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I'd like to set up birthdays as recurring events, so I created a birthday event for one date, then tried to copy it to other dates. My motivation is that I'd like to avoid having to specify that each event recurs yearly for each birthday. Unfortunately, I can't find a way to copy a recurring event. Is there some way for me to copy a recurring event and paste it into a different date, retaining the fact that it recurs annually?

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You can either duplicate the event (copy it to the same day) and have it keep the annual recurrence, or you can copy the event to a new date and have it lose the recurrence. Either way you will have to open the event/series and make some changes. (Although, wouldn't you have to anyway to update the names?)

As an alternative, you could add all the birthdays as holidays in Outlook. To do so, create a new blank text file and name it with a .HOL extension (such as birthdays.hol). Edit the text file and add the birthdays like this:

[Birthday] 12

The word in brackets will be what displays after their name (with regular Outlook holidays it would be the country name). Once you have all the names in place, be sure to update the first line of the file so the number listed is the number of lines in the group (not including the top line). Then just double click the file and Outlook will ask you to import the birthdays.

Once you have imported them all, they will appear as an event in your calendar like this:

Jeff's; Birthday

For more info on holiday files, see this site.

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I had been assuming I could change the name of the person's birthday by just editing it in place in the calendar view, but I see that you are correct, I have to open the event dialog to change the text of the event. – KnowItAllWannabe Dec 28 '12 at 22:49

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