OFT files are Outlook Templates, also sometimes called Outlook File Templates. You can make email templates from them, but as with most Microsoft products the quality can be quite flaky if you are not careful. I have had to create many OFT files for clients and if you go back in time and code to 1996 web standards you can get them to look pretty decent.
There’s too ways to create OFT files. One is to save the email from the Save As menu and select OFT under the Save as type: drop down. This means you already have the email in your inbox, which means mailing the html with a 3rd party program.
There’s an easier way to do this which will allow you to skip the step of sending yourself the email. The OFT process could even be handed off to the business people that need the OFT.
Top menu go to,
View / Toolbars / Web.
You should now have an input field at the top that says something like outlook:Inbox
Here you can type / paste any web address and it will load the page in Outlook. Once this is done, in the menu go to,
Actions / Send Web Page by E-mail
Now you will see the page in a new mail window. If the webpage was not to complex and created using tables, it should look okay. Pure css and more complex designs will not work at all and really shouldn’t even be considered for any email deployments. I’m a strong supporter of web standards, unfortunately some major email platforms are not.
The next step is to save the email as an OFT. Go to,
Giant windows bubble (AKA Office Button) / Save As
Select OFT, name the file and save.
You should now have an OFT file. You can test this by double clicking it which will open Outlook. You can now edit the text and send to other people. OFT files can be a cheap internal alternative to full blown email deployments. I would only recommend OFT files for small internal newsletters. OFT’s may not work properly on other email clients and are proprietary.