Tips and tricks for Shared Email Templates

Useful pieces of advice for working with Shared Email Templates

Discover handy tips and tricks to maximize your benefit from working with Shared Email Templates in Outlook.

More tips and tricks on our blog

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 template button in the bottom left corner:
Create new template from the selected text.

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

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 shortcuts

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

Template shortcuts are based on templates, so, you can create a shortcut from an existing template or a new one. No matter where your shortcuts 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 template shortcuts

Use properties in shortcuts and vice versa

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

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

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

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.

You can find a more detailed guide in our blog: Conditional formatting for Outlook email templates

Insert same value into different places in message with ~%WHAT_TO_ENTER macro

Suppose, you've got an email subject that can be mentioned not in the Subject field only but in the text of your message as well. In this case, you can use the same ~%WHAT_TO_ENTER macro several times in your template and enter the value for it only once.

For example, our email subject is "Price list 2020" and this phrase is repeated in the message body. So, we pick the ~%WHAT_TO_ENTER macro, select Text field in the first drop-down, then enter the window title and the default value:

Enter Window title.

We can use the same macro anywhere in the message body as well as inside another macro, ~%FILLSUBJECT for instance:


Thus, when we insert this template into the message, we enter the value for the ~%WHAT_TO_ENTER macro only once...

Enter the value for ~%WHAT_TO_ENTER.

... and get the required text in all the places we need:

Several similar ~%WHAT_TO_ENTER in one template.

Note. This works only if the window title and default value are the same in all the ~%WHAT_TO_ENTER macros. For example, in the template above, they are "My subject" and "Price list 2020".