How to use Template Phrases in Outlook online

Template Phrases for Outlook Online will help you instantly reply emails by using your template phrases from the add-in pane. Below you can find a detailed description of how the add-in works.

Add and edit templates

Creating a new template is very easy: once you open the add-in, click on the +New button at the bottom of the pane. To create a new group of templates, click on the down arrow next to it:
How to create a new template.

  1. Enter a name for a template in the Title field. A title will make it easier for you to differentiate this template from others and quickly find it in the list.
  2. Choose the folder where you want to place the new template. If you are going to use this template often, mark it as favorite by clicking the star icon next to the folder field.
  3. Enter the template text. You can paste it from your reply or type from scratch. If the template implies some custom information or recipient each time you insert it, consider using macros.
  4. Click Save to see the template in your list, or Cancel to discard changes:
    Enter or paste template text and save it to your list.
  5. To update a template, select it in the list and click the Edit icon in the preview window at the bottom of the pane:
    Update the existing template.
  6. Make the necessary changes and click Save.

Add macros

Macros will help you automate such routine steps as filling in the subject and address fields, as well as adding a date, name, or other custom information when using the templates.

  1. To insert a macro, click the Macro icon in the template text box when editing it:
    Add macros to your templates.
  2. Choose the macro you need from the list and save changes.

There are two main groups of macros: the first group is for filling in the subject and address fields, the second one is for inserting information into the message body.

Below you can find the description of each macro.

Fill in address and subject fields

$Fill[TO]=
This macro will fill in the TO address field with the email address you enter after the equals sign. If there are other addresses in the field, the macro will remove them.

$Fill[CC]=
This macro will fill in the CC address field with the email address you enter after the equals sign. If there are other addresses in the field, the macro will remove them.

$Fill[BCC]=
This macro will fill in the BCC address field with the email address you enter after the equals sign. If there are other addresses in the field, the macro will remove them.

$Fill[SUBJECT]=
This macro will fill in the SUBJECT field with the text you enter after the equals sign. This macro will replace the subject you may have.

Note. Please keep in mind that all the Fill macros remove pre-existing data and paste new instead. If you need to add something to existing data, use the Add macros instead.

$Add[TO]=
This macro will add the email address you enter after the equals sign to the emails that are already present in the TO address field.

$Add[CC]=
This macro will add the email address you enter after the equals sign to the emails that are already present in the CC address field.

$Add[BCC]=
This macro will add the email address you enter after the equals sign to the emails that are already present in the BCC address field.

$Add[SUBJECT]=
This macro will add text you enter after the equals sign to the text that already exists in the SUBJECT field.

Note. To avoid confusion, please make sure you use either Add or Fill macros in one template.

Add information into the message body

  • General

    $SUBJECT[]
    inserts the contents of the Subject field into your email.

    $TIMESTAMP[DATE]
    inserts the current date into your email.

    $TIMESTAMP[DAYOFWEEK]
    inserts the current day of the week into your email.

    $TIMESTAMP[TIME]
    inserts the current time into your email.

    $WHAT_TO_ENTER[ text for replacement ]
    prompts you to enter the necessary text and pastes it instead of the macro every time you use a template. For example, if you add ~%WHAT_TO_ENTER [Company] to the template, each time you insert it you'll see a dialog box that will let you enter the company name.

  • Recipient information

    $TO[ADDR]
    adds the email addresses from the TO field into your message body.

    $TO[FULLNAME]
    takes the full names of the contacts in the TO field.

    $TO[FIRSTNAME]
    pulls the first names from the TO field.

    $TO[LASTNAME]
    lists the last names from the TO field.

  • Sender information

    $FROM[ADDR]
    inserts the email address of the FROM field into your message body.

    $FROM[FULLNAME]
    adds the full name of the FROM field.

    $FROM[FIRSTNAME]
    takes the first name in the FROM field.

    $FROM[LASTNAME]
    pastes the last name of the FROM field.

  • Carbon copy recipient information

    $CC[ADDR]
    adds the email addresses from the CC field into your message body.

    $CC[FULLNAME]
    takes the full names of the contacts in the CC field.

    $CC[FIRSTNAME]
    pulls the first names from the CC field.

    $CC[LASTNAME]
    lists the last names from the CC field.

  • Blind carbon copy recipient information

    $BCC[ADDR]
    adds the email addresses from the BCC field into your message body.

    $BCC[FULLNAME]
    takes the full names of the contacts in the BCC field.

    $BCC[FIRSTNAME]
    pulls the first names from the BCC field.

    $BCC[LASTNAME]
    lists the last names from the BCC field.

Mark templates as favorites

If you use a particular template more often than the other ones, mark it as favorite to get a quicker access.

  1. Select a template you often use.
  2. Click on the Star icon at the bottom of the preview window:
    Add tempolates to the Favorites list for a quicker access.
  3. You will see it listed in the Favorites group at the top of the pane.
  4. To remove a template from favorites, just click the Star icon in the preview window again.

Back up and import your templates

If you've been working with the desktop version of our Template Phrases add-in, you can transfer your records to the online version using the Import option. You can also use the Export option to avoid any data loss when switching to another user account.

How to import your templates

  1. Click on the menu icon with three dots in the bottom-right corner of the pane:
    Share, back up, and import your templates.
  2. Click Import and choose the .data file with your desktop version templates or a .ptd file to upload.
  3. You will see the imported templates in a separate folder. It will have the same name as the top folder in the file.

How to export your templates

  1. Click on the menu icon with three dots in the bottom-right corner of the pane and click Export.
  2. All groups will be selected by default. Clear the checkboxes of any groups you do not wish to export by clicking on them in the list:
    Choose groups to export.
  3. Click Export to download a .ptd file with your templates.

Insert templates into your replies

Whenever you reply to a common question, start the Template Phrases add-in from the Add-ins menu to add the answer in a click:

  1. Find the right template in the list (you can use the Search field at the top).
  2. Click on a template to see its preview at the bottom of the pane. You can change the height of the preview window by dragging the top border, or expand it to the entire height of the pane by clicking on the square icon:
    Change the size of the preview window using the top border.
  3. Click Insert in the preview window or double-click the template to add it to your message body.

Search templates

The Search field at the top of the pane allows you to quickly find the right template. Enter any word from your text snippet and see all templates that contain it listed below:
See the list of all matching templates in the field.

Responses

Somehow my template phrases add-in cannot load. It worked fine before, but now the templates are not loading. Any thoughts?

Reply

Hello, Chen,

Thank you for contacting us. I'm sorry you've encountered difficulties with our product.

For us to be able to assist you better, please email us to support@ablebits.com with the following information:
1 Are you trying to use the add-in in Outlook online or desktop Outlook?
2 Specify if you can't see the add-in sidebar at all or if the add-in loads but you don't see your templates there.
3 Are standard templates on place or you can't see them as well?

These details will help our support team understand the problem better.
Thank you.

Reply

Hello,

We just spent all day drafting email templates for our mailbox account. However, it looks like all the templates were deleted. Is there a way to recover them?

Vic.

Reply

Hello, Vic,
Thank you for reporting this problem to us.
We've got your message in our Inbox as well, and I'll reply to you there.
Thank you for understanding.

Reply

Hi,
just started the template and I think it will work. (Where) Can I change the font / font size for the template?
My Emails are in Arial 10, but the template is inserted as Calibri 11.
Please send answer also as Email. Thank you.

best regards from Germany
Matthias

Reply

Hi, Matthias,
Thank you for your interest in our product.

Per your request, we replied to you by email. Please check your Inbox for a message from Ablebits support team.
If it's not there, make sure to check the Spam/Junk email folders as well.

Thank you.

Reply

Can I get those instructions too? I would like to do things like bold and underline by default as well. Is this possible?

Hello,

I’m sorry, but the current version of the add-in stores all templates in plain text. We do consider adding formatting support in one of the next versions of the add-in, but I can't give you exact timing yet as there are some storage issues in Outlook online.

My apologies for any inconvenience.

Heather Martelle says:
February 12, 2019 at 8:24 pm

Hi. I am loving the possibilities of this add-in! I am wondering if there is a way to write in text formatting such as italics or bold into each template phrase?

Thanks,
Heather

Reply

Hi Heather,
Thank you so much for the kind feedback!
I’m sorry, but the current version of the add-in stores all templates in plain text. We do consider adding formatting support in one of the next versions of the add-in, but I can't give you exact timing yet as there are some storage issues in Outlook online. 
Our add-in for the desktop version of Outlook fully supports formatting, however, it is not free. Here is a link in case you would like to try it:
https://www.ablebits.com/files/get.php?addin=ol-template-phrases&f=free-trial

Thank you.

Reply
Heather Martelle says:
February 13, 2019 at 2:28 pm

Thanks so much for the reply and explanation!

Our business uses a number of email templates to send to customers which we are currently attaching a word file as "insert as text" so we can change pricing details etc. We are wanting to use OWA exclusively and are struggling to find a way to use these templates as they are too big to save in "My Templates" and the "Template Phrases" won't save the hyperlinks and text formatting.
What I'm wanting to know is, is there a way to save several templates with all the formatting/hyperlinks in Template Phrases or My Templates or is there a way to insert existing word files as text in OWA like you can in Outlook 2016? Please help!

Reply

Thank you for contacting us, Megan.

Template Phrases app for Outlook online you get from the store currently offers only plain-text templates. In other words, it doesn't support formatting and hyperlinks at the moment since the platform itself imposes some restrictions.

However, we have Template Phrases for desktop Outlook (a part of Add-ins Collection) that offers formatting support and other advanced functionality like shared templates. However, you can’t use it in the online version of Outlook. It is not free, but you can get a fully-functional evaluation version and see if it meets your needs.

Reply

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If you have any questions or issues with this add-in, please feel free to post your concerns in the comments area. As soon as we answer, a notification message will be sent to your e-mail. If you do not want to share your thoughts in public, please contact us at support@ablebits.com.
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