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How to: Programmatically Determine the Current Outlook Item

This example uses the Explorer.SelectionChange event to display the name of the current folder and some information about the selected item. The code then displays the selected item.

Applies to: The information in this topic applies to application-level projects for Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2010. For more information, see Features Available by Office Application and Project Type.

Dim WithEvents currentExplorer As Outlook.Explorer = Nothing 

Private Sub ThisAddIn_Startup(ByVal sender As Object, _
     ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Me.Startup
    currentExplorer = Me.Application.Explorers.Application.ActiveExplorer
    AddHandler currentExplorer.SelectionChange, AddressOf _
        currentExplorer_Event
End Sub 

Public Sub currentExplorer_Event()
    Dim selectedFolder As Outlook.MAPIFolder = _
        Me.Application.ActiveExplorer().CurrentFolder
    Dim expMessage As String = "Your current folder is " _
        & selectedFolder.Name & "." & vbCrLf
    Dim itemMessage As String = "Item is unknown." 
    Try 
        If Me.Application.ActiveExplorer.Selection.Count > 0 Then 
            Dim selObject As Object = Me.Application.ActiveExplorer _
                .Selection.Item(1)
            If (TypeOf selObject Is Outlook.MailItem) Then 
                Dim mailItem As Outlook.MailItem = _
                    TryCast(selObject, Outlook.MailItem)
                itemMessage = "The item is an e-mail message." & _
                    " The subject is " & mailItem.Subject & "."
                mailItem.Display(False)
            ElseIf (TypeOf selObject Is Outlook.ContactItem) Then 
                Dim contactItem As Outlook.ContactItem = _
                   TryCast(selObject, Outlook.ContactItem)
                itemMessage = "The item is a contact." & _
                    " The full name is " & _
                    contactItem.Subject & "."
                contactItem.Display(False)
            ElseIf (TypeOf selObject Is Outlook. _
                AppointmentItem) Then 
                Dim apptItem As Outlook.AppointmentItem = _
                   TryCast(selObject, Outlook.AppointmentItem)
                itemMessage = "The item is an appointment." _
                    & apptItem.Subject & "." 
            ElseIf (TypeOf selObject Is Outlook.TaskItem) Then 
                Dim taskItem As Outlook.TaskItem = _
                    TryCast(selObject, Outlook.TaskItem)
                itemMessage = "The item is a task." & _
                    " The body is " & taskItem.Body & "." 
            ElseIf (TypeOf selObject Is Outlook.MeetingItem) Then 
                Dim meetingItem As Outlook.MeetingItem = _
                    TryCast(selObject, Outlook.MeetingItem)
                itemMessage = "The item is a meeting item. " & _
                    "The subject is " & meetingItem.Subject & "." 
            End If 
        End If
        expMessage = expMessage & itemMessage
    Catch ex As Exception
        expMessage = ex.Message
    End Try
    MsgBox(expMessage)
End Sub

This example requires:

  • Appointment, contact, and e-mail items in Microsoft Office Outlook.

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