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Apr 8, 2012

Learn Lion Week: Discover the new iCal

by Stephen Ashby

iCal has been given a radical overhaul in OS X Lion. In part 13 of Learn Lion week, we take a look at the best new features

Information BoxMain Tutorial ImageiCal has become an invaluable app for many OS X users, and with the advent of Lion it’s seen a pretty dramatic overhaul, taking on a cleaner, simpler interface that’s not a million miles away from the one you would see on your iPad. Gone is the familiar Aqua interface we’ve grown used to over the last decade, and in is the leather-like textured header and pastel colours that, if nothing else, go very easy on the eye. But what about the new features? There’s a few of them including full-screen mode, annual view (which lets you see the entire year ahead of you) and quick events. Some of these new additions could really improve the way you organise your life through iCal, bringing you a different way of viewing and planning all your days. In this guide, we’ll take you on a tour of our favourite new features Lion has given us and show you how to get the best out of the new and improved iCal.Header Bar

Step 11: Get a feel

The first thing you’ll notice is that the overall feel is much more like iOS, with added textures and subtle colour-coding for calendars.

Step 22: The bigger picture

In iCal’s header, click on ‘Year’ to bring up the new annual view. Every month is displayed and the days are colour-coded depending on how busy you are.

Step 33: Go full screen

Click on the arrows in the top-right of the window to enter full screen mode. Full screen mode works with many of the applications you use on your Mac.

Step 44: The full screen experience

Apps in full screen mode occupy their own spaces, which means you can use a three-fingered swipe to flick between them and your regular desktops.

Step 55: Sizing up

To resize iCal’s window, drag any corner – this is a departure from Snow Leopard where you only used to be able to drag the bottom-right corner.

Step 66: Create a quick event

Click the plus sign to create a quick event – they recognise details in what you type such as date and time and add them to events automatically.

Step 77: Add in the details

Once you’ve created a quick event, it’ll appear in the calendar along with its details window. Here you can add locations and invite guests.

Step 88: Edit an event

Double-clicking on an event will still bring up its details and allow you to edit them. Clicking once and hitting the backspace key will delete an event.

Step 99: Get creative with calendars

Clicking Calendars in iCal’s header will allow you to choose which are displayed. To add or subscribe to new calendars, click Calendars in the menubar.

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This tutorial is the thirteenth in our Learn Lion Week series; for more articles just like this, visit the Learn Lion Week tag. At the end of the week, we’ll be giving away a prize to one lucky person who gets in touch with a question or problem related to OS X Lion. To get involved, simply tweet your question, plus the hashtag #LearnLionWeek, to @iCreateMagazine or post on our Facebook wall.

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