Outlook Calendar tips

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Some Outlook Calendar tips we collected while writing ‘Effective Outlook CALENDARS’

Our latest ebook is Effective Outlook CALENDARS – a comprehensive look at the calendar, appointment and events in Outlook 2002 (XP), Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007.

In this issue we’ll share some of the tips we found while writing Effective Outlook Calendars, of course there’s a lot more, as well as a complete look at all appointment options / fields with color screen images.

Change the time segments

Normally Outlook displays 30 minute time slots in some calendar views – you can change that by right-clicking on the calendar view and choosing ‘Other Settings’.

491 Outlook change time scale - Outlook Calendar tips


The Time Scale list gives you choices from 5 to 60 minutes – usually 15 or 30 minutes are sufficient.

Make an appointment

The Time Scale setting is important if you want to make an appointment directly on the calendar view. You can use your mouse to select one or more time segments.

491 Outlook marking a new appointment - Outlook Calendar tips


For example, an appointment from 8pm to 9:30pm – click on the 8pm segment and drag down so the segments to 9:30pm are selected. Once selected, right-click and choose ‘New Appointment’, the usual appointment dialog will open with the date and time range inserted.

You can alter the time or date if your selection isn’t accurate or the time segments aren’t accurate enough. For example if the above appointment is really 75 minutes long you can change the end time to 9:15pm.

Drag an appointment

Similar to making a new appointment you can drag an appointment from one date to another when there’s a change.

Click on the appointment and drag it to a new day in the current view, make sure you drop it onto the correct time slot on the new day (which is where the time segments settings comes into play again).

You can also drag to a new day in the monthly calendar. All the details will remain, including start and end time, but with new date.

Of course you can open the newly dragged appointment and make any other changes you need.

Drag and copy an appointment

All that dragging can also be done to copy an appointment. Just hold down the Ctrl key while dragging, a plus sign will appear next to the mouse cursor.

This is handy for cloning an appointment instead of re-entering it from scratch. You can select a past appointment and copy it into a future date.

Alternative to drag

The alternative is to use Cut or Copy then Paste. For any appointment or event you can right-click and choose Cut or Copy (depending on whether you want to move or copy) then move to the new date and time.

What a drag

Dragging or pasting an appointment is fine but there’s one major limitation – there’s no undo. Yes, we’re in the 21st Century and Outlook has been with us for a decade but there’s no undo available for the much hyped drag options.

Undo is available if you move an item between Outlook folders but not if you move or copy an appointment within the same calendar.

Switch to Month view

The ALT+EQUAL SIGN or CTRL+ALT+4 will switch you to the Monthly calendar view

Switch to Full Week view

ALT+MINUS SIGN or CTRL+ALT+3 will jump to the full week view

Switch to Work Week view

And CTRL+ALT+2 takes you to Work Week view

Side by Side

Wanna see particular days side-by-side?   They don’t have to be sequential days if you know the trick.

Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the dates you want to see from the month calendar (aka the date navigator).

Reading Pane

The Preview / Reading Pane that you use in the Inbox is also available in Calendar view.

Go to View | Reading Pane to choose either Bottom, Right or off.

491 Outlook calendar preview pane - Outlook Calendar tips


The reading pane is of limited use. You get a version of the appointment dialog box but it won’t scroll so many details don’t appear on the screen. Some details can be selected and copied but not edited in the pane.

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