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org-mac-iCal.el – import Mac OS X iCal.app events into Emacs diary

If you find iCal.app the most convenient way to manage your diary, but would still like to view your appointments in org agenda, then this module may help.

N.B. org-mac-iCal.el has only been tested on OS X 10.5. Apple's handling of ics files changed between 10.4 and 10.5 to allow Spotlight to index events. Unfortunately, the author no longer has access to 10.4 and 10.4 support is based entirely on his memory. The author would welcome reports of success or failure of org-mac-iCal.el with OS X 10.4 or earlier.

1. Installation

  • To load org-mac-iCal.el by default:

    (add-to-list 'org-modules 'org-mac-iCal)

    Note that org-modules must be set before org-mode is loaded.

  • To view Emacs diary entries in the org agenda, ensure that

    (setq org-agenda-include-diary t)

    is set.

2. Usage

(org-mac-iCal) will import all checked iCal.app calendars into your Emacs diary when called either interactively or as part of another function.

Warning: (org-mac-iCal) is destructive and will overwrite the current contents of your Emacs diary.

2.1. Customizable variables


Sets the number of months (default: 2) of events imported from iCal.app calendars.

Because all-day and multi-day events are imported into the Emacs diary as sexps, a large number of these can cause the Emacs calendar view to slow down unacceptably. org-mac-iCal-range sets how many months of events to import, centred around the current day. Thus the default value of 2 imports events from one month in the past to one month in the future.

2.2. Examples of usage

The following code creates a custom command in the agenda dispatcher to import iCal.app events and then display the agenda:

(setq org-agenda-custom-commands
      '(("I" "Import diary from iCal" agenda ""
           (lambda ()

A common problem with all-day and multi-day events in org agenda view is that they become separated from timed events and are placed below all TODO items. Likewise, additional fields such as Location: are orphaned from their parent events. The following hook will ensure that all events are correctly placed in the agenda:

(add-hook 'org-agenda-cleanup-fancy-diary-hook
          (lambda ()
            (goto-char (point-min))
              (while (re-search-forward "^[a-z]" nil t)
                (goto-char (match-beginning 0))
                (insert "0:00-24:00 ")))
            (while (re-search-forward "^ [a-z]" nil t)
              (goto-char (match-beginning 0))
                (re-search-backward "^[0-9]+:[0-9]+-[0-9]+:[0-9]+ " nil t))
              (insert (match-string 0)))))

Documentation from the orgmode.org/worg/ website (either in its HTML format or in its Org format) is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License version 1.3 or later. The code examples and css stylesheets are licensed under the GNU General Public License v3 or later.