Office challenge: How can you select a custom Calendar view in Outlook?

In this week's challenge, test your Outlook skills and learn the answer to last week's Excel challenge.

Outlook has several Calendar views: Day, Work Week, Week, and Month. They work well, but they're not always adequate. What if you want a quick look at the next six weeks? How would you create a custom view?

Last week we asked…

What's the quickest way to access Excel's Visible Cells Only option? You can add this command to a toolbar in Excel 2003 or the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) in Excel 2007 and 2010. In Excel 2010, you can add it to a custom tab.

To add this command to a toolbar in Excel 2003, do the following;

  1. Right-click the background of any toolbar and choose Customize from the resulting context menu or choose Customize from the Tools menu.
  2. Click the Commands tab.
  3. Choose Edit from the Category list.
  4. At the bottom of the list, you'll find Select Visible Cells.
  5. Drag and drop Select Visible Cells to a toolbar.
  6. Click Close.

If you're using Excel 2007 or 2010, add this tool to the QAT, as follows:

  1. From the QAT's dropdown, choose More Commands.
  2. In the Choose Commands From dropdown, select All Commands or Commands Not In The Ribbon.
  3. Choose Select Visible Cells from the resulting list and click Add.
  4. Click OK.

With the Select Visible Cells tool on a toolbar, you can select a range that contains hidden data and click the tool, completely bypassing the Go To dialog box. It's ever faster than pressing [Alt]+;—although that's a great shortcut if you prefer the keyboard. It's a small change, but users who need it will appreciate your efforts to make things a bit more efficient for them.

Jbenton was the first to suggest adding the Select Visible Cells tool to a toolbar. Thanks Jbenton!

I hadn't expected the strong support for keyboard shortcuts. I love them as well, but in a support environment, flexibility is the key. Being able to provide the tools that make your users efficient is important, and those tools won't always be the tools you prefer for yourself. I wish I had a nickel for every time I've heard "No, I want to do it this way" to the question, "Wouldn't you rather...?"

Thanks for a good challenge everyone and the great discussion on keyboard versus mouse—carry on!


Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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