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Microsoft® Outlook® 2007 Bible by Peter G. Aitken

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Chapter 27. Going Beyond Basic Forms

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • Understanding custom fields

  • Working with Read and Compose modes

  • Creating shared, combination, and formula fields

  • Validating user input

  • Using form properties

  • Understanding form actions

  • Including VBScript in your forms

In the previous chapter, you learned the fundamentals of designing and publishing custom Outlook forms. This chapter goes beyond the basics to cover some more advanced aspect of custom form design.

Using Custom Fields

Given the wide array of form fields provided by Outlook, you might think you would never need a custom field. This would be a mistake—it is fairly common for a form design to require one or more custom fields to meet the needs of the application. This section shows you how to define custom fields and add them to a page on a form.

Planning a Custom Field

Once you have determined that none of Outlook's built-in fields are appropriate for your data, your next step is to do a little planning. Two factors come into play:

  • Is the custom field a good match for the type of data it will contain?

  • Does the custom field provide flexibility for further changes to the form?

For example, suppose you are designing a form for employee data, and one of the pieces of information is gender. There are only two mutually exclusive choices, Male and Female, and the list of choices will never expand, so using an OptionButton control—two of them to be precise—makes sense.

But suppose another piece of information is health plan—which of the three ...

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