Four Quick iCal Tips

1. Transfer iCal Calendars

You can transfer your Apple iCal calendars from one computer to another by exporting each calendar from within iCal and then copying the calendar file from one Mac to another. However, if you use iSync, you may not need to. Select Go To Folder from the Finder’s Go menu and enter ~/Library/Application Support/ SyncService/LastSync Data. In the resulting folder are backups of your iCal calendars, Address Book data, and Safari bookmarks. Copy the Calendars folder to your other Mac and double-click on the ICS files within to add those calendars to the other Mac.

2. Take a Break

Create line breaks in an iCal event by pressing option-return. This can be handy when you want to create short lists in an event—for example:

Meeting with Marketing:

  • Bill Jones
  • Rachael Johnson
  • The Weird Intern
  • 3. Get Twice as Alarmed

    Sure, iCal’s alarms will ring, open a file, or even send you an e-mail message to remind you of an event. But what if you’re feeling really paranoid about missing an appointment? In that case, create multiple alarms for the same event. For example, create one alarm that alerts you a week before your dentist appointment so you can clear the company calendar. Then, with your event selected, go to Window: Show Info and click and hold on the Alarm entry. Choose Add Alarm to create another alarm, reminding you an hour before you’re supposed to leave for the tooth doctor.

    4. Make Your Alarm Personal

    As cute as iCal’s bulging alarm clock is, there’s no reason to live with it day in and day out. To create a custom alarm, first make a QuickTime movie that’s a bit taller than it is wide (Apple’s alarm clock is 53 pixels wide and 66 pixels high), and save it with the name alarmclock.mov. Control-click on the iCal icon, choose Show Package Contents from the contextual menu, and go to the Resources folder. Locate the alarmclock.mov file within the Resources folder, change its name to oldalarmclock.mov, and move it to another location. Now replace it with your new alarmclock.mov file. When an iCal alarm next goes off, it will display your QuickTime movie (see “Your Own Alarm”).

    Ditch the generic iCal alarm for one that reflects your personality.
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