Use InfoPath e-mail forms in Outlook

If you already use Microsoft Office InfoPath forms for tasks like submitting weekly status reports, and if you use Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 to manage e-mail messages, InfoPath e-mail forms can help streamline the processes that you use to collaborate and share data. That is because you can open, fill out, and submit InfoPath forms from within Office Outlook 2007, without having to open InfoPath. If you receive an InfoPath e-mail form, you can reply to it, forward it, and store it just as you would with any other items in Office Outlook 2007.

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Prerequisites for using InfoPath e-mail forms

Before you begin, you should read the following prerequisites for using InfoPath e-mail forms. If the following items are true in your organization, you can use InfoPath e-mail forms to send or receive form data.

Installation prerequisites    To send or receive InfoPath e-mail forms in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 must be installed on your computer, and Office Outlook 2007 must be configured to send and receive InfoPath e-mail forms. If you have these programs installed on your computer, and Office Outlook 2007 is configured to send InfoPath e-mail forms, but the same is not true for recipients of your InfoPath e-mail forms, the forms that you send will appear to those recipients as attachments to e-mail messages. The recipients can then save the attached forms and open them by using InfoPath. Office Outlook 2007 is configured to send and receive InfoPath e-mail forms by default. To turn InfoPath e-mail forms on or off, in the Options dialog box in Office Outlook 2007, click Advanced Options on the Other tab, and then select or clear the Enable InfoPath E-Mail Forms check box in the Advanced Options dialog box.

Availability of forms    If you want users to fill out InfoPath e-mail forms and submit the data back to you, and the form's associated form template is not stored in a shared location that your users can access, you can include the form template with the InfoPath e-mail form by clicking the Include form template option in the Mail Options task pane. The task pane appears when you forward an InfoPath e-mail form or reply to it, or when you send it by clicking Submit on the form. Alternatively, you can send a read-only version of the form.

Installation prerequisites for recipients    If the recipients of your InfoPath e-mail forms do not have Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 and Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 installed and configured to use InfoPath e-mail forms, they will receive an e-mail message that contains an HTML representation of the default form view, and an InfoPath form will be attached to the e-mail message. If the recipients have an earlier version of InfoPath installed, and the form contains backward-compatible features, they can save the attached form file and open it by using the earlier version of InfoPath.

 Note   When the InfoPath e-mail forms that you send to others are filled out and sent back to you, you can review the data from those forms in various ways in Office Outlook 2007. For example, you can view the data by using a customized view of an InfoPath Forms folder, which enables you to view the form data without opening the forms themselves. You can also merge multiple InfoPath e-mail forms into a single form to analyze or compare data, or export the data from one or more InfoPath e-mail forms to Microsoft Office Excel 2007. Find more information about these tasks in the See Also section.

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Collect data from others by using an InfoPath e-mail form

  1. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Choose InfoPath Form.
  2. In the Choose InfoPath Form dialog box, double-click the form that you want.
  3. In the InfoPath Form: Form Name window, click Forward.
  4. Enter recipient e-mail addresses in the To and Cc boxes. Separate names with a semicolon (;).

 Note   The Bcc box does not appear by default. To add an e-mail address to the Bcc box, click To or Cc, and then in the dialog box that appears, type the e-mail address in the Bcc box.

  1. In the Subject box, type a new subject for the message.
  2. In the Introduction box, type explanatory text about the InfoPath e-mail form.
  3. In the Mail Options task pane, do one of the following:
    • To send a version of the form that recipients can use to fill out and submit data, click Editable form.

 Note   If the form template for the form is not located in a shared location that other users can access, such as a network folder or a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site, select the Include form template check box.

  • To send a read-only version of the form, click Read-only snapshot.
  1. Click Send.

 Note   Because you are sending an InfoPath e-mail form to collect data from others, you do not need to type any data in the InfoPath e-mail form fields before you send the form.

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Submit your own data by using an InfoPath e-mail form

  1. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Choose InfoPath Form.
  2. In the Choose InfoPath Form dialog box, click the form that you want.
  3. In the InfoPath Form: Form Name window, type data into the InfoPath e-mail form.

 Tip   Filling out an InfoPath e-mail form is just like filling out a form in InfoPath. For example, if the form contains more than one view, you can switch views by clicking the View menu on the form and then selecting the view that you want. Find more information about filling out InfoPath forms in the See Also section.

  1. Click Submit, and then in the InfoPath Form: Form Name dialog box, type the recipient e-mail addresses in the To, Cc, or Bcc boxes. Separate names with a semicolon (;).

 Note   If the form template designer has defined a custom submit action, the data is automatically sent.

  1. In the Subject box, type a new subject for the message.
  2. In the large box at the bottom of the dialog box, type explanatory text about the InfoPath e-mail form.
  3. Click Send.
  4. To save a copy of the form that you just sent to the active folder, click Save on the File menu.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2007