Toggle 10.5.3’s iCal scroll-by-week settings

As noted in my overview of the Mac OS X 10.5.3 update, iCal gained a new feature—the ability to scroll through your calendar (using the arrow buttons at the top of the calendar) in weekly view mode by either days or weeks. In iCal’s preferences, on the General tab, simply set the Scroll In Week View By pop-up to either Days or Weeks, and each click of the arrow button will move in the chosen increments. In the original article, I wrote:

It would’ve been nice if Apple gave us a hidden key override to toggle the settings in real time while scrolling (i.e. holding Option would scroll by weeks if you had the pref set to days), but if the update offers that, I can’t find it.

Well, a Macworld reader found it, and sent me an e-mail to tell me that there is an override available. The reason I didn’t find it originally is that it only works in one mode. If you set the new iCal preference to scroll by days, you can then hold down the Option key when clicking the forward or backward arrow, and iCal will scroll by weeks. When I originally tested it, I had iCal set to scroll by weeks—and in that case, Option-clicking the arrows doesn’t do anything at all.

Note that the Option key can’t be used to modify the behavior of the keyboard shortcuts for View -> Next (Command-Right Arrow) or View -> Previous (Command-Left Arrow). These shortcuts will always respect the setting in iCal’s preferences, and adding the Option key to the mix will reward you with an error beep and nothing else.

Because of this one-way override behavior, for maximum flexibility with iCal’s week view, you might want to set the new preference to scroll by days, and then use Option-clicks for jumping forward a week at a time. Hopefully Apple will see fit to add the reverse override, as well as keyboard shortcuts for the same, in a future OS X update.

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