Adding Sound and Scrolling Text (workaround)

I’ve previously described the proper and built-in method to add a background sound or scrolling text into an Outlook message here. However since Windows XP SP2 this method is no longer supported as SP2 disables the ActiveX component (because of security issues) that controls this functionality. Since there is no fix announced to revive this feature for any version of Office and running Windows XP without SP2 also isn’t a real option I wrote this workaround which describes a safe method to insert sound and/or scrolling text to an e-mail when using Outlook 2003 or previous.

Support for this has been dropped completely in Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 so my workaround will not work for those versions anymore either.

  1. Download the zip-archive containing the templates here and extract it.
  2. Modify the templates to point to the soundclip (on the web) you want to use or the text you want to scroll. I recommend opening the files in Notepad for easy editing.
  3. Create a new HTML formatted message with Outlook as your e-mail editor. If Word is set as your default editor use Actions-> New E-mail Using-> Microsoft Office Outlook. Then make sure Format-> HTML is selected.
  4. Choose Insert-> File… and browse to the location of the template
  5. Select the file and press the little down arrow on the Insert button. Select Insert As Text.

Attachment: Insert as text (click on image to enlarge)

When you choose to insert background music you won’t actually see anything. In fact for Outlook 2003 users; when you have “Automatic download prevention” enabled you won’t hear any sound either unless you have added yourself to the Safe Senders-list! This also is true on the receiving end; when you are not marked as a Safe Sender on the receiving end the sound will not play.