View a Quick Calendar – Mac Kung Fu, 2nd Edition

Tip 130View a Quick Calendar

Although OS X has a built-in calendar application in the form of Calendar, I sometimes find myself simply wanting a calendar view of forthcoming months so I can see what day a certain date falls on. There are two ways of quickly getting this on OS X.

Using Dashboard

If you switch to the Dashboard, you can use the Calendar widget to view the current month. This is a default widget that should already be set to Show, but it can also be chosen from the widget selection—click the plus icon at the bottom left, and then double-click the Calendar widget to add it to the Dashboard.

Creating at the Command Line

I also make use of an old Unix command-line tool called cal that’s included by default with OS X. Open a Terminal window (open Finder, select the Applications list, and then in the list of applications double-click Terminal within the Utilities folder), and simply type cal at the command prompt to see the current month in a calendar view. To see another month, type the short version of its name along with the year. For example, to see June 2013, I’d type cal jun 2013. To see an entire year, just type cal 2013.

The ncal command is almost identical but switches the axes: days are listed as a column at the left side, rather than as a row along the top. Add the -w switch, and you’ll also be told week numbers: ncal -w 2014 will show dates for 2014 and also the week numbers.