Default forms in Outlook

The following are brief descriptions of the default forms available in Microsoft Outlook. These are the standard forms that are used when you create an item in Outlook without applying any customization.

Note:  For information on Outlook form regions or InfoPath forms, see Overview of forms in Outlook.


What the form is used for


Keeping track of information about a person or organization.

Distribution List

Creating a list of contacts and e-mail addresses that can be used as a single e-mail address.


Tracking information about a task that needs to be accomplished.


Sending information to someone in a specific format, or providing a means to enter data so that it can be shared electronically.


Facilitating a threaded conversation that is saved in a folder, or for attaching files to a folder.


Representing a meeting or scheduled event.

Journal Entry

Logging information about an item or event.

Meeting Request

Sending specifically formatted meeting requests and providing a means for invitees to respond.

Task Request

Sending information about a task to others and providing a means for them to respond.

RSS Article

Representing a blog post or other item from an RSS feed.

When planning or creating a custom form in Outlook, begin by choosing one of the default forms . In most cases, the type of form that you choose to customize is determined by the type of solution that you are creating.

Some questions to consider when deciding the type of form to use are:

  • Which versions of Outlook do you want to support?

    Note: Form regions work only in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007.

    What are form regions?

    Form regions are a new feature in Office Outlook 2007. By using form regions, developers can extend Outlook forms with ActiveX controls, and put Web pages on the form by using the Web Browser control. Forms that include form regions are designed as individual Outlook Form Storage files (.ofs), each of which contains one form page. Multiple .ofs files can be attached to the same message class to build a complete form with multiple form pages. For more information, see Overview of forms in Outlook.

  • What is the nature of the solution that you are creating? If the solution will be sent to a recipient, you can customize a Message form. If the solution will be used to track information in a folder, then a Post, Contact, Task, or Appointment form would be more appropriate to customize.

  • What are the standard fields available in the form? Each default form has its own set of standard fields to keep track of information that is applicable to the Outlook item associated with the form.

  • Which of the pages in the form can you customize? Some pages on the default forms cannot be customized, but you can hide them or use a form region to overcome the page constraints.

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