Feb 18

Mail Merge with Attachment

There is not native way to add an attachment when doing an mail merge in Microsoft Office (Outlook/Word/Excel).  However, there are 3rd party apps that allow you to add attachments when doing a mail merge, but these programs usually cost $.  If you’re like me and don’t want to spend money on an application you’ll probably use once, then I came up with an alternative free solution with Powershell.  This method works similar to a Microsoft Office mail merge because it will require a data source, email template, and an Outlook profile.

Step 1 – Create Data Source

I will use a users.csv as the data source of users we want to email.  The users.csv file will look as follows:

FirstName LastName Email Username Password
Joseph smith jsmith@domain.com jsmith VideoGame01
Bill Contoso bcontoso@company.com bcontoso LilyFlower18
Jim Rufus jim.rufus@yahoo.com jrufus StuffedAnimal23

Step 2 – Create Outlook Profile to Send Mail Merge From

Now that you have your data source, you’ll need to make sure you have an Outlook profile.  This profile should be setup with the email address you wish to send the mail merge from.

Step 3 – Create Powershell Script

In the below powershell script, you’ll need to modify the following variables:

$DataSourcePath to the data source (users.csv) file created in step 1
$AttachFile – Path to the file to attach to the email
$EmailSubject – Subject of the email

In addition to modifying the above variables, you’ll need to modify $Mail.Body, which is the body of the email.  The below example is referencing data fields in users.csv for the mail merge, which you may want to modify.  These correspond as follows:

$($_.FIRSTNAME) FIRSTNAME field in users.csv

$($_.LASTNAME) LASTNAME field in users.csv

$($_.USERNAME) USERNAME field in users.csv

$($_.PASSWORD) PASSWORD field in users.csv

Special Note:  To add a new line in the body text use a backtick + n ( `n

Extra Special Note:  If you want to have the email body be HTML formatted instead of Plain Text, just modify $Mail.Body to $Mail.HTMLBody and add your HTML tags in the text.  Using the example above:

 

Step 4 – Send the Mail Merge

Open Microsoft Outlook with the profile created in step 2 (It is required for Outlook to be open in order for the powershell script to work!)  Then open Powershell, and run the powershell script in step 3.  You can confirm the emails are sending by looking in the “Sent Items” in Outlook.

Note: – If you’re using User Account Control (UAC), Outlook and Powershell must be running at the same security level.  This simply means, if you open powershell using “Run as administrator” you must open Outlook with “Run as administrator”.  Alternatively, if you open powershell normally (not elevated) you must open Outlook normally (not elevated).

Apr 04

Delivery Report in Outlook or Outlook Web App

Overview

When using Outlook or Outlook Web App (OWA) in an Office 365 or Exchange environment, you can track the message from the client side.  Both Outlook and OWA allow you to view a delivery report in order to confirm a message was delivered when the recipient claims they have not received it or if it’s taking a long time to deliver.  Delivery reports work for both internal and external recipients.

View a Delivery Report in Outlook

  1. In Outlook, go to your Sent Items folder
  2. Locate the message you want to track and open it
  3. Click File, click Info, and click Open Delivery Report

Outlook Message Delivery Report

View a Delivery Report in Outlook Web App (OWA)

If you are using any other email client than Outlook (mobile device, OWA, etc), you can use OWA to view a delivery report.

  1. Login to OWA at https://portal.microsoftonline.com
  2. Click the Gear Icon, then click Options
  3. Click Organize Email then click Delivery Reports
  4. Enter your search criteria, click Search
  5. Select the email you want to track and click the Pencil Icon to view the delivery report

OWA Delivery Report

Review Delivery Report

Internal delivery reports will show Delivered upon success delivering.  Also note, Office 365 Exchange only keeps message tracking data for 14 days.

Delivery Report Internal

External delivery reports will only show Transferred which means it successfully sent out from your mail server.  However, this does not guarantee the recipient received the email because there can be issues on the recipients email server.

Delivery Report External

Feb 07

Outlook unable to open your default e-mail folders

Error Messages

  • unable to open your default e-mail folders
  • Cannot open the Outlook window. The server is not available.

Resolution 1

Outlook was installed with compatibility mode.

  1. Locate your outlook.exe,
    1. Typically in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\
      1. (Note: 14 is for office 2010, yours may vary depending on your version of Outlook).
  2. Right-click the OUTLOOK.EXE, and select properties.
  3. On the Compatibility tab, uncheck all of the settings as shown belowOutlook Compatibility Tab Everything Unchecked

 

Resolution 2

Use the /resetnavpane when opening Outlook.

  1. Click Start and enter cmd in the search/run menu to open a command prompt
  2. In the command prompt, run the following command
    1. (Note: 14 is for office 2010, yours may vary depending on your version of Outlook)