Michael B. Johnson wondered out loud on Twitter about the possibility “focusing” on a single calendar in Apple’s default Calendar app for the Mac:
In Calendar on the Mac, is there a way to “mute” or “invis” all calendars but one? I have a sparse calendar, and many non-sparse ones…
— Michael B. Johnson (@drwave) January 16, 2013
In a nutshell, he wants to be able to go from his “usual” setup to zeroing in on just one calendar, and then back to the usual setup.
Folks chimed in with suggestions that almost hit the nail on the head, but not quite. For example if you hold the command key while clicking the enabled checkbox next to a calendar, it will toggle all your calendars on or off. So getting to the state of focusing on just one is fairly routine: just toggle them all off and then click one back on.
The problem is when you’re done focusing on the one calendar, unless your usual configuration is to leave all calendars checked, you’ll have a tedious task of checking each of the (possibly many) calendars you want to enable again.
This is a strictly theoretical problem for me, because I only have a few calendars, and frankly I don’t use any of them all that much. But Michael says he has around 25 calendars, about 20 of which he keeps enabled routinely. That could certainly get annoying!
When I see a problem like this that seems “unsolvable,” I become very curious whether there is a scripting based solution. Unfortunately the AppleScript dictionary for Calendar doesn’t seem to expose the “enabled” attribute of calendars. You can access the color or title of a calendar, but not the equivalent value of clicking that checkbox next to the calendar’s name.
I found a marginal solution in GUI Scripting, which I can use to inspect the various rows of the Calendars source list, to determine whether a named calendar is enabled or not, and to toggle its checkbox based on my own criteria. If this is the kind of thing that interests you, you might want to give the solution a look. Note that the script is designed to work on Mac OS X 10.8, and apparently does not work well on 10.7.
What happens when you run the script?
If there are two or more calendars selected… the script assumes that you want to focus in on the single calendar that is highlighted in the Calendars source list. It checks the box for that calendar and unchecks all others. Before doing this it saves the names of all checked calendars to a temporary file.
If there is only one or no calendars enabled… the script assumes you would like to toggle “back to normal.” That is, it systematically checks the boxes next to all the calendars that were saved off above, and unchecks all others.
So in practice, you would select a calendar to focus on, and run this script to turn off all other calendars. Then, when you’re ready to go back to normal, just run the script again.
There are a variety of tools for running scripts like this but naturally I recommend my own FastScripts, which is free until you want more than 10 keyboard shortcuts. If you put the script in the Calendar-specific scripts folder:
[Home] -> Library -> Scripts -> Applications -> Calendar
Then it will appear in the FastScripts menu only when Calendar is the front-most app. You can also assign a keyboard shortcut that will only be active in Calendar.
I hope this solution is useful or inspires you to think about how you might tweak it to suit your own needs.
Update: the original version of this script required opening and editing a list of calendar names that should be “gone back to” when done focusing on a single calendar. The current version of the script instead assumes that when it’s focusing in on a calendar, it should save the list of all checked calendars, and restore that list when it toggling back.