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Free Internet Calendars - Frequently Asked Questions (w/answers)
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General Usage and Display

  1. Can I automatically display holidays?
  2. How can I edit or delete just one instance of a repeating event?
  3. How do I put an image in my Calendar?
  4. Can I make the calendar display Monday thru Sunday instead of Sunday through Saturday?
  5. How do I change the size of the Month, Year displayed above the calendar?
  6. Can I change the display order of events?
  7. Can I put a link to my web site on the calendar?
  8. How do I set different default display options?
  9. How can I change the order of what is displayed in each entry (e.g. to Event text, Time, then Category)?
  10. How can I display the "Location" information for events?
  11. In the Block View, can I have one day of the week display wider than others?
  12. How can I easily display only events in certain categories?

Common Problems

  1. When I access my calendar, it always shows an old date. Can I make it open with the current month?
  2. Where did all the events on my calendar go? They disappeared! - or - When I add a new event, it doesn't show up on the calendar. What gives?
  3. Why doesn't my calendar print in color?

Passwords and Security

  1. I forgot my passwords - how do I find them?
  2. Why can everybody still see my calendar without entering a password? I did specify a password for "View" in the password settings page.
  3. How do I set the calendar so that only the web administrator can add events? I have linked my calendar to my site, but it seems that anyone can edit it. How do I stop this? Can I?
  4. Can I have multiple users for my calendar, with individual usernames and passwords?
  5. How does one log in to edit an event? I have different passwords set for Admin and for Edit, yet there is no link to log in to edit. The only way that I have found to edit an event is to go to settings and log in with the admin password. What is up with this?

Using with Other Web Pages

  1. How do I link to the calendar from my own web page?
  2. How do I make the calendar come up in a new browser window?
  3. Can I include the calendar so it displays inside my existing web page?

Search Engines

  1. Will these calendars be listed by search engines - will they be found by spiders/robots?
  2. Help! My private calendar data is showing up in search engines!

Deleting and Renaming Calendars

  1. How do I completely delete my calendar?
  2. Can I rename - i.e. change the URL - for my free calendar?

Miscellaneous

  1. Can I remove the advertising?
  2. Can I prevent certain types of ads from appearing?
  3. How reliable is it?
  4. Oops! I deleted something I need. Can you recover my data or entire calendar from backups?
  5. Can you answer my question about the content of a calendar? Can you tell me who 'owns' a calendar?
  6. Can I change the "From" Address for mail sent from my calendar?
  7. Is there a way to have two separate conference room scheduling slots and not allow events to be entered that have time conflicts for a particular room?
  8. How can I display only the free/busy time on my free calendar?
  9. How can I display user-defined help messages, e.g., general instructions, or a list of e-mail addresses or other contact information?
  10. Can I show a key to my color-coded categories so that users know that, for example, purple always means 'seminars?'
  11. Can I group events by category and only display the name of the category once?
  12. Can I set a default email address for receiving notices of all events? Can I set an email address for all existing events at once? I know I can set an email address for events as I create them, but I don't see a way to do it for more than one. Thanks!
  13. Instead of email notification, can I send a text or SMS message to someone's phone when adding or editing an event?

Importing, Exporting, RSS, Subscribing

  1. Can I export my calendar to Outlook?
  2. How do I post just the upcoming events on my webpage?
  3. Can I limit the iCalendar subscription to only include events in certain categories?
  4. Can I add events from a database such as MS Access or MySQL?
  5. I exported my Outlook calendar to icalendar and imported it online. When I look at my calendar with my local time zone correct, the time is about 4 hours off and the times get messed up crossing the time change (Day light savings to standard). Can I fix this?
  6. How do I subscribe to my calendar when it has a password set?
  7. I'd like to import events to iCal on a daily basis from my external database. Is there a way to automate the import process? Thanks!

General Usage and Display

  1. Can I automatically display holidays?
    Yes - you can use "Add-In" files for this. Add-In files are pre-defined lists of events you can include into your calendar. You can choose from a standard set available to anyone, or you can load your own private Add-Ins. To see the ones already available, go to the "Settings" page for your calendar, and click the "Add-Ins" link. Then, choose which Add-Ins you'd like, optionally set colors and/or text to display with them, and press the "Save" button at bottom.
    To load your own Add-In files, see the "Manage Add-In Files" link from the "Settings" menu. Add-In files should be in the standard iCalendar format.

  2. How can I edit or delete just one instance of a repeating event?
    When you double-click an existing event to edit or delete it, if it's a repeating event you'll normally effect the entire series of events - i.e. edit or delete them all*. To modify only a single instance of the series, click the date displayed on the calendar for the instance you're interested in. (I.e. click the number.) That will display a form listing all events on that day, with "Edit" and "Delete" buttons. For repeating events, you'll also see options for "All" or "Only this Date". Make sure "Only this Date" is selected, then press the "Edit" or "Delete" button to edit or delete that one instance.
    * There's actually a preference setting in the "Event Edit Form" settings page that affects this - "Default for Repeating Events" - you can choose between "Entire Series" and "Only this Instance".

  3. How do I put an image in my Calendar?
    You can use HTML in various places, including in the calendar headers and footers as well as in event text. To include an image, use the HTML <img> tag, e.g.:
                <img src="http://some.server.com/images/myPicture.jpg"/>
    Note that your images must be on an accessible web server somewhere. If you don't have your own site to put them on, you can use any of the numerous free image-repository sites on the web; e.g. you can find some at this Google Search

  4. Can I make the calendar display Monday thru Sunday instead of Sunday through Saturday?
    Yes - click the "Settings" link below the calendar, and choose "Display Settings" from the menu. The first item on that page is "First Day of Week"; change it from "Sunday" to "Monday".

  5. How do I change the size of the Month, Year displayed above the calendar?
    As you may have found, there's currently no setting for this on the "Fonts" setting page. However, you can use some simple CSS directives to make that display however you like. To do that, click the "CSS" link on the "Settings" menu for your calendar, then enter something like this into the "Inline CSS" section:
            .DateHeader {font-size: 15pt;}
    You can specify other things too, such as making it big, bold, and blue:
            .DateHeader {font-size: 20pt; font-weight: bold; color: gold;}
    (Note: make sure you do include the leading period in .DateHeader)

  6. Can I change the display order of events?
    Yes. There are a few different options for the event sorting order, including alphabetically, by time, or by category name. Click the "Settings" link you'll see below your calendar, and then choose "Display Settings". You'll see a form; in the third section of settings there's a line labelled "Event Sorting". You can use those options to change the sort order of events. (Be sure to press the "Save" button at the bottom of the page.)
    If you want to directly specify the order of events for a particular day, you'll need to use an HTML trick. You can prepend your events with some text that won't actually appear when the calendar is displayed, but which will effect the sort order. You can use HTML tags for this.
    For example, assuming the calendar is set to sort alphabetically, you can have an event with text "Top" come before "Bottom" by entering the events like so:
    	<x1/>Top
    	<x2/>Bottom
    Since <x1/> and <x2/> are not valid HTML tags, they will just just be ignored by your browser when they are displayed. However, they will affect the sorting order of events.

  7. Can I put a link to my web site on the calendar?
    But of course, just put an HTML link in the Title, Header, or Footer section. E.g. something like:
    	  <a href="http://your.website.com">Go to My Website</a>
    You can find the "Title, Header, Footer" options in the "Settings" menu for your calendar.

  8. How do I set different default display options?
    Go to the "Settings" menu for your calendar, and click the first link - "Display Settings"; you'll find "Default Display" options there.

  9. How can I change the order of what is displayed in each entry (e.g. to Event text, Time, then Category)?
    You can't currently do this, unfortunately.

  10. How can I display the "Location" information for events?
    If an event has something in the "Location" field, that will always be displayed in event Popup windows. If an event doesn't have other 'details' though, a Popup window isn't available.
    But, you can choose to have the 'Location' displayed with the event directly on the calendar. To do that, go to the "Settings" page for your calendar, and click the "Display Settings" link. Then, look for the line labeled "Event Tag Display" - that has a checkbox you can select to have the Location field displayed with the event.

  11. In the Block View, can I have one day of the week display wider than others?
    Yes. By default, all days are the same width - about 1/7th of the page width. However, you can specify a different width for any day column by using some simple CSS. To do that, go to the "Settings" page for your calendar and click the "CSS" link. On that form, enter something like this in the "Inline CSS" section; this example will make the Sunday column twice as wide as the other days of the week:
              .BlockView .Sunday {width: 28%;}
    Normal column width is 14%; that makes the Sunday column twice as wide.
    Also, it's important to note that the column for a day of the week will always be as least as wide as the longest unbreakable text string in it. For example, the text "this will wrap nicely" might wrap around onto two lines. However, the text "this_will_not_wrap_at_all" will not wrap onto two lines, since there are no spaces in the string. Text wraps onto new lines only where there is a space.

  12. How can I easily display only events in certain categories?
    If you click the "Options" link, a popup menu will come up with a link for "Event Filter". Click that, and you'll get a form you can use to display only events that have a specific word, or that are in certain categories.
    It's also possible to get to a filtered view directly by using a URL with the filter information in it. You can bookmark that URL, or display it as a link in your calendar's header or footer. For example, this link will display a calendar that shows only "Meeting" events:
    You can add a link in your calendar's header to that like this:
          <a href="http://www.brownbearsw.com/freecal/MyCalendar?FilterCategories=Meeting">
          Display Only Meetings</a>

Common Problems

  1. When I access my calendar, it always shows an old date. Can I make it open with the current month?
    Certainly. What's likely happening is that the link or saved/bookmarked URL you're using has the Date specified in it. If you remove those parameters from the URL, it will go to the current date. E.g. if your calendar name is "MyCalendar" use this:
    	http://www.brownbearsw.com/freecal/MyCalendar
    not something like:
    	http://www.brownbearsw.com/freecal/MyCalendar?Date=2014/12/1

  2. Where did all the events on my calendar go? They disappeared! - or - When I add a new event, it doesn't show up on the calendar. What gives?
    This probably has to do with the color settings on your calendar. It could be that events are displaying with the same background and foreground colors, e.g. white text on white background. So, the events are there - you just can't see them. Try clicking and dragging with your mouse to select the text, and see if it shows up.
    To fix this, go to the "Colors" settings page for your calendar. Try choosing (and saving) one of the preset color pallettes, or click the "More Color Options" link to see all your color settings on one page.

  3. Why doesn't my calendar print in color?
    This is likely due to print settings in your web browser. One important thing to note is that most of the colors you see on your calendar are actually background colors; in most browsers, there's a separate print setting for that. For instance, in Internet Explorer on Windows:
    • From the IE browser menu select "Tools/Internet Options..."
    • Click the "Advanced" Tab
    • Check the box labeled "Print background colors and images"
    Also, in IE7 and newer that setting may be in another place as well, check this too:
    • From the IE browser menu select "File/Page Setup..."
    • Check the box labeled "Print Background Colors and Images"
    If you're using a different browser, there's likely a similar setting.

Passwords and Security

  1. I forgot my passwords - how do I find them?
    Go to this form, enter the name of your calendar, and the passwords will be mailed to the address on record for your calendar.

  2. Why can everybody still see my calendar without entering a password? I did specify a password for "View" in the password settings page.
    What's probably happening is that no password has been configured for the other security levels. If no password is specified for "Administer", everybody will have Admin permission - and anyone w/admin rights can always view the calendar. (As well as Edit and Add events.)

  3. How do I set the calendar so that only the web administrator can add events? I have linked my calendar to my site, but it seems that anyone can edit it. How do I stop this? Can I?
    Sure, just set Passwords for the "Add", "Edit", and "Administration" levels. See previous question.

  4. Can I have multiple users for my calendar, with individual usernames and passwords?
    Not in the free version. We do have other calendars available that support this, along with other features such as multiple calendar merging, custom fields, etc. Find out more about our Calcium calendar product.

  5. How does one log in to edit an event? I have different passwords set for Admin and for Edit, yet there is no link to log in to edit. The only way that I have found to edit an event is to go to settings and log in with the admin password. What is up with this?
    This is a bug; we'll soon be adding a separate "Edit" link for calendars w/this situation. In the meantime, you can get to the "Enter Password" screen by specifying the "`Op=GetPassword`" parameters in your calendar's URL, e.g. something like
              http://www.brownbearsw.com/freecal/MyCalendar?Op=GetPassword
    It will prompt for the "View" password, but you can enter the password for any level.

Using with Other Web Pages

  1. How do I link to the calendar from my own web page?
    To add the calendar to your own web site, you can just use a link that points to the calendar. E.g. if your calendar is named "MyCalendar" you'd add a link to:
        http://www.brownbearsw.com/freecal/MyCalendar
    The HTML for that would look like:
        <a href="http://www.brownbearsw.com/freecal/MyCalendar">Display My Calendar</a>
    When somebody clicks on the link on your page, they'll see the calendar in their browser.

  2. How do I make the calendar come up in a new browser window?
    Just use target="_blank" in the HTML link to the calendar, e.g.
        <a href="http://www.brownbearsw.com/freecal/MyCalendar"
           target="_blank">My Calendar</a>

  3. Can I include the calendar so it displays inside my existing web page?
    Yes, the easiest way to do this is using an HTML IFRAME. Put something like this in the HTML source of your page:
        <iframe src="http://www.brownbearsw.com/freecal/MyCalendar"
                width="600" height="400"> </iframe>

Search Engines

  1. Will these calendars be listed by search engines - will they be found by spiders/robots?

    Yes - if you want them to be. Search engines are not blocked, so if they can find and view your calendar it will be indexed. Two things are necessary to let search engines index your calendar - first, the search engines must be able to see your calendar, so make sure you don't have a "View" password set. Also, they have to find it. If you have a link to your calendar on your own web page, that will work, or if your calendar is specified as "public", the search engines can find it via these pages on our web site: Public Calendars, and Public Calendars organized by keywords

    If you don't want search engines to find information on your calendar, then set passwords - see the next question.


  2. Help! My private calendar data is showing up in search engines!
    First, see the previous question. It's easy to prevent search engines or any unauthorized parties from accessing your calendar; you just need to put a password on it.
    To do that, click the "Settings" link at the bottom of your calendar, then click "Passwords". You must set passwords for "View", "Add", "Edit", and "Administer" levels. (Note that you do need passwords set for all higher levels to have a lower level work; please see the "Passwords and Security" section above.)
    If a search engine - like Google - has already indexed your calendar, the data may remain in their results until the next time they update things. How long that takes depends on them; something like a week is typical. There's usually no way to immediately remove data from a search engine once it's in there.

Deleting and Renaming Calendars

  1. How do I completely delete my calendar?
    You can't - but unused calendars will be automatically removed after a few months. If you like, you can delete all your data; see the "Delete Events" option in the "Settings" menu for the easiest way to do that. And/or, you can set passwords so nobody can View your calendar.

  2. Can I rename - i.e. change the URL - for my free calendar?
    No, but if you ask nicely we can probably do it for you. Use the contact form, and be sure to specify the existing name and the new name you want. We'll also need to verify that it's your calendar, so please include the Admin password.

Miscellaneous

  1. Can I remove the advertising?
    Yes, we offer an ad-free option for a small monthly charge. In addition to displaying you calendar without any advertising - or links to Brown Bear Software - there are some other enhanced features. Please see the Ad-Free Calendars page for more information.

  2. Can I prevent certain types of ads from appearing?
    Sorry, no. We don't have control over which particular ads are displayed. While the idea is that the advertisements should be relevant to the content of your calendar, that doesn't always happen. The only way to remove some ads would be to remove them all (see previous question.)

    However, you can try to improve the relevance or quality of the ads you do see. The ad-serving service does scan your calendar in an attempt to determine what sorts of ads might be interesting. So, you can try adding some descriptive text in the Headers or Footers of your calendar (via the "Title, Header, Footer" section of the "Settings" page.) The ad servers will eventually read that text, and hopefully start displaying advertising that's more appropriate to your calendar.


  3. How reliable is it?
    Very; we have almost no downtime. Here's some data from an external source (click for details): Uptime for Brown Bear Software Free Calendar Service: Last 30 days

  4. Can my deleted calendar or events be recovered from your system backups?
    Yes, though there's a $100 charge for this. If you'd like to proceed, please contact us - let us know you're interested in Data Recovery, and be sure to specify your calendar URL, along w/any relevant details (e.g. the date you want to recover from.)

  5. Can you answer my question about the content of a calendar? Can you tell me who 'owns' a calendar?
    Sorry, no. We - Brown Bear Software - provide the calendar service, but don't have information about the content of any particular calendar. And while a calendar may or may not have an email address associated with it, our privacy policy prevents us from disclosing that. You'll need to check the calendar header or footers for contact information for someone other then Brown Bear Software. The calendar might also have links to a different web site, or there might be information in events that will help.

  6. Can I change the "From" Address for mail sent from my calendar?
    Yes - go to the "Settings" menu, and click "Email Settings". You'll find a place to set the "From" address on that page.

  7. Is there a way to have two separate conference room scheduling slots and not allow events to be entered that have time conflicts for a particular room?
    While you can set your calendar to not allow events that have time conflicts, you can't currently do this for different classes of events. But eventually there will be a couple different ways to do this - first, there will be a setting to have Time Conflicts check only for events in the same categories. Also, multiple merging calendars will be available, so you can have a separate calendar for each room, and each calendar can check for its own time conflicts. You'll be able to view/edit events for all your related calendars on one display.

  8. How can I display only the free/busy time on my free calendar?
    This isn't currently possible anybody who can view the calendar can see all event information. At some point there will be a way to hide event details from unprivileged users.

  9. How can I display user-defined help messages, e.g., general instructions, or a list of e-mail addresses or other contact information?
    You can put whatever text you like in the calendar headers and footers. It's also possible to add your own text to the Event Entry form; to do that, click the "Settings" link for your calendar, then the "Event Edit Form" link. You'll see a page of settings that affect the Edit form. Using that page, you can set the text used as a prompt for each field; set those to whatever you like. E.g. you can change the text that appears below the "Details" box to your specific instructions.

  10. Can I show a key to my color-coded categories so that users know that, for example, purple always means 'seminars?'
    Yes, but not automatically. Since you can put HTML in your calendar's header or footer, you can add a list or table of categories and colors. E.g. try code something like:
              <span style="background-color: purple;">Seminars</span>

  11. Can I group events by category and only display the name of the category once?
    Sorry, no. If a category is configured to display its name, it will do so for all events. There's no way to combine the display of multiple events that way.

  12. Can I set a default email address for receiving notices of all events? Can I set an email address for all existing events at once? I know I can set an email address for events as I create them, but I don't see a way to do it for more than one. Thanks!
    Yes, but only on the Ad-Free (paid) version. See the email options on the Ad-Free Calendars page for more information.

  13. Instead of email notification, can I send a text or SMS message to someone's phone when adding or editing an event?
    Yes, but you'll need to know what carrier the recipient is using. Their carrier also needs to provide an email-to-SMS gateway. (Most do.) To send the message, you use a special email address which includes the recipient's phone number. For example, if they're using Verizon Wireless, an email like 2125559876@vtext.com will go to their phone. You can find a list of the requirements for various carriers on Wikipedia.

Importing, Exporting, RSS, Subscribing

  1. Can I export my calendar to Outlook?
    Yes - click the "Options" link from your calendar, then select "Export Events". From there, you can generate and download an ASCII file that you can subsequently import into Outlook. Be sure to choose one of the "Outlook" choices in the "Format" pull-down menu on the form.
    Also, in Outlook 2007 you can try subscribing to your calendar as iCalendar; see the "iCalendar Subscription" link from your web calendar's "Options" menu for info on that.

  2. How do I post just the upcoming events on my webpage?
    You can use an RSS feed to get upcoming events. To find the feed URL, you can look for the "auto-discovery" links in your browser, if it supports that, or just use a URL of the form:
        http://www.brownbearsw.com/freecal/MyCalendar?Op=RSS
    That will give you an RSS feed with events for the next 30 days.
    Note that if your calendar has a password set for "View", you need to supply it. E.g.:
        http://www.brownbearsw.com/freecal/MyCalendar?Op=RSS;Password=TopSecret

  3. Can I limit the iCalendar subscription to only include events in certain categories?
    Yes, but you'll need to edit the URL yourself, adding a parameter called "Categories" with the categories that you want. For a single category, say "Meetings", use Category=Meetings. For multiple categories, you need to use a list of category names, separated by %1C. E.g. here's the link to subscribe to an iCalendar feed for the "MyCalendar" calendar, but only for the categories "Out of Office" and "Vacation":
        http://www.brownbearsw.com/freecal/MyCalendar?Op=iCalSubscribe;
                   Categories=Out%20of%20Office%1CVacation;x=1
    (That's all one line, and note that for category names w/spaces you need to use %20 instead of a blank space.)

  4. Can I add events from a database such as MS Access or MySQL?
    Not directly; you'd need to get them into an ASCII file, in a format the calendar can import. These include the Internet standard iCalendar format; a Microsoft Outlook-style comma-separated-values format; and two proprietary formats from Brown Bear Software calendars, "Calcium", and "iCal".

  5. I exported my Outlook calendar to icalendar and imported it online. When I look at my calendar with my local time zone correct, the time is about 4 hours off and the times get messed up crossing the time change (Day light savings to standard). Can I fix this?
    Try importing again, but first adjust the time zone on your calendar by 4 hours; then, after importing, change it back.

  6. How do I subscribe to my calendar when it has a password set?
    If you use the "Options...iCalendar Subscription" links on the web calendar to get the subscription URL, you can specify the password and it will automatically be included. Or, just append it to the subscription URL you're using; use the "Password" parameter, e.g. something like this:
        http://www.brownbearsw.com/freecal/MyCalendar?Op=iCalSubscribe;Password=xyz;x=1

  7. I'd like to import events to iCal on a daily basis from my external database. Is there a way to automate the import process? Thanks!
    There's currently no way to configure a Free Calendar to automatically periodically retrieve data from another source.