Attach Files to a new Outlook 2016 message in Mac OS Sierra

Applescript at work

Attach Files to a new Outlook 2016 message in Mac OS Sierra

Applescript at work

Attaching files to e-mail

I often want to attach files from Finder to a new e-mail, and I use Outlook from Office 365 on Mac OS Sierra.

I know you can drag the selected file(s) to the Outlook icon in the Dock. But this is often an extra action. I just want to right click, and “Share”, or similar.

Apparently Outlook 2016 (Office 365) does not ship anymore with the handy Automater scripts that used to accompany Outlook.

Using Applescript and Automator

After searching around the internet for different options, I found out that using Applescript together with Automator is the easiest way to do this.

In Automator:

  • create a new Service (File->new->Service)
  • At the top right, make sure you select that the services receives selected ‘Files or folders’ in ‘Finder.App’.
  • Then from the left Action menu, search for Run Applescript and drag that to the window on the right.
  • For the script insert:
on run {input, parameters}
	set SelectedItems to input

	tell application "Microsoft Outlook"
		set newMessage to make new outgoing message
		tell newMessage
			repeat with aFile in SelectedItems
				make new attachment with properties {file:aFile}
			end repeat
		end tell
		open newMessage
		get newMessage
		activate
	end tell
	return input
end run
  • Then save the service (File->Save). The name of the file will be the name in the Finder right-click menu! (I used: ‘Attach to Outlook e-mail.workflow’)

Attach menu option available

Now when you go to Finder, select one or more files, and then right-click, you will see ‘Attach to Outlook e-mail’ at the bottom of the menu! Woohoo!

Breakdown

So what does the Applescript do? Let’s break it down.

  • When the service is called (from Finder), save the selected files to the SelectedItems variable.

    on run {input, parameters}
    	set SelectedItems to input
    
  • Then let Outlook create a new e-mail message in newMessage

    	tell application "Microsoft Outlook"
    		set newMessage to make new outgoing message
    
  • And add all files from SelectedItems as attachments to the e-mail

    		tell newMessage
    			repeat with aFile in SelectedItems
    				make new attachment with properties {file:aFile}
    			end repeat
    		end tell
    
  • Don’t forget to open the new message (otherwise it stays in ‘Drafts’)

    		open newMessage
    		get newMessage
    
  • And show Outlook, otherwise it might happen on a different Desktop.

    		activate
    	end tell
    	return input
    end run
    

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