Sharing Outlook appointments – the right way

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There’s a right way and wrong way to send invitations from Outlook.

” I tried your tip about sending calendar appointments to other people but it doesn’t work. I write an email invitation then add a calendar item. The receiver doesn’t see the Accept, Decline etc buttons above the message, instead they have to save the appointment attachment then open it up to add the info to their calendar. “

Outlook is very particular about how you send an appointment in order to make use of the nifty features by the receiver.

If you send the appointment the right way, an Outlook user receiving it will see some special buttons above the message. The exact look and options depends on your version of Outlook but the basics are unchanged for many years.

Outlook - appointment options received via email image from Sharing Outlook appointments - the right way at Office-Watch.com

But those options only appear if you send an appointment – not an email with a calendar attachment. Outlook should treat both the same way but alas.

The correct method is detailed in our 2006 Office Watch article – start with an appointment, then add the invitees/ email addressed via the scheduling option. When you save the appointment, emails will be sent to all the invitees.

While receivers of an email invitation using Outlook will see the response buttons, that doesn’t exclude non-Microsoft users from the benefits.

For example, if you send the invitation to someone using Google’s Gmail and calendar service, the appointment will be automatically added to the calendar. While there’s no direct actions available from the email appearing in the Gmail window, if you look on the calendar the appointment is there with options to respond Yes, No or Maybe. Google calendar has an option to respond ‘Yes plus nn guests’ which Outlook can’t.


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