Modern SharePoint Web Parts: Events, Calendar, Countdown

It’s Week 5 of our Web Part Wednesday blog series about Modern SharePoint web parts! This week we’re looking at some web parts related to dates and events: the Events web part, the Group Calendar web part, and the Countdown Timer web part.

Events web part

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The Events web part displays upcoming events (that is, items from a SharePoint Events list) from various scopes in your tenant. The default view is a filmstrip-style view of upcoming events.

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Events web part configuration

In the configuration pane, you would first want to select a scope for events to display. This can be anything from a single Events list on the current site, to an aggregation of all Events lists throughout your tenant. If the Events web part is placed on a Hub site, then there will also be a selection for showing events from associated sites. The terminology in the dropdown is slightly confusing, as “This site” means the current site, even if it’s a subsite (as opposed to “This site collection”), but “All sites” an “Select sites” refer to other site collections, not subsites. “Select sites” gives you a checklist of all site collections you have access to, so you can select one or more of them.

Note that the display of aggregated events is dependent upon SharePoint Search, as described in this Microsoft support article referenced within the web part. This applies to any scope other than “Events list on this site”. [During testing, it seems there are currently some issues with the Managed Properties required for aggregation in the Events web part. We are investigating.]

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Other configuration options allow you to filter by an event category (such as Meeting, Holiday, etc), to select a timeframe (such as This Week, This Month, etc), the layout (filmstrip or compact), and the number of events to display (the default is 20).

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Note that if the web part is in a 1/3 area of a page section, then it will automatically use the Compact layout.

Events web part usage

After the page is saved, users can click on an event tile to open it (in the same browser tab), and they can click on + Add Event to add an item to the underlying events list. A very cool feature here is that if you add an event in this way, you can also add an address (which generates a map), an image, an online meeting link, and additional rich text information. However, you can only view those extra fields when navigating to the event from the Modern page. The new event is saved in the SharePoint Events list, but if you view the event from within the Events list or its classic calendar view, you won’t see the “Modern” fields.

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Another important caveat to the Add Event feature is that all added events will be saved to the default Events list on the current site, even if the Events web part is displaying items from other sites. In addition, if you did select a scope other than “Events list on this site”, users will not see events they’ve added in the web part right away, as their visibility will be dependent upon the SharePoint Search crawl.

Users can also click on Add to my calendar in an event tile, to download an .ics file to save in their personal calendar – that’s a pretty nifty feature!

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Clicking on See All within the Events web part takes you to a page which displays all of the events in this list in a similar tiled view, and also allows you to specify a date range, category or to view a different events list. Changing these settings here doesn’t affect the Events web part display, they’re just for the users to get a different view of the events in this list. If the Events web part is configured to display events from more than a single Events list on the current site, then there will not be the option to switch lists.

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Note that the Events web part doesn’t display recurring events at all, and you can’t add a recurrence when adding an event from the Events Web Part. Microsoft has stated that there are no current plans (as of May 2019) to add this functionality, as you can display recurring events in the Group Calendar web part. However, those are different events… read on.

Group Calendar Web Part

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The Group Calendar web part displays a selected number of events from the Outlook calendar related to a single Office 365 Group. By default, it displays events from the Group related to the current SharePoint page, but you could select a different Group if you wish, via the Edit pane. In addition, the Edit pane allows you to select the number of events to display, from 1 to 10, with the default being 3.

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Note that there’s a Refresh icon in the upper right, which allows users to refresh the calendar after adding an event. Also, you can view either Upcoming or Past events using the tabs at the top of the web part. In addition, there’s a small icon in the lower right corner of an event if it’s a recurring event. Clicking on an event will open a popup window showing the event’s details and allowing users to add it to their calendars, but you cannot add or edit events from this web part.

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Countdown Timer web part

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And finally, we’ll take a quick look at the Countdown Timer web part. This web part is a nice way to add a countdown to a special event on your SharePoint page.

After adding the web part, you can type directly into the web part to add a title. Then in the configuration pane, the main thing you need to do is enter a date and time to count down toward. Note that if you enter a date in the past, then the web part shows the time elapsed since then – essentially a “count up” timer. Then you can specify how you want the remaining time to be displayed – days only, or including hours, minutes, and even seconds.

There are also options to include a Call to Action link and to add an image, to really make the countdown stand out.

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Below is an example of a finished Countdown Timer. Imagine using this for countdowns to corporate or social events, or to major holidays.

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That completes our tour of date-related modern SharePoint web parts. Next week we’ll dive into the Highlighted Content web part, which has quite a lot of configuration available.

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14 Comments

Miren
Reply
5th August 2019 at 4:14 pm

Hi, I URGENTLY need the “Add to my calendar” option to be available in SharePoint App. I’m so disappointed it is not!

    Sandy Ussia
    Reply
    6th August 2019 at 10:08 pm

    Hi Miren, I see what you mean….When I view the page in the SharePoint mobile app, the events in the Events Web Part do not include the “Add to my calendar” option as they do in the browser. This would be a good idea to add to the SharePoint Uservoice site: https://sharepoint.uservoice.com
    Note that there are separate sections for Android and iOS mobile app requests.

mutaz shdefat
Reply
22nd October 2019 at 10:10 pm

hi Sandy ,
thanks for the article,
just wondering if these web-parts available on-premise share point 2013 or 2016????

Brenda Anthony
Reply
11th December 2019 at 7:08 pm

Is there any way to track and report n the number of people who use the Add to my calendar link? I’d like to be able to better have a sense of potential attendees to my events.

Tatiana W.
Reply
22nd April 2020 at 5:12 pm

I want to know how to get the “count up” option to be listed for me. I have seen many places saying you can use the countdown or choose count up for scenarios where you’re stating days without incidents, etc… but it’s not an option on SP online.

    Sandy Ussia
    Reply
    20th May 2020 at 4:52 am

    It seems that at some point in the past there was a radio button in this web part, allowing you to select to count down or count up. But now if you enter a date in the past, then the timer shows the time since then, so it becomes a “count up”. I’ve added a note in the article to clarify this – thanks for raising it!

Beshr
Reply
12th May 2020 at 5:16 pm

Hi Sandy,

Thank you for the informative article.

I am adding a list of events to my SharePoint and I do have a couple of categories in mind for these events. However, SharePoint has a default list of categories that I really don’t want my users to see (“Meeting”, “Working hours”, “Business”, …) I’ve been trying to get rid of them but I cannot seem to find an option to delete those unwanted default categories. ´

Can you please help me with that?

    Sandy Ussia
    Reply
    20th May 2020 at 5:08 am

    Hi, the categories are in a Choice column within the Event content type. It’s not normally recommended to modify the built-in site content types and columns, but you could perhaps create custom ones based on the built-in ones, and have your own list of categories.

Victoria Wood
Reply
1st July 2021 at 10:08 am

Hi, wondering when a picture can be added to the tile for events so it’s not just a white box. The header picture is nice but can only be seen once clicking into the event

    Sandy Ussia
    Reply
    15th June 2022 at 10:02 pm

    Hi Victoria, Since the time this article was written, Microsoft has updated the tile view so that the tiles do now display the image you selected for each event.

Nic Z
Reply
31st July 2023 at 6:43 am

Anyway to customise the Events Web Part to display an alternative title name, for example:

NewTitle –
=[Client Name]&” “&[Event Category]&” “&[Event Status]

    Sandy Ussia
    Reply
    4th August 2023 at 9:44 pm

    Hi Nic,
    You can type whatever you want as the Title of the Events Web Part, but it will be literal text, not dynamic as I think you are asking about. Are you suggesting that you would like the web part title to reflect the filter choices you have made for that instance of the web part? In any case, no, it’s not possible to create a dynamic Title for a SharePoint web part.
    When using our Lightning Conductor web part to display events, you can create multiple Views in the same web part instance, and each View can have whatever name you wish (e.g. Client ABC – Meetings – Upcoming) – but still those names are not automatically created based on the selected filters; you would need to type them separately.

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