Easy Appointment Editing with iCal’s Inspector

| TMO Quick Tip

Editing appointments in iCal turned into something of a hassle when Apple decided we didn't need that slick little Inspector drawer any more. It turns out Apple left the Inspector in iCal, albeit in the form of a panel instead of the drawer.

To see iCal's Inspector panel, choose Edit > Show Inspector.

iCal's Inspector panel is hiding under the Edit menu.

The Inspector panel shows the the currently selected appointment, and you can edit the event's details without any extra mouse clicks or keyboard shortcuts. Since the Inspector is a panel instead of a drawer, you can position it anywhere you like, too.

You can view and edit appointment details in the Inspector panel.

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Is this a new feature in Snow Leopard? There is no “Show Inspector” menu item in my Leopard version of iCal.


Nice! I guess it’s in Snow Leopard, not Plain Leopard.

Would it have killed Apple to add an Inspector button to the iCal Toolbar, just like pages and Numbers? Really, it’s a pain to edit iCal Events. Another reason to upgrade to SL.

Tom Ward

This is just way more complex than it needs to be ... Usability went backwards with iCal in Leopard then Snow Leopard continued the trend.

Why obfuscate what should be obvious and easily accessible. It’s almost like the Windows drones who need to justify their existence got into OS X and fucked it up for everyone.

Witness the new Airport menubar indicator - now with scanning action - sure it takes twice as long to find the networks that even Leopard picked up quicker, but it looks like it’s scanning! What a waste of time ...

What moron ok’d the move away from getting things done with no fuss?

Get back to the utility of things - sure make them look good, but bring functionality back to the top of the list.


iCal in Tiger was infinitely more usable. Apple has taken two steps backwards with they’re current version of iCal. Entering and editing events is painful.


I switched to iCal from Palm Desktop just this March, when I got an iPod touch and switched from a Palm TX (believe it or not!). iCal is pretty weak all around.

My sister just switched from Windows late last year and we were playing around with iCal and noticed a lot of glaring UI inconsistencies (she was an interface and usability designer). There are items that are ONLY accessible via contextual menus: NO menu items, NO command keys! Pretty dreadful and confusing.

It always amazes me the sheer number of features and tools in Mac OS X and Apple’s applications, like iCal, that even longtime users will NEVER find unless by sheer accident or someone else tells them.

With so many Windows switchers, who carry with them incredibly LOW expectations as far as hard ware and software usability goes, it seems that Apple has gotten lazy in the UI department.

Will C

Thanks for the tip - keep them coming - sadly I only have plain old Leopard…

But I have to agree with other here, iCal is not very good. As Jeff has said the interface is inconsistent and difficult to use and it could be so much better.

Maybe it is me but I find it does not work the way I think. I would like a way to make events which start at one time on one day and finish at another time on another day and graphically these should be events that start proportionally through one day and finish proportionally in another day - so midday Monday to midday Wednesday would be a stripe starting halfway through Monday and finishing halfway through Wednesday.
I also like to publish an online work rota/calendar in a format any basic browser can display so that my friends and family know when I am working (I hide it away for security) Currently I dod this as a pdf, but this takes many clicks.

Anyone know of a better calendar diary app for OS X?


As long as we’re complaining about iCal…

I use a G5 so I don’t know if this has changed in Snow Leopard: I want to be able to scroll in month view so that I can see half of one month and half of the next. Why are we stuck with the paper wall calendar paradigm of one month at a time?

Will C

I want to be able to scroll in month view so that I can see half of one month and half of the next.

Me too, I prefer Outlook - I have been using both for several years.


If you double-click the event the inspector window will appear.  Beats the drawer.

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