Customize Outlook toolbars, To-Do bar, Outlook bar,
Navigation pane with custom Delphi forms

Add-in Express™
for Microsoft® Office and Delphi® VCL

Outlook is a featured application for Add-in Express

Given that Outlook is the most popular business application for the majority of Office developers, Add-in Express offers several advanced features for Outlook customization, namely:

  • Advanced Outlook View and Form Regions that you can use to embed your VCL forms into Outlook windows, Outlook bar, To-Do bar, Reading pane and Navigation pane.
  • Special Outlook Explorer and Inspector toolbars components that allows you to customize the main Outlook 2007 - 2000 windows and all forms such as Outlook mail forms, contact and task forms in Outlook 2000 - 2003.
  • Ribbon components to extend the Outlook 2010 and 2013 Explorer windows and Outlook 2007 - 2013 Inspector windows with your own ribbon tabs, groups, buttons and other controls.
  • Outlook-specific context-sensitivity properties binds toolbars and ribbons to certain Outlook windows, folders or context.
  • Option and property pages embed Delphi forms into the main Options and Folder Properties dialogs.
  • Navigation pane shortcuts that you can use to create your own set of shortcuts for the Outlook Navigation Pane.
  • Outlook Solution Module allows you to add a custom navigation module to the Navigation Pane.
  • Integrated Outlook-specific events make Outlook development more comfortable than using stand-alone Outlook components.

Advanced Outlook View and Form Regions

A particularly in-demand feature provided by Add-in Express is Advanced Outlook View and Form Regions specially designed for advanced customization of the Outlook GUI. Using these regions you can embed any Delphi forms practically into all Outlook windows:

Outook user interface customized with Advanced Form Regions

The main Outlook window in the picture above has three additional panes, My Links, Alerts and Sales Report, that are typical VCL forms embedded by Add-in Express using Advanced Outlook Regions. With Add-in Express you can build your custom Delphi forms into nearly all Outlook windows and panes as well as:

  • Replace the content of the main Outlook window (Outlook Explorer) with your own form. This is an analog of Outlook folders' home page but there is no need to use HTML and JavaScript.
  • Embed one or several custom forms over the Outlook Reading pane and view pane.
  • Add a custom Delphi form to the To-Do bar, Outlook Navigation pane and Outlook bar.
  • Embed a custom form around the content of any Inspector windows such as mail windows, task forms, appointments, journal items, contact forms, etc.

Explorer and Inspector toolbars and ribbons

The Outlook GUI is based on two window types: the Explorer window shows the content of folders, the Inspector window displays a specified item. Add-in Express allows customizing toolbars and ribbons for both window types using special toolbar and ribbon components. These components consider all specificities of behavior, navigation and synchronization between Outlook windows. By using the Add-in Express components you free yourself from the necessity to track context and do constant reconnects when switching between Outlook windows. Every time you refer to your toolbars, you can be sure they exist in the currently active context whether it is the active Explorer window or one of several opened Inspectors.

As for the Ribbon UI on the Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2013 Inspector windows, Add-in Express supports customizing ribbons for all contexts and ribbons such as OUTLOOKMAILREAD, OUTLOOKMAILCOMPOSE, OUTLOOKAPPOINTMENT, OUTLOOKTASK, TabSetTextBoxTools, TabSetEquationTools, TabSetDiagramTools, etc. Please note, you don't code ribbons and context, you specify them via the corresponding properties of Add-in Express components.

Outlook context-sensitivity

Another popular feature of Add-in Express is the ability to bind your custom toolbars and menus or the specified controls to certain Outlook folders. Outlook-specific components publish special properties that bind the component (a toolbar or a toolbar control) to the Outlook folders specified by their names or by their content. The picture below shows that a toolbar will be shown for all mail and task folders. In the same manner you can arrange different sets of controls on one toolbar or different sets of toolbars for different Outlook folders . No coding is required, simply use the appropriate properties of toolbar and control components.

Outlook Inspector CommandBar properties

Other Outlook-specific features

Add-in Express for Office and Delphi VCL provides a number of other features especially for Outlook developers.

Outlook option and property pages

You can use Add-in Express to add custom tabs to the main Outlook Options dialog as well as to the Properties dialog of some particular folders. No coding is required either. Also, you can use an Add-in Express template to create a custom form for the option page and choose the form in the corresponding property of the add-in module.

Outlook Solution Module

Outlook 2010 and 2013 allows developers creating a navigation module containing a set of folders of different types: Inbox, Drafts Contacts, Calendar, Journal, Notes, and Tasks. Add-in Express allows creating such a navigation module at design time.

Outlook 2010 Solution Module editor

At run time, Add-in Express adds the corresponding navigation module to the Navigation Pane. When you unregister the add-in, Add-in Express removes the navigation module and leaves the folders intact.

Outlook 2010 Solution Module

Navigation Pane shortcuts

Add-in Express has a special component for customizing the Navigation Pane with your custom groups of shortcuts. The component provides a visual designer for shortcut groups and shortcuts and makes all work with shortcuts easy and no-coding.

An OutlookBar shortcut

Outlook-specific events and event helpers

A lot of Outlook-specific events are available through a special event helper component without manual creating of event sinks, helpers or components. All Outlook events that are directly accessible from the Outlook events component are listed below.

Outlook Application events

  • AdvancedSearchComplete
  • AdvancedSearchStopped
  • AttachmentContextMenuDisplay
  • FolderContextMenuDisplay
  • ItemContextMenuDisplay
  • ShortcutContextMenuDisplay
  • StoreContextMenuDisplay
  • ViewContextMenuDisplay
  • ContextMenuClose
  • ItemLoad
  • ItemSend
  • NewMail
  • NewMailEx
  • BeforeReminderShow
  • Reminder
  • ReminderAdd
  • ReminderChange
  • ReminderFire
  • ReminderRemove
  • Startup
  • Quit
  • And more…

Outlook Explorer events

  • AttachmentSelectionChange
  • Activate
  • FolderSwitch
  • BeforeItemCopy
  • BeforeItemCut
  • BeforeItemPaste
  • BeforeMaximize
  • BeforeMinimize
  • BeforeViewSwitch
  • SelectionChange
  • ViewSwitch
  • NewExplorer
  • And more…
  • Outlook Inspector events

  • AttachmentSelectionChange
  • Activate
  • BeforeMaximize
  • BeforeMinimize
  • Close
  • Deactivate
  • NewInspector
  • And more…
  • See a step-by-step example showing how you can use Add-in Express for Office and Delphi to create a slick Outlook add-in UI with custom ribbons, toolbars, menus.