Outlook Email Form Customize - Unintended Visual and Functional Changes

Brent Shelton 1 Reputation point

Might someone share a link to how I might create a copy and then edit or customize existing Outlook Desktop Email (Note) Form?

I trust that this is well documented, and I just have not found that source. (I have found numerous sources on how to edit message forms.)

In short, I can create an editable oft from the default (existing) Email form. I open (Developer, Choose Forms, [select MyCustomEmail.oft], Design this Form) and save this oft, and then use the oft to send an email - looks and performs identically to the default Outlook Email (interface, color, and when opening the received email, the style and design of the viewer with forward, reply, etc.). Critically, I have made a copy as a renamed oft and performs identically to the native Outlook email.

However, when I make the slightest editing change - simply move the top of the message box down a few pixels - I essentially lose the Outlook Desktop Email functionality. In other words, I then reopen MyCustomEmail.oft and move an element (for example) and then save the modified oft and use it to send an email, the functionally is significantly different, including:

  • visually, the oft email looks like a form
  • the send button is no longer adjacent to To and Subject (moved to the Ribbon)
  • the From button is moved to the Ribbon
  • when opening the email after being sent, the email looks like a form, the reply options on the top left of email viewer are gone
  • etc.

It would seem that when I am trying to make any adjustment to what started as an identical copy of the native Outlook Email Message form using the form designer, not only is my adjustment reflected in the oft, but significant functionality and appearance changes have been introduced. (Again, open, and save without the slightest change, the copy works and looks as expected - even slightly move an object, it appears as though the email is wholesale changed to a form with many functional changes.)

"Duplicated, unedited email form"


"Duplicated, edited email form by dragging down the top of the message box: wholesale unwanted visual and functional changes"


Help is very welcome and any findings on my part (if of any value!) will be shared back with the community if helpful.


  • Brent
Outlook Management
Outlook Management
Outlook: A family of Microsoft email and calendar products.Management: The act or process of organizing, handling, directing or controlling something.
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  1. Brent Shelton 1 Reputation point

    Thank you, kindly for the correction. (Looked for "outlook".)

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