Can I add a counter to an Outlook posting?

Well, you may have already guessed this one. I’m tasked with compiling a report that I’m pretty sure nobody reads and posting it as a message in Outlook. Management support is tepid, but I’ll look bad if someone is using it and I just drop the ball. The thought has crossed my mind to add a counter to the report to see whether anyone is using the information. Can this be done?

No, but if your managers are REAL stupid, you can try to BS them.

You could send out notice of the report via email (Outlook), but have the notice point to a web page or other document on some server. Then look to the server for the number of hits.

Do you just need to know if people read the report? If so, you can request a read receipt be sent whenever someone opens the message. Assuming everyone’s software is configured properly, you will get an email whenver someone reads the report. Granted, you have to count’em yourself, but unless you work for IBM that shouldn’t be a big problem.

BTW, to request a read reciept in Outlook (2000 anyway) open your message, go to File-Properties and click on “Read Reciept Requested”.


You know, I forgot about the read receipt option! I usually associate the read receipt (and BCC and the other options of their ilk) with managers who have yet to get a handle on their control issues, but in my case the option could be useful.

Let me ask though, is read receipt always transparent? I remember one particularly insecure boss (since moved on) who put an RSVP on every meeting notice and put acknowledgement receipts on every request. I’m pretty sure that he also put read receipts on everything as well (when I started reading his messages in the list box and highlighting them only to delete them when they were no longer relevant, he commented in a meeting that he knew that he knew we were sometimes too busy to read our mail.) I seem to remember actually seeing evidence of a read receipt going out on one of his messages; an e-mail appeared on my Outlook, then disappeared, or something like that. Could this have happened, or am I mistaken? I trust my coworkers and just want a count of how many times a message has been read.

In Outlook, a read receipt is not transparent and not enforced. The user is asked if he wants to send a receipt. He can read the letter without sending a receipt.