now. To cast your vote and open the message as a reply so that you can include text in your response, select Edit The Response Before Sending.

Note

Outlook 2010 changes the prompt in the InfoBar to indicate that you responded to the voting request, removing your ability to click the InfoBar link and vote again.

The Reading pane shows a message prompting you to vote.

Figure 7. The Reading pane shows a message prompting you to vote.

When you cast a vote, Outlook 2010 changes the subject of the message to include your vote. For example, if the original subject is Choose An Entree and you click the Broiled Chicken option, the subject of the reply returned to the sender is Broiled Chicken: Choose An Entree.

Viewing and Sorting Votes

Votes come back to you in the form of messages. You can view the vote summary in a few ways. If the Reading pane is displayed, you can click the message header, click the summary message in the InfoBar, and then choose View Voting Responses, as shown in Figure 8. Alternatively, you can open the Sent Items folder, open the original message, and then click the Tracking button in the Show group on the ribbon. Either method displays the Tracking results, as shown in Figure 9.

Click the summary message in the InfoBar to display the Tracking page.

Figure 8. Click the summary message in the InfoBar to display the Tracking page.

Open the message from the Sent Items folder as an alternative way to access the Tracking page.

Figure 9. Open the message from the Sent Items folder as an alternative way to access the Tracking page.

The Tracking page summarizes the votes, with individual responses displayed one per line. The responses are also totaled in the InfoBar. If you want a printout of the vote responses, print the messages with the Tracking page visible.

Unfortunately, Outlook 2010 doesn't give you a way to sort the vote tally. You can, however, copy the data to Microsoft Excel 2010 to sort it.

To copy voting data to Excel 2010, follow these steps:

  1. Select the rows that you want to copy. (Select a row, and then hold down the Shift key to select contiguous responses or hold down the Ctrl key to select noncontiguous ones.)

  2. Press Ctrl+C to copy the data to the Clipboard.

  3. Start Excel.

  4. Select a cell in the worksheet and then press Ctrl+V to paste the data.

  5. Choose Data, Sort to open the Sort dialog box, and then click OK to accept the default settings and sort the spreadsheet.

Setting Options for Voting

You can set options in Outlook 2010 to configure how it handles voting. To configure these settings, follow these steps:

  1. Start Outlook 2010 (if necessary), and then click File, Options.

  2. Click Mail in the left pane.

  3. Scroll down to the Tracking group, shown in Figure 10.

    Use the Tracking group to configure voting options.

    Figure 10. Use the Tracking group to configure voting options.

    The Tracking group includes the following options that relate to voting:

    • Automatically Process Meeting Requests And Responses To Meeting Requests And Polls Outlook 2010 processes and tallies responses when they arrive. If you clear this check box, you must open each response to have Outlook 2010 tally it.

    • Update Tracking Information, And Then Delete Responses That Don't Contain Comments Outlook 2010 deletes voting responses that have no additional comments added to them.

  4. Select the options that you want to use, and then click OK to close the Outlook Options dialog box.

Troubleshooting

Votes aren't being tallied automatically

The Outlook 2010 capability to tally votes automatically, without the user having to open each message, might not be apparent at first. Even on a completely idle system, Outlook 2010 can take several minutes to process the messages. If you need to process the responses more quickly, select all the responses, right-click the selection, and then choose Open Selected Items to open them all at once. Keep in mind, however, that you'll end up with an open message form for each response, which you'll then have to close.

 
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