Add sound to an e-mail message

Applies to
Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003

 Important   The ActiveX controls used to add sounds to e-mail messages were disabled in the latest Windows update, Windows XP SP2, because they pose a security risk. There is no supported workaround to enable this functionality in any version of Microsoft Office. You can still attach sound files to e-mail messages, but they will not play automatically. The following instructions will work only on a computer that does not have Windows XP SP2 installed. We recommend that you upgrade immediately to Windows XP SP2.

If you want to jazz up your e-mail messages, you probably already know that you can add background colors and stationery. But did you know that you can add sound?

You can use the following steps to add a sound file to your e-mail message that will play only once or over and over again.

A word of caution...Use your best judgment when attaching sound files. Keep them small in size and, as with fonts and colors, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing — moderation is key.

  1. Make sure you are using Microsoft Office Word as your your e-mail editor.


  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Mail Format tab, under Message Format, in the Compose in this message format list, click HTML.
  3. Select the Use Microsoft Office Word 2003 to edit e-mail messages check box.

 Note   You must use the same version of Word and Outlook. For example, you cannot use Microsoft Word 2002 with Outlook 2003.

  1. Create a new message.
  2. In the message window, on the View menu, point to Toolbars, and then click Web Tools.
  3. On the Web Tools toolbar, click Sound Button image.

 Note   If the Sound icon is unavailable, click in the message body to make the icons on the Web Tools toolbar available.

  1. In the Background Sound dialog box, click Browse, and then select the .wav, .mid, .rmi, .au, .aif, .aiff, or .snd sound file you want.

 Note   Sound files can be very large. Make sure you check the size of the file you are sending so that your message does not exceed your or your recipient's e-mail server limits.

  1. Under Loop, choose the number of times you want the sound to repeat when the messages is opened. For continuous playback, select Infinite.
  2. Click OK.
  3. Compose your message as you usually do.

 Tip   Looking for some sound files to add excitement to your e-mail messages? The Clip Art and Media on Microsoft Office Online has many free sounds to choose from.

Applies to:
Outlook 2003