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Using "Send to Mail Recipient" in Microsoft® Word 2013

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This article describes how to use the Send to Mail Recipient command. The instructions apply generally to Office 2007 and later versions, but Microsoft® Word 2013 was used for the specific steps and figures.

What is Send to Mail Recipient?

Send to Mail Recipient is a command available in Microsoft® Word that lets you send the body of a document as an email message rather attaching the file to an email. Microsoft Outlook® should be your default email client.

Why Use Send to Mail Recipient?

The Send to Mail Recipient command is useful when–
  • you draft email that requires the formatting and editing controls available in Word.
  • you have to send a standard email to a distribution list on a regular basis (e.g.,payroll notification, fiscal year-end notification, project milestone updates) and have to re-create the email each time; or
  • you have templates for company email that you want to share with your team or department. You can create templates in Outlook® but many people find Outlook®'s Design a Form interface difficult to use. Word is accessible to a greater number of users.

The advantages of using this tool are:
  • use of Word formatting and editing tools;
  • ability to organize the original Word files and save them to a shared server location or a SharePoint® site for centralized access by your team members;
  • ability to easily create and share the Word files as templates; and
  • facilitates training new staff because task-related documents can be accessed from a central location rather than being available only to people who received the original email.

Instructions for Using Send to Mail Recipient

Use the Send to Mail Recipient command on the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT). The Send to Mail Recipient command is not one of the default commands in the Word Ribbon interface. It has to be added to the QAT.

1.  Add the Send to Mail Recipient command to the QAT (See Figure 1). (For instructions to add commands to the QAT, see this article: Add Commands to the Quick Access Toolbar in Microsoft Office.)

Figure 1. Send to Mail Recipient icon (in red box) on the QAT

2.  Write your message in Microsoft® Word. You can include hyperlinks, images, and tables (See Figure 2).

Figure 2. Contents of the email message to be sent showing text, image, hyperlink, and table

3.  Click the Send to Mail Recipient icon on the QAT. The email toolbar and email header fields appear (See Figure 3).

Figure 3. Send to Mail Recipient toolbar

     a.  The email toolbar includes the following commands:
             i.  Send a Copy - This command sends the email.
            ii.  Accounts - If you have multiple email accounts, this command lets you select the account that will send the email.
          iii.  Attach - Allows you to attach files to the email document.
          iv.  Address Book - Accesses your contact list to select recipients.
           v.  Check Names - Verifies that the recipient email addresses are correctly formatted.
          vi.  Information Rights Management (IRM) - restricts access to documents; requires special setup and is not covered in this article.
        vii.  High Importance - Sets the importance level of the email document.
       viii.  Low Importance - Sets the importance level of the email document.
         xi.  Follow Up (flag) - Sets a reminder flag on the email document.
          x.  Create Rule - Allows you to create rules associated with the email document; requires a subject or at least one individual recipient.
         xi.  Options... (dropdown menu) - Allows you to add a From: or Bcc: line.

      b.  The email header fields are:

             i.  From... (if enabled from the Options... dropdown menu)
            ii.  To...
           iii.  Cc...
           iv.  Bcc... (if enabled from the Options... dropdown menu)
            v.  Subject:
           vi.  Introduction: (allows you to insert a customized introductory message while the main body of the email is unchanged)

4.  Type the email address(es) of the email recipients in the To…, Cc…, and Bcc… fields; add a Subject:; and if desired, add an Introduction:.

5.  Click the Send a Copy button on the email toolbar. The email toolbar and email header fields disappear.

This sends a copy of the Word document to the specified email address(es). There is no other indication that the emails have been sent.


1.  I recommend that you send a test email to yourself or add your email to the Bcc: field to confirm that Send to Mail Recipient is working. You should receive a copy of the email and should also find a copy in your Sent Items folder in Outlook.

2.  When you create a new document for Send to Mail, the Subject: will be blank. If you save the document and reopen it, the Subject: will automatically contain the document’s file name. Be sure you update the Subject: each time you use the email document.

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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Santos
Great job!

Expert Comment

Thank you!  Worked very nicely.  However, I couldn't quickly determine how to format the Introduction section.  Is that possible?

Author Comment

by:C. Blaise Mitsutama
c4looney, formatting is disabled for the Introduction section. This is similar to the To, Cc, Bcc, and Subject, which also cannot be formatted.
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Author Comment

by:C. Blaise Mitsutama
Kyle Santos, thanks!

Expert Comment

I'm having a problem using this feature:
When I click Send to Mail Recipient, I then change the From option to shared mailbox.
This adds some extra lines into the body of the email - when i go to "undo" the change, it says Undo Replace Email signature.  If I click this, Word crashes.
This is reproducible - do you have any advice?
Many thanks!

Author Comment

by:C. Blaise Mitsutama

I sent you a direct message response to your question because I had been off E-E for several months. I rejoined to reply to you, but there was a technical issue that prevented my commenting on this article.

I'm adding this comment so that others can see my reply.

Since I have never used "Send to Mail Recipient" with a shared mailbox, I haven't experienced the problem you describe. However, shared mailboxes cannot have separate (autonomous) accounts in Office 365, and it may be that "Send to Mail Recipient" is checking for an individual email account for the sender. When it encounters the non-conforming shared mailbox, it breaks.

So far, I haven't found a KB article or other documentation of this issue, but it's going on my "to be researched" list.


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