Outlook Add-in

12 10 2010

This is kind of old, but I guess it never got onto this blog. So, I was playing around with the new Office and there was this problem on Win-7. Older versions of Outlook used to display a small yellow envelope in the system tray when I had new mail. But they decided to merge that into the Taskbar icon which is always there anyway. The only problem is that the notification feature does not work with IMAP inboxes… and of course IMAP is the way to go if you like to organize all your mail into >100 folders and you don’t want to do that twice! So there I was, all helpless and unproductive coz I didn’t know when I had new mail!

So, I tried to fix it myself. Fire up Visual Studio and there is actually an Outlook plugin that you can create. Now being M$ and all, every time you run the code in VS for debugging, it starts up Outlook and lets you test it out :). All I needed to do was to monitor each of my IMAP inboxes for new mail. This was quite a long time ago, so a lot of the details are hazy (of course that means it fits perfectly with this blog’s lofty incomplete ideals). I think I looked at just the unread count numbers. There were events fired automatically when you manually set an old message to unread – so no problem there. Of course if you do decide to use this, and happen to use POP3 too, the POP3 notification icon will overlap and ruin your tiny icon – so disable that in Outlook and track the POP3 mailbox yourself too.

Unfortunately, like all good experimental code, it doesn’t work on some occasions. I think its got something to do with my addin losing connection with the mailbox when I hibernate/restart etc. Of course the nice thing is that you can enable those translucent purplish-blue popups for new mails as events for IMAP too. That means I pretty much catch all my new mail in-time and can even delete stuff from that purplish-blue thinge. Meh.

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