WebCal.fi » Help

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Help

Quick help

  1. Find the calendar you want from the list.
  2. Press Subscribe to download the calendar.
  3. If that doesn't work, copy the calendar address (webcal://...) manually from the address list into your calendar application.
  4. Set your calendar application to update subscribed calendars automatically weekly (required only in Mac iCal prior to OSX Lion).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Calendar subscriptions

What exactly are calendar subscriptions? Why can't I just download the calendars?

Calendar subscriptions are calendars which are downloaded automatically by the calendar application. They're content in your calendar which are maintained by somebody else.

When a user has subscribed to a calendar, his application automatically downloads the calendar every week. The user does not even notice that the calendar was updated. It is completely transparent and the calendar is always up-to-date.

If the calendars were downloaded manually, the downloaded files would never update. The downloaded calendar ends at some point and the user must manually download it again. Also, when importing a calendar file into the applications, the events in the file are added to the user's main calendar instead of creating a new calendar. This makes it very tedious to remove the events should the user want it.

There is simply no reason to download a calendar instead of making a subscription.

Why do the calendars expire after one year?

The calendars do not expire. They're automatically updated and are always up-to-date. With automatic downloads you will never reach the expiration date because it moves ahead with every download.

Let's say a calendar shows one year into the future. A user subscribes to this calendar and sees the events for one year. A week passes and the user's calendar application downloads the same calendar again. It still shows one year into the future, relative to that date. At any point the user sees the events one year ahead and he does not need to do anything to keep the calendar up-to-date.

The user must just make sure that his application updates the calendar weekly. All current applications do this automatically. Only with Mac iCal on Snow Leopard and earlier the user must manually adjust Auto-refresh value to Every week.

Should I change the default values of how long the calendar shows into the future? Will my calendar end after the time has passed?

Your calendar will not end and in most cases you should not change the value.

Each calendar has a default value on how often it is updated and how far into the future it shows. These are set to be enough for just about anybody, to keep the server load sensible and to provide reasonable download sizes also for mobile clients. Most users do not need to adjust the settings nor should they.

There is no benefit in making the calendar update every day. The calendar is not regenerated and the user gets the exact same file he got the previous day. The calendars are regenerated at the recommended update interval.

Please do not adjust the setting unless you're positive you need it. If you do, please set the update interval longer. One month is good. The best option is to use the default values and let the calendar application update your calendar automatically.

I love your site! ♥ How can I express my never-ending gratitude?

You can always send me e-mail. Please send me ideas how to improve the site. Donations will become possible soon. It actually costs quite a bit to run a site with 200 Gb of traffic every day.

Unsubscribing

How do I remove a subscribed calendar (unsubscribe) from my application?

Unsubscribing can only be done at the client, i.e. your calendar application. Unsubscribing can not be done at WebCal.fi. The process depends on your program.

In most applications the process is similar to this:

  1. Select the calendar from your calendar list. The list is typically in the left panel.
  2. Open the Edit menu, then select Delete
  3. Usually you can right-click on the calendar name and select Delete from the menu that opens.

If you're using Mac OSX Lion 10.7, click on the Calendars button in the top-left corner of iCal. Select the calendar to be removed, then select Delete from the Edit menu.

If you're using a web service such as Google calendar, the process is a bit different:

  1. Go either to calendar settings page or list of all subscribed calendars
  2. On either (or both) of those pages there is typically a button or link to remove the calendar.

I unsubscribed a calendar on my iPhone/iPad/iPod touch, but the calendar keeps reappearing. How do get rid of it completely?

Try the following:

  • unsubscribe with the device you used to originally subscribe the calendar
  • unsubscribe with a computer (Mac OSX), instead of with a mobile device

Other

The calendars are not updating! What's going on?

You must just make sure that his application updates the calendar weekly. All current applications do this automatically. Only with Mac iCal on Snow Leopard and earlier the user must manually adjust Auto-refresh value to Every week.

How do I change the settings of my subscribed calendars?

The easiest way is to remove the calendar and resubscribe it with the new settings.

After subscribing a calendar I can no longer add events on my own calendar. My application says I don't have the rights to modify the calendar.

Your application can display multiple calendars and you're trying to edit the subscribed calendar instead of your own. Select your own calendar before adding events. Usually the calendars are listed on the left panel of the application. Click on your own calendar to select it.

You can't modify the events in subscribed calendars and in most cases can't delete the events. Even if you can delete the events, in most cases they'll reappear soon. This is a feature of the webcal protocol and not a limitation imposed by WebCal.fi.

Can I have a ISO 8601 (European) week numbering calendar with weeks starting on Sundays?

Unfortunately, no. This is an impossible request to fulfill. The ISO 8601 standard states that weeks start on Mondays. If a week starts on Sunday, it does not comply with the ISO 8601 standard or with any of the six known week numbering schemes. I'd rather not invent new 'standards' since there are already so many to select from.

There is an additional problem: suppose I did allow the weeks to start on Sundays. Should I move the current numbering one day backward (from Monday to the previous Sunday), or six days forward (from Monday to the next Sunday)? Either one you select, it is still a matter of opinion and it can be argued that the other option is just as valid.

The best I can do is to let you select the day of the week when the week number is displayed. By selecting Monday, you'll only see the number on Mondays. The only minor inconvenience is to have the week number appear in the second column (Monday) of the calendar, not the first (Sunday).

Moon calendar

The Moon calendar was inserted into my main calendar and did not create a new Moon Calendar. How do I get rid of the Moon Calendar events in my main calendar?

WebCal.fi never adds events to existing calendars. WebCal.fi only creates completely new calendars, which are easy to remove if necessary (by selecting the calendar and selecting Delete).

However, there are calendars from other suppliers which do add events to the main calendar instead of creating new ones. By far the most common of these is Gaia Perfumes Moon calendar.

To avoid the problem completely, the user must select New Calendar when adding the events from the Gaia Perfumes calendar. But since you already have the problem, it is too late for this. Unfortunately the default setting is to add the events into an existing calendar.

In order to get rid of the Moon events in Gaia Perfumes Moon calendar, please take a look at the end of their Gaia Perfumes help page. There are a few steps to take. Be careful not to delete your own events.

Sun calendar accuracy

The Sun calendar shows sunrise and sunset a few minutes off (or at least different from some other source). Why?

WebCal.fi uses PHP's date_sunrise and date_sunset functions. Their lack of accuracy has been reported as a bug.

Calculating sunrise and sunset is much more complicated than one might expect. There are a lot of variables to consider. Simply depending on whether one stands on top of a hill or in a valley has a huge impact, as well as atmospheric features. In practise couple minutes mean absolutely nothing.

If you think I should use a different function to calculate sunrise and sunset times, please send me such PHP function/class. It must be free and simple to use, reliable, fast and accurate. I have not found such function, altough I have searched quite a bit. If you have an alternative to suggest, please send it to aapo.puskala@webcal.fi.

I thought equinox means that day ang night are equal length. Your Sun calendar shows a difference of 12 minutes. Why?

In equinox terms, sunrise happens when the middle of the sun rises above the horizon and sunset when the middle of the sun goes below. However, usually sunrise is calculated differently. In WebCal.fi (and other services as well), sunrise happens when the top of the sun rises above the horizon and sunset when the top of the sun goes below. This makes sunset-sunrise time about 5 minutes longer than if sunrise/sunset were calculated based on the middle point of the Sun.

There is also another reason why in practise day length is longer than 12 hours in equinox. Earth's atmosphere refracts sunlight. We still see the Sun although it is already below the horizon. Depending on the location, the difference in time is about 7-10 minutes. It is taken into account in sunrise/sunset calendar, but not in the equinox "night and day are equal length".

These factors combined explain the difference in day length. Day and night would be equal length in equinox if the length of day was calculated based on the middle point of the Sun and if we had no atmosphere on Earth.

Note that the exact difference in time varies by location. The further away from the Equator, the bigger the difference.

Google Calendar

How do I subscribe a calendar to Google Calendar?

Because Google Calendar is a web service, the subscription buttons do not work.

  1. Select the calendar you want from the address list. Make any changes in the settings, then press Show URL.
  2. Click on the button Add ... to Google Calendar.

If the previous step doesn't work for some reason, you must add the calendar manually. Please read on.

  1. The calendar URL appears at the top of the window in red. The URL begins with webcal://...
  2. Press the button Add to Google Calendar.
  3. Log in (if needed) and wait a while. Your new calendar will appear in Google Calendar.
  4. If the name of the calendar is garbage, log out and then back in. This should fix it.

How do I remove a subscribed calendar (unsubscribe) from Google Calendar?

  1. Log in to Google, then click Settings from the bottom left.
  2. Select the calendar to be removed from the list, then click Unsubscribe from the right.
  3. You'll be presented with a confirmation. Press Unsubscribe.

I sync my calendars from Google Calendar. Why don't my WebCal.fi subscriptions sync from Google Calendar to my mobile device?

There may be a setting in your sync software which prevents syncing calendar subscriptions. Please check your sync software settings and help.

If you're using iPhone, a separate sync software is not needed. By default, calendar subscriptions are not synced between Google Calendar and mobile devices. You can either subscribe these calendars separarately from WebCal.fi, or simply select the calendars you wish to sync from Google Calendar.

iCloud, MobileMe

My subscribed calendars sync fine on my Mac and iOS devices, but they do not show up in iCloud.com or Me.com. Why not?

Neither MobileMe nor iCloud support subscribed calendars. Calendar subscriptions will sync between devices, but subscriptions can't be viewed, created or edited at Me.com or iCloud.com. This is Apple's decision and I can't change it, altough I'd like to.

If you like, you can send Apple feedback to have them support calendar subscriptions at iCloud.com.

I subscribed a calendar with my iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and that calendar will not synchronize to my other devices or iCal. What is this?

Calendars subscribed with iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) will not synchronize with MobileMe or iCloud. These subscriptions will remain on the iOS device only.

In order to have a calendar subscription synchronize to multiple devices, you must make the original subscription with iCal (Mac). When subscribing, select the location of the calendar to 'iCloud' or 'MobileMe'. Then the calendar will synchronize to your Macs and iOS devices.

If you do not have a Mac, your best option is to subscribe the same calendar to your iOS devices separately, without synchronizing.

Windows Live (Hotmail) Calendar

How do I add a calendar subscription to Windows Live (Hotmail) Calendar?

To use a calendar subscription in web calendars, you must copy the calendar address manually. Your browser can not send the calendar address automatically to such services.

  1. Select the calendar you want from the address list. Make any changes in the settings, then press Show URL.
  2. The calendar URL appears at the top of the window in red. The URL begins with webcal://... Select the address and copy it (Edit > Copy).
  3. Log in to Windows Live (Hotmail) Calendar
  4. Open the Hotmail menu and select Calendar
  5. When you see your calendar, click Subscribe from the top.
  6. A window opens. Select Subscribe to a public calendar. In the middle there is a field Calendar URL. Paste the address (webcal://...) into this field and give your calendar a name.
  7. Press Subscribe to calendar.
  8. If you use Windows Live Mail desktop application, your calendars will be automatically included there as well. Log in to Windows Live Mail with your Windows Live username and password. Then click Send/Recieve from the ribbon (top) and Update all.

How do I remove a subscribed calendar (unsubscribe) from Windows Live (Hotmail) Calendar?

  1. Afer logging in to the service, click the calendar on the list in the left.
  2. The calendar information is shown. Press Unsubscribe.
  3. You'll be presented with a confirmation. Press Unsubscribe.

iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

How do I remove the subscribed calendar (unsubscribe) from my mobile device?

If you subscribed the calendar directly into your mobile device (without a computer)

  1. Open Settings > Mail, Contacs, Calendars.
  2. See the Accounts list, open Subscribed calendars > Your calendar.
  3. Tap Delete account.

If you subscribed the calendar into your computer and synchronized it with iTunes, you may still keep it in your computer but remove it from your mobile device.

  1. Plug your mobile device to your computer, then select the device in iTunes.
  2. Select the tab Info, scroll down and deselect the calendars in the Calendars table.
  3. Finally, press Synchronize in the bottom right corner.

My iPad calendar crashes when I open March 2013 in monthly view. This started happening after subscribing your calendar. Did you break my iPad?

There is a bug in the iPad calendar application prior to iOS 6.1 . The application crashes when

  • there is an all-day event on April 1st 2013
  • the montly view is used
  • March 2013 is opened

This bug was finally fixed in iOS 6.1 with less than a month to go. Please update your iPad software if you haven't done so already. If you're using first generation iPad, you can't update to the latest version. I'm afraid you're out of luck. Of course you can still send feedback to Apple, but I doubt they're eager to release a new version of iOS for this purpose.

Android devices

How do I make the calendars work with Android devices?

This feature has been requested since April 2009 (65 months and counting), but for the time being web calendars can not be subscribed directly to Android devices (as of January 2014). There may be other Android calendar apps which support them, but I don't own an Android device and can't recommend any.

Fortunately there is a workaround: subscribe the calendar(s) first to Google Calendar and then sync them to Android with CalenGoo.

How do I synchronize WebCal.fi calendars to Android from Google Calendar?

  1. Select the calendar you want from the address list. Make any changes in the settings, then press Show URL.
  2. The calendar URL appears at the top of the window in red. The URL begins with webcal://... Select the address and copy it (Edit > Copy).
  3. Log in to Google Calendar.
  4. When you see your calendar, click Add from the bottom left, then select Add by URL.
  5. Paste the copied url (beginning with webcal://) into the URL field.
  6. Press Add calendar. The calendar is now subscribed and in a while you'll see its contents in Google Calendar.
  7. If the name of the calendar is garbage, log out and then back in. This should fix the calendar name.
  8. Open your calendar application in Android, select Menu > Settings and select the calendar(s) you subscribed.

How do I synchronize Android with Microsoft Outlook?

Please take a look how to synchronize Google Calendar with Android.

Nokia devices

How can I get these calendars into my Nokia mobile phone?

You can subscribe the calendars into your computer (for example Outlook) and then synchronize the calendars into your mobile phone with Nokia PC Suite. This works with most Nokia mobile phones.

You may also subscribe the calendars right into your phone. The easiest way is to subscribe the calendars to Google Calendar (see the Google tab above), then use GooSync to synchronize Google Calendar with yout mobile phone. Goosync has both free and paid services.

New Nokia mobile phones may support calendar subscriptions directly in the phone.

Google Chrome

I subscribed a calendar with Google Chrome, but all I got was an empty calendar called 'Invalid ID'. What's going on?

Google Chrome does not send form data to the server as it should. It is the only browser to do so. Make your calendar subscription with another browser, such as Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer. You can continue to use Google Chrome normally, just use a different browser for calendar subscriptions.

This issue has been reported as a bug in Chrome.

The problem has been fixed in new versions of Chrome. However, I am not sure which version is the first one to have this fixed. If you're experiencing problems, please first upgrade to the most recent version of Chrome..

Thunderbird

How do I subscribe a calendar into Mozilla Thunderbird's Lightning extension?

If the subsciption buttons do not work, you must copy the address into Thunderbird manually.

  1. Select the calendar you want from the address list. Make any changes in the settings, then press Show URL.
  2. The calendar URL appears at the top of the window in red. The URL begins with webcal://... Select the address and copy it (Edit > Copy).
  3. Open Thunderbird, then select File > New > Calendar.
  4. Select New calendar, then On the network, iCalendar (ICS), Paste the calendar URL (webcal://...) into the Location field
  5. If this does not work, please try to replace webcal://... in the beginning of the address with http://... and try again.

Please note that there is a nasty bug in Lightning, which causes it to reload the calendar constantly (multiple times each second. This causes a lof of unwanted load on the server. If this bug affects you, your calendar subscription will be banned from WebCal.fi. If you do use Lightning, please make sure this does not happen. I'm not aware of any way inside Lightning to find out whether this problem is present or not. I recommend switching to a different application.

Sharing your calendar

I'd like to share my calendar with others. Can you help?

You have three options:

  • create a new calendar at WebCal.fi and update it yourself with web interface
  • create a calendar at Google Calendar and share it with your friends
  • create an account with a file sharing service such as Box and share your calendar that way

WebCal.fi

  • Edits done with a web interface
  • The calendar may be shown in the public calendar list (optional)
  • Calendar color may be specified freely
  • Update interval can be specified
  • You can see how many subscribers your calendar has
  • Multiple people can edit the events
  • Possible to use smart dates, such as 'third Sunday in May' or 'three days before Thanksgiving' or 'on September equinox'
  • Recurring events not available at the moment
  • Mainly for calendars with an audience larger than your friends. If your calendar is private, please use Google Calendar instead.
  • Calendars are quaranteed to follow iCalendar specification
  • The service is free of charge
  • If you'd like an account, please email aapo.puskala@webcal.fi and tell about your needs.

Google Calendar

  • Edits done with a web interface or your own calendar application
  • Not possible to specify update interval
  • Not possible to limit calendar size (easily)
  • Can use recurring events
  • Multiple people can edit the events
  • If you want to use Google Calendar for sharing, please create an account at Google Calendar and read how to share Google calendars.

File sharing service (such as Box)

  • Edits done with your own calendar application
  • Requires webdav support (most file sharing services do not support webdav)
  • Not possible to specify update interval
  • Not possible to limit calendar size (easily)
  • Can use recurring events
  • Only one person can edit the events
  • If you want to use Box, please create an account at Box. Then configure your calendar application to publish the calendar at Box.