For the Love of Mac!
December 3, 2012 1:10 PM   Subscribe

Mac Filter: I recently switched from a PC to a Mac at work and am having my first experience with Outlook 2011. So far, it has not been a good one, and now I'm totally stumped. Contact Group and Meeting Request question inside.

I am connected to Microsoft Exchange. I have made 5 Contact Groups including one that is made up of Distribution Lists from the Exchange Server. I placed all five of these groups into a new Contact Group. We'll call that one "Master Contact Group". I can send an email to Master Contact Group with no problem. It pulls all five of my groups in and I can expand them to see that all of the email addresses are included. However, when I try to send a meeting request from the calendar, the Master Contact Group will NOT insert into the To: box. Nothing happens at all. Our IT group is generally not anywhere near as helpful as Mefites, and my Google-Fu is failing miserably! Has anyone else come across such a thing?
posted by couchtater to Technology (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
That's not been something that's happened to me, no. But I agree it's odd.

An easy workaround would be to invite all five contact groups separately rather than just inputting "Master Contact Group", but I imagine you've discovered that....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:12 PM on December 3, 2012

Response by poster: Yeah, that's what I ended up doing to get the invite sent. Admittedly, typing five groups in instead of one isn't too big of a deal but, like you said, it's rather odd.
posted by couchtater at 1:51 PM on December 3, 2012

I hate Outlook (and Entourage). I don't have answers to your specific questions, but you might want to consider exploring using the built-in Mail program. It's much better than Outlook and Entourage and is somewhat compatible with an Exchange server.

I gave up on all of them and have been using Gmail via a POP3 connection for years. We don't use invites or group meetings though.
posted by kdern at 2:17 PM on December 3, 2012

I switched from a PC to a Mac at work, and I have really come to dislike Microsoft's applications. My IT department doesn't officially support the Mac, so I rely on other co-workers and the internet. [I'm surprised they allow it at all, but several SVP's in my company use MacBook Airs, so I think that helps :).]

Outlook for Mac is very limited compared to the PC app as are Microsoft's other Office applications (especially Excel, I have noticed). When you google "Outlook Mac", you can typically find others having the same problem as you are.

If your workgroup also uses Sharepoint and Lync, get used to more fun. I use Chrome for my primary browser, but have found that Firefox sometimes works when Chrome doesn't. I have Parallels, but only drop to that as a last resort.

That said, I would never willingly go back to my heavy, battery chewing, long time to reboot PC after having been able to use my 2.5lb, instant on, almost a whole day on a battery Mac :).
posted by elmay at 2:19 PM on December 3, 2012

What version is your Exchange server? I have noticed that on Outlook 2011 for Mac, if you are connected to an older version of Exchange (2007 or earlier), some features do not fully work.
posted by wongcorgi at 2:30 PM on December 3, 2012

Response by poster: My Exchange Server appears to be 2007, so maybe that's part of the issue. I do use Sharepoint to an extent, so at least I'm prepared for fun that lies ahead. I have Parallels since I have to maintain a database on Access, but it doesn't seem to work very well. That said, I am in Adobe CS programs and doing lots of printing every day, and those things work much, MUCH better, as do all of the fonts I need access to, so its definitely a mixed bag. Ah, good times.
posted by couchtater at 12:32 AM on December 4, 2012

According to the IT folks at Iowa State U, personal (server-side) contact groups are not supported for Outlook 2011. link.

When I try and create a contact group in Outlook 2011, that option is greyed out, as specified in the link above. How did you create the groups?
posted by 8dot3 at 5:03 AM on December 4, 2012

Strike what I said above, I was able to create a group once I disabled the 'hide on my computer folders' in the preferences>general pane.

Anyway, I was completely able to replicate your issue - I created a group, nested it in another group and added 1 person to the top level group. I invited that top level group to a meeting, and the only person on the invite list was the single person in the top level group, but not the two guys in the nested group.

Sadly, I don't have the answer for you but I will dig a little more since I'm kind of obsessive about that. For your googling purposes, "nested groups" is the term that you will want to use.
posted by 8dot3 at 6:24 AM on December 4, 2012

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