ACal 4.1: What’s new

What’s new in ACal 4.1?

ACal has been significantly updated both to make it easier for the user and to respond to user requests.

Colour-coding

ACal creates Outlook categories for each appointment it creates in order to make it easier to work with them. The colours allocated to each category are allocated by Outlook. It was possible to use Outlook’s All Categories  dialog to change them but it is fiddly and has to be done user by user.

Now, whether you are a single user or you are an admin managing many calendars. ACal lets you take control. There is an extra tab in both the basic Setup Data form and in the Manage Many Calendars wizard that lets you select the colour you want for each category.

Category colours in Setup Data Category Colours in Manage Many Calendars

Timetable time-span

In the past ACal assumed that when you created timetable appointments you wanted them for the whole year. This is not always the case.

Now when you create timetable appointments  from the Manage Many Calendars wizard, you can set the start and finish dates for the time span within which the timetable appointments will be made. By default the dates are the start and end of the academic year but this can be changed either by selecting a different start and/or end term or by setting specific dates. A similar screen appears when using the Setup Data form but only when updating the timetable.

Setting the time-span in Manage Many Calendars

Mid-year timetable updates

In many schools there are changes to the timetable during the course of the academic year. If there are just a few additions ACal‘s ability to check for duplicates means that you can just add the new timetable commitments and create the relevant appointments. However, it is rarely that simple. There will often be existing items that are changed or delete as well as simple additions.

Now, in the Setup Data form’s Timetable tab you can simply make the changes, indicate whether they are additions, changes or deletions, and ACal will do the rest. In the Manage Many Calendars wizard it is even easier. Simply import the new timetable details and leave ACal to compare it with the current one, work out what needs to be added, changed or deleted, then go ahead and do it.

Updating the timetable from the Setup Data from

Updating the timetable in Managing Many Calendars

Deleting appointments in Exchange / Office 365

Previously, ACal‘s Manage Many Calendars wizard offered only very basic delete features. You could only delete by selecting appointment categories.

Now you can enter text which will be searched for within the subject line of appointments in the calendars of staff you select and within the date range you specify. You can opt to review each item before it is deleted.

Deleting appointments in Manage Many Calendars

New timetable sources for Manage Many Calendars

Now, as well as SIMS and TimeTabler, ACal can understand files imported from Engage and Tabulex systems.

Importing timetable data