Anyone know how to customize the Outlook Today screen?

I’ve searched all over the internet for information about how to further customize the Today screen in Outlook 2003 (or any version, for that matter). Microsoft’s Office Online knowledge base search yields very little of use, and googling “outlook today style” comes up with nothing related to adding new Today style layouts. The typical one-column, two-column, summer, and winter themes that come with the program certainly do the job, but I’m curious if there are any ways to add new “style modules” to that drop down menu. I’m not interested in making changes to the existing ones if there’s some huge programming obstacle required, and I’m surprised that I haven’t found any other custom layouts with different graphics, font styles, etc. available for download …

Anyone Outlook pros here who could give me some pointers?

The Outlook Today screen is a special case of an Outlook folder. All Outlook folders can have a “home page” URL set and be configured to display that page when selected.

In the case of “Outlook Today” the home page URL is something along the lines of res://C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\1033\outlwvw.dll/outlook.htm as you can verify by looking at the properties of the “Personal Folders” item in the Folder List view.

If you view that home page url in a browser like IE you will be able to copy the code into a new file, modify it to include whatever extras you need, and then reset the homepage URL for the “Personal Folders” folder to point to the new file.

If you stick with the basic layout of the original Outlook Today then you’ll need to extract some images into the same folder as the replacement file to make it look right. You’ll also need to change the “display:none” styles to “display:block” for the inbox/calendar/task elements to display correctly.

It’s a bit much to cover in a single post but if you email me then I’ll try to help you sort it out.