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Change Sharing Permissions in Your Outlook Calendar

Last week I wrote about granting Reviewer permissions to your Outlook calendar with other people on your Microsoft Exchange Server. But Reviewer permissions only allow someone to view your appointments, not change them. Sometimes you may want someone to be able to add or edit appointments on your calendar, or sometimes you may want them to only see your free/busy time, and not the details of your appointments. Either way, you’ll need to go in and edit the person’s sharing permissions.

Edit Sharing Permissions (Outlook 2003, 2007, and 2010)

  1. Click on the Calendar button to go to Calendar view.
  2. In the left hand column, right click on the calendar you want to share and select Properties.
  3. In the window that opens, click on the Permissions tab.
  4. In the Name column, click on the name of the person you want to change the permissions for. Their current permission level is indicated in the column beside their name.
  5. In the Permissions section, click on the Permission Level drop down arrow.
  6. Select a permission level (descriptions below). You can customize the permissions in the Read, Write, Delete items, and Other sections below.
  7. When you’re finished adjusting the permissions, click OK.

You may notice the Add button below the list of names. You can also add a person to grant permissions to using this button.

Default Permissions

Notice that one of the names in the Name column is Default. This is the permission level everyone on your Exchange Server has. Unless you want to share your calendar with EVERYONE in your organization, I suggest leaving the default permissions at Free/Busy time. This will allow people to see when you’re busy when they send you a meeting request. If you don’t want people in your organization to see your Free/Busy time, change the Default permission to None by selecting it in the Read section.

Permission Levels

If you’re not sure what each permission level means, you can select one from the Permission Level drop down box and see what options are selected below. I’ve summarized the permission levels below.

  • None- the person cannot see any information related to your calendar.
  • Free/Busy time – the person can see when you’re free or busy
  • Free/Busy time, subject, location - the person can see the time, subject, and location of your appointments
  • Contributor - the person can put appointments on your calendar but cannot see details of existing appointments
  • Reviewer - the person can read everything related to an appointment (except a private one) and see folders, but not subfolders
  • Nonediting Author - the person can see appointment details, create appointments (but not folders), and delete the appointments they created
  • Author - the person can see appointment details, create appointments, edit appointments they created, and delete appointments they created
  • Publishing Author - the person can do everything an Author can, plus create subfolders
  • Editor - the person can create items, edit all appointments, delete any appointment, and see the full details of all appointments
  • Publishing Editor - the person can do everything an Editor can, plus create subfolders
  • Owner - the person will have the same permissions to your calendar that you have

Share Your Outlook Calendar

When you work in a team, or really, just if you work with other people, it can be really helpful to share your Outlook calendar.  That way, even though you told everyone in the office that you were going to the dentist Monday morning, they can easily figure out where you are when they forget. This will save your “In case of emergency” person a scary phone call.

If you’re on a Microsoft Exchange Server, you can send a Sharing Invitation to another Exchange Server user. The recipient will have “Reviewer” permissions to your calendar, meaning they will be able to open your calendar like they do their own. They’ll see the full details of any appointments you have, but won’t be able to make changes to these appointments or add anything to your calendar. If you have an appointment you don’t want reviewers to see, you can set it as private (instructions at the bottom of this post).

Share your Calendar in Outlook 2007

  1. Click on the Calendar button at the bottom of the pane on the left.
  2. Click the Share My Calendar link.
  3. In the Sharing invitation that opens, click on the To button.
  4. The Address Book will open. Select the name of the person you want to share with and click To.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Below the subject of the invitation, make sure that Allow recipient to view your calendar is checked.
  7. If you would like to see the other person’s calendar, check Request permission to view recipient’s calendar.
  8. Type a note in the body of the message, if you like.
  9. Click Send.
  10. When asked if you’re sure you want to give reviewer permissions to this person, click Yes.
  11. The recipient will receive an email telling them that they have permission to access your calendar. It will include a link to instructions on accessing your calendar.

Share your Calendar in Outlook 2010

  1. Click on the Calendar button at the bottom of the left hand pane.
  2. On the Home tab of the ribbon, click Share Calendar in the Share section.
  3. In the Sharing invitation that opens, click on the To button.
  4. The Address Book will open. Select the name of the person you want to share with and click To.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Below the subject of the invitation, make sure that Allow recipient to view your calendar is checked.
  7. If you would like to see the other person’s calendar, check Request permission to view recipient’s calendar.
  8. Type a note in the body of the message, if you like.
  9. Click Send.
  10. When asked if you’re sure you want to give reviewer permissions to this person, click Yes.
  11. The recipient will receive an email telling them that they have permission to access your calendar. It will include a link to instructions on accessing your calendar.

Set Appointments as Private

Sometimes you won’t want other people to know where you are. Sure you might not care if your co-workers know you’re going to the dentist, but you might not want them knowing the date, time, and location of your stamp collecting club meetings. So when you want to keep something to yourself, just set the appointment to private. Others will be able to see that you have an appointment during that time, but not the details of that appointment.

To set an appointment as private, just click on the Private button on the ribbon or toolbar of your appointment (it looks like a padlock). See the picture above.

Translate the Babel

The first popular online language translator was based on the Babel Fish, a fictitious animal which performs instant translations, from the Douglas Adams novel “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” There is a .com and a .org version out there, but the main translation program is now hosted by Yahoo! (babelfish.yahoo.com). You enter text in a box (up to 150 words), select a language to translate from and to, then click “translate.” You can also translate an entire web page by pasting in the URL of the site.

Google Translate has enabled translation across all their products. You can translate your search results, web pages, gmail messages, chat, text messages on your mobile phone, and entire documents on Google Docs. They have even launched a professional translator toolkit program. The Google Chrome browser has the translator built in and will prompt you when you access a foreign language site. Type “translate:” and then a word or phrase in the Google search box and it will return a translation at the top of the search results. Google Translate supports 52 languages.

Google Translate Features

The painting featured above is the Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1563) and depicts the story that explains the origin of the world’s various languages. Technology seems to be at the beginning of the end of the language barrier. We are probably only a few mobile phone applications away from instant voice recognition and translation.

Keeping Track of Where You Save Outlook Attachments

A couple of years ago I wrote a post about attachments hogging mailbox space, causing people to go over their mailbox size limit. The post outlines how you can save an email but delete the file attached to it.  In two seconds a 6 MB email can go down to 12 KB. If you need to keep the file, just save it to your computer before you delete the attachment.

When I taught this to a group of staff they brought up an interesting question – how do you remember the name of the file that was attached and where you saved on your computer? I would love to think that my memory is so good and accurate that I would just remember, but I’m not delusional.

Instead of relying on memory, I suggest making a note to yourself in the email.

Make a Note in an Email

  1. Double click on the email to open it. (You need to do this to delete the attachment anyway.)
  2. Click on the Other Actions button on the Message tab of the ribbon.
  3. From the menu that drops down, select Edit Message.
  4. You can now type in your email. Make a note of the file name and where you saved it.
  5. If you haven’t already, save the attachment to your computer (right click on the attachment and select Save As) and then remove it from the email (right click on the attachment and select Remove).
  6. Save changes (Ctrl+S) and close the email.

Show/Hide Formatting Marks (Dots and Arrows) in a Word Doc

Have you ever noticed paragraph marks, dots, and arrows in your document and wondered what they were?  These are formatting marks.  They denote where you have a space (the dot), a line break (the paragraph mark) or a tab (the arrow).  They also show where page breaks and section breaks are.

Viewing formatting marks in your document can be useful, but in general, I’d rather not see them. If you’re ever trying to figure out how to turn them on or off, it’s as simple as clicking the Show/Hide button with the paragraph mark on  it (circled below).

Word 2007 and 2010

You’ll find the Show/Hide button can be found on the Home tab of the ribbon.

Outlook 2007 and 2010

When composing a new message, you’ll find the Show/Hide button on the Format Text tab of the ribbon.

Keyboard Shortcut

The keyboard shortcut to turn formatting marks on and off is Ctrl+Shift+8.

Show Specific Formatting Marks All the Time

But what if you want to view certain formatting marks, like the arrows that indicate a tab, all the time?  Or what if you hid formatting marks on the ribbon, and some of them are still showing?  You can select to always show some formatting marks.

  1. Open Word Options.
    • In Word 2007 go to the Office button and click the Word Options button.
    • In Word 2010 click on the File tab and click on the Options button.
  2. On the left side of the window, click Display.
  3. In the Always show these formatting marks on the screen section, check the boxes for marks you want to display, and uncheck boxes for marks you don’t want to see.
  4. Click OK.
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