Windows Vista : Scheduling with Windows Calendar (part 2) - Working with Multiple Calendars, Importing Calendar Files, Sharing Calendars

12/24/2012 3:04:16 AM

4. Working with Multiple Calendars

Life is busy enough these days that we often wish we could clone ourselves in order to get all our tasks and errands done. You can’t have two of you running around (at least not yet, anyway), but you can have two (or more) calendars. This is useful if you want to keep appointments and tasks separate. For example, you might want to use one calendar for business items and another for personal items. Similarly, you might want to use different schedules for different projects, clients, departments, and so on.

If you don’t like the idea of switching from one calendar to another to view the corresponding appointments and tasks, don’t worry because you don’t have to do so. Instead, Calendar always shows all your appointments and tasks. Calendar helps you keeps things straight by color-coding the items in each calendar (one calendar’s items might be red, another’s green, and so on).

Follow these steps to create and configure a new calendar:

Select File, New Calendar. Calendar displays a new calendar in the Details area.

Type a new name for the calendar.

Use the Color list to choose the color you want to use for this calendar’s appointments and tasks.

Figure 6 shows the Calendar window with a couple of calendars in use.

Figure 6. Windows Calendar with two calendars in use.


Calendar displays all the items from all your calendars. If you find that the Events area becomes too cluttered, you can hide a calendar’s item by deactivating its check box in the Calendars area.

5. Importing Calendar Files

I mentioned earlier that Windows Mail supports the iCalendar (.ics) format, which is the standard calendaring format. Each iCalendar file contains one or more appointments or tasks. If you want to include those items in your version of Calendar, you can import the iCalendar file and then either add the items to your own calendar or display them in a separate calendar. Follow these steps to import an iCalendar file:

Select File, Import to display the Import dialog box.

Use the Import File text box to specify the location of the calendar file. (Alternatively, click Browse and use the Open dialog box to select the file and click Open.)

In the Destination list, you have two choices:

  • Select Create New Calendar to create a separate calendar for the imported items

  • Select the name of an existing calendar to merge the imported items into that calendar

Click Import.


To export your calendar, click it in the Calendars area; if you only want to export a particular item, click the item. Select File, Export to open the Export dialog box. Select a location, edit the File Name (if necessary; the default filename is the same as your calendar or the selected item), and then click Save.

6. Sharing Calendars

Importing and exporting iCalendar files is fine if you only occasionally want to share your appointments and tasks with other people. These days, however, it’s common to work in teams and other groups, and the members of these groups often need to know each other’s schedules at all times (to schedule meetings, check whether someone is in the office, and so on). For these more sophisticated scenarios, you need a more sophisticated sharing method, and Calendar is happy to oblige. The program enables people to publish a calendar to an accessible location such as a network share or a website designed to hold calendars. Other people can then subscribe to that calendar to add it to their own list of calendars. Once that’s done, subscribers can then synchronize with the published calendar to see the most up-to-date information.

Publishing Your Calendar

Here are the steps you need to follow to publish your calendar:

In the Calendars list, click the calendar you want to publish.

Select Share, Publish to open the Publish Calendar dialog box.

Edit the Calendar Name, if necessary.


After the Calendar publishes, you have the option of sending an email message that includes the address of the shared calendar. Most email clients will display this address as a link. However, if the address includes spaces, the link will stop at the first space. Therefore, consider changing the calendar name to remove any spaces.

Use the Location to Publish Calendar to type the address of the network share or website where you want the calendar published (see Figure 7).

Figure 7. Use the Publish Calendar dialog box to publish your calendar to a network share or website.

If you want Calendar to update your calendar whenever you make changes to it, activate the Automatically Publish Changes Made to This Calendar check box. (If you leave this option deactivated, you can still publish your changes by hand, as described later; see “Working with Shared Calendars.”)

In the Calendar Details to Include section, activate the check box beside each item you want in your published calendar: Notes, Reminders, and Tasks.

Click Publish. Calendar publishes the calendar to the remote location and then displays a dialog box to let you know the operation was successful.

To let other people know that your calendar is shared and where it can be found, click Announce. Calendar creates a new email message that includes the following in the body (where address is the address of your published calendar):

You can subscribe to my calendar at address

Click Finish.

Subscribing to a Calendar

To add another person’s published calendar to your Calendars list, follow these steps:

Select Share, Subscribe to open the Subscribe to a Calendar dialog box.

Use the Calendar to Subscribe To text box to type the address of the published calendar.

Click Next. Calendar subscribes you to the published calendar and then displays the Calendar Subscription Settings dialog box.

Edit the calendar name, if necessary.

Use the Update Interval list to select the interval at which you want Calendar to update the subscribed calendar: Every 15 Minutes, Every Hour, Every Day, Every Week, or No Update.

If you want to receive any reminders in the calendar, activate the Include Reminders check box.

If you also want to see the published calendar’s tasks, activate the Include Tasks check box.

Click Finish. The published calendar appears in your Calendars list.

Working with Shared Calendars

After you publish one or more of your calendars and subscribe to one or more remote calendars, Windows Calendar offers a number of techniques for working with these items. Here’s a summary:

  • Changing a calendar’s sharing information— When you select a published or subscribed calendar, the Details pane displays a Sharing Information section, and you use the controls in that section to configure the calendar’s sharing options.

  • Publishing calendar changes— If your published calendar isn’t configured to automatically publish changes, you can republish by hand by selecting the calendar and then selecting Share, Sync.

  • Updating a subscribed calendar— If you didn’t configure an update interval for a subscribed calendar, or if you want to see the latest data in that calendar before the next update is scheduled, select the calendar and then select Share, Sync.

  • Synchronizing all shared calendars— If you have multiple shared calendars (published and subscribed), you can synchronize them all at once by selecting Share, Sync All.

  • Sending a published calendar announcement— If you didn’t send an announcement about your published calendar, or if you want to send the announcement to different people, select the calendar and then select Share, Send Publish E-mail.

  • Stopping a published calendar— If you no longer want other people to subscribe to your calendar, select it and then select Stop Publishing. When Calendar asks you to confirm, click Unpublish. (Note, however, that if you want your calendar file to remain on the server, you first need to deactivate the Delete Calendar on Server check box.)

  • Stopping a subscribed calendar— If you no longer want to subscribe to a remote calendar, select it and then press Delete. When Calendar asks you to confirm, click Yes.

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