Microsoft KB Archive/171043

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Article ID: 171043

Article Last Modified on 1/20/2007


  • Microsoft Outlook 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q171043


When using Microsoft Word with the Microsoft Outlook Address Book to Mail Merge to Fax (also known as Broadcast Fax), the telephone number dials incorrectly. The Fax service dials local numbers with the area code and long-distance numbers with the area code, but without the leading +1.


When using Word to Mail Merge to Fax, the Microsoft Fax service dials telephone numbers as they appear in the Outlook Fax number field. The telephone numbers are not processed by the modem's dialing properties. Outlook will automatically add the local area code if you do not enter an area code when you type the telephone number in the Fax field. In this situation, the Fax modem incorrectly dials both local and long-distance telephone numbers with 10 digits.


For Microsoft FAX to process the modem dialing properties, there must be a +1 in front of the telephone number in the Fax field. The long distance prefix of +1 forces the modem dialing properties to evaluate the telephone number. The number should follow this format:

   +1 (555)555-5555

There are two methods of solving this problem.

  • Prior to initially entering the Fax numbers in your Outlook contacts, you can set Outlook so that it automatically enters a +1 in the Fax number field as you enter new local and long-distance telephone numbers. This method effects all telephone numbers, not just Fax numbers.
  • If you need to modify existing contact Fax numbers, you will have to modify the records manually. Or, use the VBScript code below to accomplish a batch modification. The code example will only modify Fax numbers; it will not modify Phone field entries.

Setting Outlook to Enter +1 for All New Fax Entries

To begin all new telephone numbers with a +1, follow these steps:

  1. Start Outlook.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  3. Under the General tab, click Dialing Options to open the Dialing Options dialog box.
  4. Click to select "the Automatically add country code to local phone number" check box.
  5. Click OK and OK to close all dialog boxes.

Now, whenever you add a new telephone number to a contact, Outlook will add a +1 prefix and Microsoft Fax will properly process the modem dialing properties. This method effects all telephone numbers, not just Fax numbers.

VBScript to Modify Existing Fax Numbers

Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language being demonstrated and the tools used to create and debug procedures. Microsoft support engineers can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure, but they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific needs. If you have limited programming experience, you may want to contact the Microsoft fee-based consulting line at (800) 936-5200. For more information about the support options available from Microsoft, please see the following page on the World Wide Web:

This method adds a +1 to every Fax number in the selected folder. Telephone numbers that are not Fax numbers remain unchanged. To automatically modify your existing Fax numbers, follow these steps:

  1. Start Outlook and open the Contacts folder that contains the contact Fax numbers that you want to modify.
  2. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Contact to open an Untitled contact.
  3. On the Tools menu, click Design Outlook Form.
  4. Click the (P.2) tab to open page two of the form.
  5. On the Form menu, click Display This Page.
  6. On the Form menu, click Control Toolbox.
  7. From the Control Toolbox, drag a CommandButton to P2 of the Untitled Contact form.
  8. On the Form menu, click View Code to open the Script Editor.
  9. Type the following code into the Script Editor, and then on the File menu of the Script Editor, click Close to close the editor:

           Sub CommandButton1_Click
           Dim FXNum(2)
           Plus1 = "+1"
           Set CurFolder = Application.ActiveExplorer.CurrentFolder
           For I = 1 to CurFolder.Items.Count
            Set CurItem=CurFolder.Items.Item(I)
             FXNum(0) = CurItem.BusinessFaxNumber
             FXNum(1) = CurItem.OtherFaxNumber
             FXNum(2) = CurItem.HomeFaxNumber
             For X = 0 to 2
               If FXNum(X) <> "" then
                Test = InStr(FXNum(X),Plus1)
                If Test = 0 then
                   Count = Count + 1
              Select Case X
                Case 0
                  CurItem.BusinessFaxNumber = Plus1 & " " & FXNum(X)
                Case 1
                  CurItem.OtherFaxNumber = Plus1 & " " & FXNum(X)
                Case 2
                  CurItem.HomeFaxNumber = Plus1 & " " & FXNum(X)
                End Select
                End If
               End If
           MsgBox Count & " Records modified" & Chr(13) & "Process Done"
           End Sub
  10. On the Tools menu, click Design Outlook Form to exit the design mode.

Now when you click CommandButton1 on "P2" of the Untitled Contact form, the VBScript code modifies all of the Fax numbers in your open Contact folder so that they begin with the long distance prefix +1.

Keywords: kbinterop kbprb KB171043