Create and Use Email Templates in Outlook

Create and Use Email Templates in Outlook

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When you realize that you frequently send very similar emails, don't click Send right away. Save the message as a message template first in Outlook, and next week's composition will be that much swifter starting from that stationery (not to be confused with email stationery).

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010, and 2007.

Create an Email Template (for New Messages) in Outlook

To save a message as a template for future emails in Outlook:

  1. Create a new email message in Outlook.

    • Home > New > New Email. Or Ctrl + N.
    Creating a new email in Outlook.
  2. Enter a Subject if you want to use one for your message template.

    • You can save an email template without default subject in Outlook.
    Adding a subject line to an email in Outlook.
  3. Now enter the email template's text body.

    Remove any signatures if you have set up Outlook to add a signature automatically when composing.

    Entering text in the body of an email in Outlook.
  4. Once you have your email setup, select File > Save As.

    • In Outlook 2007, select Office Button > Save As from the menu.
    File options in Outlook.
  5. Choose the location you want to save the template and File name.

  6. Under Save as type, select Outlook Template (*.oft).

    • Outlook 2007: Save as type, select Outlook Template.
    Saving an email as a template in Outlook.
  7. Select Save. You can close the original email.

Compose an Email Using a Template in Outlook

To write a new message (see below for replies) using a message template in Outlook:

  1. Under Home, in the New group, select New Items > More Items > Choose Form.

    • In Outlook 2007, select Tools > Forms > Choose Form from the menu in your Outlook inbox.
    Selecting a form for a new email in Outlook.
  2. Make sure User Templates in the File System is selected under Look In.

    Choosing the newly created template in Outlook.
  3. Select the template you want to use then select Open.

    Choosing which template to use for a new email in Outlook.

Create a Simple Email Template for Quick Replies in Outlook 2016, 2013, and 2010

To set up a template for lightning-fast replies in Outlook:

  1. Go to Mail in Outlook.

  2. Make sure the Home ribbon is active and expanded.

  3. Select Create New in the Quick Steps section.

    Selecting the Create New option under quick steps in Outlook.
  4. You can also click the Manage Quick Steps button in the section's lower right corner, click New and select Custom.

    Using Custom Quick Steps in Outlook.
  5. Type a brief name for your reply template under Name:

    • For a template to reply with a product description and price list, for example, you could use something like Reply (Prices).
    Editing a quick step in Outlook.
  6. Click Choose an Action under Actions.

    Choosing an action for a quick step in Outlook.
  7. Select Reply under Respond from the menu that has appeared.

    • Using New Message instead of Reply, you can set up a simple template for new messages as well, including a default recipient.
    Selecting the reply action for quick steps in Outlook.
  8. Click Show Options.

    Additional options for quick steps in Outlook.
  9. Enter the message for your reply under Text:

    • Do include a signature.
  10. Possibly, select Importance: Normal to have your reply go out with normal importance regardless of the original message's level.

    Choosing importance level of a quick step in Outlook.
  11. Optionally, check  Automatically send after 1 minute delay.

    This means you will not get to edit or even see the reply by default before Outlook delivers it. For 1 minute, the message will sit in the Outbox folder, however; you can delete it from there or open it for editing to preempt the quick reply.

    Selecting to automatically send the message in 1 minute in Outlook.
  12. Optionally, add further actions using Add Action.

    Add an action to move the original message to your archiving folder, for example, or categorize it with a certain color to help you spot messages that received a boilerplate answer.

    Adding an additional action in quick steps in Outlook.
  13. Also optionally, select a keyboard shortcut for the action under Shortcut key for even faster action.

    Choosing a shortcut key for a quick step in Outlook.
  14. Click Finish.

    A completed quick step action in Outlook.

Reply to an Email Fast Using a Quick Reply Template in Outlook 2016, 2013, and 2010

To send a reply with a pre-defined Quick Step template:

  1. Make sure the message to which you want to reply is selected in the message list or open (in the Outlook reading pane or in its own window). Make sure the Home ribbon (using the message list or reading pane) or the Message ribbon (with the email open in its own window) is selected and expanded.

    An opened email in Outlook.
  2. Click the desired reply step in the Quick Steps section.

    • To see all steps, click More.
    • If you defined a keyboard shortcut for the action, you can also press it, of course.
    Selecting a Quick steps reply in Outlook.
  3. If you have not set up the Quick Step to deliver the message automatically, adapt the email as needed and click Send.

    A message has been sent via quick steps in Outlook.