A code monkey in Research

One developer's view of (a little bit of) Microsoft Research, Cambridge

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  • Blog Post: Talking to myself

    Someone at work here presented me with a poser: make Outlook include one's own email address as a BCC when sending an email. I know you can check a box to get Outlook to CC yourself, and you can also get Outlook to save messages in the Sent Items folder, but he really wanted to be BCC'd, so I thought...
  • Blog Post: NoReplyAll Add-In 3.0

    A new version of the add-in is now available. The significant change is in the installation process, from plain (and simple!) ClickOnce to MSI, as described in my last post . The new version should load faster (for a start, Outlook 2013 doesn't wag a finger at it for taking a long time, at least not...
  • Blog Post: WiX installer for VSTO projects

    A few people have been asking me for something akin to an MSI-based installer for my NoReplyAll tool but I've not been able to treat this as particularly high priority. Those of you with Office 2013 might have noticed Outlook pointing the finger of shame at add-ins which take what it deems to be too...
  • Blog Post: Updating NoReplyAll for Outlook 2013

    As I mentioned in an earlier post , Outlook 2013 brings a few new features which I need to integrate with in NoReplyAll ., the main one being ribbon changes when inline responses are used. The What's new for Outlook 2013 developers article describes programmatic access to inline response objects....
  • Blog Post: Outlook 2013 and NoReplyAll

    As I'm sure you've noticed by now, the Office 2013 Preview is now available . I've given my NoReplyAll Add-In a spin and it broadly seems to function as desired - three areas that need a bit of work are: It seems that Outlook 2013 includes a missing attachment detector (I've not come across any...
  • Blog Post: There's more to Outlook than MailItems

    I've published a new version of the NoReplyAll Outlook add-in with pretty much the only change being the addition of a no-forward button to meeting requests. As indicated in a couple of previous posts , everything in the add-in until this point has been implemented in terms of Outlook MailItem objects...
  • Blog Post: When is an Explorer not an Explorer?

    RJGray found another error in the NoReplyAll add-in : basically, visiting the Today Page causes the add-in to throw a bunch of exceptions which seem to be triggered by accessing the Explorer Selection when that page is showing instead of an Explorer - the lazy instinct is to add a try...catch block,...
  • Blog Post: Careful with that Outbox, Eugene

    Someone called Chris_is_tired alerted me to a problem with my NoReplyAll Outlook add-in recently: if you happen to have the Outbox in view and send an email, it seems to never leave the Outbox when the add-in is loaded. Without the add-in, it's fine. A bit of web searching found lots of references to...
  • Blog Post: NoReply VSTO add-in wrap-up

    Over the past few weeks, I've described the steps involved in creating an Outlook add-in, including ribbon manipulation and access to the Outlook object model. To wrap up, the table of contents for the VSTO add-in project: Introduction - creating a VSTO project Ribbon XML - creating some add...
  • Blog Post: Installation

    As you'll have no doubt noticed, when you build and run within Visual Studio, Outlook loads the add-in. This is because building the project includes a step for registration with Outlook. (Doing a "build clean" will, symmetrically, unregister it.) This is fine and dandy if you're the only user, but obviously...
  • Blog Post: Backstage and property pages

    In the discussion so far the add-in requires the sender to remember to click the no-reply-all button before sending a message. What about causing all newly created messages to have reply-all disabled automatically (though letting the user manually enable it before sending if required)? It's pretty straightforward...
  • Blog Post: Other ribbons

    Thus far we've ended up with a nicely populated mail composition window. It would be nice to offer the facility to see the action status on received messages (OK, you can infer it from the lack of ability to reply, but bear with me for the sake of this post!) or even to be able to re-enable an erroneously...
  • Blog Post: More about buttons

    Last time we ended up with a single button on the email composition window. It ought to be fairly obvious how to add additional similar buttons to that ribbon to, say, offer the ability to disable the other actions - just replicate the toggleButton XML fragment, change a few names, and implement differently...
  • Blog Post: Outlook object model

    The Outlook object model is described in detail in the MSDN library . However, while that tells you what methods, properties and events exist, there's not a huge amount of information about what they're actually for. I found Carter & Lippert 's Visual Studio Tools for Office 2007 book very useful...
  • Blog Post: Adding some ribbon XML

    The first thing to do to the project started earlier is to add something to the Outlook ribbon. Right click on the project and select "add new item." You'll see two ribbon related options, the first being "Ribbon (Visual Designer)" - this offers an easy to use visual editor for ribbon controls and a...
  • Blog Post: Introduction to NoReplyAll

    Despite its ubiquity and value, there are an awful lot of things that annoy us about email - one sin that seems to be almost unforgivable is doing a reply to all ("big R reply") when reply to sender ("little r reply") was intended. I have to say I don't see all that many of those erroneously propagated...
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