Use colour for categories in Sharepoint Calendar

by Oscar

By default, all events on a sharepoint calender show up as the same colour. Unlike outlook you can easy change the colour of an event, or events that are of a particular category. You can do this in sharepoint too, but to show different colours for each category in Sharepoint calendar is quite complex. Here I will explain how.

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. I receive a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these affiliate links. This helps support the free content for the community on this website. Please read our Affiliate Link Policy for more information.

It basically follows this flow chart. Don’t worry if you don’t get it, go through the tutorial and come back, it will make a lot more sense.


Creating Categories

First of all, make sure you have the categories you want to use ready. To edit or add new categories, see this post for instructions.

I am going to create 3 events, with 3 different categories, category1, category2 and category3. At the end I should be able to show these events with different colours. At the moment, these three events are of different categories, but the shows the same colour.



Create Views For each Category

Let’s begin by creating a calendar view for each category. Give it a name, I will name them “view_category1”, “view_category2”, and “view_category3” here.

The only option needs to be changed is the Filter part. Select “Category”, “is Equal To”, and type in the name of the corresponding category name. For example for “view_category2”, category name is “Category2”.





When I finished the first one, “view_category1”, I was returned this. It should only show the events of the Category1.



Now, create a calendar view, call it “Overlay”.

Still you should choose “category” in the filter part, but leaving the name of the category empty.




Here are the views you should end up with.



Assign each Category a Colour

Now, go back to the calendar, and choose “Calendars Overlay”, click “New Calendar”

Here I name it “colour_category1”, and assign it my favourite colours, red.

Click “Resovle”, and you should see the option of the calendar your are working on in “List”.

In “List View”, choose view_Category1.

Repeat this for the other two categories, but choose different colours for them.


Now when you choose “Overlay” in “current view”, you will notice each category appears in different colour in the calendar. Hooray!



Use Overlay view in Web Part

However, when you add this calendar to other pages, or front page, as web part, it will still appear the same colour. That’s because they are using its default view, not the “Overlay” view we created.

For instructions how to add a calendar or other apps to your front page, see these instructions.

To edit web part, simply click the small downward arrow at the top right corner.

A “list view” pane should appears on the right handside, where you can change view for the web part you just added to the page. Choose “overlay” here.




When you have saved it, you should now have the colourful categorized calendar on your page.



Leave a Comment

By using this form, you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website. Note that all comments are held for moderation before appearing.


Emma 20th March 2017 - 5:31 am

Hi there

Thank you so much for this tutorial. It all makes sense, however it’s not working for me.
I made the changes in a calendar that was already on the site front page
When I choose “overlay” it shows no entries. When I chose “All” they’re all still the same colour.
Are you able to help?


Mike 14th October 2016 - 12:30 am

I’ve found lots of tutorials for this but this is the only one that worked. Thank you.

Oscar 17th October 2016 - 2:33 pm

great :)

Buki 7th October 2016 - 9:00 am

hey, thanks for the tutorial :) made it look very easy.
Could you also show how to use the EXCHANGE setup??

I just tried but got on error:
The remote server returned an unexpected response: (501) Invalid Request. (a604ab9d-62a5-208c-4997-25316b47000b)

Samit 14th January 2016 - 11:54 pm

This is great post. Thanks and keep it up.