Work in progress
See Calendar User Documentation for the latest version of this document.
- 1 Performing basic tasks
- 1.1 Working with calendar entries
- 1.2 Exporting entries
- 1.3 Viewing entries
- 1.4 Working with a date picker
- 1.5 Working with a time picker
- 1.6 Backing up your data
Performing basic tasks
A lot of the following text is directly taken from the Calender Help project and still needs to be cleaned up as it was written for Sunbird 0.2. (This project seems completely dead in the water.) The work that is already done should not be wasted so lets use some of the text and update it. Who knows, maybe Calender Help will be resuscitated with this initiative.
Basic tasks that you perform using Lightning include creating, viewing and editing calendar entries, and backing up your data.
Working with calendar entries
This section describes the basic ways to work with calendar entries. There is more detail in other chapters.
To create entries, use the File menu, toolbar buttons, or the keyboard shortcuts CTRL-I for an event and CTRL-D for a task.
When you create an entry, lightning opens a dialog where you specify details of the entry. For more information, see the chapter Working with a calendar entry.
To import entries from a local file into your calendar you need to be in Calendar Mode and choose File –> Import Calendar from the menu bar. Specify the type of file to import. The types that you can import are:
- iCalendar (.ics)
- Outlook Comma Separate Values (.csv)
Select one or more files to import.
When you import entries, you merge the data in the file with the data already in your calendar.
Specifying details of Outlook CSV files
When you import from an Outlook CSV file, Lightning prompts you to specify the way fields in the file map to data items in Lightning.
For each data item that you want to import, choose a field name from the file. To do this, you need to know how the file was created.
If you do not know how to specify the mapping, edit the CSV file with a text editor. The top line contains the field names. Subsequent lines contain the data. By examining the data, you might be able to determine the meaning of each field.
Specifying import options
Lightning reads the file and summarizes the import. It prompts you to choose one of the following options:
- Import all - Imports all the entries in one step
- Prompt for each - Displays each imported entry so that you can edit it. Press OK to import the entry, or Cancel to cancel it.
- Discard all - Cancels the import
In some versions you must select the type of file first, even though it is below the list of files that you can select.
Some versions can only import events, not tasks.
Some versions cannot import certain files, because of variations in the file format. To work around this, try specifying different export options in the application that exports the data. Or try using another format from the list above.
Some versions cannot import directly from an attached file in an e-mail. To work around this, save the file and import the local file.
To export entries to a local file, select the events and choose File – Export Selection... from the menu bar. Specify the type of file to export. The types that you can export are:
- iCalendar (.ics)
- HTML (.html or .htm)
- Comma Separated Values (.csv)
Some of export formats cannot be imported again by Lightning. To export data for Lightning to import, choose iCalendar format.
Some versions cannot export tasks.
Some versions cannot export Comma Separated, when installed in Thunderbird.
To view entries, use the main view, the events list and the tasks list.
You can choose between four main views:
* Day (1) * Week (2) * Multiweek (3) * Month (4)
To switch between them, use the View menu, the toolbar buttons, or the keyboard shortcuts listed above.
Some versions disable the menu choice for the current view (instead of marking it selected like a radio button).
The main view shows you a summary of the selected calendars over a period of time that you specify. It shows you ISO week numbers, day names, and dates for that period. The Day view and Week view also show you times.
Using your mouse:
To scroll the main view so it displays different dates or times, click on the arrows, month names or day names at the top or side.
To go to today, use the toolbar's Go To Today button: or choose Go – Go To Today from the menu bar.
To go to a particular date, click the date in the date picker pane at the top left of the Lightning window.
You can customize the toolbar and add a Choose Date button: To go to a particular date, click this button and specify a date in the Go To Date dialog.
Using your keyboard:
To scroll the main view so it displays different dates or times, use the up and down arrows, and the Page Up and Page down keys.
In some versions you cannot access the view's arrows, month names or day names using the keyboard.
To go to today, press Down Arrow.
To go to a particular date, press Up Arrow. Specify the date in the Go To Date dialog.
The Day view
The Day view shows events for one day. To change the day, use the navigation hotspots at the top of the view, select a date in the date picker, or use one of the choices in the Go menu. If the day has all-day events, you see them near the top of the Day view.
The body of the view shows the hours in the day. To set the default range of hours, choose Tools – Options... Edit – Preferences... from the menu bar, and go to the Views page.
The Week view
The Week view shows events for one week. To change the week, use the navigation hotspots at the top of the view, select a date in the date picker, or use one of the choices in the Go menu.
The body of the view shows the days in the week and the hours in each day. To restrict the view to only the days that you work, choose View – Workweek days only from the menu bar.
To set the first day of the week, the days that you work, and the default range of hours, choose Tools – Options... Edit – Preferences... from the menu bar, and go to the Views page.
The Multiweek view
The Multiweek view shows events for one or more weeks. To change the weeks, use the navigation hotspots at the right of the view, select a date in the date picker, or use one of the choices in the Go menu. You can customize the view to show you up to two weeks previous to the date that you select.
The body of the view shows the days in each week. To restrict the view to only the days that you work, choose View – Workweek days only from the menu bar.
To change the number of weeks in the view, choose View – Number of Weeks from the menu bar, then choose the number of weeks.
To set the first day of the week, the days that you work, the default number of weeks in the view, and the number of previous weeks it shows, choose Tools – Options... Edit – Preferences... from the menu bar, and go to the Views page.
The Month view
The Month view shows events for a month. To change the month, use the navigation hotspots at the top of the view, select a date in the date picker, or use one of the choices in the Go menu.
The body of the view shows the days in the month, and sometimes a few days in the month before or after it. To restrict the view to only the days that you work, choose View – Workweek days only from the menu bar.
To set the first day of the week and the days that you work, choose Tools – Options... Edit – Preferences... from the menu bar, and go to the Views page.
Working with entries in the main views
The main views use colors and icons to convey information.
The background color of an entry in a main view can depend on the calendar where the entry is stored. The border color can depend on the entry's category.
When an entry is selected, its background color and border color depened on the theme that you are using. With the default theme, selected entries have a pale blue background and a red border.
The text color of an entry in a main view is either black or white depending on whether its background color is light or dark. If the background is mid-way between light and dark, then the text might be difficult to read, depending on the gamma setting of your computer's display.
If you cannot distinguish the colors, then you might find it difficult to work with some features of the main views.
To work with entries in the main views, use your mouse.
If you cannot use a mouse or other pointing device, then you might find it difficult to work with some features of the main views.
The main views display entries from the active calendars. The active calendars are the calendars that have checked boxes by them in the calendars list.
The main views display events. The multiweek and month views also display tasks if you check the menu choice View – Tasks In View. To hide tasks in the main views, uncheck this menu choice.
In some versions the menu choice may be disabled and checked at the same time, when the view does not display tasks.
The main views display each entry as a rectangular box if there is enough space, and as a small circle or star if there is not much space. A circle represents an event with start and end times, or a task. A star represents an all-day event.
The rectangular box contains a brief summary of the entry.
To see some more information about an entry, even if it is a circle or star, place your mouse pointer over it and leave it motionless for a moment. A box containing more information pops up under your mouse pointer. Selecting entries
To select an entry, click on it.
If an entry is represented by a rectangular box, the box's border becomes thick and red when you select it. The box's background becomes pale blue. If the entry is represented by a circle, the circle changes from yellow to blue when you select it. Themes can change the details of these visual effects.
In some versions if the entry is represented by a star, there is no indication that it is selected.
In some versions you can only select one entry at a time in a view (but you can select multiple entries in the events list or tasks list).
When you select an event in the main view, the event is also selected in the events list.
You might not be able to see the selected event in the events list, if the events list is filtered.
When you select a task in the main view, the task is not selected in the tasks list.
Working with dates in the main views
Dates in the Multiweek and Month views have different background colors. With the default theme they are:
* Blue: the selected date * White: dates in the current month * Green: dates before or after the current month
Today's date is indicated in the Multiweek, Month and Week views. With the default theme the indication is a blue border.
To select a date, click on its background. The selected date is the default when you create entries.
You can also use the Go menu to change the selected date. To select today's date, choose Go – Go To Today. Or to select a specific date, choose Go – Go To Date and specify the date.
To page the view back, selecting an earlier date, choose Go – Previous. Or to page the view forward, selecting a later date, choose Go – Next.
When you page the Day view back or forward, it pages by one day. In some versions, the other views sometimes page back or forward by unpredictable amounts.
Working with a date picker
The main date picker shares a pane with the calendars list. For information on how to use the calendars list, see Customizing your list of calendars. Other date pickers appear in dialogs wherever you need to pick a date.
To select a date using a date picker, click the date. In the main date picker, this selects the date in the date picker and also in the main view.
You can select a date even if it is not in the current month and looks disabled.
In some versions the date that you see selected in the main date picker has no meaning. It might be the currently selected date in the main view, or it might not.
To move a date picker to an earlier month, click the left arrow. To move a date picker to an later month, click the right arrow. To move a date picker to a particular month, click the month label and choose a new month from the pop-up menu.
To move a date picker to a particular year, click the year label and choose a new year from the pop-up menu. If the year you need is not in the pop-up, choose the nearest year and repeat the procedure until you get to the year you need.
To create a new entry, or to perform other common tasks from the main date picker, obtain a context menu and choose from it.
In some versions you cannot operate the date picker using your keyboard.
Working with a time picker
Time pickers appear in dialogs wherever you need to pick a time.
To use a time picker, choose the hour from the upper part of the picker, then the minute from the lower part of the picker.
You must pick the hour first, because the picker closes when you pick the minute. You cannot only pick an hour, because the picker does not close. To close the picker exactly on an hour, choose the minute value 00.
Use the button at the bottom of the picker to switch between approximate times at five-minute intervals, and more exact times at one-minute intervals.
In some versions the picker always uses 24-hour times, even if your operating system is set to use 12-hour times with an AM/PM indication.
In some versions the picker never displays a leading zero, even if your operating system is set to display a leading zero when the hour is less than 10. Undoing changes
When you create, delete or modify an entry, you can undo the change if you need to.
To undo the last change, choose Edit – Undo or press Z. To redo the last undo, choose Edit – Redo or press Y.
You cannot use undo for other kinds of change. For example, if you change the title of an event, then you can use undo to reverse the change. But if you change the name of a calendar, you cannot use undo to reverse the change. Instead, the undo feature will undo the last change that you made to an entry.
In some versions the accelerator keys Z and Y do not work.
Backing up your data
To back up your calendar data, you must configure a separate backup program.
You might not need to back up all the files that Lightning uses. If you publish your calendar files to a server, or obtain them by subscribing to a server, then you might choose to use the server copy as a backup. You might also choose not to back up the files that make up the Lightning program, because you can download and install another copy of Lightning if you ever need to.
Lightning stores local data in your profile directory. Therefore, if you back up your profile directory you will have backed up all the data files that Lightning uses. To find the location of your profile directory, see Directories for advanced customization.
Alternatively, you can create a new profile in a directory that you know will be backed up, and always use that profile. For more information about profiles, see Using profiles.
To find the location of a profile, start Lightning using that profile, then return to this help and use the link above to find the profile's location.