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Wed, Oct 30, 2013 11:35 pm

Out of office message for Entourage users

If you are using Microsoft Entourage 2008 for email on a Mac and want to have an out-of-office message sent in reply to email sent to you while you are out of the office on vacation or for other reasons, you can configure Entourage to send a message by using its rules feature, which you can access by clicking on Tools and selecting Rules in Entourage then taking the following steps:
  1. Click on New.
  2. Select Mail (Exchange), if your email is coming from a Microsoft Exchange server. For email coming from a POP server, you can place the rule under Mail (POP).

    Note: POP rules act on a message only when it first arrives in the Inbox (On My Computer), not when it arrives in any other folder. Once it's moved to another folder it won't be seen by rules.
  3. In the Rule name field type "Out of Office".
  4. Leave "if all criteria are met" selected in the Execute field.
  5. In the top, left drop down list beneath Then and beneath the Add Action button, select Reply, wnich will then show a Reply Text button. Click on that button which will allow you to provide the out-of-office message you wish sent to senders.
  6. Make sure the Enabled checkbox is checked and click on the OK button.

You should then see the rule listed under the Mail (Exchange) tab of the Rules window, which you can close.

If you need to change the rule, e.g., to change the message sent in reply to incoming email, click on Tools, select Rules and then, under the Mail (Exchange) tab, provided that you created the rule in that category, double-click on the Out of Office rule to open it. Then make any needed changes.

When you no longer need the rule, click on Tools, select Rules, and then click on the Mail (Exchange) tab. Then uncheck the checkbox in the Enabled column next to the Out of Office rule to disable it.

The above method requires that you leave your computer turned on with network access and with Entourage running. Of course, it might be a laptop you wish to take with you which might not be on all the time while you are out of the office. So a better method, if your company/organization is using a Microsoft Exchange server, is to use your browser to log into the Outlook Web App, then take the following steps:

  1. Click on Options (look in the upper, right-hand corner of the web page).
  2. Select Automatic Replies.
  3. Select the radio button for "Send automatic replies".
  4. You can then set the start and end times for the replies.
  5. You can then fill in a message to be sent to those who send you email while you are out of the office. There are two sections, one for internal senders and one for senders outside of your organization. You can send different messages to internal versus external senders, if you wish, or you can fill in the same text to be sent to both types of senders.

    Fill in the "Send a reply once to each sender inside my organization with the following message" for the message you wish to go to internal senders.
  6. To have the out-of-office messages go to senders outside of your organization, check the checkbox next to "Send automatic reply messages to senders outside my organization". Beneath that checkbox, you can select from the following 2 options:
    • Send replies only to senders in my Contacts list
    • Send replies to all external senders
  7. Fill in the "Send a reply once to each sender outside my organization with the following message" section, if you have chosen to send automated replies to external senders.
  8. Click on the Save Button.

This method will send out of office messages whether your Mac running Entourage is turned off and you won't need to configure Entourage to send such messages. When it is set up, if you select Tools then Out of Office from within Entourage, you can see the message that will be sent as an out-of-office reply

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