Outlook for Mac Notification Center New Message Alert

Using MacPorts, there is a program called “Terminal Notifier” that can send alerts to Notification Center in Mountain Lion based off of a command line entry and thus an Applescript. Obviously, you can have a lot of fun with that – but I specifically found it so that I could send a new message alert from Outlook because Microsoft only has such a notification appear on the active desktop and I use several of them in Mission Control. I compiled this information from these sites:



To get this to work isn’t so bad once you have MacPorts installed, which I’ve referenced earlier.

  • Assuming MacPorts is already installed, run the selfupdate command (also listed in that earlier post).
  • Install Terminal Notifier:
    sudo port install terminal-notifier
  • Download and put this AppleScript into your Documents/Microsoft User Data/Outlook Script Menu Items (you don’t have to put it there, but just for organizational sake, might as well). Sure it says Growl in everything below as that is what I originally used it for but then changed it to accommodate Notification Center instead:Improved Growl New Mail.scpt
  • In Outlook, create a new rule that will run the script based on your criteria. Here’s mine:

That’s all there is to it.


7 Replies to “Outlook for Mac Notification Center New Message Alert”

  1. Hi,

    I tried the above procedure, for some reason i’m getting this error from your script:

    –> error number -1728 from «class PlTC» of incoming message id 689
    do shell script “/opt/local/bin/terminal-notifier -message ” -title ‘Password Alert’ -subtitle ‘ITSecurity’ -activate com.microsoft.outlook”

    it seems that this part of the code is the problem:

    — content, truncated to 30 characters
    set mycontent to «class PlTC» of theMsg

    set mycontentlen to (length of mycontent)
    if (mycontentlen > 30) then
    set mycontent to (text 1 thru 29 of mycontent) as string
    end if

    can you please help me?

    1. Are you able to run terminal-notifier from a Terminal window? Can you run this command without any issues:

      /opt/local/bin/terminal-notifier -message “MessageTest” -title “TitleTest” -subtitle “SubTitleTest” -activate com.microsoft.outlook

  2. Hi!

    Thanks a lot for your post, I had to switch to Outlook because of the Exchange server we’re using (Apple Mail was not syncing well), and the basic notification windows was just awful in Outlook!

    Just a small info for those who don’t have MacPorts and don’t want to go through the hassle of installing it, you can download a binary version of terminal-notifier there: https://github.com/alloy/terminal-notifier/downloads

    After unzipping, put terminal-notifier.app wherever you want, for instance in the Application folder. The open Improved Growl New Mail.scpt with Applescript Editor, and at the end, update the terminal-notifier command as follows:

    do shell script “/Applications/terminal-notifier.app/Contents/MacOS/terminal-notifier -message ” & quoted form of mycontent & ” -title ” & quoted form of mysubject & ” -subtitle ” & quoted form of mysender & ” -activate com.microsoft.outlook”

    For those who also dislike Outlook’s sound for new messages, you can just add

    do shell script “afplay /System/Library/Sounds/Glass.aiff”


  3. Also, there was small bug with the script when there was no subject in the message.
    A possible fix is to replace “set mysubject to subject of theMsg” by

    — subject
    set mysubject to subject of theMsg
    if mysubject is missing value then
    set mysubject to “No subject”
    end if
    on error errmesg number errnumber
    set mysubect to “No subject”
    end try

  4. If you add -m sender com.microsoft.outlook it will display the Outlook icon instead of the terminal icon with the version of terminal-notifier that I have

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