Smart Crash Reports

iCal - Have a Party

This tip looks at iCal's 'Invite a Guest' feature. You can invite people to an iCal event, via mass mailing software, and they can add the event to their own iCal calendar and send you a yes/no response. Further, when they respond, iCal will automatically keep track of the responses and show you who has responded and who accepted and refused the invitation.

For this to work you must:

  • use Apple's as your email client
  • have created a card for yourself in Address Book (the card marked 'Me')
  • to have iCal automatically scan email messages for invitations and replies so you don't have to manually click the iCal links in emails, check 'Automatically retrieve invitations from Mail' on the Advanced tab in iCal's Preferences.

Here's how it works

Create a new event and click the 'i' button at the bottom right of the iCal window to show the info pane. Click on 'attendees' to open Address Book and drag names onto the info pane, or click on 'none' to manually type names or email addresses. Finally, click the Send button at the foot of the info pane to send the email invitations.

The recipient will receive the email and must click on the iCal link given in the email to load the invitation into their iCal. Next, they click on the notification button to open the notifications pane, and then the small grey arrow. The invitation will be shown in the info pane, and the recipient clicks 'my status' to tentatively accept, accept, or refuse, then clicks Reply. Notice that the iCal icon in the Dock shows a "1" symbol to indicate that an invitation has arrived.

When you receive replies iCal's Dock icon will indicate this. If you haven't checked 'Automatically retrieve invitations from Mail' on the Advanced tab in iCal's Preferences, you'll have to read the reply emails and click the iCal link.

Open the notifications pane and you'll see all the replies you've received from the attendees. Hit 'ok' in the info window to acknowledge the notifications. The attendees list in the info window is updated to show the status of all invitations (no reply, tentatively accepted, accepted, or refused).

If you make a change to the event (like the start time), iCal will let you re-send the invitations.

Note: A quick shortcut to event creation and invitation simply drags an Address Book card onto the main calendar window at the appropriate date/time point.

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