With the local elections upon us today here in the UK, here’s a timely reminder of the nifty voting feature in Microsoft Outlook. Whenever you wish to poll your email recipients on their preferences, you can save them and yourself time by using voting buttons as follows:
- Create your email in Microsoft Outlook
- Tick the icon labelled Use Voting Buttons in the Options tab and choose Custom from the drop down list
- Type in the available voting choices in the Use voting buttons box, placing a semi colon (;) between each entry. For example, voting options to match today’s London Mayoral election might read Ken;Boris;Brian;Sian;Gerard;etc
- Click Close then send your email as normal
Some important considerations: your voting email recipients must be inside an Exchange Server organisation for this to work reliably. They must also be using Outlook as their email client. If outside of an Exchange organisation, voting may still work as long as Outlook is used and your email is sent in Rich Text format only. HTML and Plain Text emails with voting choices simply will not work outside of an Exchange Server environment. You can switch your email to Rich Text mode before sending by highlighting the relevant option under the Options tab.
After sending your email inviting people to vote, you can get a quick count of their voting choices, by re-opening the original email from within the Sent Items folder. There you’ll see an infobar summarising the total number of votes cast, how each recipient voted, and how many votes each choice received.
If only choosing which local councillor should receive your vote was as easy!