why do some Outlook appointments not show a subject in month view?

I’ll cut to the chase: the window isn’t wide enough. Either maximize or stretch the window’s width and the subject will display. You’re welcome, feel free to buy me a cup of coffee. 😎 →

This had been driving me nuts for a few months, but it was sporadic, only happening once in a while and only to (seemingly) random appointments. This morning, I got tired enough of it to figure it out.

I’ve been working with Outlook for over a decade and this had never happened before. How and why now? Was it some sort of bug in Outlook? or was it something different or new that I’ve been doing?

It was something new I’ve been doing.

I recently bought a third monitor to make online meetings easier when instructing groups.

One monitor displayed my presentation, another displayed the Brady Bunch grid of faces and the third monitor, in portrait mode, allowed me to watch and manage the waiting room, the chat and the breakout rooms. It’s worked out very well, not only for online meetings, but for my tendency to have…more than a few windows open at one time.

As a matter of everyday practice, when I’m not in an online meeting, my middle monitor is my main monitor. Straight in front of me, good ergonomics…all that. My left monitor is for reference or source material and my right, portrait monitor became home to my Outlook calendar and email.

I typically don’t have outlook maximized because, as you might have guessed, I use the bottom half of the portrait monitor for another window, often youtube or amazon music.

My default view for calendar is month view and I’ve been noticing that some of my appointments didn’t have a subject line. It happened again today. Weird. I opened the the appointment to see if it actually HAD a subject line. It did. Weird. I googled. Lots of search results about scheduling resources and…what you probably found before you stumbled upon this post.

I figured it out when I dragged my Outlook calendar to my middle (landscape) monitor and poof. Subject line appeared. Here’s a screenshot of it happening last month.

It reminded me of a previous Pragmatic Computer Tip about Excel spreadsheet cells displaying pound signs because the cell wasn’t wide enough.

I dragged Outlook back to the portrait monitor and double clicked the title bar to maximize the window. The subject line appeared. Since I didn’t want to leave the Outlook window maximized and taking up the entire height of my monitor, I restored the window and then stretched it a bit. The subject line appeared.

If you notice, the times for the problem appointment have two digits in both the beginning and ending times, making it longer than the other appointments. That was enough to do it.

Annoying problem solved. I need coffee.

Zoom Tip: how to hide those pesky grey boxes during screen sharing.

Have you ever been in a Zoom meeting while someone is sharing their screen and grey boxes began showing up at random, covering parts of what’s being shared?

I have. And it’s annoying. I actually see it from both sides when I share my screen because I often run multiple computers during Zoom meetings: I run the meeting on my two monitor desktop, I share PowerPoint slideshows from my laptop and I sometimes join on my tablet as well, so I see the grey boxes on my desktop and tablet AND I see the actual messages behind the boxes on my laptop.

I haven’t wanted to derail an entire session and make people wait while I searched for the setting, and truth be told, I use GoToMeeting more often, so I kept forgetting about Zoom’s grey box problem after the sessions were over. Today, I finally took the time to troubleshoot. I had to try a number of search strings before I finally tracked down the issue because I didn’t know exactly what setting I was looking for. Search strings referencing “Zoom notifications” didn’t lead me to the answer. These messages weren’t really notifications. Of the multiple messages I kept seeing on my laptop, the one I saw the most actually read:

“You are sharing your screen.”

Thank you Zoom, for letting me know that. 🙄

I’ll cut to the chase. The messages are “meeting controls” and here’s how to turn them OFF during your Zoom sessions and make the grey boxes stop Zoom bombing your meetings:
(click to zoom in…no pun intended)

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