Create custom holiday and event files

Posted by Jonh on Sunday, May 25, 2008

Outlook comes with predefined holidays. However, what if you want everyone on your team to display company holidays and events, such as corporate paydays and quarterly expense due dates, in their calendars? You can create your own custom holiday set and distribute it to other people on your team.

Tip Instead of creating custom holiday files, consider creating and sharing custom calendars. Find links to more information about sharing calendar information in the See also section.

Warning Modify the Outlook.hol file at your own risk. Microsoft provides this procedure "as is" without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose.

Note If you add the same custom set of holidays again, you will get a duplicate set of the holidays in your calendar. Therefore, you should create a custom holiday set rather than customizing an existing set.

  1. Exit Outlook if it is running.
  2. In Microsoft Windows Explorer, locate the following file:
    drive:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office 12\LCID\outlook.hol
  3. Make a backup copy of the file.
  4. Using a text editor, such as Microsoft Notepad, open the Outlook.hol file.
  5. Press CTRL+END to position the insertion point at the end of the file.
  6. Type a new header and custom events by using the format described below.
[Country or Description] ###

Holiday or event description, yyyy/mm/dd

Holiday or event description, yyyy/mm/dd

In the above format,


is the total number of items listed for a particular country/region or description. There is a space between the closing bracket and the number, as well as a carriage return at the end of the line. On each holiday line, there are a comma and a space between the holiday description and the date, as well as a carriage return at the end of the line. For example:

[Expense Reports] 4
Q1 Expense Reports Due, 2007/04/15
Q2 Expense Reports Due, 2007/11/15
Q3 Expense Reports Due, 2007/12/15
Q4 Expense Reports Due, 2007/01/15

  1. Save and close Outlook.hol.

The next time you run Outlook, the new Expense Reports dates are available for adding to your calendar.

Distribute custom holiday and event files

You can distribute a customized holiday and event file to other people in the following ways:

  • Send an e-mail message with the Outlook.hol file attached.
  • Place the file in a commonly accessible location or shared drive on your network where other people can copy the file.

By default, no holidays are added to your calendar when you begin using Microsoft Office Outlook. I want to share my Experience with Microsoft Outlook Support, Computer Help and Technical Support