Outlook 2010: How to Automatically Add Locale-based Holiday’s to Your Calendar

Today I was nosing around my Outlook 2010 settings and happened upon a neat little feature to automatically add in all of the holidays for a given country/region.

While I’m familiar with my own country’s holidays, due to a lack of interest I’m not familiar at all with the rest of the world and I’m even less interested in adding them to my calendar by hand. I deal with peers in many different countries around the world, and in attempting to schedule joint projects it’s very helpful to know in advance if they’re celebrating a holiday.

Outlook makes no assumptions when you begin using it as to what holiday’s you would like on your calendar, so by default none are added. Fortunately, Microsoft has made it very easy in Outlook 2010 to add those holidays automatically. Just do the following:

  1. On the File menu, click Options, and then click Calendar.
  2. Under Calendar options, click Add Holidays.
  3. Select the check box next to each country/region whose holidays you want to add to your Calendar, and then click OK. Your own country/region is automatically selected.

Removing holidays is not quite as slick though. Whereas you might think (logically) that you would just uncheck the holiday’s in the same box, Microsoft has a more convoluted way of doing it:

  1. In Calendar, on the View tab, click Change View, then select List.
  2. Select the holidays you want to remove. To quickly remove all of the holidays for a country/region, click the Location column heading to sort by country. To select multiple rows, press the CTRL key and click subsequent rows.
  3. Change to the Home tab and click Delete on the Standard toolbar (or simply right-click on the highlighted items and select delete).

A bit of a short post and probably obvious to a lot of people, but it was something that I hadn’t run across before and thought was pretty useful.

About Rebecca Harness

Rebecca Harness is a Business Information Security Officer (BISO) for a publicly-traded, global information solutions company. As BISO, she champions security initiatives and recommends strategies to mitigate risk, facilitating innovation and new product development. She’s also responsible for representing the business unit’s security program in client facing engagements, conferences, and industry forums. Prior to her current role, she was an influential cybersecurity leader for one of the world’s largest transportation providers, known for transforming information security efforts into well-orchestrated programs. There, she developed an innovative methodology for delivering key information security priorities as a service model, leading to quicker adoption enterprise-wide while significantly reducing operational costs. She also led and modernized their global, multi-brand PCI Assessment and other compliance initiatives. In the early 2000’s, Rebecca developed one of St. Louis' leading Managed Services Providers from a startup in a spare bedroom into a mature consulting company with 30+ employees and 150+ clients in the Greater St. Louis Area. Rebecca holds many certifications, including; ISACA Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA); ISC2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP); and GIAC Security Leadership Certified (GSLC). She’s also a proud alumni of Hastings College and a longtime member of the Society of American Magicians.

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