Migrate to Shared Email Templates

From Template Phrases for Outlook

Dear customer, we receive many questions about migration from Template Phrases to Shared Email Templates. In many cases, there is no easy way to migrate from legacy to new technologies, and usually this requires additional efforts from your side.

However, new features introduced in Shared Email Templates will significantly improve your user experience and increase productivity, so time spent on migration is definitely worth it.

To migrate from Template Phrases, move all templates to an Outlook folder and connect this folder to Shared Email Templates. Connected Outlook folder with templates will be displayed in Shared Email Templates.

Note. This manual is for Template Phrases for Outlook on desktop, both as a single add-in or a part of Add-ins Collection for Outlook. For Template Phrases for Outlook Online, follow this migration guide.

Step 1. Save all templates to Outlook folder

  1. Create a new Outlook folder for templates.
  2. In Outlook, click the New Email button under the Home tab (or use the Ctrl + Shift + M shortcut).

    Tip. If a signature is automatically pasted into your new messages, you can temporarily turn it off while transferring templates.
  3. Start Template Phrases, find and select a template in the template list. Right-click the template and select Rename (or press F2). Copy the template name to the clipboard and paste it to the Subject field in a message.
  4. Select everything in the template body and drag and drop it to the message body.

    Tip. If you've got a template with many images, it may be more convenient to open a template for edit (press F4) and copy and paste it.
  5. Click the Save button or press Ctrl + S.
  6. Close the message.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 for all templates. Close Template Phrases.

  8. By default, Outlook saves drafts to the Drafts folder. So, stand on the Drafts folder, select all templates, right-click them, and pick the Move option. Select the folder that you created for templates before:
    Move the template to the folder.

Step 2. Check inline images in templates

Go to the folder with templates, review each one by one and double-check if all the inline images were copied and pasted correctly.

Step 3. Check all macros

Review each template one by one and check all macros used in them. Find a macro in the list below to see if any action is needed.

Tip. If a template is big, you can use the Ctrl + F shortcut and search for "~%" to detect all macros.

Replace macros

Some macros need to be replaced with other ones, so check the list below.

Macro in Template Phrases Macro in Shared Email Templates Notes
~%CLEAR_SIGNATURE ~%CLEARBODY ~%CLEARBODY clears a message body when you insert a template into a message.
~%SELECTED ~%WHAT_TO_ENTER[] ~%WHAT_TO_ENTER[] prompts you to enter some text every time you insert a template into a message.
~%ATTACHFILE= ~%ATTACH_FROM_ONEDRIVE[] Go to Step 4 for instructions on how to work with attachments.

Delete macros

Shared Email Templates does not recognize the following macros. Please simply remove them from templates.

Macro in Template Phrases Action
~%ATTACHMENTS Inserted a list of attachments.
~%BEHALF_OF_NAME Allowed entering an email address to send emails on behalf of another person.
~%CLIPBOARD Inserted the clipboard item into the message.
~%FROM_ACCOUNT Let you specify the preferred From address.
~%INSERT_RECIPIENT1_FIRSTNAME Inserted the first name of recipients.
~%INSERT_RECIPIENT1_LASTNAME Inserted the last name of recipients.
~%INSERT_RECIPIENT1_FULLNAME Inserted the full name of recipients.
~%SWITCH_TO_HTML Converted your email to the HTML format.
~%CURSOR Positioned the cursor at the needed place.
~%REQUEST_DELIVERY_RECEIPT Requested a delivery receipt.
~%SET_HIGH_IMPORTANCE Set message importance to High.
~%SET_LOW_IMPORTANCE Set message importance to Low.
~%INSERT_TEMPLATE[] Inserted a template into another template. This functionality is implemented in Shared Email Templates as a snippets feature.

No action needed

These macros in Shared Email Templates work the same way as in Template Phrases, so you don't have to do anything with them.

~%ADDBCC= ~%ADDCC=
~%ADDTO= ~%FILLTO=
~%FILLCC= ~%FILLBCC=
~%FILLSUBJECT= ~%WHAT_TO_ENTER[]
~~%TO ~%BCC
~%CC ~%SUBJECT
~%DATE ~%TIME
~%INSERT_RECIPIENT_FIRSTNAME ~%INSERT_RECIPIENT_LASTNAME
~%INSERT_RECIPIENT_FULLNAME

More Shared Email Templates macros

Find the full list of macros in Shared Email Templates

Step 4. New ways to work with attachments in templates

Note. Make sure that Shared Email Templates is already installed.

In Template Phrases, you had only one way to attach a file – from local storage or network drive with the help of the ~%ATTACHFILE= macro. In Shared Email Templates, you will have four different ways to attach files: from OneDrive, SharePoint, a URL, or add an attachment while pasting a template.

We propose to use OneDrive and save all attachments to a special folder. This will help you to easily update files in one place, share files and work with permission options. To do this, please follow the steps below:

  1. Create a special folder in OneDrive and save all files you want to use in templates there:
    Folder in OneDrive.

    Tip. By the way, in Shared Email Templates, you can use the ~%INSERT_PICTURE_FROM_ONEDRIVE[] macro to insert images.
  2. Open a template, run Shared Email Templates and click the New button:
    Click the New button.

    Click the Insert macro icon and pick the ~%ATTACH_FROM_ONEDRIVE[] macro in the list:
    Attach from OneDrive macro.

  3. The add-in will ask to log in to OneDrive. Enter your credentials, pick the file and click Select:
    Attach file from OneDrive.
  4. If you haven't shared the file in OneDrive, you'll get a warning message:
    Warning message.

    This is not an error message, we simply remind you that if you share this template, the file in it won't be available to other users. Simply click Close to proceed.

  5. You will get an ~%ATTACH_FROM_ONEDRIVE[] macro. Delete the ~%ATTACHFILE macro from the template and paste the new ~%ATTACH_FROM_ONEDRIVE[] macro instead:
    Replace ATTACH macro.

    Press Ctrl + S for saving the template.

  6. Also, you can choose other ways to attach files that may suit you even better:

    Attach file from SharePoint
    Attach file from a URL
    Use Outlook draft with attached file

Follow the guide to link an Outlook folder with saved templates to Shared Email Templates:

How to connect Outlook folder to Shared Email Templates

Step 6. Share templates and attachments

  1. In Shared Email Templates, we implemented powerful features to work with template sharing. Your templates are private until you decide to share them. To do this, you can create a team and define permissions, invite and remove members.

    You should grant access to the created Outlook folder to teammates:

    How to give access to your connected Outlook folder

  2. Please use OneDrive to store images, Microsoft Office documents and other files that you attach to your templates. For shared templates, make sure that teammates have access to the file or folder in OneDrive:

    How to share OneDrive files and folders

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Ask a question (posted publicly)

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.