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Convert iCal files to emacs org-mode data

Project description

ical2org is a command line tool for exporting data from the Mac OS X application iCal so it can be used with the emacs tool org-mode. Data transfer is one-way only (from iCal to emacs), and is intended to be used to show alarms and scheduled events managed by iCal within org’s agenda view.


ical2org is distributed as a set of Python source files, and requires that Python already be installed. The source distribution is created using Distribute, which will be installed with ical2org.

Quick Install

Use normal Python application steps to install ical2org:

$ pip install ical2org


$ easy_install ical2org

The other dependencies (pytz and vobject) will be installed automatically.

From Source

  1. Download and install the dependencies.

  2. Download the latest release tarball from the project home page.

  3. Unpack the files:

    $ tar zxvf ical2org-VERSION.tar.gz
  4. Run the installation script:

    $ cd ical2org-VERSION
    $ python install


    Some systems may require super-user privileges to install.

Generating org-mode Files

While ical2org supports multiple output formats, the default is an org-mode outline. Each calendar entry includes the summary, location, date and time, and complete description (useful for searching).

For example, to extract the entries from a calendar called “Meetup: Python”, you would run:

$ ical2org "Meetup: Python"
Starting 14 days ago at 2010-01-03 00:00:00-05:00
Ending 30 days from now at 2010-02-17 00:00:00-05:00
Processing: Meetup: Python
  Python Atlanta February Meetup
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
* Meetup: Python    :clubs:
  :CATEGORY: Personal
** Python Atlanta February Meetup
   <2010-02-11 Thu 19:30-21:30>
   - PyAtl: Atlanta Python Programmers

     After an optional 6pm dinner at Figo Pasta at the corner of
     Howell Mill Road and Huff Road, we will meet as usual in the
     spacious and comfortable auditorium of the GTRI Food
     Processing Building at 7:30pm for our monthly meeting.

     Topics for this meeting:

     Brandon Rhodes will give his PyCon talk: "Learning Hosting
     Best-Practices From WebFaction"

     Atlanta, GA  30318 - USA

     Thursday, February 11 at 7:30 PM


     Attending: 3


Output is encoded as UTF-8, which may not work with Unix pipes and shell redirection. To save the output to a file instead of having it printed to standard output, use the -o option.

By default, ical2org processes all of the calendars which are displayed in iCal. Hidden calendars are ignored unless you give their name on the command line.

Generating Diary Files

The default output format uses org’s outline structure. If you would rather use emacs’ diary-mode, use -f diary to switch modes. The diary entries do not include the full text of the event.

Recurring Events

Recurring events in iCal are “exploded” to create separate entries in the output. This makes it easy to refile an event when you add notes, without having the notes from one meeting occurance appear on the wrong date.

Command Line Options

-h show this help message and exit
 Configuration file name. Defaults to ~/.ical2org
-b DAYS_AGO, --begin=DAYS_AGO, --days-ago=DAYS_AGO
 Number of days back in time to search. Defaults to 14.
-e DAYS_AHEAD, --end=DAYS_AHEAD, --days-ahead=DAYS_AHEAD
 Number of days forward in time to search. Defaults to 30.
-v, --verbose Increase verbose level
-q, --quiet Turn off verbose output
 Write the output to the named file instead of stdout
--all Include all calendars, not just active.
 Directory containing calendars. Defaults to ~/Library/Calendars.
-f FORMAT, --format=FORMAT
 Output format. One of [‘org’, ‘diary’]. Defaults to “diary”.
--opt=OPT, --formatter-option=OPT
 Formatter-specific option name=value
--help Verbose help



  • Fix bug with event spans due to mis-interpretation of iCalendar standard.


  • Fix DST handling for recurring events.


  • Patches from KANEUCHI Tetsuya to fix problems with unicode console output and empty descriptions


  • Updated installation instructions.


  • Fixed some installation annoyances.


  • First public release.

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