Version 8.4 of VueMinder contains many improvements, such as the ability to sync with multiple Google Calendar accounts, reduced memory use, improved performance, and additional keyboard shortcuts in the editor windows. Problems syncing with Google Calendar and Outlook have also been corrected, along with many other corrections and improvements.
Sync With Multiple Google Calendar Accounts
Previously, VueMinder could only sync with a single Google Calendar account. In version 8.4, any number of calendars, belonging to any number of Google Calendar accounts, can be synced with VueMinder. Those accounts don't even need to be configured in Google Calendar to be shared with other Google accounts. All Google Calendars will appear in a single overlay in VueMinder, allowing the user to see how activities belonging to multiple accounts line up with each other.
When the "Add Google Calendar" command on the File menu is clicked, a window will appear prompting entry of the desired Google Calendar account. The window will default to the most recently used account, if any. However, a different Google username and password can be entered. The calendars belonging to the specified account will then be listed and each calendar can be selected for addition to VueMinder.
After a Google Calendar has been added to VueMinder, the associated account details can be viewed or modified via the "Google Calendar" tab of the Calendar Properties window. As shown in the example below, there is no limit to how many Google Calendar accounts can be synced with various calendars in VueMinder.
Editor Window Keyboard Shortcuts
The Event, Task, Note, and Contact editor windows have each been improved with keyboard shortcuts to access commonly used commands on the toolbar. For example, to save an event, you can either click the "Save and Close" button, or you can press the Ctrl+S shortcut. Hovering the mouse over a toolbar button will indicate what the button does, as well its keyboard shortcut.
The following new shortcut keys have been defined for the Event Editor window. The other editor windows have similar shortcuts.
- Save And Close (Ctrl+S) - Saves the event and closes the editor window.
- Save and New Event (Ctrl+N) - Saves the event and creates a new event in the same editor window.
- Delete (Ctrl+D) - Deletes the event and closes the editor window.
- Print (Ctrl+P) - Prints the event details.
- Email (Ctrl+E) - Initiates a new email using your default email program. The body of the email is initialized from the current event.
- Previous/Next Event (Alt+Up/Down) - Saves the current event and opens the previous or next event in the same editor window. The next or previous event is found by using the date and time of the current event and searching backward or forward in time until another event is found.
- Close (Alt+F4) - Closes the editor window. If there are unsaved changes, a message will appear asking if those changes should be saved first.
- Help (F1) - Displays the user documentation.
Default Reminders in Calendar Subscriptions
Version 8.4 improves calendar subscriptions to allow definition of default event settings, including reminders, for events that belong to the subscribed calendar. The defaults can be specified on the "Event Defaults" tab of the Calendar Properties window. When a new event downloaded from the subscribed calendar, the default settings will be automatically applied to the event.
To use this feature for a new subscription, create a new calendar using the "New -> Calendar" command on the File menu. The first step is to define the default settings BEFORE the calendar subscription downloads. In other words, click the "Event Defaults" tab first to configure the desired defaults. In the example below, a default reminder is defined.
After specifying the defaults, click the "Subscribe" tab. Check the box to enable a subscription then type or paste the URL of the online calendar.
When finished, click the OK button. In this example, a sunrise/sunset calendar is added to VueMinder. A popup reminder will appear 15 minutes prior to each sunrise and sunset.
A number of visual improvements have been added to help make using VueMinder even easier. One of these improvements is to how the titles of completed events are shown. Previously, only the event background colors would be faded. This works fine for calendars that have a color background, but if transparent background was selected, there was no visual difference. Now, both the background and titles of completed events will be faded.
In the example below, the events on the 23rd have been marked completed. Notice how both the titles and background are faded, even on Example 3, which has a transparent background.
Another visual improvement is the addition of event dates to the popup balloon that is shown when hovering over an event. In some cases, especially when using the Timeline view with a large range of dates, it's difficult to determine the date of an event by looking at the calendar. The addition of the date to the popup balloon makes it much easier.
The list views (Events, Notes, Tasks, and Contacts) have been improved to make it easier to determine which rows have been selected. Multiple rows can be selected by clicking the rows with the Ctrl or Shift keys held. Previously, only the most recently selected row would have an arrow indictor to show it had been selected. Other rows would be within a black rectangle, but this rectangle is only shown for contiguous rows. If non-contiguous rows were selected, it was impossible to tell which rows had been picked. In version 8.4, each selected row will now show an arrow indicator.
Reduced Memory Use and Improved Performance
Some users reported seeing memory use consistently climb in version 8.3.1 and earlier. After several days, the software would start to bog down and run slowly. This was due to a memory leak, which has been corrected in version 8.4.
Typical memory use in version 8.4, as reported by Task Manager, should be between 40 MB and 140 MB. This value may climb if the software is being actively used, but after it is minimized or left idle for a while, memory will be released back to Windows. It's also important to note that around 80% of the reported memory use is actually just Windows caching memory for VueMinder, which runs on the .NET Framework. If other programs require the memory, windows will reduce the amount cached to VueMinder.
Due to the changes made to solve the memory leak, as well as a number of other optimizations, version 8.4 should run noticeably faster than previous versions. This will be especially true if you sync with a large number of Google Calendars, or require a large date range in the Event List.
Google Calendar and Outlook Syncing Corrections
Version 8.4 fixes a number of problems related to syncing calendars with Google Calendar, Outlook, or VueMinder Server. These corrections are identified below:
- Corrected syncing of new events that are created in Google Calendar. Previously, these new events wouldn't always automatically appear in VueMinder.
- Corrected syncing of all-day recurring events that are created in Google Calendar.
- Corrected syncing with Google Calendar when updates are made to individual event occurrences that are part of a recurring series.
- Corrected syncing with Google Calendar when using a proxy server.
- Corrected a problem with recurring events synced from Google Calendar sometimes showing duplicates when there is overlap with another recurring series that has the same title.
- Corrected problems with modifications to individual occurrences of a recurring series sometimes not syncing properly when shared over a local network.
- Corrected calendar sharing over a local network, so changes made while a computer is disconnected from the server are not overwritten with previous values after the computer reconnects. Also, changes made from other connected computers will properly sync to the reconnected computer.
- Corrected a number of problems related to syncing calendars with Outlook, such as updates made in Outlook not appearing in VueMinder, duplicate entries being generated in Outlook, and recurring events sometimes disappearing in VueMinder after syncing.
Other Corrections and Improvements
Version 8.4 includes many other corrections and improvements. For the full release notes, click here.
We continue to refine and enhance VueMinder. If you requested an improvement that didn't make it into 8.4, don't worry, we haven't forgotten. The next version is already in work and will include many more improvements. Please check back soon!