How to Set Outlook 2011 Message (EMail) Recipient Using Contacts?

How can I set the recipient of any outbound message (new, reply, forward) using the Outlook Contacts?

I’m running Outlook 2011 Ver 14.5.2 (latest update I think) on Mavericks (10.9.5).

For example, the “forward” action includes a "[to text] parameter, but only accepts an email address, not the contact’s name.

If I am creating an email manually, I can enter the contact’s name (like “John Doe”) and it will auto-complete and auto-fill the recipient field. How do I do this using AppleScript?

From my old VBA days I seem to remember setting the Recipient field with a name, and then running a “Resolve” method, which would use that name to find the contact, and return the complete name and address to the Recipient object. Anything like this in AppleScript?

I have done extensive searching in this forum and elsewhere, and have not found anything of help.


Hey Michael,


microsoft outlook site:

MacScripter’s own search doesn’t always work very well.

Since I don’t script Outlook I took a broader look on Google:

applescript outlook make new outgoing message

The first hit was good:

This script is adapted from that post.

tell application "Microsoft Outlook"
    # Just a little demo code
    # set addressBook to first address book
    # tell addressBook
    # email addresses of (contacts whose first name is "Christopher" and last name is "Stone")
    # end tell
    set newMessage to make new outgoing message with properties {subject:"Hooray for Automation!", content:"Just a test."}
    tell newMessage
        make new recipient with properties {email address:{name:"Christopher Stone"}} # My name is already in Outlooks Contacts.
    end tell
    # Any given name and address:
    # make new recipient at newMessage with properties {email address:{name:"Christopher Stone", address:""}}
end tell

Thanks Chis. This worked perfectly, pulling the name AND email address out of my Contacts:

I really appreciate your excellent and kind help.

BTW, I found the reference you cited, but didn’t see the connection with my issue.

Best Regards,

Hey Michael,

The one on Stack Overflow? The top post (#5) shows a working method of making a new outgoing message with a name and address.

I just tweaked it from there after experimenting a little bit.

Yep, that’s the one. I did not get that you could just enter the Contact’s name without an address, and it would search Contacts. It looked to me that you had to enter both the name and email address.

Thanks again for seeing that option.

Things seem to work quite differently with FORWARDED messages. If you create a forwarded msg AND open it immediately in a window, then changes to Recipients are NOT shown in the window.
The KEY is to NOT open the new msg in a window at first.

Here’s my test script, which seems to work OK:
Running Microsoft Outlook 2011 (14.7.2) on macOS 10.11.6.

set newSubjectStr to "TEST -- DON'T OPEN at first."
set recipientEmail to ""

tell application "Microsoft Outlook"
  set selMsg to current messages
  set oMsg to item 1 of selMsg
  set subjectStr to subject of oMsg
  set oFwdMsg to ¬
    forward oMsg without opening window ## This is KEY.  Don't Open Window
  make new recipient at oFwdMsg ¬
    with properties {email address:{address:recipientEmail}}
  set subject of oFwdMsg to newSubjectStr
  open oFwdMsg
end tell


-- Works fine if I manually send, or use keyboard shortcut --

-- Send and Close Window ---
delay 0.2
tell application "Microsoft Outlook" to activate
tell application "System Events"
  key code 36 using {command down} -- CMD-RETURN
end tell


--send oFwdMsg
--close window 1
--sync folder "Outbox"