MS Outlook (XP): Is there a way to build a sound into an email?

One of my more inane assignments at work is to research whether we can send an email through Outlook that will make a sound when people open it. The majority of the company’s users are on XP, for what it’s worth. Outlook Help was, not surprisingly, no help at all, so I thought I would turn to the Dope.

Anyone know if this is possible? It will be terribly annoying, so I won’t be too disappointed if it turns out we can’t do it.

Thanks for any help you can give.

I think you can do what you want, but it looks like you have to get Word and FrontPage involved in the process.

First, you will have to set the option to have Word as your email editor. You do this by going to Tools -> Options… -> Mail FormatTab and checking Use Microsoft Word to edit e-mail messages. You must also select HTML as you message format.

Now, I don’t have a version of Office that includes FrontPage, so I can’t test any of the following. But, this is info I found in the Help and on the Office web site.

Anyway, using FrontPage, create a new web page that has the elements you need, such as a backround sound, and save it as a Theme. To create a new Theme click Format -> Theme. In the Theme task panel ), at the bottom, click Create new theme. Set the properties that you want. Click Save As, type a name for the new theme, and then click OK.

Now you need to go into Word and set an option there to use your new theme. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the **General ** tab. Click E-mail options. Click the **Personal Stationery ** tab. Click Theme. In the Choose a theme list, click the theme you want. Microsoft Word will apply the theme’s format to the next e-mail message you create.

Ah, hell. Never mind. Forget all that. It won’t do what you want after all. But, I think basically you can still create some sort of new stationery with HTML. But I don’t know the specifics. Sorry.

If you can use Outlook Express instead, it’s really easy. After opening a new message box click on Format, Background, Sound…

You can then specify a wav file and set how many times it will play or set it to repeat continuously.

Don’t know why plain Outlook makes this so hard.

You do and you will be hunted down by every person in this world who hates spam!!

No kidding. I can’t emphasize enough how much this is NOT my idea. But to remain as credible as possible, I need to back up why we can’t do it with facts about how Outlook works. Or, if we can do it, I want to set it up to annoy the crap out of the very person who had this idea.

And to explain, this would be an email going to employees of my company to let them know about recent sales. Because the theme of the email will be “Ring the Bell,” he wants a bell to ring when people open the message. I have informed him that this will lead to a massive wave of people opening fire on the their computers, to no avail. “But it’s such a cute idea!” he says. Guess we have differing ideas on the definition of “cute.”

Thank you very much for the responses. doverpro, your approach looks so promising! I’ll see if there’s something along those lines that will work. Outlook Express isn’t an option – you know corporate environments. Everyone’s on the same stuff, with varying degrees of fanciness.

Heh. I was once asked to create a webpage with the sound of hoofbeats (for a conference with a western theme). Fortunately my boss is a programmer, who laughed himself silly at the idea and gave me permission to say no. I did create a page just for fun to send to my boss, who enjoyed its ludicrousness.

This is one of the major reasons why the sound on my computer is permanently off.


Outlook = corporate types that don’t want this crap
Outlook Express = Soccer Moms that think “Incredimail” is “fun” and “cute”