Friday, December 19, 2008

Miniature Calendars in Outlook

How to make a mini-calendar for your own Out of Office message! Here is an example mini calendar for the dates when I’ll be home for the holidays:

Mini calendars are helpful and provide a visual reminder of how long you will be gone. I like to use them to emphasize when I’ll be back to answer e-mail. Instead of trying to deal with messy spacing and fonts to make your own mini calendar you can use Outlook’s built-in Send via E-mail feature for calendars. This way you can just copy and paste a preformatted mini calendar right into your Out of Office message. To get you started here is how I made the mini calendar for my upcoming vacation.

Creating a Mini Calendar
1. Right-click the name of the calendar in the Navigation Pane. This should be the calendar you want a miniature version of.

2. Click Send via E-mail…

3. Use the “Send a Calendar via E-mail” dialog to specify the date range and the level of detail that is shown for your appointments.
For this example I selected the dates when I’ll be on vacation and “Availability only”.

4. After clicking OK you get a nicely formatted e-mail with your calendar information. We want to put this into an Out of Office reply though, so we’re not done just yet.

5. The easiest way to select the calendar so you can copy it into your Out of Office message is to hover your mouse over the calendar until you see a '+' icon appear.

6. Click the icon so the calendar is highlighted like the calendar.

7. Select Copy in the Ribbon (or hit Ctrl+C on your keyboard) to copy the calendar.

8. Create a new Out of Office message and select Paste (Ctrl+V) where you want the calendar to appear.

And you’re done! Don’t worry, the gray lines won’t appear when someone receives your Out of Office reply.

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