Creating a Color Coded Calendar in SharePoint Online

by | Updated August 15, 2016 | Project Management, SharePoint

To help support our Dynamics implementations for our customers, we create a SharePoint site for each customer so we can track all of the documents, requirements, team members, budgets/contracts, processes, project plan, etc.  One of the most important things we do with this site is to track the project team’s availability by using a calendar.  We started using the default calendar, and that was working fine, but we always wanted a way to be able to show a difference between certain calendar events.  For example, we want to differentiate between a holiday and a day off, so we’d like the holiday to show up with a different color on the calendar.

I started looking around for ways to do this and I messed around with a few code samples that never ultimately worked.  I’m not a developer, so I can only go so far down that road before I run out of options.  It turns out, there is a great way of accomplishing this that doesn’t require any code, thanks to a feature called “Calendar Overlay” that’s available in SharePoint 2010 and 2013.  The overlay function was designed to allow you to see multiple calendars in one calendar view.  If you set it up correctly, you can actually use it to color code categories in one calendar.  Here’s how you do it:

Using Calendar Overlay to Color Code Categories on a Calendar on SharePoint 2013/Online

    1. Use the “Add an app” function to create a Calendar application.  For this example, mine is called “Team Calendar”
    2. Go to List Settings and click on the Category column.  You’re going to want to rename these categories to whatever you want to color code.  I also recommend making it a required field otherwise the appointment may not show up on your overlay calendar.
    3. Now that you have the Categories set up, you need to create separate view for each category.  This is the part that isn’t terribly obvious and took me a while to figure out.  For example, one of my categories is called “Holiday”, so I need to create a new view for my calendar that has a filter on the Category “Holiday”
Here's where you set the filter to each category

Here’s where you set the filter to each category

    1. Once you have set up a view for category, you need to set up a new calendar view that will pull all your custom calendars together. I call this view “Overlay” and make it the default calendar view. You can accept the defaults when creating this calendar, but in the filter area, be sure to create a filter that’s not going to happen. You don’t want to have anything show up on this calendar by default because you are going to overlay the other calendars on top of it. If you don’t create the filter, every calendar event will be duplicated. For example, I create a filter that only shows the calendar when “Location” equals Hawaii. [I guess I’ll need a new filter if we ever do a project in Hawaii, but mostly that’s wishful thinking].
Calendar Overlay Button

This is where you’ll find the calendar overlay button on the ribbon bar

    1. Next you need to begin overlaying the calendars. To do this, go to your Overlay calendar view.  Click on the Calendars Overlay button on the Calendar ribbon bar
    2. At this point, you’ll be at the Calendar Overlay page, and you’ll need to click on “New Calendar” at the top of the page.  [That was confusing to me at first as I’m not creating a new calendar at this point, I’m just choosing a new calendar to overlay].
    3. On the Calendar Overlay Settings page, give the overlay a name (this is what the user will see on the side of the calendar view) and choose the color you’d like.  On the Web URL, you’ll need to click the “Resolve” button for the system to pull in calendars from this SharePoint site.  Then choose a list of “Team Calendar” and a list view of “Holiday” so it overlays the Holiday calendar view on top of your Overlay calendar view.
Calendar Name

Screenshot of the overlay settings page

  1. Follow this step for each of the calendar views until you have them all overlaying the overlay calendar.
  2. The final result shows you the team calendar with all of the different colors for each category you selected.
Team calendar

This is the result

This color-coded calendar has been a great addition to our SharePoint implementation site. There are lots of different ways you can use this feature – it’s great that we can do this without any custom code. Good luck and let me know if you run into any challenges.

Related Posts

11 Comments

  1. James

    This is a great solution. Thanks very much for putting this guide together. I was able to implement it in O365/SharePoint Online. It works great. There is one UX issue I’ve noticed. And I’m curious if you have a solution for it. Your setup is great. But, once you follow a calendar link (from the Calendars in View list) the calendar items (for that “calendar”/view) are presented in a default color (not the one assigned). I could easily fix it with some CSS in a Script Editor web part, but I don’t see a way to drop one of those on a calendar view.

  2. Jade

    This was excellent! It worked seamlessly. The only issue I’m running into now is when utilizing the calendar as a Web Part in SharePoint O365, the colors do not carry over in the main display on the page. Do you have a work-around for this by chance?

    Thank you very much for the post!

  3. Brandon Carmichael

    Hello James:

    I am looking into this. Thank you for your comment.

    Thanks,
    Brandon

  4. Brandon Carmichael

    Hello Jade:

    I am looking into this. Thank you for your comment.

    Thanks,
    Brandon

  5. James

    My issue with adding the Script Editor web part ended up being a permissions issue. Once I was able to add it, my CSS solution worked nicely.

  6. Brandon Carmichael

    Thank you James for your update – I truly appreciate your effort.

    Thanks,
    Brandon

  7. John

    This is a great solution Brandon. Thanks!! A couple of questions, the first being if a user selects a specific calendar category, ie. Vacation, just to show all the vacations what is the easiest way to get back to displaying the Team Calendar?

    Second question, how can this calendar, Team Calendar (with all of the different Categories shown), get displayed on the home page of the site?

    Thanks,
    John

  8. Brandon Carmichael

    Hey John,

    Thank you for the questions. In regards to your questions, first, you should be able to go to the Team Calendar link under Home for the client sites. See below.
    TeamCalendar

    Regarding your second question; unfortunately, I’m a little foggy. If I had to guessing, you could go to the Home tab and add an app.

    Please let me know if you have any additional questions/comments.
    Thank you,
    Brandon

  9. John Heck

    This is great. I was able to put up a Team Calendar that has 6 other calendars as overlays. The problem is that there are only 8 colors to choose from in the drop-down selection for Color. They are all pretty close in color Dark Teal (2 different shades but oh so close), Dark Blue, Dark Green (same as Dark Teal), Olive Green, Red, Dark Purple, and Brown. How did you get such different colors in your example above? The Color field will not allow you to add additional colors to the drop-down.

    Thanks,
    John

  10. Brandon Carmichael

    Hey John,

    The color options default in from SharePoint based on the theme you use. If you go to settings in SharePoint and choose “change the look” you can choose different color schemes. Once changed, you should notice different color options in the drop-down.

    I hope that helps,
    Brandon

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Upcoming Events

october

07oct12:00 pm1:00 pmThe Three Paths to Business Central from Dynamics GP

08oct11:00 am12:00 pmConfab with Stoneridge - Livestream - The Vision and Strategy of Microsoft Business Systems

14oct10:00 am10:30 amThe Modern Manufacturer - Managing Complex Cost Modeling

14oct12:00 pm12:30 pmGenerating Custom Inspection or Process Forms

19octAll Day22Stoneridge Connect Fall 2020

22oct11:00 am12:00 pmConfab with Stoneridge - Livestream - Stoneridge Connect Recap

28oct10:00 am10:30 amThe Modern Manufacturer - Engineering Change Management: Introduction of NEW Functionality for Manufacturers Using Dynamics 365

november

11nov10:00 am10:30 amThe Modern Manufacturer - Tears and Trauma of MRP

About Stoneridge
Stoneridge Software is a unique Microsoft Gold Partner, with emphasis on partner. With specialties in Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we focus on attracting the most knowledgeable experts in the field to our team, and prioritize delivering stellar solutions with maximum impact for your business. At Stoneridge, we are deeply committed to your results. Each engagement is met with a dedicated team, ready to provide thorough, tailored, and expert service. Based in Minnesota, we intentionally “step into your shoes,” wherever you are. We focus on what you care about, and develop trusting, long-term relationships with our clients.

Subscribe To Our Blog

Sign up to get periodic updates on the latest posts.

Thank you for subscribing!

X