Howto import calendar from Outlook?

For discussing the Mozilla Calendar, Sunbird and Lightning projects.
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Joined: June 3rd, 2004, 5:49 am
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Post Posted March 16th, 2006, 3:17 pm

Just wanted to try it again with Lightning 0.1 (after a LOT of unsuccessful tries before).
Got a calendar in Outlook 2002 that seems is absolutely impossible to import for Lightning/Sunbird etc.

Export to cvs (bad format since without recurring events) and import in Lightning does absolutely reaction at all.
With Outport export as Evolution Calendar (seems to be best suited Format) and import the .ics in Lightning does always result in an error: Image
Other Settings for Outport do not work neither.

Outlook2vcal (Outlook Appointment Exporter v1.1), export as .ics and then import in Lightning does produce the exact same error.

Some long time ago and with some early version of Calendar, I was able to import with Outport but with new Versions, nothing works.

Has anybody some idea if there is some other trick to import my Calendar?
- Or if Import is still not working at all at the moment, maybe someone knows in what Version I should try again to import my Outlook Calendar?...

Thanks for any hints/tips!

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Joined: March 13th, 2006, 9:58 pm

Post Posted March 16th, 2006, 6:55 pm

Remote Calendars ( seems to be doing a better job of publishing icalendar files from Outlook.


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Joined: June 3rd, 2004, 5:49 am
Location: EU

Post Posted March 17th, 2006, 6:27 am

Thanks for trying to help :)
but unfortunately :( Remote Calendars seems to not work. But I think this is because I unfortunately have Outlook 2002 and Remote Calendras says that it is only for Outlook 2003...

I still find it astonishing that with all those Lightning/Sunbird Users, none seems to need a way to import its Outlook Calendar -or knows some tricky way to do it somehow (at least the <= Outlook 2002 Users, IF Remote Calendars indeed should work...)

Am I really the only one who has a lot of Adresses coupled with its Birthdays in Outlook and is doing syncing with a Palm Device?
-Because both are not (currently) possible with Lightning, I still am forced to use Outlook as Base for Data, but I would really like to use Lightning with my Thunderbird on a Daily basis. This would be possible with frequent manual importing, much like I do it already for Adressbook importing from Outlook in Thunderbird...

Well, there is hoping that my whishes are not that extravagant after all, and icalendar file import from Outport does work some Day ;)

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Post Posted March 17th, 2006, 8:55 am

This looks like an error in the UTF-8 conversion process. That means that the *.ics calendar file is not properly UTF-8 encoded. Sunbird 0.3a1 and Lightning 0.1 are more strict in this error case than Sunbird 0.2.
You could check the calendar file manually and remove the invalid characters. (And get the makers of the program that created it to start doing proper character conversion)

P.S.: It is easier to open Tools->JavaScript console and copy the error message than making a screenshot.

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Joined: June 3rd, 2004, 5:49 am
Location: EU

Post Posted March 17th, 2006, 12:47 pm

Thanks alot!, indeed this seems to be some Problem with UTF-8.
I have german "Umlaute" like ü,ö,ä and also ß, è, è ô etc. in my Calendar.

Removing those characters manually would be just too much Work for Weekly Updates. Even if Outport is Open-Source, I am afraid that there is nobody working on it anymore (last update was from Dec. 2003).
But perhaps some parts of it are going to be useful for a future true Outlook Calendar importer?

After long testing and desperate tries to do it with some Macro (with Notepad++ etc.), I found a rather easy solution that worked:
Produce the ics file with Outport (Evolution Calendar Format), open it with OpenOffice (2.0.2 here) and save it as Text (coded) and select UTF-8 in the Filtersettings. After that eventually rename it as .ics and finally you can import it in Lightning. :) -ü, ö, ä etc. are now even shown correctly :)

Then watch the very old Bug that 10.000 Reminders pop up (all Birthdays etc.). At least it does not hang up your Computer anymore as it used to be, so it's just a lot of training for the thumb on the mouse...

But there is one real Problem that prohibits my intended use with ~weekly manual Updates per Import:

Once you have imported the data, you dont get rid of it anymore, you can delete the newly added Calendar, but as soon as you create a new one, the old Data is back (Name of new Calendar doesn't even bother). So apparently it is impossible to weekly import the Calendar from Outlook because it ends up beeing shown multiple times. Only thing you can do is delete storage.sdb, but then also external Calendars are gone...

So while I got nearer, I'm still not "there". But maybe those Results are going to help some others, perhaps it would be best to write them in some FAQ? -That would have helped me...

P.S. And thanks for the tip with the Javascript Console, sometimes it's just too simple ;)

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Joined: June 20th, 2010, 12:53 pm

Post Posted June 20th, 2010, 10:34 pm

Solution finally found to import Outlook to Lightning! :D After much frustration & trial & error I came across a workable import solution to migrate my Outlook calendar to Lightning:
"FreeMiCal allows the bulk export of MS Outlook appointment items to RFC 2445 conformant iCal format. .NET 2.0 or greater and Outlook 2003 or 2007 Interop Services required."

Hope it's a help to others in the community!



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Post Posted June 21st, 2010, 1:53 am

You are four years late. Locking.
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