Simplifying sending e-mail “As” another mailbox

Microsoft Outlook support has often been asked if it is possible to automatically have the “From” field populated with a shared mailbox owner’s email address.  This question generally comes from a user who is either a Delegate for that mailbox owner (with added permissions) or a user who has “Send As” permissions.

Typically, you would access the Inbox of the shared folder and then click on the New E-mail button in the ribbon.  When the New Message window comes up, the “From” field is populated with the default account owner’s address.

How do you get the “From” field to show up in new e-mail message?  It’s easy, simply create a new e-mail message and then click on Options and then click on the “From” field from within the “Show Fields” group.  Next, close the message without saving. 




The result of this action is that the “From” field will now be exposed on the new e-mail message from now on.



To send mail “As” another user, you would click on the “From” and then choose the user from the GAL:



As you continue to use Outlook to send mail As another mailbox owner, the “From” field keeps a Most Recently Used (MRU) list.



 Now, while that is relatively easy, as mentioned, we are asked if there is another way so that the “From” field doesn’t have to be selected and the name of the user would be automatically chosen.

Well, the answer is yes and no, or, I’ve got good news and bad news.  In the interest of time, I’ll start with the bad news:

Any folder can easily have their default item changed……except the Inbox.

The good news:

You can create a custom form with the mailbox owner’s account as the default and publish it to the Inbox of that account, or even your account. If posted to your account, the beauty of this is that you don’t have to click into the mailbox owner’s Inbox to create the message.  I’ll show you how.

The process of setting this up takes a few minutes and the same form template that you initially create can be saved and used again, with a minor tweak, to create forms for other mailbox owners you are allowed to send mail “As”.  You will see in the end, there may be a change of process for the way you create new messages, but the result, if you have many shared mailboxes that you typically send mail “As”, it’s a much quicker way of sending mail as that mailbox owner.


Creating the custom form


1. Ensure that the Developer Tab is visible by right clicking on any spot on the ribbon and choosing “Customize the Ribbon” and placing a check mark by “Developer”.



2. Start a new Mail Message, click on the Developer tab and then choose “Design This Form”.



3. The Compose page is the default and we need to move some fields down to make room for the “From” field.  So, click on the body to select it.  Now, grab the top sizing handle bar and drag it down so there is enough room to add another Field (the “From” Field). 




4. Now, CTRL+Click all the fields above the Body.  The subject label, the subject box, the CC button, the CC box, the TO button and the To box.



5. Now, position your mouse pointer to one of the borders of the selected fields and when it changes to the ‘move” pointer, drag down to where there is enough room to add the “From” field at the top.



6. Click on the Field Chooser in the Tools section to expose the Field Chooser.



7. In the Frequently-used dropdown, Choose All Mail fields, scroll down the list of fields until you see “From” and then drag and drop “From” above the “To” field on the form.



8. Once you’ve dropped the “From” Field, make any adjustments necessary to align it with the rest of the fields.  You could add the BCC field as well, just make room for it and drop it in.  You may want to do this now as the BCC field will not be exposed when composing e-mail with a custom form unless you add it to the custom form.



Adding and Testing the “Send As” address to the form


9. Next, right-click on the “From” field (not the “From” button) and choose Properties.



10. Click on the Value tab and in the Initial Value section, add the alias or Display Name of the shared mailbox owner and then Click OK



11. In the Form section of the Ribbon, test your customer form by choosing “Run this Form”.  When the new form comes up, the “From” field should be visible with the mailbox owner’s unresolved name.




12. Click on Check Names in the Ribbon to resolve the “From” field.  If it doesn’t resolve, some adjustments may need to be made so check the ‘spelling’.



13. Close the new form Window and choose No to saving changes


Now that you’re back to the Custom Form design page, make your adjustments and test again.  If no adjustments are necessary you can now publish the form in the next step.


Publishing the “From” Form


14. Click on Publish, Publish Form As.



15. In the Look in field, choose “Outlook Folders” then Click on the Browse button and navigate to the appropriate Mailbox, choose that Inbox (this could be your Inbox, or even the Inbox of the mailbox owner for whom you have “Send As” permissions) and then click OK.  For Display Name, type in “From <username>” and then click on the Publish button



16. Repeat Steps 09 - 15, changing the “From” Field Value to an appropriate name and Publishing to the appropriate Inbox.


Once finished, save the form as a template in case you need to use it again by clicking on File, Save As, and save it as a .oft (Outlook Template).


“Send As” without leaving home (Inbox)


Now, if you’ve published all the forms to your Inbox, you don’t even have to leave your own Inbox when sending Mail “As”, simply click on New Items, Custom Forms and your forms will be accessible:



Or if you have multiple forms:


And that’s it!


Do you know of an easier way of doing this?  Let us hear “From” you! 🙂

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