Outlook Solutions

Visual Studio provides project templates you can use to create application-level add-ins for Microsoft Office Outlook. You can use add-ins to automate Outlook, extend Outlook features, or customize the Outlook user interface (UI). For more information about application-level add-ins, see Architecture of Application-Level Add-Ins.

Applies to: The information in this topic applies to application-level projects for Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010. For more information, see Features Available by Office Application and Project Type.

Creating an Outlook Add-in Project

Create Outlook projects by using the Outlook Add-in project template in the New Project dialog box. This template includes required assembly references and project files.

For more information about how to create an add-in project, see How to: Create Office Projects in Visual Studio. For more information about the project templates, see Office Project Templates Overview.

Outlook Add-in Programming Model

When you create an Outlook add-in project, Visual Studio generates a class, called ThisAddIn, which is the foundation of your solution. This class provides a starting point for writing your code, and it also exposes the object model of Outlook to your add-in.

For more information about the ThisAddIn class and other features you can use in an add-in, see Programming Application-Level Add-Ins.

Automating Outlook by Using the Outlook Object Model

The Outlook object model exposes many types that you can use to automate Outlook. These types enable you to write code to accomplish common tasks:

  • Programmatically create and send e-mail messages.

  • Send new meeting requests.

  • Search for items in Outlook folders.

For more information, see Outlook Object Model Overview.

Customizing the User Interface of an Outlook Application


For more information

Add custom tabs to the Ribbon of an Outlook Inspector.

Ribbon Overview

Add custom groups to a built-in tab in an Outlook Inspector.

How to: Customize a Built-in Tab

Add a custom task pane that appears in an Outlook Inspector

Custom Task Panes Overview.

Add a form region that extends or replaces existing Outlook forms.

Creating Outlook Form Regions

Add custom toolbars and toolbar items.

How to: Create Office Toolbars

Add menus and menu items.

How to: Add Custom Menus and Menu Items to Outlook

For more information about customizing the UI of Outlook and other Microsoft Office applications, see Office UI Customization.



Outlook Object Model Overview

Provides an overview of the objects that are provided by the Outlook object model.

Creating Outlook Form Regions

Explains the tools provided by Visual Studio that make it easier for you to design, develop, and debug form regions.

Walkthrough: Creating Your First Application-Level Add-in for Outlook

Shows you how to create an application-level add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook.

Outlook 2010 in Office Development

The area of the MSDN Library where you can find articles and reference documentation about developing Outlook solutions (not specific to Office development using Visual Studio).