Open message in Outlook programmatically from Office Add-in

Open message in Outlook programmatically from Office Add-in



 Feb 12 2024

I've been developing an Office Add-in for Outlook with Office JS for several months.


One of our use cases involves a feed of updates related to past email messages. It would be incredible if the user could navigate to past emails from this feed, but this currently is not possible in Office JS as far as I know.


The (non ideal) workarounds we've considered are as follows:

  1. Link to a new tab or inspect window: If we have the item ID, we can use displayMessageForm to open the message in a new tab (web) or inspect window (Outlook)
  2. Link to a Web Version: If the email is already accessible via a web interface (e.g., a webmail client that can access the .eml file), we could consider providing a link in the add-in's task pane that opens the email in a web browser. This doesn't open the email within Outlook but provides an alternative way to access its content.
  3. Create a New Email with .eml Content: Programmatically create a new mail item within Outlook that contains the content of the .eml file which is surfaced to the top of the inbox, resulting in a duplicate email.


Please let me know if there is another workaround or feature I'm unaware of in the Office JS API.