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How to color-code outlook calendar events using categories

I created a group calendar for office events. The calendar was originally setup as a secondary calendar for myself (then I copied it to a group calendar using drag and drop.)

I’ve added about 12 people to the calendar who have editing capabilities. They can see the category grayed out but do not see the colors. When creating a new event, they also cannot select a category. Only I can do it.

I’ve been given permission to someones personal calendar where I can see their categories and colors, but I was given delegate access. When looking at permissions for this group calendar the highest permissions is “can edit.”

I’m on Windows 7 using a desktop.

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks

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From your description, we understand that you are using Outlook desktop client. As you mentioned “Editing” permission, so I suppose you are creating a custom calendar for group use rather than a calendar of a office 365 group, right?

If so, based on my test result, users with editor permission should be able to see calendar categories and also should be able to assign categories when creating calendar event for the group calendar.

Moreover, if this issue happens to all users with editor permission, you may try to remove and re-assign calendar permission to users again and also let those user re-adding this group calendar to their Outlook client to see if there is any changes.

In the meantime, if the issue persists, it is recommended to create a Office 365 group and add those users to this group. By doing so, there is a shared group calendar and many other advantages:

  • There is no need to assign permissions to group members.
  • Everyone in this group can access and edit calendar events.
  • Categories for calendar events are always synced to the server.
  • Group members can assign categories to group calendar in the Outlook desktop client.

Hope above method/workaround helps. Please feel free to post back if you prefer to share a custom calendar to other users for group working, I’ll glad to continue to help you. In this case, please let those affected users login to Outlook web app (OWA) to see if they can see or assign calender categories for this shared calendar and share the result with us.

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How to color-code outlook calendar events using categories

Reading requires you to expend cognitive energy, and your Microsoft Outlook calendar is no exception. However, if you color-code your calendar events, you can more easily differentiate between them at a glance, and save yourself some time and energy.

Calendars are indispensable memory aides, but reading them can be a chore. Adding colors to your events makes it easier to pick out related calendar items and understand what they are, without having to read every word.

By default, all Outlook events are the same color.

How to color-code outlook calendar events using categories

However, you can use categories to tag your events and display those in the same category with the same color.

How to color-code outlook calendar events using categories

Then, even without reading the title of each entry, you’ll immediately know which events belong to which category.

We’ve covered how to use Outlook categories before, but here’s a quick recap. They’re basically like labels or tags you can apply to emails, tasks, and events. Each category has a name and a color, allowing you to sort, filter, or search for items in Outlook based on that category.

When you click a calendar event in Outlook, the “Categorize” option will be visible in the “Appointment/Meeting” section of the ribbon. Click “Categorize” to select one of the categories you’ve created.

How to color-code outlook calendar events using categories

If you want to add or edit an existing category, click “All Categories.”

How to color-code outlook calendar events using categories

In the image below, you can see the categories we set up for our calendar, including their keyboard shortcuts.

How to color-code outlook calendar events using categories

To apply a category, select a calendar event. Then, either click “Categorize” and select a category or use its keyboard shortcut to apply it.

How to color-code outlook calendar events using categories

This can get time-consuming if you have a lot of calendar events, but fortunately, there’s a shortcut. Outlook allows you to select multiple events and apply a category to all of them simultaneously.

To do this, press Ctrl (or Cmd on a Mac), and then select all of the events to which you want to apply a certain category. Then, the same as above, either click “Categorize” and select a category or use its keyboard shortcut to apply it to your selected events.

How to color-code outlook calendar events using categories

Once you’ve added categories to all your events, your calendar will be far easier to read.

How to color-code outlook calendar events using categories

As a bonus, if you categorize emails and tasks, as well, the colors will sync with your events so you can find relevant items even faster. This is perfect for when you need to prep for your next meeting!

You can track all items related to a particular project or task by using color categories to easily identify and organize the items. Besides calendar items, you can assign color categories to contacts, messages, tasks, notes, and journal items.

Color categories connect your calendar items for easy identification. The color categories connect you to other related items too, such as messages or contacts.

Categories only apply to items in your calendar. If you apply a color category to a meeting request or a meeting you’ve received from another person, that color category will only show in your calendar.

How to color-code outlook calendar events using categories

The same categories list is used for all Outlook items, including email messages, tasks, and contacts. If you don’t see the category you need in the list, choose All Categories. From there, you can view additional categories not shown on the right-click menu or create and assign new color categories. For more information on creating and assigning your own color categories, see Create and assign color categories.

To assign a color category to an appointment, meeting, or event, use one of the following options:

From your main calendar view, right click the appointment, meeting, or event, point to Categorize , and then click a color category.

From an open appointment, meeting, or event, look for the Categorize button on the ribbon, in the Tags group.

How to color-code outlook calendar events using categories

To see more categories or to create a new category, click All Categories to open the Color Categories dialog box.

To assign a color category from the Color Categories dialog box, select the check box next to the color category. The Color Categories dialog box is also a quick way to assign multiple categories to an item.

How to color-code outlook calendar events using categories

The first time that you assign a default color category to an item, you will be prompted to rename the category. At this time, you can also change the color of the category and choose a keyboard shortcut.

How to color-code outlook calendar events using categories

You can change the color associated with a category at any time.

Another way to open the Categorize menu and Color Categories dialog box is by clicking Categorize on the toolbar.

Only the 15 most recently used color categories appear on the Categorize menu. To see the rest, click All Categories on the Categorize menu.