Automating Outlook with Excel

Introduction

Early Binding vs. Late Binding

Sending E-mail

Retrieving E-mail

Calendar

Contacts

Tasks


Introduction

Automation allows you to use the functionality of one program from within another program.  In this article, I discuss using Outlook's functionality from within an Excel application.  With Automation, you can manipulate Outlook's objects using Visual Basic for Applications in Excel.

There are many reasons why you may want to automate Outlook from Excel.  The most common is that you want more functionality in sending e-mail than VBA's SendMail method affords.  Other reasons why I use Automation include:  retrieving specific emails to count or graph them; setting up multiple appointments in my calendar; retrieving my Contacts list for use in a ActiveX control, like a listbox or combobox; and setting up multiple or repeating Tasks.  You likely will have your own reasons, but I hope that learning to automate Outlook will give you inspiration to invent creative ways to save yourself time and increase your productivity.

All the examples in this article were created with Excel 2000 and Outlook 2000.  None of them were tested in any other versions.  However, I have attempted to warn you if certain commands are not supported in other versions.

I assume throughout this article that you know how to use Excel and have at least some familiarity with Visual Basic for Applications and Excel's object model.  If you don't, I suggest you read a book that discusses Excel's object model, how to use the Visual Basic Editor, and how to write simple macros.

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