Learn About Voice Mail Preview

Voice Mail Preview is a feature that's included when you receive your voice mail messages from Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Unified Messaging (UM). Voice Mail Preview provides a text version of the audio recording you hear when you listen to your voice mail. The text is displayed in an e-mail message, and you can view it within Microsoft Office Outlook Web App, Outlook 2010, and in other e-mail programs. The following examples show how Voice Mail Preview is displayed in Outlook Web App and Outlook 2010.

Outlook Web App


Outlook 2010

Do I need to use a specific e-mail program?

No. Voice Mail Preview is included in the message body text of any e-mail program, including mobile phone programs. However, although you can use other e-mail programs to receive voice messages, Outlook and Outlook Web App provide a better experience. For example, in Outlook 2010, if you click a specific word in the Voice Mail Preview text, the voice message will start to play at that word. This is useful if you want to hear a specific part of the voice message.

Can I search for specific voice mail messages?

Yes. Because the words and phrases in the Voice Mail Preview text are automatically indexed, your voice mail messages will appear in search results. In Outlook 2007 or later versions of Outlook or Outlook Web App in Exchange 2010, you can also use the Audio Notes field to add additional text about the voice message. These notes are also included in searches to help you more easily locate the message.

Which languages can be used with Voice Mail Preview?

Voice Mail Preview text is available in the following languages:

  • English (US) (en-US)

  • English (Canada) (en-CA)

  • French (France) (fr-FR)

  • Italian (Italy) (it-IT)

  • Polish (Polish) (pl-PL)

  • Portuguese (Portugal) (pt-PT)

  • Spanish (Spain) (es-ES)

    The RTM version of the Spanish (Spain) (es-ES) UM language pack didn't include support for Voice Mail Preview. Voice Mail Preview support was added in SP1.

The way Voice Mail Preview displays text in these languages depends on the type of voice message that's sent. There are two types:

  • Voice mail messages that are recorded when you don't answer your phone   In these messages, the language that's used is determined by the caller's spoken language and whether the language supported (see the preceding list). For example, if an Italian-speaking caller leaves a voice message for you, the Voice Mail Preview text will appear in Italian. However, if a Japanese-speaking caller leaves a message, no Voice Mail Preview text will be included with the message because Voice Mail Preview isn't available in Japanese.

  • Voice messages that are sent to you by an Outlook Voice Access user   In these messages, the language that's used is controlled by your voice mail administrator. The language used for Voice Mail Preview text will be in the same language as the voice mail system. However, if a Japanese-speaking caller uses Outlook Voice Access to leave a message, no Voice Mail Preview text will be included with the message because Voice Mail Preview isn't available in Japanese. To learn more about Outlook Voice Access, see Learn About Outlook Voice Access.

What makes the Voice Mail Preview text more or less accurate?

The accuracy of Voice Mail Preview text is controlled by many factors, and sometimes those factors can't be controlled. However, Voice Mail Preview text is likely to be more accurate when:

  • A simple voice message is left, and the caller doesn't use slang terms, technical jargon, or unusual words or phrases.

  • The caller uses a language that's easily recognized and translated by the voice mail system. Generally speaking, voice messages left by callers who don't speak too quickly or too softly and who don't have strong accents will produce more accurate sentences and phrases.

  • The voice message is free of background noise, echo, and audio drop-outs.

Does the voice mail system know when a Voice Mail Preview is inaccurate?

The voice mail system determines a confidence level for each Voice Mail Preview included with a voice message. The voice mail system measures how well the sounds in the recording were matched with words, numbers, and phrases. If the system found matches easily, the confidence level will be high. A higher level of confidence is generally associated with higher accuracy.

If the confidence level falls below a certain level, the phrase Voice Mail Preview (confidence is low) will be included above the Voice Mail Preview text. If the confidence is low, it's likely that the Voice Mail Preview text will be inaccurate. The following is an example of a low confidence voice mail preview.

Low confidence

Shows Voice Mail Preview with low confidence level
If the Voice Mail Preview text isn't accurate, can I still use it?

You may have a better experience with Voice Mail Preview when you don’t try to read the preview too carefully, word by word. Instead, look for names, phone numbers, and phrases such as “Call me back” or “I need to talk” that may provide clues regarding the purpose of the call.

Voice Mail Preview isn't intended to be used to transcribe messages exactly. However, Voice Mail Preview can help you answer questions such as:

  • Is this voice message related to my work?

  • Is this voice message important to me?

  • Did the caller leave a number? Is it different from any numbers that I may have listed for them?

  • Does the caller consider this voice message urgent?

  • Should I step out of a meeting to call this person back?

  • I was expecting a call to confirm my request. Is this the confirmation call?

Can I turn Voice Mail Preview on or off?

Yes. If your voice mail administrator has enabled Voice Mail Preview, you can use Outlook Web App or Outlook 2010 to turn it on or off. Although Voice Mail Preview settings are the same whether you're using Outlook 2010 or Outlook Web App, there are different ways you need to access them.

  • To access the Voice Mail Preview settings in Outlook 2010, on the File tab, click Manage Voice Mail.

  • To access the Voice Mail Preview settings in Outlook Web App, click Options > Phone > Voice Mail.

    On the Voice Mail tab, scroll down to the Voice Mail Preview window. The following settings are available.



    When this check box is selected, the user will receive a text preview of the voice messages they receive. By default, this box is selected.


    When this check box is selected, a text preview will be sent along with voice messages that the user sends. By default, this box is selected.

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