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Tag: osx

Micropostings for April 25th through September 13th

Editing recurring events in iCal that you’ve accepted from MS Exchange/other…

Thought I’d share a mini-triumph to a niggling problem with iCal and recurring events I’d accepted into my calendar.

I work with a number of clients, most of whom are on MS Exchange of one flavour or another. I get meeting invites from them and accept them joyously into iCal on my Mac. For the most part this works fine, except when it comes to recurring events. My diary was littered with recurring events stretching into the future without end and I was unable to delete these since – as iCal kindly reminded me – I was not the meeting organiser.

I asked clients to send a cancellation, but this didn’t remove the event, and in some cases they’d already removed or finished the recurrence, just leaving me with an infinite stub.

I could delete the individual instances, but had to remember not to delete the whole series (or I’d lose the events that had really happened and that I’d attended) and I also had to take care not to ‘inform the organiser’ of the deletion – it’s never fun getting spammed about someone cancelling an event that doesn’t exist in your world!

In a moment of googling joy today I came across this ancient tip:

where it mentioned that the ‘organiser’ was identified by their email address. The tip suggested grepping and editing the underlying calendar with a text editor (wah – destruction of data alert!) but it sparked an idea that worked… Here’s how to be able to edit these otherwise untouchable appointments…

  • Open the event and look under attendees for the organiser (it says after their name, eg “Ian Jindal (organiser)”)
  • Click on the organiser’s name to see their email address and copy this (an option if you ctrl-click on the name)
  • Close the appointment and go to Address Book app
  • Go to your own address card (Card >> My Card)
  • Enter edit mode (apple-L) and add a new email address for yourself – paste in the copied email address for the event organiser, then exit Edit mode (apple-L again)
  • Go back to your calendar and open the event
  • Bingo! iCal thinks that “you” are the event organiser (since they Organiser’s email address is in your address card) and therefore lets you edit the event. Change the recurrence ‘end date’ to a date of your choice.
  • Save.

I now have a clean calendar and a light heart 🙂

Just remember to remove the temporary extra email(s) from your address card.