Using Microsoft Outlook Stationaries in Replies

I have a client that has created a "Stationary" he uses to create new messages sometimes.  He would like to be able to Reply with the stationary as well.

To be clear, he goes to Outlook 2003's Actions menu, Selects "New Mail Message Using" and then selects the stationary he wants to use... but he wants this stationary available with Reply as well.

He has a "template" of sorts - a paragraph - that he doesn't want to be retyping in each message.

I'll be honest, I'm not sure this is possible or even the best way to do this... so if you have better ideas, PLEASE feel free to suggest them.  I'd think a macro of some sort would suffice - but I don't know quite how to setup such a macro in Outlook.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorAsked:
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David LeeCommented:
Hi, leew.

Outlook doesn't natively support applying stationery to replies.  Eric Legault, an enterprising Outlook MVP, wrote this macro that will swap stationery on replies so long as the stationery used is one of the standard ones that come with Outlook.  Eric points out that his sample code "... has not been tested with custom stationery".  His solution works because Microsoft used a consistent set of style names and options in the stationery that came with Outlook.   Custom stationery likely would not and might implement additional or fewer style options which would cause this to fail.  Sorry, but I son't see any practical means of doing this.

http://blogs.officezealot.com/legault/archive/2005/07/21/7581.aspx
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorAuthor Commented:
Thank you BlueDevilFan - That should suffice.  Do you have any other ways to recommend he insert the text into replies, short of copy and paste from another location or retyping?
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David LeeCommented:
Hi, VM.

Yes, I signed up for the Designated Expert program just before I saw this question.
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David LeeCommented:
You're welcome, leew.  I can only think of one approach, and I don't think the results would be acceptable.  Each Outlook message has both a plain-text and HTML representation of the body.  With a bit of scripting we could copy the plain-text version of the body, merge it into the client's stationery, then paste the result back into the HTML version of the body overwriting the original.  The reason I don't think that'd be acceptable is because it'd lose all body formatting.  Bold, italics, tables, etc. would all be lost.  

I thought about trying to parse the HTML version, but that strikes me as a daunting task.  Use View Source sometime to look at the raw HTML of an Outlook  message created using Word as the editor.  It's a bloated mass of HTML.  Parsing that to remove the unwanted HTML and apply the stationery seems to me like a major undertaking.  

Cutting and pasting isn't a solution either since it will pick up things like font changes that may differ from what the client is using in his stationery.  He'd have to go back and manually select/change those.  Unfortunately, Outlook's editor isn't accessible from a macro, so there's no means of selecting everything in the message body and applying a font change.

The problem is that stationery can include anything (e.g. font settings, margins, background images, foreground images, divs, spans, colors, etc.) available in the HTML specification.  A replacement routine would have to know which sets of tags to leave alone and which to replace.  It's just not a simple task.
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