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Remember that cool mini calendar from Melissa MacBeth’s “Preparing to be away” blog post? Well, this post describes how to make one 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
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”.
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 an icon appear like the one in the red box below.
And you’re done! Don’t worry, the gray lines won’t appear when someone receives your Out of Office reply.
Outlook Program Manager
Is there an X- header that Outlook 2003 and 2007 in a default setup will recognize and if present move the inbound email into the Junk Mail Folder? I have done extensive research and have not found one but I thought perhaps the Outlook team would be the one to ask?
This is a really nice idea. The one slight drawback to it is that the dates when you are out of the office have hyperlinks on them that, in the original email that Outlook creates, link to information about those dates. Copying & pasting just the calendar into the OOF will cause those links to break. Not a lot you can do about that, I suspect, unless the next version of Outlook has a new feature to create just the mini calendar for inclusion in OOF ;-).
Is Exchange server 2007 necessary to past into the Out of Office message? I am on 03 and cannot past anything into the message.
This is cool, but I can't quite get there, because my Out of Office Assistant doesn't have rich text capabilities, just text. Could this be the result of an incomplete 2003 to 2007 upgrade?
Nice...except my OOO Assistant (Outlook 2007) doesn't look like that; no formatting options are there. Is this something that is dependent on the Exchange server version?
This seems like a cool trick, but is only for 2007?
I am curious, which version of Outlook is the example above done in? I ask because I am using Outlook 2007 and my Out of Office Assistant doesn't look like the one shown above. When I paste my mini calender in to the Out Of Office message, it loses all formatting and looks pretty bad. Thanks
My Out of Office Assistant is text-only, so this does not work. Is that because I disable MS Word-as-editor in Outlook 2007?
Where do I get the nifty Out of Office Assistant that allows you to specify a range and the tabs for Inside my organization and outside my organization???
The inside/outside tabs show up if your company is running Exchange 2007.
What versions of Outlook can this be used for?
I think you should mention this is for Outlook 2007; Outlook 2003 does not have a "Send via E-mail..." option.
This is something that is very useful, however I don't have the out of office dialog shown, I am running Outlook 2007, but it only allows me to enter a text version and doesn't allow for a date range, is there a setting that I need to set?
Thank you all for your comments. This feature only exists in Outlook 2007. Exchange, however, is not required for this feature to work. You can use this feature with POP or IMAP. Thank you! Allie Bellew
I had a go at this and the formatting got screwed. However on step 5 I had the calendar spanning over 2 months and tried to select each month individually. This is what caused the screwup. I then found another "Plus-arrow" icon further to the left which selected the WHOLE calendar. This went into the OOO message smoothly.
I suggest to those having issues with formatting that perhaps they're selecting the icon for the month and they should be selecting the icon for the calendar month area. HTH.