This month I’m going to cheat and combine my Peachtree tip with my MS-Office tip by showing how you can use a feature in Outlook to (mostly) make up for a missing feature in Peachtree.  The ability to email invoices and statements from Peachtree saves a lot of time and money.  But many people would like to be able to change the standard text that Peachtree puts in those emails.  Since Peachtree doesn’t give you a way to do that, the only option is to find a way to do it in your email program.  By the way, you can submit suggestions for new Peachtree features here http://ideascopeanywhere.com/peachtree/frmSubmitIdea.aspx.

In Outlook 2007 a feature was introduced called Quick Parts.  It allows you to set up pieces of text that can easily be inserted into an email.  To set up a new entry, type the text that you want into an email.  Highlight the text.  Click on the Insert tab at the top of the window.  In the Text group click the Quick Parts button and select Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery, which you will find at the bottom of the drop down list.  In the window that pops up, give your entry a name and complete any of the other fields that will be helpful to you.

The next time you email a Peachtree invoice or statement, select the text that you want to replace in the body of the email (you could delete it now but you don’t need to) and click the Quick Parts button.  Choose the entry that you want from the list and Outlook will insert it into your email, replacing the highlighted text.  If you prefer, you can type the name of your Quick Part into the email and press F3.  The name will then be replaced by the text.

What if you want to change the text in one of your Quick Parts?  Strangely, right clicking on the entry in the list gives you an option to edit the properties (name, description, etc) but not the text itself.  To change the text, repeat the process to add a new entry, but give it the same name as the entry you want to change.  You wil be asked to confirm that you want to “redefine the building block entry”.  If you want to delete an entry, click on the Quick Parts button, then right click on the entry.  Choose Organize And Delete from the menu.  In the next window, make sure the correct entry is highlighted in the list and click the Delete button.

If you are still using Outlook 2003 or older, you’ll want to check out the Auto Text feature.  Or if you’re a rebel and use Thunderbird for your email, I recommend the Quicktext add-on which you can download at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/addon./quicktext/

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