How to rename vcs files so iCal can open them


How to rename vcs files so iCal can open them
Sunday, 20 May 2012

Have you ever booked an airline ticket and received a .vcs file? Or had friends or colleagues send you .vcs files for appointments? Perhaps you double-clicked those files, only to find iCal opened but wouldn’t actually accept the appointments. With a tiny tweak, iCal can open .vcs files and add appointments to your calendar. Guest author Paul Scotti explains the problem and shows how changing the file extension makes all the difference.

Paul Scotti. Paul Scotti: I live in Auckland; now retired but worked as a research scientist (microbiologist; virologist) for my career. Got involved with computers as a research tool way back in 1971, writing my own programs in Basic since nothing much was available commercially back in those days. Got my first home computer in 1981 (a staggering 64 kb of memory) which used cassette tapes to load my programs! Switched to Apple at home when I got an iMac in 2001.

Often calendar reminders come as email attachments but created as Windows vcs files. For example flight reminders from Air New Zealand or other airlines, and meetings or event reminders from your friends and colleagues who use PCs.

A vcs file.

A vcs file.

If you double-click this vcs file you see a message:

Adding new events. This calendar contains new events. Please select a destination calendar.

Please select a destination calendar.

Please select a destination calendar.

But when you click OK you see an error message:

iCal can’t read this calendar file. No events have been added to your iCal calendar.

No events have been added to your iCal calendar.

No events have been added to your iCal calendar.

Rather than manually creating a new event in iCal and then typing in the information simply rename the vcs file, changing the extension .vcs to ics. You then see another alert:

Are you sure you want to change the extension from .vcs to .ics?

Are you sure you want to change the extension?

Are you sure you want to change the extension?

Click Use .ics and the file’s icon changes.

The icon changes.

The icon changes.

Double-click on the renamed .ics file. iCal immediately opens. Click the highlighted OK button to successfully add this event to your iCalendar.

That may all be a bit long-winded just to add an appointment to a calendar, but there are ways to make it happen automatically. In a future Tip Paul explains that too. Meanwhile, check out one of my favourite utilities, Hazel: Have an Assistant Empty the Trash. Hazel can easily automatically rename files for you, as well as empty the Trash.

To leave a comment if you’re reading this by email or RSS feed please visit the Tip at the MacTips website. There should be a link from the title.

Tags ,

Related posts

[wpzon keywords="pressure cooker" sindex="PCHardware" snode="1232597011" sort="salesrank" listing="8"]

2 Comments

  1. Douglas said:

    By far the biggest problem that I experience as a mac user in a windows world is when I want to send a calendar entry/meeting invitation to windows users, as they all complain that it doesn’t import into their outlook calendar.
    Any clever advice for this?

  2. Richard Dellagiustina said:

    I’m a new follower and love your site!! It’s very helpful and I’m learning a lot!!!!
    Thanks

Comments are closed.



Top