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Vacation / Out of Office Message

You can set up Outlook 2010/2007/2011 and Entourage 2008 to send an automatic response to some or all of the people who send you e-mail messages.

Outlook 2010 and 2007

In Outlook 2010, from the File tab in the upper left, select Automatic Replies.

In Outlook 2007, from the Tools menu, select Out of Office Assistant... . Then, select Send Out of Office auto-replies.

To set a time range for auto-replies, click Only send during this time range: . This lets you set up your Out of Office replies in advance of your actual absence.
In the "AutoReply only once to each sender with the following messages:" field, enter your away message.

Outlook 2010 and 2007 have separate settings for email addresses inside and outside your organization. To send an Out of Office reply to people outside Ohio University:

Click the Outside My Organization tab.
Select Auto-reply to people outside my organization.
Choose who will receive an auto-reply by selecting either My Contacts only or Anyone outside my organization.
Enter or edit the message to go to external contacts in the text field, as necessary.

Forwarding mail or moving it to a different folder

Optionally, you can add a rule to forward your mail to a different address or to move it to another folder. To set up a forwarding address:

In the lower left corner of the Out of Office Assistant, click Rules... .
Click Add Rule... , and then check the box marked Forward.
In the To... field, enter your forwarding address. Do not enter your normal delivery address for your forward rule, or you will create a mail loop.
From the menu next to "Method:", choose how you want to receive your mail.

To direct incoming mail to a specific folder:

In the lower left corner of the Out of Office Assistant, click Rules... .
Click Add Rule... , and then select the box marked Move to.
Click Folder... to browse for the folder you want to use.
Select the folder name, and then click OK.
After making your selections for forwarding and routing incoming mail, click OK until all windows in the Out of Office Assistant are closed.

Outlook 2011 and Entourage 2008

From the View menu, select Go To and then Mail. If you have multiple accounts, click the appropriate one.
From the Tools menu, select Out of Office... .
In the Out of Office Assistant window, select Send Out of Office messages.
Under "Reply to messages with:", compose the message you wish to send automatically while you're out of the office.
Under "More Options", you have additional choices. If you don't see them, click the triangle to the left of "More Options" so it faces down.
To set a timeframe for the auto-replies to begin and end, select I am out of the office between: and complete the resulting fields.
To send a different message to users outside your organization, check Send replies outside my company to: , and choose from the two available options: 

Address Book contacts only (sends the reply to people outside your organization but in your Contacts list)
Anyone outside my company

To send a different message to external senders, compose it in the "Reply once to each sender outside my company with:" field.
Note: These options are selected by default; don't use this option if you want everyone, external or not, to get the same message.
When you're finished composing, click OK. 

To disable the Out of Office Assistant, in step 3 above, select Do not send Out of Office messages.

To enable the Out of Office Assistant in OWA (also for Mac Mail users):

In the upper right corner of the OWA window, click Options.
In the resulting window:

In the Premium Interface, on the left, click Organize E-Mail and then to the right click Automatic Replies.
In the the Light Interface, on the left, click Automatic Replies.

To disable the Out of Office assistant, on the right, select Don't send automatic replies.
To enable the Out of Office assistant, on the right, select Send automatic replies. You have several options:
To set a time frame for the Out of Office auto-replies to begin and end, check Send replies only during this time period: .
Next to "Start time:", use the menu to select the month and day, and then the time you want the Out of Office Assistant to start sending the auto-replies.
Repeat for the "End time:".
To send a different message to users outside your organization, check Send automatic reply messages to External Senders. Then, choose from the two options available:

Send replies only to senders in my Contacts list (Use this option to send the reply to senders outside of your organization but in your Contacts list.)
Send replies to anyone outside my organization

Compose the auto-reply in the text boxes provided; you can also send a different message to external senders. The Premium interface provides font and paragraph editing tools; the Light interface provides only a text field with no formatting tools.
Click Save.

Sample "Out of Office" message:

Instructions:
Copy and paste this text into your Out of office reply. Modify the text to fit your situation.

Text:
Hello and thank you for your e-mail message. I am currently out of the office, with [limited] [no] access to e-mail. I will be returning on [day, date] and will make every effort to respond to your e-mail at that time. If you need assistance, please contact [name] at [e-mail address] or [telephone number].