Tip 991: Ending a recurring series of appointments and keeping the exceptions

I've heard a lot of complaints from users over Outlook's poor handling of recurring appointments and meetings over the years, especially when it comes to ending a series early.

At least Outlook warns you before you do something stupid:

Exceptions occur either when you move an occurrence to another time or date or when you edit an occurrence.

Microsoft Outlook's Series exception warning dialog

The recommended solution is to export the series to Excel or CSV format. Exporting breaks the series into individual appointments, which you import. This solution has one problem: it does not include attachments you added to the appointments.

Because too many exceptions can make an appointment more susceptible to corruption, I don't recommend taking notes in every occurrence. I always recommend copying the appointment and making notes in the copy. Copies were easy in Outlook 2007 and older: just a simple Ctrl+C,V to make an in-place copy. Because Outlook 2010 lets you copy the series or the occurrence, this results in a copy of the series. Getting a copy of only that day's occurrence takes a couple more steps.

After listening to complaints about these problems for "the millionth time", I decided to take a look at using VBA, initially just to make a copy of the occurrence in Outlook 2010. After that macro was finished I decided what we really needed was a macro to copy each occurrence in a series to individual appointments, attachments included.

When *that* macro was finished, I remembered another common complaint: it's impossible to use a list view and see the dates of each occurrence in a series. It took just a few tweaks to the code to convert it from creating appointments to creating a list of the appointments. All in all, it was a fun week. :)

Get the code:

Published June 1, 2012. Last reviewed on August 20, 2014.