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How many times have you scheduled a meeting in Outlook only to find out later that it was a holiday? I just did today and here’s how I’m going to prevent myself from doing it again.

In Outlook you can add custom holidays so that they show up in your calendar like this.

So here’s how you do it.

– – – – – – – – –  Start Copy – – – – – – – – –

[Sri Lanka] 20
Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day,2006/1/13
Tamil Thai Pongal Day,2006/1/14
National Day,2006/2/4
Navam Full Moon Poya Day,2006/2/12
Medin Full Moon Poya Day,2006/3/14
Milad-Un-Nabi (Holy Prophet’s Birthday),2006/4/11
Bak Full Moon Poya Day,2006/4/13
Day Prior to Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day,2006/4/13
Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day,2006/4/14
May Day,2006/5/1
Vesak Full Moon Poya Day,2006/5/12
Day following Vesak Full Moon Poya Day,2006/5/13
Poson Full Moon Poya Day,2006/6/11
Esala Full Moon Poya Day,2006/7/10
Nikini Full Moon Poya Day,2006/8/9
Binara Full Moon Poya Day,2006/9/7
Vap Full Moon Poya Day,2006/10/6
Il Full Moon Poya Day,2006/11/5
Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day,2006/12/4
Christmas Day,2006/12/25

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Update the current holiday file<?xml:namespace prefix ="" o />

To do so:

1.                   Exit Outlook if it is running.

2.                   In Microsoft Windows Explorer, locate the following file:

drive:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\1033\Outlook.hol

3.                   Open the file using notepad.

4.                   Add the contents of the above text (between Start Copy and End Copy) at the end of the Outlook.hol and save it.

Updating the Outlook calendar with customized events

The final step is for employees to update their calendar with the new holiday file.

To update the Outlook calendar:

1.                   Start Outlook.

2.                   On the Tools menu, click Options.

3.                   On the Preferences tab, under Calendar, click Calendar Options.

4.                   In the Calendar Options dialog box, under Calendar options, click Add Holidays.

5.                   Select the check box for your customized set of events and holidays, and then click OK. For this example, select the box labeled <?xml:namespace prefix ="" st1 />Sri Lanka.

Note  It's possible that a set of holidays or events observed in your country/region has already been selected in the Add Holidays to Calendar dialog box. If you try to add the same country/region again, you see the message, "Holidays for country are already installed. Do you want to install them again?"

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.
*                          Click No. If you click Yes, the holidays and events are installed a second time, and you will see duplicate holiday and event entries in your calendar.