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Pimp My Outlook Today

A recent article on tech-recipes.com here that Lifehacker reported set me thinking about other ways to enhance the, little used, Outlook Today pane.

I’m a big fan of TiddlyWiki so it seemed an ideal candidate for integration. For this example, I chose the MonkeyPirateTiddlyWiki (MPTW) distribution.

Following the instructions in the tech-recipes article, linking Outlook Today to a TiddlyWiki HTML file leads to a wiki that can be browsed and edited but which unfortunately cannot be saved so, all changes are lost as soon as you navigate away from the page. Basically not much good unless you intend to edit your wiki within a browser which defeats the point of integrating it in the first place.

The solution is to embed the TiddlyWiki file within an iframe. To do this, create a basic wrapper html file containing the following line replacing ‘MyWiki.html’ with the name of your TiddlyWiki file.



<iframe width='100%’ height='100%’ border=0 src='MyWiki.html’>



Set this new wrapper file as your Outlook Today page using the instructions from the tech-recipes page.

Once this has been done, you can copy and paste some of the code examples from the tech-recipes page into a default tiddler so that you get a full tiddlywiki embedded in Outlook Today with full access to your Outlook data as well. Remember, you will need to surround any html code with <html> </html> tags in your tiddler.

Please note, this is only tested with Outlook 2003. There have been reports in the comments below that this does not work in Outlook 2007. This is because, in Outlook 2007, Microsoft have dropped Internet Explorer as the HTML and CSS rendering engine in favour of the Word 2007 engine. TiddlyWiki runs in all the mainstream browsers. Word 2007 may render HTML but I doubt that it supports Javascript which is essential for TiddlyWiki.

Links:
Tech-Recipes
Lifehacker
MonkeyPirateTiddlyWiki