No special software or add-ins are required to send a text message from Microsoft Outlook to a friend's cell phone – you simply address it to her text-messaging email address. Most major carriers assign subscribers an email address that can be used to send and receive text messages. The carrier’s SMS Gateway suffix is prefaced with the subscriber’s phone number. For example, Virgin Mobile uses the SMS Gateway suffix “”; the email address for text messaging would be your friend's 10-digit phone number followed by the SMS Gateway suffix, and you would address your text using the format:

Step 1

Find the carrier for the cell phone number you want to text. Many free reverse phone number look-up services such as Whitepages, Cell Revealer and provide this information.

Step 2

Locate the carrier’s text messaging email suffix, also known as the SMS Gateway address, in one of the carrier lists (links in Resources and References).

Step 3

Open Outlook and click “New” to compose a new message.

Step 4

Type your friend's SMS gateway email address in the “To:” field.

Step 5

Type your text in the message body. Text messages are limited to 160 characters, so be brief and disable your email signature, if activated.

Step 6

Click “Send.” The SMS message is sent to your friend's cell phone.