Calendar Overlay – a simple SharePoint 2010 OOTB Master Calendar

A master calender is a common request for team sites that have sub-sites. If you are running SharePoint 2010, there’s now a built-in way to do a roll-up master calendar using the calendar overlay feature.

The Steps

  1. At the site on which you want to display the master calendar, either create a calendar list or use the existing team site calendar.
  2. On the Calendar tab in the ribbon, click Calendars Overlay.

    Calendar Overlay Button on the Ribbon

    Calendar Overlay Button on the Ribbon

  3. Click the New Calendar link to add a new calendar.

    Click the New Calendar Link

    Click the New Calendar Link

  4. In the next screen, you will need to provide information about the calendar you are adding (name, description, etc.) plus the URL of the site that houses the calendar. *(Note that the URL should be to the site, not to the calendar itself. SharePoint will find all the possible lists and views once you click the Resolve button after entering the URL address.) If the site has multiple calendar lists or views, you will need to select the one you wish to overlay from the drop down boxes. Check the box next to Always Show. Click OK.

    Enter Calendar Information

    Enter Calendar Information

  5. Repeat Steps 3-4 for each calendar you wish to add.
  6. When all the calendars are added, click “Ok.”
  7. Now all the calendars will show on the main calendar.

    Combined Calendar View

    Combined Calendar View

The Caveats

You knew there were some, right?

  1. You can only include 10 calendars.
  2. You only have 8 colors to choose from.
  3. You can include calendars that are above the site of the “master calendar” and that are siblings to the master calendar, and even that aren’t in the same site collection (Yay!). But, if the person visiting the site doesn’t have permissions to view the other calendar, you’ll get this error:
    Permissions Error

    Permissions Error

    Oops. So, be careful with permissions on your overlays.

  4. If you connect to Outlook on the main calendar, it will not include the overlaid calendars.
  5. If you add a web part of the master calendar to a page, it will not include the overlaid items you have to switch to “calendar” view in the web part properties to see the overlaid items.
  6. You can overlay lists that are not of the calendar type, as long as they have a calendar view. (This isn’t really a caveat – just a good thing to note.)
You can also overlay Exchange calendars. Sharad Kumar has a good blog post on how to aggregate Exchange Appointments into a Calendar View.