How To Change The Default Microsoft Outlook Email Template

Most of us in the professional world rely heavily on Microsoft Outlook 2013 and with the recent conversion of Hotmail [also referred to as Microsoft Live] to Outlook coupled with the growing popularity of Windows based smartphones like the Nokia LUMIA series (although they still have a long long way to go considering the huge market for Android and iOS), its application across platforms is growing. For Outlook or even Excel users, one things is fairly certain: if an action takes longer duration in performing, there must be a shortcut out there.

Keeping this thumb rule in clear focus, a common problem Outlook users feel is the inability to easily customize or change the default email template based on which emails are sent out. Rest assured, we are not referring to the email body only, nor is the scope limited to a specific version of the application. Ranging from margins specification, setting up tabs, line spacing configuration and much more, Outlook provides you the ability to customize the default email template as per your needs and requirements. In this post, we will shed light on How To Customize Or Change The Default Microsoft Outlook Email Template, both in terms of modifying the existing template as well as setting a new template (in .oft format) as default.

What Exactly Is Microsoft Outlook’s Default Email Template?

To make the repetitive task of sending out emails simpler, Microsoft Outlook integrates a default template within the application. The purpose is to ensure uniformity in the basic content as well as the properties (like margins, spacing and so on) in the emails you send, thus, maintaining a uniform persona for your professional identity. Where exactly is this default email template saved? Well, first up, you must know that all Microsoft Outlook templates are saved in the .oft format which means whether it’s the default template, an edited template or a new template, for Microsoft Outlook the format is the same. The reason why this needs to be highlighted is because the Office Suite stores the default templates and sample documents at a single location, which is reached by using the following path (remember to replace the italic username with your Computer’s name and yes, you can find that out by clicking the Start menu):

C:\documents and settings\username\application data\microsoft\templates

How To Customize Or Modify The Default Template?

In order to change and customize default properties (such as indents, spacing, line and page breaks) of the emails composed using Microsoft Outlook, you must click the New Email button on the left corner of the ribbon interface. As soon as you click this button, a new window (allowing you to compose the email) will open up.

Create New Email

In the Compose New Email window, click on the email body and then select the Format Text tab to view a range of buttons and styles that can be implemented for the respective email. As evident, there are a cluster of properties organized in various sections within a specific tab in the ribbon interface. A small arrow on the bottom right corner of the Paragraph section (in our case) will open up advanced properties that can then be used to customize the default email template. After clicking the arrow, the Paragraph window will come to view, where two tabs: Indents and Spacing along with Line and Page Breaks allow you to apply the relevant tweaks to the template. To give you a preview of the power you possess, you can modify the alignment, outline level, spacing, tabs, hyphenate, suppress line numbers and so on using this window. The next step is to analyze the probable impact using the Preview display at the bottom of the window. If you think the desired outcome has been ensured, click the Set As Default button in each tab (depending on the changes you make) as a final step.

Paragraph Window

How To Send An Email Based On A New Template?

In order to create a new template, you need to open up the compose email window (by clicking the New Email Button in the Home tab) and then click the Save As option in the File menu. After specifying the name of the template, select the Outlook template (.oft) format from the drop down menu with a final click on the Save button to store the new template. It is recommended to note the location where you save this template, in case you choose it to save it at a place different from the default path. To use the email template, click the New Items button (next to the New Email button) under the Home tab.

From the drop down menu, select the More Items option followed by Choose From… . It is important to note that in earlier versions of Microsoft Outlook (2007 and earlier), a similar process was carried out using Tools>Forms menu. Now, in the Choose From dialog box, you must select the User Templates In File System in the Look In drop down menu coupled with the Browse button (if your template is saved in a different folder) to specify and select the relevant template using the respective path.

Using Email Template

If you have any query with regards to the topic, at hand, or if you would like to share your experiences with Microsoft Outlook 2013, feel free to add value to the comments section, below!