Change An iCal Subscribed Calendar Display Color

I’m hugely grateful that my children’s school publishes an iCal calendar so I can have school events integrated into my business and personal calendar. Problem is, when I subscribed iCal picked a color that is exactly the same as my business calendar color. Can I change the color of a subscribed calendar in iCal?

Dave’s Answer:

You can do quite a bit to customize subscribed calendars in ICal, actually, including not only changing the color that’s used for calendar events but changing the name of the subscribed calendar too, something I appreciate because I like succinct names while everyone else in the world seems to like long, descriptive names.

As with much in the world of Mac software, it’s all about trying Control-Clicks in various places to see what comes up. (this is also true in iTunes, for example, where there’s quite a bit of otherwise hidden functionality)

In iCal, get to a window where you can see all your calendars, as I have here:

mac ical change subscription color 1

As you can see, I have a lot of calendars, both my own and those to which I’m subscribed. No worries. Let’s go ahead and tweak the TechStars Calendar for this demonstration. Here I’m going to click on the name of the subscribed calendar, but hold down the Command key simultaneously (hence “Cmd-Click”):

mac ical change subscription color 2

Choose “Get Info” and there’s all sorts of things you can do to customize the appearance of this particular iCal event:

mac ical change subscription color 3

Want to change the name to just “TechStars”? Easily done. To change the color is just as straightforward: click on the button with the sample color swatch (in this case, blue):

mac ical change subscription color 4

If one of the default colors works, just select it and click on “OK” but let’s have a peek at what happens if you choose “Other…”:

mac ical change subscription color 5

Turns out that for the TechStars calendar, I picked a light yellow to differentiate it from the tons of other calendars I have displayed.

When you’re done, close the Color Picker window, click “OK” on the Get Info window and iCal will forevermore show your calendar event in the color of your choice.


Categorized as Mac

By Dave Taylor

Dave Taylor has been involved with the Internet since 1980 and is internationally known as an expert on both business and technology issues. Holder of an MSEd and MBA, author of twenty books and founder of four startups, he also runs a strategic marketing company and consults with firms seeking the best approach to working with weblogs and social networks. Dave is an award-winning speaker and frequent guest on radio and podcast programs.

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