I'm using Outlook 2010, and our Exchange Administrators have mailboxes set up for many of the meeting rooms available at our facilities. However, it would seem they don't have any Room Lists configured. (I gather this because I do not see the "Show a room list" drop-down menu. But I do see empty "Choose an available room" and "Suggested times" sections.)

Is there any way for me to still be able to use the convenient functionality (via some sort of local Room Address Book or similar) of the Room Finder without having Room Lists generated on the Exchange server?

migrated from serverfault.com Oct 3 '12 at 4:08

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

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    Could somebody explain how this is off-topic? Certainly, it's a desktop user question but it is about a software function that's fairly enterprise-specific. That's why I figured it would be better served here, rather than Super User. – Iszi Oct 2 '12 at 18:37
  • SuperUser might be the appropriate site for this. Server Fault is exclusively for pro administrators, not end-users. For more infos, please refer to the FAQ. – Sven Oct 2 '12 at 18:38

The only way Room Lists are configured is by the Exchange administrator ONLY. I personally haven't found any good way to bypass this. What you might want to do is to configure one or more local address lists containing only the conference rooms. Then select them when scheduling, and EXPAND the list and remove the entries that do not work for you. Interesting, when you do that the room finder will indicate which times have conflicts and which times do not. Allowing you to more easily find a room.

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    The downside of this approach is that Room Finder will think that the rooms are attendees, and will not show them in the "Choose an available room" section. – oberlies Feb 23 '17 at 10:31

From what I found out, the Room Finder will only work if you use the dedicated "Select Rooms" dialog (available via the buttons "Rooms..." or "Add Rooms...") and directly enter rooms there. When you specify the rooms in other ways, e.g. in the To field or the All Attendees list, Room Finder will consider the rooms to be regular attendees, and e.g. not show them as "available rooms" in the Suggested Times list.

So a straightforward way to use the Room Finder is to manually select multiple rooms in the "Select Rooms" dialog.

This however may be inconvenient if you have a long list of candidate rooms. To solve this problem, you can make use of a local Contact Group. Create such a group, name it "My Rooms", and add the rooms to it that you want to consider for meetings. Then, create a new Meeting and use the group in the following way:

  1. Enter the group name "My Rooms" in the To field
  2. If Outlook doesn't recognize the group yet, click on "Check Names"
  3. Click on the plus sign to the left of "My Rooms" and confirm the dialog
  4. Cut all the rooms in the To field (CTRL+A, CTRL+X)
  5. Enter the attendees
  6. Open the "Select Rooms" dialog (ALT+M or click on the Rooms button to the right of the locations text box)
  7. Paste the rooms in the Rooms field and confirm the dialog (CTRL+V, ENTER)

Now the Room Finder show will show available rooms from your personal list of candidate rooms.

  • regarding your comment, "This however may be inconvenient if you have a long list of candidate rooms". you can simply use shift+click to select multiple rooms in the "Add Rooms dialog" – tinker Jan 25 '18 at 3:00
  • regarding your comment, "Room Finder will only work if you use the Add Rooms button on the Scheduling Assistant". You can also click "Rooms" button in the Appointment page. – tinker Jan 25 '18 at 3:04
  • @tinker Thanks for pointing out that there are two ways to get to the Rooms dialog. I've included this in the answer – oberlies Jun 6 '18 at 9:17
  • @tinker Shift+Click to select multiple rooms is only convenient if they are in one sequence. This is not the case for me - there are e.g. private meeting rooms that I can't use. – oberlies Jun 6 '18 at 9:20
  • Brilliant answer - thanks! I knew I could create a local Contact Group, but it didn't work properly when entering it directly in the TO field. Even if you manually change each room from a "Required Attendee" to a "Resource" (in the Scheduling Assistant), the rooms wouldn't show up properly in the Room Finder. This cut/paste trick finally got it working for me! – jimtut Jan 7 at 17:05

This may be a possible alternative solution: Customizing New Meeting Request Outlook Form (support.office.com). Essentially you create your own meeting form pre-populated with the rooms you want:

  • Open Outlook and focus on your Calendar folder
  • From the menu select Tools -> Forms -> Design Form
  • In the “Look in:” drop down make sure you have “Standard Forms Library” selected, highlight “Meeting” in the list of the available forms and click Open
  • Add the rooms you want to the meeting
  • Click “Tools -> Forms -> Publish form as” and save it in your Personal Forms Library.
  • Use this new form to create meetings in future!

There's probably a nice way to create a shortcut to that new form and pop it on the ribbon....

  • Remember to choose: "None" in the room list before you publish. Just so that no room is picked by default when you create a meeting and the "To" field is empty. – Wasted_Coder May 15 '18 at 7:05
  • How to do it in Outlook 2016? – rustyx Nov 5 '18 at 10:50

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