If you’ve been using iCal for a while, you’ve probably built up a good collection of calendars. Over time, as your organization habits and needs change, you may find some calendars falling by the wayside—perhaps you have a calendar from an old job, or one for tasks at a home you no longer own. Before deleting these idle calendars, though, you want to make sure they don’t have any events on them that you might want to keep—perhaps you have set up a recurring event that’s not showing in your current month view, for instance. But how do you find out what events and to-do entries might be on a given calendar?
The easiest way to see what, if anything, is on a calendar, is to view the Search Results box in iCal. You don’t have to actually search for anything, which is sort of strange. Instead, make sure that just the calendar you’re interested in viewing is checked in the Calendars column. A fast way to do that is to Command-click on any calendar (which will deselect all calendars) and then click on the calendar you’d like to test. Now just click the leftmost button at the lower right of the screen (or choose View -> Show Search Results). If there’s anything on the calendar you’ve selected, it will show in the search results pane at the bottom of the screen.
Once you have the list of events, you can move them to other calendars (or delete them) by clicking on any entry in the list, and then editing the entry as you would any calendar or to-do item.
Here’s a related tip for deleting empty calendars—or calendars you think are empty. If you have one of these aging calendars and you’re pretty sure it’s empty, go ahead and try to delete it. Select it in the Calendars column, then press Delete. If it’s empty, iCal will just delete it. If it’s not, iCal will pop up a window asking if you’re sure you’d like to delete the calendar. If you see this warning, it’s probably best to click the Cancel button. You can then use the search results list to see exactly what’s on the calendar before you proceed to delete those entries forever.