Use Outlook to Create Web Calendars

Hundreds of people and organizations apparently use Outlook to produce calendars for the Web. I've found Outlook calendars for schools, teams, singing groups, churches, military units—even a car club—on the Web.

Most organizations that publish calendars with Microsoft Word and Outlook use a free Word template that Microsoft released several years ago. Two other calendar templates are available: a set of modifications to the Microsoft template and an independently developed template. You'll find URLs for all three templates at the end of this article.

The three templates all work the same way. When you create a new document with the template, Word runs a macro that asks you to choose a few options (e.g., which calendar folder to use, whether to build a weekly or monthly calendar). Word then accesses the items in the source calendar folder, builds a table in the Word document, and copies the information from the Outlook items into the table. You can then use the File, Save As command to save the page as an HTML file that you can post on your Web site.

These templates are great because they're so customizable. After Word builds the document from the Outlook data, you can edit the Word document and change fonts, highlight words with color, add clip art, or perform other functions. If you're handy with Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), you can even customize the macros that generate the document from Outlook's appointments. (These templates are also wonderful teaching tools if you're learning how to design custom print routines for other Outlook folders or how to automate Word or Outlook in general.)

Even if you don't need to put a calendar on the Web, the templates solve one of the great annoyances of printing calendars from Outlook. Outlook shows thumbnails for 2 months at the top of the calendar, but it always adds thumbnail calendars for the current month and the next month, not for the last month and the next month, as you'd expect and as the templates add.

Here's a tip if you plan to use any of these Word templates: Change the title of the page before you put it on your Web site. You can open the HTML page in Notepad and change the <TITLE> tag from "Outlook Calendar Template for Word" (or the title of the specific template you're using) to something more appropriate, such as "March 2002 Events Calendar for Acme Singers."

Outlook 2002 and Outlook 2000 also come with the "Save as Web Page" command in the File menu. This function requires the Microsoft Web Publishing Wizard, which you might need to download and install (see the URL below). Editing an HTML page that the "Save as Web Page" command produces isn't as easy as editing a Word calendar. However, you can customize the calendar by editing the cal.css cascading style sheet file that Outlook saves in the same folder as the HTML page.

Word 97 Template: Automated Calendar Template from Outlook 97/98
My Outlook Calendar
Microsoft Web Publishing Wizard

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