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AppleScript: backup iCal calendars

Cory Bohon

iCal is great for storing your calendars and appointments, but what if you want to export (or backup) your calendars in case of a data emergency? Well, you could backup your calendars manually; however, AppleScript is so much cooler. Let's automate the backup of iCal calendars through the use of an AppleScript.

Continue reading to learn how.

Exporting iCal calendars

To export iCal calendars, just copy this script into Script (Applications > AppleScript > Script Editor).

tell application "iCal" to activate
delay 2
tell application "System Events"
tell menu item "Export..." of menu "File" of menu bar 1 of application process "iCal" to click
delay 3
keystroke "iCal"
keystroke "d" using command down
delay 2
keystroke return
end tell

Please note: this script assumes that you are using Mac OS X Leopard (version 10.5) and iCal version 3.0.

Running the Script
Once you have that AppleScript in the Script Editor, let's hit the "Run" button. iCal will launch and will show a save dialog, the script will then type in "iCal" and press the "save" button. Your exported .ics file will be located on your users desktop.

Saving the Script
You can then save the script as your favorite format flavor. I prefer to either put it in the Script menu or save it as an application.

Uses of this Script
Once you have the .ics file, you can use the file to import to Microsoft Entourage or Google Calendar; or you can just use it as an iCal backup file.

Additional Notes
  • Remember that iCal will only backup the currently selected calendars
  • In order to use scripts such as these, you need to check "Enable access for assistive devices" in the "Universal Access" System Preferences pane
  • While the script is running, be sure to not press any keys on the keyboard

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