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Outlook on the web - Calendar

The Office 365 calendar is the University’s supported calendar for staff. This guide is for staff using Outlook on the web via the web on a PC. The layout on other devices may be different. 

Note: All meeting invitations and updates are sent to your email inbox.

Best practice

  • Always respond (accept, tentative or decline) to meeting invitations in your email inbox or calendar. This will ensure that the organiser is aware of your intentions and that your calendar is kept up to date. Never use the ‘Do not send response’ option.
  • Remember to send updates to all recipients where relevant, eg change of time.
  • Meeting attachments – we advise against sending attachments with meeting invitations as mobile device users may not be able to view them in their calendar. Once accepted, the meeting invitation is deleted along with the attachments and cannot be retrieved on the mobile device.
  • Keep recurring meetings simple:
    • If you decide to add attachments (see the point above), don't add them to individual instances of a recurring meeting, as this can be problematic. Either email them separately or put them in a shared folder, adding information on where to access the documents in the meeting notes.
    • Always set an end date or limit the number of occurrences. Meetings change and all changes, attachments, responses etc are stored, causing issues over time. Create a task to remind yourself of the end date, as you may want to extend the end date or create a new one.
    • If you want to cancel all future instances of a recurring meeting change the end date instead of deleting or cancelling, then you and attendees have a record of meetings in the past.
  • Use the Rooms button to check availability or to find a suitable alternative.
  • Reduce the number of places where you read messages eg create a rule to filter calendar messages into a folder. Check this folder frequently, to ensure your calendar stays up to date.
  • If a calendar has been delegated, only one person should manage it.
  • Instead of blocking time out in your calendar, it may be more appropriate to create a task.
  • Use the categorize feature to group similar tasks (emails, calendar events and tasks) for eg a project.

Getting started

Setting your work week

Setting your work week will enable others trying to invite you to a meeting to see your availability when they use the scheduling assistant function. It is also one of the views available to you for viewing your calendar.

To set your work week:

  1. Click on SettingsCalendar appearance.
  2. Make changes as required and click on OK.

Note: You cannot select different hours for different days. To reflect your true working pattern, if it falls outside the options available, you can create a recurring event.

Viewing your calendar

  1. Click on Calendar in the top bar.
  2. Select a view (eg Work week) from the option at the top right of the screen.

Viewing another calendar (person, room or resource)

  1. In the navigation pane, right click on Other calendars and select Open calendar.
  2. Type in the name (this could also be a shared mailbox) and click on Open.

Note: The calendar will remain available for you to view, listed under Other calendars. You will only be able to see free / busy time unless you have been granted additional calendar permission (more information under: Calendar sharing) or you are the delegate of a room or resource.

Navigating calendars

You can navigate a calendar in two ways:

  • Use the calendar at the top of the navigation pane.
    • To move month by month use the arrows.
    • To move several months or years at a time click on the date between the arrows. Select a month or use the arrows to move to a different year.
  •  Use the arrows next to the date above the calendar main window.


There are three types of event;

  • All day (eg annual leave, working from home),
  • appointment -  this does not include other people (eg a medical appointment),
  • meeting - this includes other people (internal or external to the University), locations (rooms) and resources (eg kettle).

There are all created and updated in the same way.

Creating an event

  1. Click on New. This will open a new window.
  2. Add a title for the event.
  3. Add a location, this can be text, or use the Add room button to invite a room from the list.
  4. Add attendees if the event is a meeting. Resources can also be invited (eg kettle).
  5. Select a start and end date and time. If you are creating an all day event, click in the All day box.
    Note: If you have invited attendees, click on SCHEDULING ASSISTANT to see if they are available at that time. Be aware that if the meeting falls outside the work week or work hours of an attendee you will see that the proposed meeting falls within a darker coloured area of their calendar. You can then make changes as required.
  6. Select a Show as status. These are important, as they enable others viewing your calendar to more accurately see your availability.
  7. Set a reminder, repeat pattern (for recurring events) or mark the event as private if required. 
  8. Add notes if required.
    Note: If you add an attachment, be aware that mobile device users may not be able to view the attachment in their calendar, or retrieve the original email invitation. It’s therefore safer to add attachments to an email instead. You are also advised not to add notes and attachments to individual instances of recurring events, this causes problems.
  9. Click on SAVE (all day events and appointments) or SEND (meetings).

Tracking responses

You can track responses for meetings that you have proposed.

  1. Double click on the meeting to open it.
  2. Click on Attendees to display a list of invitees and their responses.

Note: If an invitee responds with a comment, this will only be recorded in the email and not in the meeting. The meeting owner will need to update the meeting notes to reflect any comments.

Updating and event

  1. Click on the event. In the pop-up box click on EDIT.
  2. Make any changes required and click on SAVE or SEND. An email will be sent to any attendees informing them of the changes.

Note: If the event is part of a series, eg every month, you will have the option to update either the whole series or the individual instance.

Cancelling an event

An all day event or appointment:

  1. Click on the event. In the pop-up box click on DELETE and Delete again to confirm.

A meeting you organised:

  1. Click on the event. In the pop-up box click on CANCEL.
  2. Confirm the action and when prompted always send a message to attendees.

A meeting organised by someone else:

  1. Click on the event. In the pop-up box click on Decline.
    Note: DO NOT use the delete key, as the organiser will not be notified of your intentions.
  2. When prompted send a response to the organiser. If the event is part of a series, eg every month, you will have the option to decline either the whole series or the individual instance.

Responding to an invitation

There are two ways you can respond to a meeting invitation, via the email or directly in the calendar.

Responding to the email invitation

  1. In your email open the calendar invitation message and click on an appropriate response.
    Note: If your response is ACCEPT or TENTATIVE the meeting will appear in your calendar.
  2. Select either edit the response before sending or send the response now. Do not select ‘don’t send the response’ as the owner of the meeting will not be notified of your intentions.

Note: Invitations are automatically moved to your Deleted Items email folder once you have responded to them.

Responding directly in the calendar

  1. Click on the meeting and in the pop-up box click on the appropriate response.
  2. Select either edit the response before sending or send the response now.
    Do not select ‘don’t send the response’ as the owner of the meeting will not be notified of your intentions.

Note: the email invitation will remain in your inbox, but will have changed to reflect that you have already responded to the invitation. The email can be deleted.

Locations and resources

Locations are rooms within the University and locations outside the University. Resources are bookable items of equipment, eg Kettle.

Office 365 does not contain all bookable rooms and resources. For those managed elsewhere in the University, the room information can be typed into the location field. The actual booking should be requested in the usual way (eg via the Room Bookings department).

Note: You can book rooms and resources managed within Office 365 up to 2 years in advance.

Rooms and resources

Rooms and resources are managed in Office 365 by having a delegate assigned to them; this can be either an individual or a shared mailbox. If the delegate is a shared mailbox, anyone with access to that shared mailbox will be able to respond on behalf of the room or resource.

When you add a room to a meeting, you will receive an automatic ‘Tentative’ response. You will receive a further calendar message when the delegate has accepted or declined the invitation. However, when you invite a resource, you will only receive a response when the delegate has accepted or declined the invitation.

Responding to requests as the delegate

As the delegate of the room or resource you will receive a calendar invitation in your Inbox. These messages will being FW: To see the calendar for the room or resource:

  1. Click on your profile picture – Open another mailbox… enter the name of the room and click on Open.

    Alternatively, if you can already see the calendar in the navigation pane you can respond to invitations directly in the calendar.

Note: Be aware that this will not automatically move the calendar message from the shared folders Inbox. The information in the message will change to reflect that action has already been taken and the message can be deleted. 

Locations outside the University

  1. In the Location field of the event, type the name of the location.
  2. Click on Search Bing. This will open another tab with a list of suggested locations. Select the correct location from the list. If the location you want is not listed you may need alter your search term, eg add a city or country.
  3. Click on OK. This will add the information to the location field. When you click on the location text a map with more information will appear.

Calendar sharing

You can share your calendar with other people both inside and outside the University. You can give different levels of access to your calendar.

  • Availability only - you can see free or busy times but no further details.
  • Limited details - you can see times, subjects and locations only.
  • Full details - you can see times, subjects and locations and other details.
  • Editor - create, read, edit and delete activities, regardless of who created them.
  • Delegate - this option should only be used to give permission for someone to create, accept and decline calendar events. You have editor access and will receive email invitations and updates. You will only be able to see private activities if that permission has been granted.

Note: This will only delegate your calendar. If you need to delegate your Office 365 account (including email) to another user (eg a PA), request via ServiceNow (self service portal).

Share your calendar

  1. Click on SHARE.
  2. In the Share with: field, type the email address of the person you wish to share your calendar with.
  3. Select a level of access from the drop down list and click on SEND.

Change the access level

If you have shared your calendar with someone and want to change the access level you have granted them:

  1. In the navigation pane, under My Calendar, right click on Calendar and select permissions…
  2. A list of users you have shared your calendar with will appear. Change the permission setting as required.
  3. Click on SAVE.

Receiving a sharing invitation

When someone wants to share their calendar with you, you will receive an invitation in your email inbox. In this message you can:

  • Add the calendar - click on ADD CALENDAR. The shared calendar will open and their name will appear in the Navigation Pane under People’s calendars.
  • Share your calendar back – click on SHARE MY CALENDAR BACK.
  • Decline the invitation – delete the message.

Adding University holidays

IT Services has created a file containing University holiday dates which can be quickly downloaded and imported into your Office 365 calendar.

Creating calendar rules

To help manage your calendar messages you can create inbox rules to move them to a dedicated folder. You can create a single rule to move only invitations, or event responses. To move both types of calendar message you will need to create 2 rules.

Note: Ensure you check the folder frequently so you don't miss invitations and updates.

  1. In your email navigation pane, click on the + (plus) next to Folders.
  2. Give the folder a name, eg Calendar Messages.
  3. Click on SettingsOptions and then in the navigation pane, under Mail click on Inbox and sweep rules.
  4. Click on the + (plus) and give your rule a name, eg calendar invitation.
  5. From the When the message arrives, and drop down box select It’s, then of the type…
  6. From the select message type drop down list select Invitation and click on OK.
  7. From the do the following drop down list select Move, copy, or delete and then Move message to folder…
  8. From the Select folder box select the folder you created and click on OK.
  9. Click on OK.

Note: To create a rule to move event responses into the same folder follow steps 4 – 9 again, replacing Invitation with Event responses in step 6.

Further features


Categorize enables you to colour code activities across Office 365 (email, tasks, calendar events and contacts). You can assign one or more categorise to existing and new activities. This can help you to organise your activities and makes searching easier.

Note: Any categories created in your Outlook desktop client are available in the Outlook on the web. Categories are specific to a mailbox. The categories created in a shared mailbox are separate.

Create a new category

  1. Right click on an event. From the pop menu select CategorizeManage categories…
  2. Click on Add new category.
  3. Click on the arrow to select a colour, type in a name, click on OK and OK again.

Assign a category when creating an event

  1. In an open event, click on More actions (3 dots) – Categorize and then select a category.
  2. Complete the event details as required and click on SAVE.

Note: To add a category to an existing event; right click on the event, select Categorize and then select a category from the list.

Publishing calendars

You can publish a calendar to the Internet allowing others (internal and external) to view your free and busy time. You can also control the level of detail people can view, along with the time span and who has access.

  1. Click on Settings - Options, under calendar select Publish calendar.
  2. Select the required calendar and permission level and click on Save. The Outlook Web App will then display two URLs:
    Link for subscribing to this calendar: - copy this link and send it to people to subscribe to the calendar. When they click on the link, they will be prompted to download a .ics file. Once they open this file, the calendar will be automatically added to Outlook and will be displayed in the Navigation pane under Other Calendars. People subscribed will then be able to see any changes made to the calendar. This calendar will be available for the time specified only.
    Link for viewing calendar in a web browser: - copy this link and send it to people so that they can view the calendar in a browser. This will provide a snapshot of the calendar and will be available for the time specified. No updates will be made to this calendar.
  3. Click on Save.
  4. Email the appropriate links to the required people.

Change publishing settings 

  1. Log in to Outlook 2010. In the navigation pane, ensure that the appropriate calendar is selected.
  2. In the Home tab – Share group, click on Publish Online then Configure This Published Calendar.
  3. Log into Outlook on the web, amend the Publishing details as required and click on Save.