How to Use iCal to Run an AppleScript

You can use Mac OS X's iCal to automatically run an AppleScript on a particular date and time. You can use this ability to send e-mails, interact with applications, and perform tasks without needing anybody around to oversee the work.

iCal is included with Mac OS X

Let's ask iCal to run an AppleScript on 10 March 2011 at 10:00 am.

  1. Open iCal: Applications > iCal
  2. Navigate to the month of March.
  3. Click on the 10th March to select the day.
    Open iCal and navigate to March.
  4. Create a new event on the selected day: File > New Event
    Create a new iCal event.
  5. A New Event panel will appear; in this panel:
  6. Change the from and to dates to 10:00 am.
    Change the new event's from and to times.
  7. Click on the None next to the alarm label.
    Click on None, next to the alarm label.
  8. Select Run Script from the alarm menu.
  9. An open dialog will appear; select the AppleScript to run.
    Choose the AppleScript to run.
  10. Once an AppleScript is selected, two new items will appear next to the alarm label: (name of the AppleScript) and 15 minutes before.
    Two new items will appear after selecting an AppleScript.
  11. Click on the 15 minutes before, a little below the alarm label.
    Select on date from the newly appeared menu.
  12. Select on date from the menu.
  13. A new date and time control will now appear. Change this date and time control to 10:00 am.
    Set the date and time to run the AppleScript.
  14. Click Done to finish editing the event.
  15. Your new event is now scheduled.

There are a couple of notable limitations to using iCal as a scheduling tool:

  • You must be logged in for the AppleScript to run.
  • Your Mac must be powered on and awake when the event is due.

This article was posted in AppleScript, and Recipe and tagged AppleScript, iCal, and schedule on 2011-01-12.