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I'm using Microsoft Outlook 2003 (Home and Student, if that makes any difference, which I doubt) as my calendar, and I have one minor gripe: it can't really handle appointments that don't begin and end right on the half-hour mark. For instance, if I have a class that ends at 9:22 AM and another class that begins at 9:27 AM, they will appear to overlap in the day view. Not a big deal, but it bugs me nonetheless. Anybody know of a hack or patch that will fix this issue? I've searched the Outlook documentation as well as Google to no avail.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Items in the calendar are rounded "out" (away from the middle of the appointment, effectively) to the nearest time step, which by default is 30 minutes. So, if something finishes at 9:22 it will round "out" to 9:30, while something starting at 9:27 will round "out" to 9:00, as so they overlap.

However, what no one here has yet mentioned, is that you can change the time step that is used and thus change the amount of "rounding" that can potentially be applied to an appointment entry. This isn't a perfect fix, and does restrict you to certain step sizes, but is the best option that is natively available in the software.

Please note that this does have the (potentially negativE) effect of "zooming in" the calendar if you select a shorter time step.

To make this change you simply right-click on the time-scale next to the calendar and select the desired step size:

Changing the Outlook 2003 calendar time step size

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Use the time select drop down to pick the time closest to what you want to use. (9:30 AM to follow your example)
Then notice when you bring the mouse over the time your cursor changes to the Eyebeam text cursor.
Double click on the minutes (i.e. :30) to select them. Then type what you want it to be (i.e. 22).
Then save the appointment.

The same process works if you want to change the start time of your appointment. However, Outlook still assumes 1/2 hour increments so you may have to reset your end time as well prior to saving the appointment.

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Sorry, I guess you didn't understand the question. What I'm asking is, can I make it so that the appointments appear in a nice vertical column? If you don't know what I mean, just try creating appointments like I described above. Instead of appearing one above the other, the second appointment will appear to the right of the first one. – ian93 Sep 3 '09 at 19:24

Seems like not possible to me - this still happens in the preview of Outlook 2010 and I'd guess it's because it wants at least 30 minutes of "height" to render the text in the appointment box.

If I enter two meetings which are longer than 30 minutes it works in Outlook 2010 - they'll stack properly. Like booking meeting 1 at 11:00-13:22 and meeting 2 at 13:27-15:30.

I'm curious as to whether the same "workaround" (longer meetings) works for your Outlook 2003.

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Nope, all my classes are one hour and fourteen minutes long, with a five minute class switch time, and they still all overlap. – ian93 Sep 4 '09 at 12:40

I downloaded Mozilla Sunbird and found that it actually supports this type of schedule, so I'll be using it in the future.

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