Neel Joshi is a Program Manager on the Exchange engineering team and Steve Chew is a Senior Product Marketing Manager on the Exchange technical marketing team.
Have you ever been in the situation where you wanted to find an event on your calendar but you weren’t quite sure which week it was happening? Or where you wanted to quickly check if a colleague was available to meet at a particular time but didn’t want to bother them by asking? With the introduction of Calendar Search in Outlook Web App, it takes only a couple of clicks to solve these problems!
Calendar Search allows you to search your own calendars or Group calendars for events in the past, present, and future. You can also search for people’s calendars and overlay their calendars on top of yours for quick comparison.
Searching for a Calendar using a keyword, with people calendars in the results.
Search for events on your calendar
To search your calendar using a keyword or phrase, while your calendar is selected you simply type a keyword in the search box and click or tap enter (or the search icon).
The Outlook Web App shows results based on the term you typed, whether that term appears in the body, title, or location of the event, in the name of an attendee/organizer, or even in the name of a category applied to an event.
Calendar Search groups results by month and orders them in descending order by date. The one exception to this rule is for recurring events, which float to the top and have their own grouping so as not to pollute the rest of the list. You’ll see the list of results alongside the reading pane in Outlook Web App in a desktop browser or tablet browser, and in OWA for Devices on a tablet. The reading pane shows the selected event in the List view. OWA for Devices on a smartphone shows just the list of results. You can tap a result to see its details.
Search results alongside the reading pane. Recurring items appear at the top, with other results grouped by month below. As viewed via Outlook Web App on a desktop browser.
To keep things neat and tidy, recurring results appear as a single result which can be expanded to show the closest eight occurrences to today.
Expanded recurring search result showing the eight closest occurrences to today.
Open someone’s calendar
With Calendar Search, you can also quickly open the calendar of somebody in the global address list. As you type a person’s name, the name suggestions in the “OPEN CALENDAR” section show matching people that you have recently communicated with. If the person you are looking for isn’t in the list, you can use the Search Contacts and Directory button to see more results in the list.
The results list shows recently contacted people who match the term typed in Search.
When you select a person from the list, the person’s calendar is temporarily added to the bottom of the OTHER CALENDARS group in your calendar list, and overlaid on top of your own calendar. You can repeat this process and show up to ten calendars at once in Outlook Web App. Now you can easily spot a free time to meet!
Opening Robin’s calendar shows her availability relative to your own availability, and temporarily adds her to the calendar list.
To pin the calendar you just searched for, you can use the star icon next to the person’s name to “favorite” them to add them to your OTHER CALENDARS list. The calendar will then always appear in the calendar list. Otherwise, you can dismiss the calendar using the “X” (close) action. Any people whose calendars you haven’t chosen to pin are removed from your list the next time you log into Outlook Web App.
Calendar Search in Outlook Web App makes it much easier to search for events in your calendar and to view other people’s calendars. You’ve always been able to search for the contents in your inbox. Now you can search for events in your calendar just as easily!
- Neel Joshi and Steve Chew
Frequently asked questions
Q: When will Calendar Search be available?
Calendar Search will roll out to Office 365 customers over the next several months.
Q: Does the Outlook desktop client show people’s calendars I have searched for?
Outlook desktop client only pins to the calendar list those people you choose to favorite.
Q: Can I search multiple calendars at once?
No, it is not currently possible to search multiple calendars at once.
Q: Can I search other people’s calendars?
Calendar Search is currently limited to your primary calendar, your secondary calendar, and Group calendars.