Equisys technical notes

Technical guidance, explanations and fixes for our products

PRB: Zetafax Outlook Extensions do not function correctly with Outlook 2003 using Cached Exchange Mode.



ID: ZTN1342

This Zetafax technical note applies to:

  • Zetafax Outlook Extensions 8.0.1 and later only on Outlook 2003.


When working in Offline or Disconnected mode, i.e. not connected to the Microsoft Exchange Server, the Zetafax Outlook Extensions do not function correctly. 

Specifically, whenever a 'Zetafax' item is opened, an 'Installing the Form' dialog is displayed and a base-type form, e.g. IPM.Note, is displayed rather than a Zetafax custom form.

When Microsoft Outlook is reconnected to the Exchange Server the symptoms persist.


The Zetafax Forms are ordinarily installed in the Organizational Forms folder on the Microsoft Exchange Server.  When a user opens an item, the form is copied over to the client machine and stored in the Outlook forms cache.  The next time an item of the same type is opened, the form is loaded from the cache (rather than from the Exchange Server), provided the form on the Exchange Server is not newer.  This is for speed and efficiency reasons.

When Exchange Cached Mode has been enabled for an Outlook profile, and the user is working disconnected, a fault in Microsoft Outlook 2003 prevents Outlook from loading the form from the cache.  The net result is that Outlook cannot find the form, and so uses the base form.


There are two things that can be done to prevent this issue from occurring:

  1. Disable 'Exchange Cached Mode' in the users Outlook profile, or
  2. Copy all the Zetafax forms to the users' 'Personal Forms' folder.  This is done by following these steps:
    1. Open Microsoft Outlook
    2. Select Tools|Options (the Options dialog is displayed)
    3. Click on the 'Other' tab
    4. Click on 'Advanced Options.'
    5. Click 'Custom Forms.'
    6. Select the 'Custom Forms' tab
    7. Click 'Manage Forms' - the Manage Forms dialog is displayed
    8. Highlight individual Zetafax forms and copy them from 'Organizational Forms' to 'Personal Forms.

Note: This will have to be done every time the forms are changed or updated on the Exchange Server.

To restore Zetafax Outlook Extension functionality upon reconnecting to the Microsoft Exchange Server, navigate to the 'Manage Forms' dialog using the mechanism described above, and then clear the forms cache by clicking on the 'Clear Cache' button.


This has been identified by Equisys as a problem with the software versions given above. Microsoft will include a fix for this issue as part of service pack 2 for Outlook/Office 2003

Last updated: 07 December 2005 (LD/EB)

First Published:  23 March 2004 (GR/SV)

Keywords: Outlook 2003 Extensions

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