I really like the "Quick Event" mask in iCal under OS X lion: insert event name, start time, date and you're ready! except for the fact that sometimes I'd like to add an event to a particular calendar instead of the default one!

I've tried to add "in *calendar_name*" or "calendar: *calendar_name*" at the end of the sentence, but none of them works!

Is there a way to achieve that?

5 Answers 5


You can enter events to specific calendars by holding down the + button

See here the entry from iCal help:

Add events to a calendar

You can add any kind of event to your iCal calendars. For example, you can add meetings, doctor appointments, and family activities. You can’t add events to a calendar you subscribed to.

  1. Open iCal
  2. Click Add (+) at the top of the iCal window or press Command (⌘)-N.
    Events are added automatically to your default calendar.
    If you want to choose a different calendar for the event, hold down the Add button (+), and then choose a calendar.
  3. To change your default calendar, choose iCal > Preferences, click General, and then select a calendar from the Default Calendar pop-up menu.

This is the best work around I've been able to come up with: set the default calendar for new events to 'selected calendar', and select the required calendar in the calendar list either by moving through it with the arrow keys, or by jumping to a calendar by typing the first few letters of its name.


Unfortunately, no, you can not add Quick Events to specific calendar.

It seems the design conceit here is that having to think about which calendar you want to add the event to would make it not-quick.

That said, here are a few workarounds:

  1. You can change the calendar that your event is added to after you hit enter in the pop-up box. Unfortunately you can't do it from the keyboard. For some reason Apple does not allow you to tab into the calendar drop-down menu.
  2. You can always switch your default calendar in iCal's preferences. If you are adding a bunch of events to a calendar and want to use the Quick Events box this might be an option for you. Unfortunately I looked at iCal does not have a AppleScript hook for changing this preference. You could use UI scripting but I find that fragile and annoying as it will often break with OS updates.

  3. If you are a fan of natural language calendar entry you might want to take a look at Fantastical. It's very well designed, the natural language engine behind it is a bit more powerful than iCal's and it does allow you to tab into the calendar drop-down. You can also select a different calendar by adding /first letter of your calendar name. I have a feeling the small company behind Fantastical will be more responsive to a feature request than Apple would be though.

  • thank you. I'll defenetely try fantastical... it seems to be the most flexible solution. Sep 19, 2011 at 4:51

The "quick event" feature simply drops a new entry in the default, so no.

You could do something like use a keyboard shortcut to trigger a automation made in Automator (or perhaps an AppleScript) that uses Universal Scripting and Watch Me Do to automate the clicks to change the preference for a calendar to your preferred "alternate" calendar.

  • Use a hot key and FastScripts to activate a new default calendar.
  • Use the quick event from iCal to drop events.
  • Optionally you'd have other hot keys to set other default calendars.

This is going to be a lot more hassle than just making an event the old way and choosing the calendar from the list or filing things that were initially in the "tentative" or whatever default calendar you have set up for you to catch all the events that come from Mail and "quick event".


Open the inspector window, then double click wherever you want your event. Now edit the event in the inspector window and select calendar as desired.

I use this solution because on my default calendar I automatically add four alarms but on my secondary calendar, which I use more as a diary, I don't want any alarms at all. When creating event with ⌘-n events where added to my main calendar and had four alarms added to them as well. When changing calendar the alarms remained and I had to manually remove them. With the method I described above the second part is no longer necessary.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .