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Pass Email Response Templates With Text or Rich HTML Text to Outlook From a Trusted Web Site Using ActiveX Controls

by on August 6, 2014

I have successfully used this in SharePoint as well as simpler web sites. It can eliminate the need for complex form creation on the web end for administration purposes, pulling in templates from a secondary linked list.

  1. Make sure the site is added to trusted (or intranet) sites in IE
  2. Make sure settings  for those sites under the custom button allow ActiveX for the sites in the list and that prompts are disabled (optional)
  3. Create a link similar to the below format
    1. Option 1: simple text, use a custom attribute on the link/button
    2. Option 2: rich/html text, use a hidden div to hold the HTML
    3. Option 3 (not shown): have a text box that allows either of these and use that content to pass to Outlook


<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">
<html xmlns="">

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
<title>Untitled 1</title>


<script src="//"></script>


$( document ).ready(function() {

$( "a.emailbutton" ).click(function() {
//alert(‘this is working’);
try {

    //get outlook and create new email
    var outlook = new ActiveXObject(‘Outlook.Application’);
    var email = outlook.CreateItem(0);

    //add some recipients
    email.Recipients.Add(‘’).Type = 1; //1=To
    email.Recipients.Add(‘’).Type = 2; //2=CC
    email.Recipients.Add(‘’).Type = 3; //2=BCC

    //subject and attachments
    email.Subject = ‘A Subject’;
    //email.Attachments.Add(‘URL_TO_FILE’, 1); //1=Add by value so outlook downloads the file from the url

    // display the email (this will make the signature load so it can be extracted)

    //use a regular expression to extract the html before and after the signature
    var signatureExtractionExpression = new RegExp(‘/[^~]*(<BODY[^>]*>)([^~]*</BODY>)[^~]*/’, ‘i’);
    var beforeSignature = RegExp.$1;
    var signature = RegExp.$2;

    //Get the html body of the email from custom attribute
    var passedBody = $(this).attr(’emailbody’);
    //Get the html rich text body from a div – hide using display:none;
    var passedBodyHTML = $(this).next(‘div.emailbodydiv’).html();
    //set the html body of the email
    email.HTMLBody = beforeSignature + ‘<h1>Our Custom Body</h1>’ + passedBody + passedBodyHTML; //+ signature;

//add From email
                    var mycount = accounts.Count;
                    for (var i=0; i < mycount; i++) {
                        var myemail = accounts.Item(i+1);
                        //alert("The email is " + myemail + (i+1));
                        if (myemail !=’’) {continue;}
                        email.SendUsingAccount = accounts.Item(i+1);

} catch(ex) {
    //something went wrong
    alert(‘There was an error opening the email application, please contact Infrastructure.’);



Hello <a class="emailbutton" href="#" emailbody="This is my simple email body, rich text and HTML have to be encoded or escaped properly.">link</a>
<div class="emailbodydiv" style=”display:none;”>
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