5 Useful Outlook Global Features

Tips and Tricks by The Wizard

5 Useful Outlook Global Features



I’m glad you’ve returned and I look forward to sharing with you 5 useful features in Outlook that may be of particular interest to global customers.  And if you live on this earth – well – you are a global customer, aren’t you?  So this very well could apply to you, my dedicated apprentice!

A little history lesson here - one of the things that make Microsoft Office great is its flexibility for users from around the world.  Office applications have a wide variety of features and supports base on the users’ regional and language preferences.

Today, we will go over 5 tips in Outlook and I shall enlighten you as to how they will enrich your global experience with one of the most popular applications in Microsoft Office!  All Outlook features shown in the following tips can be found in any product language.  So warm up your wand, and let’s begin!

1. Calendar Display

Outlook’s calendar display follows the date format of the Regional and Language Options on your system (Start ->Control Panel->Regional and Language Options).  For example, you can set the current format in Regional and Language Options to Japanese (Japan), and then click the Customize this format and set the Calendar type and date format to use the Japanese Emperor Era.



Now, like magic, the Outlook calendar will display the dates in the calendar format of your preferred date format:


2. Alternate Calendar

There are many other calendar types in the world besides Gregorian.  What if you want to know what a particular date is, in another calendar type?  Alternate Calendar gives the option of displaying two calendar types in one view!  You can enable Alternate Calendar in Outlook calendar options (Office button->Options->Calendar) by simply checking the Enable an alternate calendar option, and select the desired calendar type:



As you can see below, with Chinese Lunar calendar enabled as Alternate Calendar, the date display will show the Chinese Lunar date on the right on each day:


3. Outlook Holidays

Are you an avid traveler interested in holidays celebrated around the world?  Or are you living abroad and like to be reminded the holidays in your homeland?  If your answer is yes to either question, you can go to Outlook calendar options (Office button->Options->Calendar) and click on the Add Holidays button, where you will find a list of country/region/religious holidays to choose from.  Do you know what holidays are coming up in Mexico?  Try clicking on the Add Holidays button in Outlook calendar options, check the box next to Mexico, and click OK:


Put your calendar in list view and you will see all the upcoming Mexican holidays.  (To do this – click the View tab -> Change View -> List):


4. Second Time Zone

Have you ever tried scheduling a phone conference meeting with someone who’s in a different time zone?  If you don’t like the hassles of figuring out when would be a good meeting time for both of you, showing a second time zone will help!  For example, if you are in Los Angeles and the other party is in Paris, you can go to Outlook calendar options (Office button->Options->Calendar), check the Show a second time zone option, and select GMT+01:00 for time zone:


Now you know that a meeting time in early morning in the Pacific Standard Time zone would be late in the day in Paris:


5. Right To Left Display

Right to left language readers are accustomed to a display that flows from right to left.  Outlook gives you the option to show such a display in some of its user interface.  But first, you need to have one of the right to left languages enabled on your keyboard (Control Panel->Regional and Language Options->Keyboard and Languages tab->Change keyboards, click Add to include a right to left language such as Arabic or Hebrew):


Restart Outlook, go to Outlook advanced options (Office button->Options-> Advanced) now the additional Right to Left options will appear.  Select Right to Left under Define the direction of your views option as shown below:


One obvious change can be seen is the calendar, where most recent dates are shown on the right instead of left:


Alas – I think we’ve given your magic wand quite a work out today!  I hope you have learned something new from these tips and practice them well.  Once you've mastered these, come visit me again, because in my bag of tricks, I indeed have more useful Outlook global features to share with you in the coming weeks!

Please let me know if you have suggestions for additional regional specific features that Outlook or other Office applications should add and I’ll see if I can conjure something up!

The Wizard

Shazam! I should not forget to mention my apprentice Peter Liang who waved his magic wand upon all of these tricks and brought the details to you! Peter is a Software Development Engineer in Test at Microsoft with the Office Global Experience Platform team.  Peter is originally from China but he and his team work in Redmond, Washington, USA.  Peter and his team specifically focus on making sure the Office applications are ‘world-ready’!  Assisting Peter with this article were Grace Sturman and Tom Moore.

The example companies, organizations, products, domain names, email addresses, logos, people and events depicted herein are fictitious. No association with any real company, organization, product, domain name, e-mail address, logo, person, or event is intended or should be inferred

Comments (1)

  1. Ian Powell says:

    Adding Chinese Lunar calendar shows chinese characters which are meaningless! I can’t read chinese! My language is set to English for goodness sake. How do I fix this?

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