How to print multiple calendars at once in the Calendar Printing Assistant

I was recently asked how to print multiple calendars side-by-side in the 2007 CPA. Since this had also originally befuddled me, I figure its worth a post. The problem is that the interface is a bit confusing.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Load up both Outlook and the CPA. Select a multi-calendar template from the View Templates panel on the right-hand side of the interface:day-templates.PNG
  2. You’ll notice that the View Templates title is actually a select list. Toggle this to Calendars and Tasks:calendars-and-tasks.PNG
  3. Click on the calendars you want to see. They will appear in the Calendars and Tasks bar on the left-hand side of the interface:calendar-bar.PNG
  4. Check the calendars you want to see and, voila, they appear in the template!combined-calendar.PNG

Advanced Outlook Repair Crash

Well, for whatever reason AOR crashed when I tried to run the licensed version. Fortunately the kind souls at DataNumen let me upload my archive to their FTP server and did the repair for me.

When I asked why AOR wasn’t working here, I got the standard “must be your machine” answer:

Sorry but we don’t know the reason, as we cannot repeat the problem on our computers at all. We have used Advanced Outlook Repair to repair your file without any problems!

I guess the problem may be caused by incompabilities, but our computer installed with Vista and 2007 can also run correctly. So the problem may be related to other software or system confirgurations.

So with some good support here the results are what I was after.. though buyer beware.

Recovering impossibly corrupted Outlook email…

I’ve been through two fairly serious hard drive crashes over the last four months. This last one a few weeks ago was a doozy; even IBM’s (Lenovo’s?) wonderful little Rescue and Recovery app gave up hope.

Here’s how I recovered (mostly) what seemed to be some unrecoverable .pst email archives:

  1. When your disk appears to be beyond repair, check out the fantastic and free TestDisk. If the data is out there, TestDisk will find it. Boot from a DOS disk if, like me, your operating system is gone.
    • To grab files via TestDisk, run the app, select your disk, and go to Analyze. Continue through the partition summary screens, highlight the partition you want, and select “P” to list files. From here you can traverse the directory tree and copy “C“the files you want to rescue.
    • Under Vista, the Outlook .pst files will typically be under C:\Users\<User_Name>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\
    • Be sure to copy to a destination drive with plenty of space. Most USB drives should be recognized these days, even when booting from DOS.
  2. Once you’ve got your (probably mangled) .pst file safely on a new disk, you’ll want to try to de-mangle it of course. There are a number of apps out there for this. Here are the ones with which I experimented:
    • Advanced Outlook Repair (~$250 USD)
      Recovered and/or identified over 800 messages as well as over 500 disembodied attachments (stored in a directory of their own). Unlike some of the other apps below, most of the attachements would appear to be intact. Some of the original folders are preserved. Unicode not supported.
    • Disk Doctors Outlook Mail Recovery
      Creates a new profile containing recovered messages in the Inbox as well as a new .pst file. Though the interface is clumsy, the Disk Doctors did manage to recover over 400 messages.
    • Kernel for Outlook (~$50 USD)
      Failed to recover anything. Clone of RecoveryFix below.
    • OutlookFIX Pro (~$200 USD)
      Great demo interface shows full text of messages (save is disabled), but only discovered about 100 messages in my case. Unicode not supported.
    • Outlook Recovery Toolbox (~$50 USD)
      Couldn’t really get this to work. Crashed on save and had to kill the process from the Task Manager.
    • PSTStation (~80 EUR)
      Appears as though it tried to repair the .pst directly but without luck.
    • RecoveryFix for Outlook (~$80 USD)
      Failed to recover anything. Clone of Kernel above
    • Recovery for Outook (~$250 USD)
      Recovered over 400 messages as well as identified and or recovered over 300 disembodied attachments (stored in a directory of their own; many corrupt). Not much is left of the original folder structures. Unicode supported!
    • R-Mail for Outlook (~$115 USD)
      Recovered some uncategorized folders, but only one message per folder. (Not sure if this is a limitation of the demo mode or not.)
    • Stellar Mailbox Professional (~$130 USD)
      Nice interface. Recovered over 400 messages. Unicode not supported.

Interestingly, all of the above seemed to recover different sets of email (if they could recover anything at all…) In the end I went with Advanced Outlook Repair given that only a small subset of my emails are Unicode (Japanese). Take a look at Recovery for Outlook if you need Unicode support.

If you just want to see what you might be lurking in your .pst archive, OutlookFIX’s demo will allow you to get a complete peak at the content of many recoverable messages.

Fixing an agonizingly slow Exchange / Outlook 2007 connection

Have been banging my head against various surfaces trying to figure out why a new account with is so slow with Outlook 2007.

Microsoft Exchange Proxy Settings

Intermedia of course wanted to blame Comcast, which showed some minor packet loss ’round about their interface to Level 3 in NYC. Comcast in turn scoffed at this and suggested placing the blame on Exchange.

Finally got a suggestion from Intermedia support to check RPC over HTTP. Sure enough the “On fast networks, connect using HTTP first, then connect using TCP/IP” was off. Switched on, used KnockOut to force a quick restart of Outlook.. and suddenly no more ten minute logon process! Now let’s see if the random freezing also goes away.

My bad for not double checking what autodiscover was doing over there in the corner during the install process.

Problems with the Printing Assistant

I recently wrote about what a nifty tool the Outlook 2007 Calendar Printing Assistant is. And it is nifty, yet a few annoying issues that have left us relying on printed screen shots instead. Hrrm. Unfortunately, the Printing Assistant:

  1. Doesn’t render items in the calendar in the same left-right order as Outlook. (Neither does OWA for that matter.. This is a really minor point but seems to drive some people absolutely crazy.)
  2. Doesn’t apply category colors.
  3. Doubles-up appointments on occasion for no apparent reason.

The last two points, especially, justify our decision to just bang on the PrtSc key when needed.

That and I can’t quite seem to figure out how to rework some of the .xcal templates so that we can change working hours. (Which would ideally already be read from the calendar settings in Outlook.. Double Hrrm.)

Knockout Outlook

KnockOut is a wonderful little “Outlook Companion” that I just (re)discovered and, though it’s over five years old, still works fine with Outlook 2007.

If you’ve ever had to switch back and forth between profiles in Outlook (or.. if you’ve ever just wanted to turn the damn thing off for awhile so that your could clear your mind without getting email and — in my case — irrelevant appointment reminders thrown in your face), you’ve probably noticed that Outlook often doesn’t really shut down quickly. Or ever.

KnockOut in ActionKnockOut snaps a little icon into your taskbar that clearly shows Outlook’s running state. If Outlook is hiding zombie-like under the desktop, just click”Terminate Outlook” to shoot it in the head. You can also launch new email, task, calendar, etc. items from Knockout’s popup menu. Nice touch.

At 37 KB I’ve simply dropped KnockOut.exe into my quick launch bar and pull it up as needed.

Outlook 2007 Calendar Printing Assistant

I’m generally not a big fan of the Microsoft way of life. That said, I’ve been a loyal user of Outlook for years; mainly because there just isn’t any particularly strong competition out there. (And, yes, I have tried very hard to get funky with Zimbra.)

Over the last month or so I’ve been — cautiously — deploying an Outlook 2007 solution for a local non-profit with some pretty intense calendaring needs. Cautious because, though Outlook/Exchange will definitely get them the most bang for their buck, the sophisticated group collaboration functionality does get to be complex. And by “sophisticated” I mean, of course, “quirky”. And we’re dealing with folks who still store all their data on 3.5″ floppies. Quirky and technophobia do not make a good combination.

Anyway, as the nervous floppy-ites have become increasingly comfortable tabbing through public folder calendars, we’ve had a number of challenging requests crop up. One was to print multiple calendars side-by-side. Quite the reasonable request.

So reasonable, in fact, I was sure it was impossible.

You can imagine my surprise when today I happened across the new, free Calendar Printing Assistant. While many Microsoft apps seem to have just enough functionality to make you wish they, say, worked well, this little utility appears to actually deliver. And now we’re happily lasering five separate calendars to a single, perfectly printed sheet of A4.

Maybe I’m a fan afterall.