How to create and use template shortcuts

In Shared Email Templates for Outlook

This feature is inspired by our customers' requests and feedback. Template shortcuts can be interpreted as templates for templates. You can create a number of template shortcuts and then construct your templates or email messages by using them in different combinations and order.

Video: Use shortcuts in emails and templates

Find the full video transcript on the Webinar 1: Use templates and shortcuts page.

How to create shortcuts

Shortcuts are based on templates, so, you can create a shortcut from an existing template or a new one.

Create shortcuts from a new template

To create a new template, select the folder and click the New button:
Create new template.

Enter the name of your template, text, and click the Edit Shortcut icon:
Edit Shortcut.

Type in a name for your template shortcut (you can use both upper and lower case) and click Save:
Name your shortcut.

You'll see the name of your shortcut in blue:
Named shortcut.

Click the Save button to save your template.

Create shortcuts from an existing template

Also, you can take an existing template and create a shortcut of it. In the template tree, stand on the template of interest and right in the preview pane click on the Edit Shortcut icon:
Edit shortcut.

Type in a name for your template shortcut (you can use both upper and lower case) and click Save:
Name your shortcut.

You'll see the name of your template shortcut in blue:
Named shortcut.

How to use shortcuts

You can create a number of template shortcuts and insert them right into your message body in Outlook. Also, you can use shortcuts to design ready-made reply templates.

Use shortcuts in email messages

To use template shortcuts in your email messages, type in the shortcuts' names directly into the message body in the order you want them to appear in your letter. To turn the shortcuts' names into text, click the Handle Shortcuts button in the bottom right corner of the add-in pane:

The Handle Shortcuts button.

Voila, shortcuts are processed and your message is ready:
Shortcuts are processed.

Use shortcuts in templates

Also, you can use template shortcuts as building blocks to construct email templates.

Create a new template and enter the names of your shortcuts in the order you want them to appear in the text field:

Shortcuts in your template.

Save your template.

When you paste this template into your message, text of the shortcuts will appear:
Shortcuts in your reply message.

Responses

In my opinion, it would be a better experience if shortcuts were replaced automatically instead of requiring a press of the Process Shortcuts button. Is this possible?

Ideally it would happen as soon as a shortcut tag has been completed (e.g. space/tab/enter pressed, or mouse clicked somewhere else?

The above would likely be the nicest option, negating the need for any of the interim options below...

A slightly less user-friendly option, but still an improvement, would be a shortcut combination for running the Process Shortcuts action?

Another improvement would be to detect shortcuts on pre-send and offer to substitute them at that point. It wouldn't be necessary if they were replaced as soon as they are complete, but in the interim it would help not to send an email without the shortcuts substituted. Ideally this option would allow viewing a preview of the email that would be sent rather than just substituting and then immediately sending (in case the substitution didn't work properly).

Reply

Hi Mark,

Thank you for your idea. However, it is impossible with the modern Office Extensibility technology. We could develop this feature if the add-in supports Outlook for Windows only. But for platform independent add-ins Microsoft guys have not supplied us with an event we need to trap keyboard input in the message body.

Another con is nested shortcuts, templates and macros. You can use shortcuts inside of messages, templates, profile and team properties. Behind a single shortcut, there may be a tree of other shortcuts, properties, templates, macros, etc. As the result, your final message can be built from various blocks, one of which can be a WTE macro dependent on the user’s input. Therefore, shortcuts are processed when the user inserts a template and/or clicks the Process shortcuts button.

Reply

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