Create form and web view regions for
Outlook 2007 - 2000 Inspector & Explorer in VB.NET, C#

Add-in Express™ Extensions
for Microsoft® Outlook®

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What are Add-in Express Extensions regions?

The Add-in Express Extensions for Outlook was specially created to integrate your custom forms with two main Outlook windows: Explorer and Inspector windows in VB.NET, C#, C++, Delphi Prism and Delphi Win32. The Add-in Express Extensions can help you embed your .NET forms (WinForms) and Delphi forms (TForms) into Outlook folder views, web-views and Outlook forms. You can completely replace any Outlook web view with your forms, add custom forms to any Outlook views and any Outlook forms. Accordingly, we distinguish between web view regions and form regions. See also how Advanced Outlook Regions can help you customize Outlook 2007 forms, Navigation Pane & To-Do Bar.

Web view regions

The Add-in Express Extensions provides Outlook developers with web view regions (folder panes). This feature allows replacing the content of the folder view with your custom form. In this case, the Add-in Express Extensions embeds your form into a folder web-view region created specially for this purpose. The following picture shows what a web view region is.

Web view regions for Outlook

For example, you can use web view regions to integrate into Outlook your non-Outlook data such as data from your SQL Servers, CRM, CMS, or DMS. You can do it by creating an empty folder, binding it to your custom form, and interacting with your data using this form. Another approach is to use web view regions to create feature-rich Outlook views containing more effective controls such as tree views, grids, tab controls, etc.

Advanced Outlook View Regions - customize Outlook Explorer views

In addition to web view regions, the Add-in Express Extensions for Outlook provide you with Advanced View Regions that allow embedding your custom forms into folder view regions (folder sub-panes) of the Outlook Explorer window. Additionally, folder view regions add context-sensitivity to your forms. E.g., your form may show the sales volume for the selected contact, or the pay schedule for all selected tasks, etc. In the view of the UI design, several forms can be placed onto one folder view region (Outlook Explorer windows). More about customizing Outlook views in .NET and customizing Explorer views in Delphi.

Outlook folder view regions

Advanced Form Regions - customize Outlook Inspector forms

Also, the Add-in Express Extensions for Outlook allows you to embed your custom forms into the Outlook Inspector windows such as e-mail forms, contact forms, task forms, etc through Advanced Form Regions. Advanced Form Regions (also referred to as form sub-panes) can help you customize any built-in and custom Outlook forms, and use any controls (including grids, tree views, etc.) on Outlook forms. Please note, in the view of the user interface design, the Extensions for Outlook allows you to embed any number of custom forms into any advanced form region. Remember, Advanced Form Regions are in Outlook Inspector windows. More about creating custom Outlook Inspector forms..

Advanced form regions for customizing Outlook inspector forms

Supported Outlook folder and form types

Both web view regions and Outlook folder regions support all types of folders including E-mail, Contact, Appointment, Task, Journal, Note, Post, and Distribution List. However, there is one exception: folder view regions cannot be created for the Outbox folder.

Advanced Form Regions support all built-in Outlook forms including Recipient, Appointment, MeetingRequest, MeetingCancellation, MeetingResponseNegative, MeetingResponsePositive, MeetingResponseTentative, Contact, Journal, Mail, Post, Task, TaskRequest, TaskRequestUpdate, TaskRequestAccept, TaskRequestDecline, DistributionList. In addition, Add-in Express Extensions provides Advanced Form Regions for all custom forms defined by custom form class names. See a video showing how to modify Outlook e-mail forms, contacts, appointments.

Outlook regions list

Outlook regions are specified in the ExplorerLayout and InspectorLayout properties of the item (= ADXOlFormsCollectionItem). Note that you must also specify the item's ExplorerItemTypes and / or InspectorItemTypes properties; otherwise, the form (an instance of ADXOlForm) will never be shown. Here is the list of Outlook regions:

  • Four regions around the list of mails, tasks, contacts etc. The region names are LeftSubpane, TopSubpane, RightSubpane, BottomSubpane
  • One region below the Navigation Pane - BottomNavigationPane
  • One region below the To-Do Bar - BottomTodoBar
  • One region below the Outlook Bar (Outlook 2000 and 2002) - BottomOutlookBar
  • The WebViewPane region (see the screenshot below). Note that it uses Outlook properties in order to replace the items grid with your form
  • The FolderView region. Unlike WebViewPane, it allows the user to switch between the original Outlook view and your form

Custom forms in the Outlook FolderView region

  • Four regions around the Reading Pane - LeftReadingPane, TopReadingPane, RightReadingPane, BottomReadingPane

Regions around the Outlook Reading pane

  • Four regions around the body of an e-mail, task, contact, etc. The region names are LeftSubpane, TopSubpane, RightSubpane, BottomSubpane

Outlook regions around the e-mail body

  • The InspectorRegion region

Custom forms in the Outlook InspectorRegion region