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Contact picture in Outlook 2007 Messages (list) pane (or which field is a contact picture)?

Posted on 2008-10-04
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hi,

I would like to see a small thumb from the "From" person nextto it, in each of the messages that show in the list left from the reading pane (e.g. in my Inbox).  
Since I can often see the thumb in the e-mail itself (in the upper right corner), this must be possible, right?  Been looking for the field that holds such a picture, but I can't find it.  I presume there is something else that just the outlook fields that has its way here.
Anyone know how to do this?
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Question by:R-U-Bn
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by:David Lee
David Lee earned 750 total points
ID: 22640750
Hi, R-U-Bn.

"... this must be possible, right?"
Unfortunately, no.  Or perhaps I should say not with Outlook out of the box.  The pictures are stored in Outlook and the property they're stored in does not appear as a selection in the list of fields available to views.  In Outlook lists are controlled by views.  Now, it might be possible with some clever scripting, but Outlook was not designed to provide this capability.  I'm not sure it'd be practical anyway.  To avoid distorting the list the image would have to be pretty small.  I'm not sure it'd be big enough to be of any use.
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by:R-U-Bn
ID: 22645841
Do you think scripting it would take a lot of resources (CPU, RAM) besides needing cleverness?  You don't happen to have an idea how to code this or at least which property to address?  I am able to do some coding if required, though I never addressed Outlook.

( I don't mind distorted small images. At least not when the height of each mail in my list takes 2 lines. )
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by:David Lee
David Lee earned 750 total points
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That's a difficult question to answer since I'm not sure what it'll take to do this.  Outlook doesn't expose the picture property at all, it's accessed indirectly.  It uses a method called AddPicture to add a picture to a contact and RemovePicture to remove it.   Removing the picture doesn't save it to a file either.  The approach I'd take is to add a user-property and store an icon sized picture of the item.  That's where the "clever scripting" comes in.  You'll have to figure a means of determining when the user is adding the picture so you can capture the filename and make an icon.  The simple way to do that is to create your own AddPicture routine and use it to add pictures instead of the real AddPicture method.
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by:R-U-Bn
ID: 22648776
So, you don't know the property, hmm?  Seems to look more and more to take a lot of time to get this to work.

And do I understand your proposal correctly that it is about another picture than the one in the contact details?   If so, and nobody else has some more knowledge to this, I'll leave the matter and accept your "solution".

So, anyone else any knowledge on the matter?
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David Lee earned 750 total points
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So, you don't know the property, hmm?
It's not that I don't know it, the property isn't visible.  Not exposed through Outlook's object model.  
And do I understand your proposal correctly that it is about another picture than the one in the contact details?
Correct.  Since Outlook only allows you to access the existing picture indirectly, you are left with two possibilities.  One, hack the object model and figure out where and how the picture is stored so you access it, or change the means be which a picture is added to the contact so you can get a copy of the picture as it's being added.  
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by:R-U-Bn
ID: 22651206
I see.
I don't think I will code this myself.  Looks to hard.

Do you or anyone else got such a hack or copy-pic-method (or are the points too low for such a thing) ?
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by:David Lee
ID: 22651390
I'll give the copy-pic method a shot if you're interested.  The points are up to you.
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by:R-U-Bn
ID: 22651625
Yes, I AM interested!!  :-)
(  I would like to give more points, but I have been so inactive on Xx.  This is all what I have left (and working pro bono) :-( )
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by:David Lee
David Lee earned 750 total points
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I looked into this and my idea won't work.  I apologize for getting your hopes up.
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by:R-U-Bn
ID: 22667339
Well, if anyone every bumps into this thing, be sure to contact me and I'll make a question for it.  For now, I'll accept that it is not attainable.
Thanks for trying BlueDevilFan!
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Expert Comment

by:Simon_OBeirne
ID: 25828203
I had the same problem and found this solution on another website:

Contact picture displayed in e-mail header All e-mail messages received from a contact for which you have a picture will display the contacts picture to the right of the message header. To disable this feature, deploy the following registry data:

Key: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Options\Mail DWORD: ShowContactPicture Values:1 (or missing DWORD) = show contact picture if available 0 = do not show contact picture

Hope it helps!
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