SharePoint – Color-Coding Your Calendar By Category (Tutorial)

SharePoint – Color-Coding Your Calendar By Category (Tutorial)
  1. Navigate to: Site Actions -> Site Setting -> Site Administration -> Site libraries and lists
  2. Click the Create new content link (Alternatively you can just select Customize “Calendar” list if it already exists)
    1. Click on the Calendar template
    2. Type a Name for your Calendar
    3. Click the Create button

Create Calendar

  1. Navigate to your Calendar
    1. Click on the tab: Calendar Tools -> Calendar
    2. Click on List Setting
  2. On the List Settings page:
    1. Scroll down to Columns
    2. Click on the Category column
  3. On the Change Column page:
    1. On Additional Column Settings, specify your categories (one per line)
    2. Click the OK button

Change Columns Page

  1. Navigate back to your Calendar -> Calendar Tools-> Calendar -> Modify View
  2. On the Edit Calendar View Page:
    1. Scroll to the Filter Section and select the radio button: Show items only when the following is true:
    2. Select/Enter the following for Show the items when column
      1. Category
      2. Is equal to
      3. [Your first category name]
    3. Click OK

Edit Calendar View

  1. Navigate back to your Calendar -> Calendar Tools-> Calendar-> Create View
  2. On the Create View page click on Choose a View format -> Calendar View
  3. On the Create Calendar View Page (Perform this step for category 2 and 3):
    1. Fill in the Name of your Calendar View
    2. Under Filter click on the radio button that says Show items only when the following is true:
    3. Select the following from the Show the items when column
      1. Category
      2. Is equal to
      3. [Type your category name in the textbox]
    4. Click OK

Create Calendar View

  1. Navigate back to your Calendar -> Calendar Tools -> Calendar -> Calendars Overlay

Calendars Overlay

  1. Click on the link: New Calendar (Perform this step for category 2 and 3 Category Views):
    1. Type in the Title of your Calendar Category
    2. Select a Color
    3. Click the Resolve button
    4. Select your Calendar for the List
    5. Select your Calendar View for List View
    6. Click the Always Show checkbox
    7. Click OK

New Calendar

  1. Click OK

Calendar Overlays

  1. Test your work by adding one calendar event of each category
    1. Hover over the bottom right of a day on the calendar and click Add
    2. Type a Title
    3. Select your Category
    4. Check the Make this an all-day activity that doesn’t start or end at a specific hour. Checkbox
    5. Click Save

Add Calendar Event

  1. You now have a color-coded calendar!


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  1. Hi

    Is there any way if you can see only “My Webinars” and only “My Lunches” for example if i select my webinars it should show only webinars and if i select lunches it should show lunches only. I have added filtering in views but when i select “webinars” it shows all webinars but there is no option to go back and select “lunches” from the overlay maps.

    • There is no easy way that I have found except for clicking on your Calendar under Lists in the Quick View Menu or clicking the browser back button.

  2. Number 7 above is wrong. It should be where Category is NOT equal to [Your first category name]… That way, everything else on your calendar will show when you don’t apply the view(s) you’re creating. For multiple categories/views, select the And radio button and fill in the appropriate information.

    • There are 2 ways to do the Calendar Overlays. I didn’t want a view listed that displays none of my categories, so I made the first view only display the first category and then added 2 additional views to display the other 2 categories.

      You could also do what you are suggesting by leaving the default view and setting it to display none of the overlays…and then create 3 additional views for each of the categories.

  3. I have done this and it works, but the event in the calendar is not changing color, the list of views in the frame on the left is showwing the correct colors, but the actual display of the color is all the same. HELP please… Is there some configuration or setting that is stopping the system from updating the color?

    • When you created your events on the calendar, did you select a different category for each one?

      Also, make sure that your Filters are correct.

      • Events and filters are fine. The problem seems to be with the site collection or configuration. in the overlay creation where a color is selected for the specific filter, when a color is chosen, the color displayed next to the selection box does not change. SO when viewing the calendar, the list of views in the panel on the left of the screen shows the correct selected colors, but the events in the overlay view only show the one color.

        • Roy,

          Can you send me a link to screen cap of both your calendar screen and one of your overlay configuration settings?



  4. Filters and events are fine. The problem is in the creation of the overlay’s. On the screen where I pick the color to match the overlay, when I select a color, the display color in the box next to the color number does not change. That makes me think that IT has shut off the selection or has something hard coded. When I ask IT, they tell me that there is a bug in SP and that functionality does not work. Although reading on line it obviously does. Do you know of anywhere in configuration that you can freezer colors?

    • Calendar colors are stored in CalendarV4.CSS, this file can be overwritten by theme changes and other styles that are applied to a page. You can try to override/restore these though use of a custom content pane with CSS.

      Here is an example of how you can change the colors.

  5. Thanks for this very detailed blog! . :-)

    I have however followed the instructions and your are correct, I can now have a colour coded event category with one issue (and this is apparent in your post):

    Each event I add to the Calendar, creates the event for example “My Webinar” with its category colour, however it also appears to list another 2 categories in their corresponding colours however each of the events now bears the title “My Webinar”.

    Is there a way of isolating the category colour for the created event which would list only 1 item of the event with the isolated category colour for that event?

    I hope so and look forward to any ideas you might have to achieve this goal.

  6. Thanks, this was really helpful. I found that you needed to add an extra (fake) view in step 10 in order to see all your categories in step 12.5. Also, I made my first category the same name as the calendar so that the calendar could have a name that was more descriptive than the first category.

    • Glad you found this helpful! Thanks for the feedback.

  7. i followed all steps currently but when i add event to calendar by clicking on Add link …. the added event ll not appear on calendar

    • Check your filters on your views. My guess is it has something to do with the filters.

  8. after 14 step … in 15th step i need to see color event… that Events with green color …. its not happened .. event can be seen in All event option … but not on calendar

    • Please check to make sure your filters on your calendar views as well as the overlay step when you apply the views to your calendar overlay (step 11).

  9. I have configured all of my overlays, the problem is I want to use the different views as part of my navigation so that users do not have to use the ribbon to navigate to the other views. I do not want to have all of the other views display when I am on the PTO calendar but I want to be able to display in the left navigation all of the other views available. Is there away to do this?


    • Dorinda,

      You could set them up as quick links?

  10. Thank you for this great article. I followed all of your steps and it worked like a charm!

    Then I created a view for the first category ,Events(My Events)and then created a calendar overlay for it. The reason I did this was so that I could change the color of the calendar to whatever color (as opposed to the default color of line green) whenever the event was Events.

    The problem I am having is that when I add an event with the category of Events, I am seeing two of the same event:one with the default light green and the other with the color I selected for the My Events Calendar overlay.

    How do I get rid of the default event?

    • Hello Justin,

      On your main calendar view, you will need to filter out the categories that are in your overlays. This will prevent them from displaying twice.

      Hope this helps!

  11. hi

    That was very helpful except that it can be done for 10 categories, is there a trick to color code the calendar for more than 10 ?

    Thank You

    • Hello Banan,

      Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately, by default, SharePoint only allows you to create 10 calendar overlays. If you have a need for more than 10 categories, you will only be able to color-code 10 of them.

  12. using 2013 foundation, when a try to press the button “Resolve” its pop up “An unexpected error has occurred.” i have no idea whats wrong!! All the filters are ok!

    • Hello Luciano,

      That sounds frustrating! I would check your SharePoint url. Maybe your site is ‘http’ instead of ‘https’?

  13. My calendar view on the left shows the color overlay. The event in the calendar window shows the color overlay. However, if I click on the calendar view on the left (Desiring to only see the events in that category) they view switches and all events are then displayed in the default calendar color, no longer in their overlay color.

    Any advice?

    • Hello Melissa,

      It is difficult to troubleshoot without seeing your screen, but here is something to try:
      – After you click on the calendar of the desired category, click calendar -> Modify View. Verify that the filter looks correct. The Category should equal the calendar category you picked.

  14. Hi Laura,

    I’ve just found your tutorial, which is very helpful.

    I’m using SP2013 Foundation.

    I created an Operations calendar with 17 categories, following the instructions in TL Ferrell’s article on another site ( Unfortunately TL Ferrell has left the organisation and Premier Point Solutions are unable to help.

    I know that the limit for calendar overlays is 10. I used two existing calendars for the first overlays (public holidays and management meetings), which left me with 8 categories to be colour-coded.

    The colour-coding was successful, but the 9 uncoloured categories do not show. Nor does the original calendar show if I click on it.

    Unless I can get all 17 categories to show the SharePoint calendar will be useless. As the calendar has 234 entries I would rather not rebuild it.

    It seems I cannot attach a document here, otherwise I would send you the original Excel-based Ops calendar, as well as screenshots of the SP calendar I created.

    Please can you help? Thank you in advance.

  15. Hi – I am also having trouble getting my entries to show the appropriate color. The list view on the side of the calendar view shows the correct colors as set up, but the events are not following suit. I did notice that when setting up my overlay’s, the only List option available said “Task”, and not my Calendar’s name as expected. Could this be the issue? And how do I resolve? Thank you!

  16. Hi,

    I am unable to resolve the URL when using overlays. It gives an error ”
    Feature xxx for list template ‘104’ is not installed in this farm. The operation could not be completed.” Any resolution for this?

    Please help.




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