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iCal Tips

View iCals hosted on iCal World or .Mac in a web browser

For iCals hosted at iCal World:
To view an iCal in a web browser hosted iCal World you simply change 'webcal' to 'http' and replace the calendar name with index.php in the calendars url.

Change this...
webcal://icalworld.com/ical/demo/democalendar.ics

To this...
http://icalworld.com/ical/demo/index.php

For iCals hosted at .Mac:
To view an iCal in a web browser hosted at .Mac you simply change 'webcal' to 'http' and remove the '.ics' from the calendars url.

Change this...
webcal://ical.mac.com/ical/Movies.ics

To this...
http://ical.mac.com/ical/Movies

To make easier, in our calendar library simply click on the next to a calendar to view the web version.

Note: This does NOT work at http://homepage.mac.com.


Create multi-line iCal events
If you want to put a line break into an iCal event to get multiple lines of text, press Option + Enter instead of a normal Enter. MacOSX Hints
Subscribe to iCal events while using Mozilla
1. Open Internet Explorer
2. Open Preferences
3. Go to Network > Protocol Helpers and click "Add"
4. Call the new helper "webcal" (use lowercase text only!!)
5. Click on the Helper App button and select your iCal application
6. Check the box to "use current application if possible.
Now shut down and restart Mozilla. Go to the Apple iCal site and click on one of the subscription links. It should work fine. Evidently, changing the preference in IE also affected the operation of Mozilla.

This data gets written into com.apple.internetconfig.plist in your ~/Library/Preferences folder, but can't be edited manually. MacOSX Hints
POWER TIP: Set iCal window size and position
iCal does not remember the window position properly (at least on my iBook). Until Apple fixes it, here's an AppleScript that you can use to launch iCal with a zoomed (or custom) window position:

tell application "iCal"
set zoomed of window "iCal" to true
end tell
--- or you can set custom window positions with:
--- set bounds of window "iCal" to {0, 0,1024, 768}

Substitute the defining window coords with whatever you want. the first two numbers are horizontal and vertical positions of the top left corner, and the other two are the bottom right corner. MacOSX Hints
POWER TIP: Set identical window sizes for iCal views
If you don't like different window sizes in the day, week and month view follow these steps:

1. Start iCal.app and set the window size of the day view to your favorite size.
2. Quit iCal.app.
3. Double click on ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iCal.plist and the Property List Editor.app opens (the Developer tool must be installed). But of course, you can use any text editor to do this (BBEdit, TextEdit, vi, pico, etc.).
4. Now copy the value of the property "1-day view window size" to the values of the properties "7-day view window size" and "monthly view window size".
5. Save and quit the Property List Editor.app.
6. Start iCAl.app et violà: equal window sizes for each view.

You may wish to create a backup copy of your preferences file after editing to make it easy to recreate the identically sized windows in the future. MacOSX Hints

POWER TIP: How to move your iCal files to another folder and maybe let several people write to one calendar iCalWeblog
POWER TIP: Modify and create color schemes for iCal

Changing color schemes

iCal.app makes an entry in ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iCal.sources.plist for each calendar. You can easely change the color by editing the value of the property Color. But what colors are available? Have a look at iCal.app's package contents (ctrl-click on the application icon and choose "Show Package Contents"). Then navigate to Contents -> Resources -> data.wrapdir -> Themes -> default. In this directory, you can see the available colors which are identical to the folder names.

Creating color schemes

Douplicate the blue folder in the aobve themes directory and rename it. Change the colors in all *.png images, adjust the values of the properties "normal event hour color" and "normal event summary color" in the description.plist for the new color folder. Use the hint above to apply the new color to a calendar.

I have not yet found the place where all available colors are stored. If you create lots of calendars, iCal.app cycles (in alphabetical order) through the available colors but the self-made color isn't used automatically. MacOSX Hints
Outlook to iCal migration
To get info from Outlook to iCal (or even just into Entourage for that matter!) using Palm Desktop 4 for OS X as a middleman:

Export your calendar events from Outlook as a tab-delimited text file, open the text file in Excel (or other spreadsheet which can read delimited text files), change the appropriate column headings to read: Title, Date (Start), Start Time, End Date, End Time, Category 1, Category 2, and Private. Delete any remaining columns. Save in the same delimited text format as the file was when you opened it.

Now download and install the newest free Palm Desktop for OS X, import this freshly edited delimited text file into the Palm Desktop datebook, then turn around and export the datebook from Palm Desktop as a vCal file, which imports just fine into iCal. Also, Entourage says it will import from Palm Desktop, though I've not tried that. MacOSX Hints
Importing from Netscape Calendar into iCal
This is very easy and quick. Just choose Export Data in the File menu in Netscape Calendar, select "vCalendar file" as the format in the ensuing Export dialog box, click "OK", select the period and types of events/tasks to save in the next "Export" dialog box, click "OK" and save it to your hard drive. The data are saved as a ".vcs" file. Then choose "Import" under iCal's File menu, choose "vCal format" in the ensuing dialog box, navigate to the saved .vcs file and click "Import." MacsOnly
POWER TIP: Translate cal's weekdays into other languages
If your preferred language is other than English, you'd probably like to have the cal command in you own language. To do this, replace the English name of the days using a sed expression, and include it in an alias in your .tcshrc file.

For French, it is:
alias cal "cal | sed 's/ S M Tu W Th F S/Di Lu Ma Me Je Ve Sa/'"

Now when you run cal , you'll actually be running the alias, and it will replace the English dates with your language's versions. MacOSX Hints


POWER TIP: Sony Ericsson P800 Calendar iSyncing
This I found on esato.com, a forum for users of the infamous Sony Ericsson phones. I've tried this myself and can only conclude that it works perfect. There are some redraw bugs in the iSync window (ie you have to uncheck a checkbox and recheck it before you can adjust most of the calendar settings before syncing) but the syncing itself works flawlessly as far as I can tell: all my calendar and to-do items are synced and sync back too. Haven't tested this with other phones, but it might work. As always: Make backups! Apple probably didn't turned this off for nothing!

Credit goes to someone named nautilus who posted the message (which you can view on its message board )

Apple's new iSync 1.1 works great for syncing Address Book contacts, but the calendar sync is not yet activated, although the UI elements are already visible in the sync panel. It turns out that even most of the functionality to sync the P800's calendar with iCal is also present.

So if you want to enable iCal syncing with the P800, simply open the following plist text file:

/Library/Application Support/SyncService/501/SymbianConduitDefaults.plist


in your favorite text editor and change the following lines

<key>kNSSyncDeviceUseCalendars</key>


to

<key>kNSSyncDeviceUseCalendars</key>
</true>


Save the file and sync along. Although it works great for my calendar entries, it is possible that there may be some bugs that I haven't found yet. So use at your own risk. PowerPage

Stuck iCal calendar updates can impact CPU usage
Over the past few days, when I get up I have noticed my CPU utilization going through the roof. So, I take a closer look via top in my terminal window and I see iCal sucking down 106% CPU utilization of my Dual 867 (2GB RAM). I leave iCal running all the time, so I expand its window from my dock and it appears to be updating my subscriptions. Well, almost everyday it gets stuck updating one of my calendars (seemingly a different one every time). I have a total of 16 calendars with 12 "Daily" subscriptions.

By unchecking and rechecking the display calendar box, the update stops. Now, saying all that, my tip is to check your CPU utilization if you leave iCal running and potentially reclaim your CPU cycles! I know this is more a bug than a tip but ... cycles are cycles! MacOSX Hints

iCal, Cell phones and daylight savings time
This past weekend, several countries turned forward their clocks one hour. Unfortunately, the shift is causing some problems with appointment times that are synchronized between Apple iCal and mobile phones such as the Sony Ericsson T68i. One MacFixIt reader writes:

"I adjusted the time on my Sony Ericsson T68i by turning on 'summertime' in the date and time panel, my Powerbook automatically adjusted the time."

"Unfortunately, all appointments I made before the weekend are now set 1 hour earlier on the phone, while iCal correctly reports the appointments. All appointments entered after the weekend are OK on both iCal and the phone."

In order to avoid this issue, you can try setting your mobile phone's time manually, rather than by using the automatic setting functions - which apparently are not recognized by iCal. MacFixit


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. = Click to View Web Version of Calendar.... = Link to Calendar's Primary Web Site... = Download Only - Non-Subscribable
Note: Double check your calendars! Nobody's perfect, so don't be surprised if you find a calendar with a mistake or two.

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