Tips & tricks for Shared Email Templates

Useful pieces of advice for working with Shared Email Templates

On this page, you will find handy tips and tricks on how to maximize your benefit from working with Shared Email Templates in Outlook.

Pasting text from other sources may break formatting

Pasting text from an external source to your template may make HTML inconsistent and break your template formatting. To fix this, you can select the template text and click the Clear Formatting option on the toolbar:

Clear formatting.

After that, format your template anew.

Another solution to avoid the issue is to collect and edit your templates in Outlook and connect an Outlook folder to Shared Email Templates.

Create templates from selected text

Sometimes it may be handier for you not to compose your templates from scratch, but create them when you write your replies in Outlook. For this, when you type your frequently used reply message, select the text or a part of it and start creating a new template by clicking the New button at the bottom left corner of the add-in pane:
Click the New button.

The selected text will appear in the new template:
Create template from selection.

Clear macros formatting

When you use macros, keep in mind that the entire macro text has to be of the same formatting, otherwise, the macro won't work. For instance, you macro can't look like this ~%FILLSUBJECT[Price List]. But if in this example the difference in formatting is obvious, in many other cases in may not be.

So, if your macro may have different formatting, select the entire macro text and clear formatting by clicking the Clear Formatting icon in the toolbar:

Click the Clear Formatting icon in the toolbar.

Turn your Outlook drafts into templates

If you need to create templates for long instructions, replies with rich formatting, attached files and inserted images, or newsletters, you may find it convenient to link your Outlook folder with formatted ready-made drafts to Shared Email Templates and use your Outlook drafts as templates. Please find the detailed tutorial here:

How to use Outlook drafts as templates

Use team and profile properties

If there are some pieces of information you frequently use in your templates, do not forget about the profile, team, and mailbox properties you may use.

For example, you need to create such a message:
"Hello, thank you for contacting the Sales department. My name is Jessica Johnson, I am marketing manager".

You may use the following properties:
"Sales" as a team property "TeamName"
"Jessica Johnson" as a profile property "FullName"
"marketing manager" as a profile property "Position"

The benefit here is that you create a property once and insert it whenever you need with the corresponding macro.

So, your template text will look as follows:
"Hello, thank you for contacting the ~%TEAM_PROPERTIES[TeamName] department. My name is ~%PROFILE_PROPERTIES[FullName], I am ~%PROFILE_PROPERTIES[Position]".

There are some predefined properties, but you can create your custom ones. Here is the guide:

How to use team, mailbox, & profile properties

Construct your emails and templates with snippets

Snippets are small text units, "templates for templates", shortcuts, building blocks. You can create a number of snippets and then construct your templates or email messages by using them in different combinations and order.

Snippets are based on templates, so, you can create a snippet from an existing template or a new one. No matter where your snippets are located – in different teams or in the My Templates folder – you can use them in one template or email message.

Here is the manual:

How to create and use snippets

Use properties in snippets and vice versa

To save time even more, you can add your profile or team properties to snippets:
Use properties in snippets.

This works the other way around as well: you can use snippets in your team and profile properties. You first create a snippet, then add a new property and use the snippet in it:
Snippets in properties.

Then you can compose a new template and use this property in it:
Insert property based on snippet.

Color text with ~%WHAT_TO_ENTER macro

With the help of the ~%WHAT_TO_ENTER macro, you can select a font color of a particular text fragment when you paste a template into your reply message. For this, edit the HTML code of you template and use the <span> tag.

  1. While editing your template, click View HTML:
    Open HTML view.
  2. The <span> element lets you color your text. If we simply wanted to add colored in red words "October 12" and use the tag without any macros, it would look like this:

    <span style="color:red">October 12</span>.

    If you want to select both text and a color for it while pasting your template, replace the values in the tag with the ~%WHAT_TO_ENTER macros with default values in square brackets:

    <span style="color:~%WHAT_TO_ENTER[red]">~%WHAT_TO_ENTER[October 12]</span>

    Select your date and color.

    Don't forget to click the Update button.

  3. When you insert this template into your message, two Enter windows will appear, and you'll be able to enter the text...

    Enter the text.

    ... and a color for your text font:
    Enter the color.

  4. The result will look like this:
    Get your text colored.

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.