Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General Info:
What is InstantCal?
What can I do with InstantCal?
What are some of the interactive features of InstantCal?
Is there a Demo?
How much does it cost?
Using InstantCal with...
How do I use InstantCal with my web site?
How do I use InstantCal with my blog?
How do I use InstantCal with Drupal?
How do I use InstantCal with Joomla?
How do I use InstantCal with Twitter?
How do I use InstantCal with an Intranet?
How do I use InstantCal with Socialtext?
Calendar Data Sources:
What format of calendar data can I use?
Can I use a calendar hosted on iCal Exchange (icalx.com)?
Can I use a calendar hosted on another web site?
Can I use a securely-hosted calendar?
How do I use a Google calendar?
How do I use an iCal calendar?
How do I use a Webcal calendar?
How do I use a Windows Live calendar?
How do I "calendarize" an RSS feed?
How do I use an internally hosted calendar?
I do not have a calendar on the internet. How do I make one and publish it with InstantCal?
Calendar Configuration Options:
How do I change the calendar theme?
How do I change the calendar display format (or "View")?
How do I use data from multiple calendars in a single display?
How do I set different colors for multiple calendars?
How do I set a calendar name?
Can I change other settings?
Blog Calendars
How do I add a calendar to Blogger?
Problems:
The calendar displays an error message. How do I fix this?
The calendar displays error message '404'. How do I fix this?
The calendar displays error message '408'. How do I fix this?
The calendar displays error message '415'. How do I fix this?
The calendar displays error message '488'. How do I fix this?
The calendar displays error message '500'. How do I fix this?
The calendar does not display and there is no error message. How do I fix this?
The calendar still does not display and there is no error message. How do I fix this?
The calendar does not show any events and there is no an error message. How do I fix this?
The calendar does not display images in Firefox. How do I fix this?
Problems (IFrame-method in HTML embed code):
The calendar does not display 100% in an IFrame. How do I fix this?
The calendar does not display a 'one-liner' View correctly. How do I fix this?
Problems (Div-method in HTML embed code):
The calendar does not display 100% in a Div. How do I fix this?
More Information:
I need help. How can I get my question answered?
 
General Info
What is InstantCal?
InstantCal is a web-based service for displaying internet calendars on web sites. InstantCal may be used to embed any existing calendar into a web site. It is easy to use and its format, color scheme, visual effects may be customized.
***IMPORTANT:*** InstantCal only displays existing calendars. It cannot be used to create or manage calendars or to add calendar events. If you need an internet calendar, you may wish to use a search engine to find an internet calendar service.
What can I do with InstantCal?
InstantCal may be used to display, promote, and share all kinds of calendar information with web site visitors. It can display calendars in many forms, formats, colors, and visual effects. InstantCal also has a number of interactive features, providing an element of 'stickiness' to your website.
What are some of the interactive features of InstantCal?
Some of the interactive features of InstantCal are:
  • showing event location maps and weather conditions
  • sending notification messages when events are added, changed, or cancelled
  • sending upcoming event reminders
  • subscribing to RSS feeds
  • printing calendars and events
  • saving calendars and events to files
  • exporting events to external calendars
Is there a Demo?
Yes. Here is the Demo
 
How much does it cost?
InstantCal is free for low volume use both commercially and non-commercially.

For higher volume uses or for commercial support, please request a quote using the 'Contact' link at the top of the page.
 
Using InstantCal
How do I use InstantCal?
To use InstantCal, you need a calendar that is accessible on the internet.

If you have a calendar on the internet, use the InstantCal Demo to preview it, then follow the instructions on the Demo page to embed it on your website.

Setup describes additional ways to embed the calendar on your website.

If you do not have have a calendar, create one by following the directions here.
How do I use InstantCal with my blog?
To use InstantCal with a blog, see Blog Calendars
How do I use InstantCal with Drupal?
To use InstantCal with Drupal, see CMS Calendars
How do I use InstantCal with Joomla?
To use InstantCal with Joomla, see CMS Calendars
How do I use InstantCal with Twitter?
To use InstantCal with Twitter, see Twitter Calendars
How do I use InstantCal with an Intranet?
To use InstantCal with an Intranet, see Intranet Calendars
How do I use InstantCal with Socialtext?
To use InstantCal with Socialtext, see Socialtext Calendars
 
Calendar Data Sources
 
What format of calendar data can I use?
The calendar data formats currently supported are: iCal, RSS, Webcal, and Twitter (JSON).
 
Can I use a calendar hosted on iCal Exchange (icalx.com)?
Yes, you can use a calendar hosted on any web site that allows the calendar file to be accessed.

To use a calendar on iCal Exchange, enter the URL for the calendar file in the InstantCal Demo to preview it, then follow the instructions on the Demo page to embed it on your website.

If you are having problems getting a calendar to display, let us know by using the 'Contact' link at the top of the page.
 
Can I use a calendar hosted on another web site?
Yes, you can use a calendar hosted on any web site that allows the calendar file to be accessed.

To use a calendar hosted on a web site, enter the URL for the calendar file in the InstantCal Demo to preview it, then follow the instructions on the Demo page to embed it on your website.

If you are having problems getting a calendar to display, let us know by using the 'Contact' link at the top of the page.
 
Can I use a securely-hosted calendar?
Yes. To use a securely-hosted calendar specify secure access in the calendar URL.

First, be sure that your calendar hosting service supports secure access.

If using 'http://', replace it with 'https://'. If using 'webcal://', replace it with 'webcals://'.
 
How do I use a Google calendar?
A Google calendar must first be made 'public' to be used by InstantCal.
Follow the steps below to make a calendar public:
Step 1:
  • Log in to your google calendar account
Step 2:
  • In the 'My calendars' box, click the down arrow to the right of the calendar name, and select 'Calendar settings'
  • Select the 'Share this calendar' tab
  • Select the 'Make this calendar public' box
  • Click 'Save'
Step 3:
  • In the 'My calendars' box, click the down arrow to the right of the calendar name, and select 'Calendar settings'
  • Select the 'Calendar Details' tab (it may already be selected)
  • Next to 'Calendar Address', click 'ICAL'
  • Use the URL displayed for the InstantCal 'file=' value
 
How do I use an iCal calendar?
An iCal calendar may be published by entering its URL, just like a web page address.
Example: http://instantcal.com/sample.ics
 
How do I use a Windows Live calendar?
A Windows Live calendar must first be 'shared' to be used by InstantCal.
More information may be found at: http://windowslive.com/Online/Calendar

Additional details:
  • Under 'Calendar Features', click the link following 'Share Calendar'
  • Scoll to the bottom of the popup window
  • Select 'Send friends a view-only link to your calendar'
  • Select the link next to the 'ICS' entry: 'Import into another calendar application'
  • Use the URL displayed as the InstantCal 'file=' value
 
How do I use a Webcal calendar?
A Webcal calendar may be published by entering its URL just like a web page address, but replacing "http" with "webcal".
Example: webcal://instantcal.com/sample.ics
 
How do I "calendarize" an RSS feed?
An RSS feed may be "calendarized" (that is, displayed in a calendar format) by entering the feed URL just like a web page address. InstantCal will automatically translate the RSS format into a form that may be displayed as a calendar.
 
How do I use an internally hosted calendar?
An internally hosted calendar may be used by entering the 'public' URL for that calendar. The calendar must also have public 'read' access.
 
I do not have a calendar on the internet. How do I make one and publish it with InstantCal?
Use any calendar application to build a calendar, then add the calendar file (in iCal format) to your web site. Enter the file URL into the InstantCal Demo page, then copy and paste the resulting HTML 'code' into your own web page.

If you do not have a calendar application, enter 'web-based calendar' into a search engine for some suggestions, or ask us using the 'Contact' link at the top of the page.
 
Calendar Configuration Options
 
How do I change the calendar theme?
The calendar theme can be changed by adding a theme option as described in the InstantCal API.
For example suppose the Link method is used to display the calendar. To change the default theme:
<a href='http://instantcal.com/isc/js/cv.js?file=http://instantcal.com/mycal.ics'>View Calendar</a>
to a 'red' theme, use this:
<a href='http://instantcal.com/isc/js/cv.js?file=http://instantcal.com/mycal.ics&theme=re'>View Calendar</a>
See the InstantCal API for more details.
 
How do I change the calendar display format?
The calendar display format (or "view") can be changed by adding an ntype or gtype option as described in the InstantCal API.
For example, suppose the Link method is used to display the calendar. A 'Date Picker' can be used as follows:
<a href='http://instantcal.com/isc/js/cv.js?file=http://instantcal.com/mycal.ics&ntype=datepicker'>View Calendar</a>
See the InstantCal API for more details.
 
How do I use data from multiple calendars in a single display?
Calendar data may be specified using one or more 'file=' options.
For example, to use (or "subscribe to") the following two calendars:
  • http://instantcal.com/categories.ics
  • http://instantcal.com/test.ics
the HTML embed code may be changed to look like this:

<iframe src='http://www.instantcal.com/cvir.html?theme=re&file=http://www.instantcal.com/categories.ics&file=http://www.instantcal.com/test.ics' scrolling='no' frameborder=0 height=600 width=600></iframe>
See the InstantCal API for more details.
 
How do I set different colors for multiple calendars?
Calendar colors may be specified using the 'ccolor=' option.
This option defines colors as RRGGBB (red-green-blue) hexadecimal values.
(see, for example this color wheel)
For example to use the two calendars from above, each with its own color, say 'red' and 'green', the HTML embed code may be changed to look like this:
<iframe src='http://www.instantcal.com/cvir.html?theme=re&file=http://www.instantcal.com/categories.ics&file=http://www.instantcal.com/test.ics&ccolor=ff0000&ccolor=00ff00' scrolling='no' frameborder=0 height=600 width=600></iframe>
See the InstantCal API for more details.
 
How do I set a calendar name?
A calendar name can be set using the 'cname=' option.
For example to use the name 'MyCalendar', use something like this:
<iframe src='http://www.instantcal.com/cvir.html?theme=re&file=http://www.instantcal.com/test.ics&cname=MyCalendar' scrolling='no' frameborder=0 height=600 width=600></iframe>
 
Can I change other settings?
Yes. The API describes other settings that may be changed. If you have a question about a particular setting, or need some additional control, use the 'Contact' link to let us know.
 
Blog Calendars
 
How do I add a calendar to Blogger?
Here are instructions to add a calendar to Blogger.
 
Problems
 
The calendar displays an error message. How do I fix this?
An error message usually indicates a problem, such as:
  • Cannot access the URL for the calendar file on the internet (e.g. file not found)
  • The calendar file is password-protected
  • The calendar file in an unsupported format (e.g. HTML format)
To check these, enter the calendar URL in the Demo.
If the error message is still displayed, enter the calendar URL directly into the web browser address bar. The browser should request a file download operation. If not, the URL must be changed to the correct link to a calendar file. The web site hosting your calendar should supply you with a link to download the calendar file.
If a password box is displayed, then the calendar is password-protected. A publicly accessible calendar must be used instead.
If an HTML calendar is displayed, then the calendar is in HTML format. One of the supported data formats must be used instead.
Important: unless using an Intranet calendar, the calendar file must be accesssible on the internet, so if the file is hosted on your own machine, the machine must be internet accessible. This means 'localhost', '127.0.0.1', and other such 'internal' hostnames (e.g. 192.168.xx.xx or 169.254.xx.xx) can not be used and internet access to the web server on the machine must not be blocked by a firewall or router.
 
The calendar displays error message '404'. How do I fix this?
Error message '404' means that the calendar file is not accessible on the internet.
To fix this: see 'The calendar displays an error message. How do I fix this?' above.
 
The calendar displays error message '408'. How do I fix this?
Error message '408' means that a timeout has occurred accessing the calendar file on the internet.
To fix this: see 'The calendar displays an error message. How do I fix this?' above.
 
The calendar displays error message '415'. How do I fix this?
Error message '415' means that the calendar data is in an unrecognized format (e.g. HTML).
InstantCal requires calendar data in 'iCal' format (the file extension is usually '.ics').
Most calendar services provide a link to calendars in iCal format. Check the service that is hosting the calendar to find this link.
If you cannot find such a link for your calendar, use the 'Contact' link at the top of the page to send us a link for the calendar service that you are using.
 
The calendar displays error message '488'. How do I fix this?
Error message '488' means there is a problem with the 'instantcal.html' file that InstantCal uses when embedded into a web page as a 'div'.
To fix this:
  • Download the file http://instantcal.com/instantcal from the instantcal.com web site
  • Upload this file to the web site hosting the web page that contains the InstantCal HTML embed code
  • Place this file into the same directory as the web page that contains the InstantCal HTML embed code
  • Rename this file from 'instantcal' to 'instantcal.html'
 
The calendar displays error message '500'. How do I fix this?
Error message '500' means that a calendar server error has occurred.
To fix this: see 'The calendar displays an error message. How do I fix this?' above.
 
The calendar does not display and there is no error message. How do I fix this?
There may be a problem with Setup.

If using the 'Div (native)' format to display a calendar, see 'The calendar displays error message '488'. How do I fix this?'
Also, make sure that a 'div' tag is defined.
Or, use the Demo, to generate an embed code for your web page.
 
The calendar still does not display and there is no error message. How do I fix this?
There may be a problem with the type or version of browser, or the type of machine used to view the calendar.

InstantCal has been tested (on Windows only) with Internet Explorer 6 and 7, Firefox versions 2.x and 3.0.x, Safari 4 Public Beta, and Chrome 2.0.x.y.
If you are using another browser or machine, use the 'Contact' link and let us know:
  • Browser name
  • Browser version
  • Type of machine in use (PC, Mac, other)
  • Operating system version
 
The calendar does not show any events and there is no error message. How do I fix this?
This may be a problem with the calendar data.

If the calendar data cannot be found or if the data cannot be understood, an error message will be displayed in the calendar for a few seconds. If this error message appears, paste calendar URI into a web browser window to check the data. Doing this should result in a box appearing asking if you want to download a file. If a page is displayed instead, then the URI does not refer to calendar data. Check the calendar site that is hosting your calendar to find a link (URL) for directly downloading calendar data and use that link in the Demo to generate a new embed code for your web page.
 
The calendar does not display images in Firefox. How do I fix this?
Remote image loading must be enabled in Firefox (this is the default setting). Enter 'about:config' in Firefox and set 'permissions.default.image' to 1 (the default value).
 
Problems (IFrame-method)
 
The calendar does not display 100% in an IFrame. How do I fix this?
If using the 'IFrame' method for the HTML embed code, make sure that the IFrame 'width' and 'height' are larger than the width and height of the calendar.
 
The calendar does not display a 'one-liner' View correctly. How do I fix this?
The 'one-liner' display is normally 16 pixels tall. Set IFrame 'height=16' to show only one line.
 
Problems (Div-method)
The calendar does not display 100% in a Div. How do I fix this?
If using the 'Div' method for the HTML embed code, make sure that the web page does not use CSS or JavaScript that interferes with InstantCal. Examples of CSS or JavaScript which interfere include 'global' definitions (such as table layout) or event handlers (e.g. mouse event definitions).
 
More Information
I need help. How can I get my question answered?
To get help with InstantCal or to get answers to specific questions, please use the 'Contact' link at the top of the page.

Although InstantCal is designed to be easy to install and use, we realize that it takes some time (even for webmasters) to get used to different web-based applications.