Sunday, April 6, 2008

Create Microsoft Outlook Appointments Automatically with Microsoft Excel

Do you work on projects whose due dates or events are kept in a spreadsheet? Wish you didn’t have to enter them manually into your Outlook calendar? Maybe you follow a sports team or have a child whose team’s schedule is posted online, and you have to type the times and dates into Outlook? You probably don’t realize it, but Outlook lets you import all these events with very little fuss. The key is to get the data into a Named Range in Excel, and then you can import it as appointments. For spreadsheet data, this is as simple as selecting all the cells you need, right clicking to select Name a Range, and then choosing a name. If the data you want to import is on a Web page in the form of a table, simply select the information on the Web page, copy it, and paste it into an Excel spreadsheet. You can then proceed with the import. One important note: It’s absurd, but Outlook 2007 can’t import Excel 2007 (XLSX) files. If you’re using Office 2007, remember to save your spreadsheet in the 97-2003 formats.

Excel Spreadsheet data1. PREPARE THE DATA
Importing your appointments can be very simple, especially if you format the data well. First, put column names over data, so that it’s easy to specify which data maps to which Outlook fields. If you make those column names the same as Outlook’s own field names (like Location and Subject), then the fields will be mapped for you automatically. Second, if there’s a chance that I won’t recognize the event’s subject, I add a column with some general term that I’ll recognize. For example, the Stanford Tennis calendar I import lists only the Opponent and Date. So I add a column called “Stanford Tennis” as the Subject before I import the events. Finally, I add a column with a term that I import as an Outlook Category. That way if the event’s times and dates are updated, I can simply View by Category and delete all appointments in that category before re- importing the information.

To add alarms to events, title a column “Reminder on/off,” and use the code TRUE to set the alarm. Choose the alarm time with the headings “Reminder date” and “Reminder time”—you can even use formulas to set the reminder date or time to a certain interval before the Start Date or Time.

Importing appointments is fairly straightforward. Simply display your Calendar in Outlook and use the File Import and Export command, selecting Excel worksheet as the fi le type. Once you’ve selected the worksheet, you’ll get a list of named ranges in the fi le. Select the one (or more than one) you want to import. You can then map the columns in your data to Outlook’s native Appointment fields to customize your import. Then simply hit Finish and your appointments will be created.

Outlook Appointment3. CHECK YOUR CALENDAR
Once you’ve imported your events to Outlook, they appear just like any other appointments. For Outlook to get the times right, make sure you have your times and dates in the right format. For example, Outlook will recognize “3:00pm” as a time, but not “3pm.”

*.* Source of Information : March 2008 PC Magazine

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