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email from excelUsing emails as part of any program is a nice way to automate important tasks, and it also significantly improves the value and functionality of any program or script.

In the past, I’ve used email a whole lot in my batch jobs and other automated scripts, just like I’ve described in past articles here on using tools like Sendmail Send Automated Emails Using SendEmail & Windows Task Scheduler Send Automated Emails Using SendEmail & Windows Task Scheduler Read More or Blat Easily Send Command Line Emails with Blat [Windows] Easily Send Command Line Emails with Blat [Windows] Blat. Not exactly the word you envision would be the name of a tool that you can use to send out emails to anyone in the world, from any application or software tool that you... Read More to issue emails straight from the command line, or from within a command line script.

These are great for those times when you have a script that’s monitoring the health of a computer or the status of a specific process, but what if you want to automate sending emails from within Office products like Word or Excel?

There are a lot of reasons why you might want to do so. Maybe you have staff that update documents or spreadsheets on a weekly basis, and you’d like to receive an email notification of when those updates take place, and even a report of the data from within those sheets. There are a few techniques you can use to program automated emails from within Excel, but my favorite remains CDO.

Sending Emails From Within Excel

You’re probably thinking that scripting outgoing email into an Excel VBA script is going to be painfully complicated. Well, that’s not the case at all.

CDO is a messaging component used in Windows for a few generations of the OS. It used to be called CDONTS, and then with the advent of Windows 2000 and XP, it was replaced with “CDO for Windows 2000”. This component is already included in your VBA installation within Word or Excel and it’s ready for use.

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Using the component makes sending emails from within Windows products with VBA extremely easy. In this example, I’m going to use the CDO component in Excel to send out an email that will deliver the results from a specific Excel cell.

The first step is to go to the “Developer” menu tab, click on “Insert” in the Controls box, and then select a command button. Draw it into the sheet and then create a new macro for it.

email from excel

When Excel opens up the VBA editor, you’re going to need to add the reference to the CDO library. You can access this in the Tools menu, and then scroll down the list until you find “Microsoft CDO for Windows 2000 Library“. Select the checkbox and click OK.

send email from excel

Now you’re ready to use CDO to issue emails from inside Excel. To do this, you first need ot create the mail objects and set up all of the fields that will be required for sending the email. Keep in mind that while many of the fields are optional, the From and To fields are required.

Dim CDO_Mail As Object
Dim CDO_Config As Object
Dim SMTP_Config As Variant
Dim strSubject as String
Dim strFrom as String
Dim strTo as String
Dim strCc as String
Dim strBcc as String
Dim strBody As String

strSubject = "Results from Excel Spreadsheet"
strFrom = "ryxxxxxx@xxxxxcast.net"
strTo = "rdxxxxxx@gmail.com"
strCc = ""
strBcc = ""
strBody = "The total results for this quarter are: " & Str(Sheet1.Cells(2, 1))

The cool thing about this is that you an build up any string you want to customize a full email message and assign it to the strBody variable. Piece together components of the message by using the “&” string to insert data from any of the Excel sheets right into the email message, just like I’ve shown above.

The next section of code is where you will configure CDO to use any external SMTP server that you want to use. In this case I don’t need to use SSL because my SMTP server doesn’t require it. CDO is capable of SSL, but that’s outside the scope of this article. If you need to use SSL, I highly recommend Paul Sadowski’s awesome writeup on using CDO.

Set CDO_Mail = CreateObject("CDO.Message")
On Error GoTo Error_Handling

Set CDO_Config = CreateObject("CDO.Configuration")
CDO_Config.Load -1

Set SMTP_Config = CDO_Config.Fields

With SMTP_Config
    .Item("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/sendusing") = 2
    .Item("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpserver") = "smtp.metrocast.net"
    .Item("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpserverport") = 25
    .Update
End With

With CDO_Mail
    Set .Configuration = CDO_Config
End With

Now that you’ve configured the connection to the SMTP server for sending the email, all you have to do is fill in the appropriate fields for the CDO_Mail object, and issue the Send command. This is how you do that.

CDO_Mail.Subject = strSubject
CDO_Mail.From = strFrom
CDO_Mail.To = strTo
CDO_Mail.TextBody = strBody
CDO_Mail.CC = strCc
CDO_Mail.BCC = strBcc
CDO_Mail.Send

Error_Handling:
If Err.Description <> - Then MsgBox Err.Description

So there you have it. There won’t be any pop-up boxes or security alert messages, which can happen when you resort to using the Outlook mail object. CDO simply puts together the email and utilizes your SMTP server connection details to fire off the message. It’s probably the easiest way I know to incorporate email into Word or Excel VBA scripts.

Here’s what the message looked like that I received in my inbox.

email from excel

No hassle – just the data straight from within the Excel sheet delivered right to my email account. If you’re creative with how you put together the body string variable with all sorts of data from your Excel sheet, you can just imagine the cool automated email reports that you could put together. And if you don’t want to use a command button, just have the script run on the sheet or application close event.

Can you think up any cool uses for CDO in your own Excel, Access, or Word projects? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.

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  1. seshan
    October 20, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    how we can do that with gmail can you help me with that

  2. john
    October 6, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    How would I use this to send a message with an attachment?

    Thanks!
    John

  3. rajat
    September 19, 2016 at 5:32 am

    Error
    "The transport failed to connect to server."

  4. Happy Coder
    September 16, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Thanks Ryan! Worked like a charm. (All I had to do was fill the blanks and swap the dash for double quotes in the error check. Why is there a dash there?)

  5. Iulian
    June 24, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Excellent work Ryan!

    What about if my sheet includes an object that I need to send it as it is?

  6. parecollmallorca
    June 9, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Dear Ryan,
    Is it possible to have a column with mails and a column with data and automate it in a way where it sends each row of mails and results individually?
    An example just in case I didn't make myself clear:
    _____A_______B____
    1 - a@.com --- 9
    2 - b@.com --- 6
    3 - c@.com --- 7,4

    Now I want to send a mail to a@.com telling him that the result is 9.
    Another mail to b@.com telling him that the result is 6 ...

    Thank you

    • Roman
      November 13, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      You should use loop statement

  7. Sgsh
    May 18, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Yes. Like an if statement of sorts. Also is it possible to use this VBA in access ?

  8. Sgsh
    May 17, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Is it possible to insert a condition for the email to be sent. For example if the cell has a boolean yes then the email must be sent ?

    • Ryan Dube
      May 17, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      Do you mean having the code check that field before sending, and not sending if there's a "No" in the field?

  9. Raj
    May 7, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    thanks a lot for this wonderful writeup. It helped me a lot. Please keep the good work.

  10. Raj
    May 7, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    thanks a lot for this wonderful writeup. It helped me a lot. Please keep the good work.

  11. Matt
    January 22, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    This was great help! The only thing extra I need is to attatch a word document or pdf to the automated email. Is there a command that goes with the others used to set destinations, subject, and body that can attacth a document that is saved on the computer to the email? If not do you have any ideas how this could be done?

  12. Matt
    January 22, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    This was great help! The only thing extra I need is to attatch a word document or pdf to the automated email. Is there a command that goes with the others used to set destinations, subject, and body that can attacth a document that is saved on the computer to the email? If not do you have any ideas how this could be done?

  13. Marty
    January 14, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    I think I have the code and setting correct but still get the error message...."The transport failed to connect to the server."
    I am using outlook 2007, I changed the to: and from to my address and my wife's and I changed the SMPT smpt.comcast.net
    I then put the value of 50 in cell A2
    I also tried changing the server port to 587. That was worst
    Also, I would like to send the contents of cells A1 : K30
    This would REALLY help me if it worked.

    Below is my code.

    Sub Button1_Click()
    Dim CDO_Mail As Object
    Dim CDO_Config As Object
    Dim SMTP_Config As Variant
    Dim strSubject As String
    Dim strFrom As String
    Dim strTo As String
    Dim strCc As String
    Dim strBcc As String
    Dim strBody As String

    strSubject = "Results from Excel Spreadsheet"
    strFrom = "XXX@comcast.net"
    strTo = "XXX@comcast.net"
    strCc = ""
    strBcc = ""
    strBody = "The total results for this quarter are: " & Str(Sheet1.Cells(2, 1))

    Set CDO_Mail = CreateObject("CDO.Message")
    On Error GoTo Error_Handling

    Set CDO_Config = CreateObject("CDO.Configuration")
    CDO_Config.Load -1

    Set SMTP_Config = CDO_Config.Fields

    With SMTP_Config
    .Item("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/sendusing") = 2
    .Item("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpserver") = "smtp.comcast.net"
    .Item("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpserverport") = 25
    .Update
    End With

    With CDO_Mail
    Set .Configuration = CDO_Config
    End With

    CDO_Mail.Subject = strSubject
    CDO_Mail.From = strFrom
    CDO_Mail.To = strTo
    CDO_Mail.TextBody = strBody
    CDO_Mail.CC = strCc
    CDO_Mail.BCC = strBcc
    CDO_Mail.Send

    Error_Handling:
    If Err.Description "" Then MsgBox Err.Description

    End Sub

  14. kenny
    December 23, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I would like to know how to have it use an email address from a field for the TO address, i.e. email address is in cell B8

  15. KJN
    December 13, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    What would be ther proper code to add a new line within the body of the email?

    • Simon
      January 8, 2015 at 8:28 am

      ...which is the end of my text sentence." & Chr(13) & "This is a new paragraph, and...

      I think that'll work? Or

      ...which is the end of my text sentence." & Chr(13) & Chr(13) & "This is a new paragraph, and...

      if you want a full blank line rather than just starting on a new line with no space in between.

  16. JLee
    July 3, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Writing this program, it seems excel does not like the semicolons. I don't now much of anything about VB. >>strBody = "The total results for this quarter are: " & Cstr(Sheet1.Cells(4, 4)) is in red and the message is compile error: syntax error. Same issue seems to repeat with >>If Err.Description <> "" Then MsgBox(Err.Description)

    • David Black
      July 11, 2012 at 1:26 am

      Could the problem be that it has been copy/pasted into a Word environment, along the way, and Word had "smart quotes" on. Word has changed the ascii double-quotation character Ascii(34) character to the prettier - but pretty useless - open and close quote charcaters Ascii(147) and Ascii(148). VBA won't accept these.
      If the line of code now reads:-
      If Err.Description “” Then MsgBox Err.Description
      Try changing it (in the VBA Editor) to:-
      If Err.Description "" Then MsgBox Err.Description

      Hope that helps.

  17. Joe Bloggs
    June 12, 2012 at 12:33 am

    1. A working example would be nice.

    2. For a learner this is really bad step-by-step quide:

    Quote "first need ot create the mail objects and set up all of the fields that will be required for sending the email."

    Where? do i create a module or do i add the source to a sheet object? you need to be more spacific in your detail.

    • Ryan Dube
      June 12, 2012 at 2:08 am

      Joe - it's all in the Read_Emails macro that I mentioned before laying out the code. Paste all of the code that I gave you in the Macro script editor and you're done. All I meant by creating the objects and setting up the fields is that is what the code I gave you does. All you have to do is customize that code with fields that describe your email settings. Everything in the article is done for you, you just cut & paste, and then insert your own subject, From, and To fields.

      Make sense?

      • Aren
        July 9, 2012 at 9:55 am

        i pasted all the code into the Macro editor and customized it ... but when i run macro, it gives an error message saying Object Required.
        i really can't get what that is ..
        Help PLEASE :)

  18. Alanjudson
    February 9, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Thanks Delarge, that worked. But I still get a red line error
    It says "Compile Error: expects Go To or Then"

    If Err.Description <> "" Then MsgBox Err.Description

    • Anonymous
      February 9, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      MsgBox(Err.Description)

      • Ryan Dube
        February 10, 2012 at 1:00 am

        Delarge got it right - it looks like my code got jumbled in translation, I guess the "pre" tags don't work quite as well as advertised.

        • Anonymous
          February 10, 2012 at 5:34 pm

          Thank you Ryan, great articles.

  19. Alanjudson
    February 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    For us newbs:  I get a compile error that says "Syntax Error" for this line:
    strBody = "The total results for this quarter are: " & Str(Sheet1.Cells(2, 1))
     
    Also - this line is highlighted in red
     If Err.Description <> "" Then MsgBox Err.Description

    Any thoughts?

    • Anonymous
      February 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      Try  Cstr(Sheet1.Cells(2, 1))

      • Ryan Dube
        February 10, 2012 at 1:01 am

        Yes it shouldn't be "Str", it should be "Cstr"....thanks so much for helping Delarge.

    • David Black
      July 11, 2012 at 1:33 am

      Looks like all quotation marks in this line have been converted to Smart quotes. I suggest you go through the code In the VBA editor, delete any smart quotes (they may appear as left and/or right sloping quote marks), replace each one with the plain double qutotation mark.

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