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Aug 20

Print My Cal

Perhaps you are already familiar with Google Calendar and all its amazingness! If not, I’d encourage you to check it out. When you do, you will find a free online solution for all of your scheduling needs. It is fully compatible with your favorite mobile device so you can take the calendar offline “in your pocket,” and it automatically syncs with your online calendar when reconnected to the Internet.

As if that capability isn’t enough, Google Calendar can be so much more than a personal calendar. It can easily be shared so others can view and even edit your calendar (if you grant them the privilege). Calendars can also be embedded on web sites. All of these attributes combine to make Google Calendar the perfect solution for managing congregation and school calendars, allowing multiple staff members to have edit privileges and displaying the calendar on your church site.

For help getting started with all of these possibilities on Google Calendar, check out the WELSTech Wiki.

So what’s the catch? Well, unfortunately Google Calendar does have a shortcoming when it comes to printing. The print interface doesn’t allow for many options, and event titles are only allowed one line on the calendar. In such a limited space, many event descriptions are cut off. The result is a printed calendar that is of little use. This becomes a real problem for congregations and schools who want to share their monthly calendar in print newsletters. Many church secretaries have resigned themselves to retyping every event from the calendar into their print calendar solution. Not an effective use of time!!

That’s exactly the dilemma we faced at St. John’s and what motivated my husband/pastor/favorite hobbyist computer programmer to develop a solution. Print My Cal was born!

This freeware utility downloads one or more Google Calendars into the universal Rich Text Format (RTF) for word processing.  Users can easily perform edits and print lovely, multi-colored (if desired), clean calendars. Check out our overview video for a demonstration of the process:

After initially adding any desired calendars, users can easily pick and choose which they want to include in their RTF file each time they run the program. There are also options for desired month and year as well as whether you want to open or save the file.

 

Select the desired options and click “Go!” to download the RFT. Once opened, make any desired edits (I often modify the default title) and “Print Your Cal”!

This post is a part of the Summer 2011 WELS Hacker series on the WELSTech Podcast.


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35 comments

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  1. Tom

    Sallie, this fixes so many of my problems with printing from Google Calendar – thanks for sharing!

  2. Rachel Arnold

    Sallie –

    I’m so excited that we were able to be a part of the Beta testing group for “Print My Cal.” We have been using it every month at our church when we put our monthly calendars together…and it has been a HUGE time saver. My husband used to dread putting the calendar together – but no more!

    Thanks to you and your great computer programmer/husband/pastor for putting this together!

    Rachel Arnold

  3. Dan Smith

    Sallie: Thanks for sharing this — what a relief. We interface our Google calendar with Thunderbird, but the printing out of Thunderbird is less than desired.

    I did test with our church calendar and it looked great, with the calendar in RTF format, we can easily put it in our monthly newletter via MS Publisher.

    But, I did break the program by doing both our church and school calendar together!! What would you like me to do? Shall I send you the URL’s of our calendars?

    Thanks, Dan Smith
    Holy Trinity Luthern Church and School
    Des Moines, Washington

    1. Sallie

      Hey Dan,

      Sorry you had issues with the program. Yes, if you could send the two private iCal links, my husband would like to troubleshoot. You can e-mail to printmycal at gmail dot com.

      Blessings!

      Sallie

      1. Gayle

        Thanks so much. It is working perfectly!

  4. Gayle

    I can’t get the download for “Print My Cal” to work. When I click on the download button, I get an error button that says I do not have authorization to access. Help! We are a Lutheran church in Tampa and are having the same issue with Google calendar.

    Thanks!
    Gayle
    Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
    Temple Terrace, Florida

    1. Sallie

      Hi Gayle,

      Thanks for notifying me of the download error. I believe it is corrected now, so please try again and let me know if you have any problems.

      Blessings!

      Sallie

  5. Chanikya Desu

    Hi Sallie,

    I have a problem with my google calendar importing to Myprintcal program. The status bar says retrieving calendar: boiler room and then says calculating events. And this never stops. Is there any issues with it.

    1. Sallie

      Hi Chanikya,

      I’m sorry the utility isn’t working for you. My guess is there is a calendar event on your calendar that is hanging it up. My hubby did a ton of troubleshooting on managing the various event possibilities, and he thought he had accommodated every possibility. At his point he doesn’t have any more development time to dedicate to the project, but perhaps in the future he can do additional troubleshooting with you.

      Blessings!

    2. Chris

      I’m having the same problem. I tried it with my personal calendar, and it worked just fine, so it is probably something specific to the church calendar I’m using. Has there been any progress made on this issue?

      1. Sallie

        There is no new version of the program available. You may e-mail printmycal@gmail.com with specific support questions.

  6. Phillip

    Sallie,
    I cannot get the installation process to complete. I get the intro screen, terms of usage, and install directory, but the next screen is blank except for the buttons at the bottom (Previous, Next, Quit). I click Next, and then the installation hangs. The cursor is spinning inside the window, but nothing ever happens. Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit, Latest Java update installed (version 7 update 5) Any ideas on how I can get up and running? Hoping to use this as a calendar solution for our church.
    Phillip

    1. Phillip

      I think I found the solution. I removed the 64 bit version of Java and installed a 32 bit version. Installation worked fine, and program runs. Hope this helps someone else.

  7. Bonnie

    I have installed the program on my laptop and it ran beautifully, until about two weeks ago. Now there is ONE of our Google calendars that it won’t pull in. I’ve uninstalled and reinstalled Print My Cal. No change. I’ve reset the calendar URL, no change.

    Now I am trying to install Print My Cal on another computer to try it there. I’ve downloaded the program and unzipped the files, but there is no exe file. I can’t get it to run. I’ve also downloaded and installed the latest version of Java.

    I’m just stuck! Hope you can help.

    Thanks for your time.
    Bonnie
    Bahia Vista Mennonite Church in Sarasota, FL

  8. katie

    Does this only work with actual gmail accounts? I am trying to do with with a calendar from a school that uses the google platform, but is not a gmail account. It will import my calendar from my personal gmail account, but not the one from my school account.
    thanks

    1. Sallie

      Hi Katie,

      Thanks for your question. You are correct that the current version of Print My Cal doesn’t work with Google Apps calendars. We are developing a new version to work with Google Apps and will let you know when that is available.

      Blessings!

      Sallie

  9. Susan

    Sallie I got so excited and downloaded and installed Print My Cal onto my Mac before seeing the “Sorry Macs” note on the original site where I found info about your program (http://lenef.wordpress.com/article/print-google-calendar-with-full-event-3v1n95959zrrw-3/). I do have Windows on my Mac so I went ahead and tried to get it to open but no luck. The icon reacts to my clicking but nothing happens. Is there something I need to do differently or does it really just not work on even Windows-endowed Macs? Thanks so much either way!

    1. Sallie

      Hi Susan –

      Sorry it isn’t working for you. We have heard varied results from Mac users. We just released a major upgrade so it may be worth one more try.

      Blessings!

      1. Susan

        Thanks so much Sallie for the update – I’ll let you know how it goes!

  10. Sallie

    Everyone –

    Be sure to visit PrintMyCal.wordpress.com to grab the major upgrade which was recently released. Here’s the scoop from my hubby –

    Dear “Print My Cal” user,

    Thank you for your interest in Print My Cal. Since you have contacted me in the past about Print My Cal or have supported Print My Cal, I am writing to let you know about an update that has recently been made available. You can download that update and the user manual from this web page.

    http://printmycal.wordpress.com/support/

    You will immediately notice an updated user interface and the addition of “layouts” to the design, but the main difference is the use of the Google programming interface instead of the iCal link to retrieve calendar information. This will make calendars easier to set up (especially if you have more than one), and will provide a better way to retrieve recurring events. However, calendars that were set up in the old version will need to be set up again. Instructions for doing this are in the program and in the user manual.

    New Features:

    Layouts that group together calendars with the same print options
    Access to calendars in Google Apps
    Control over print margins and column widths.
    Several paper size options
    Inches/millimeters option

    Many people have given me other suggestions for improving this program. Thank you. As time permits, I will include as many of them as possible.

    Future Update Notifications:
    If you would like to receive future emails regarding Print My Cal updates, please follow this link and subscribe to our newsletter:

    http://eepurl.com/sqAEz

    Thank you,
    Kevin Draper

  11. Dennis

    Just installed Print My Cal, but it does not run. I have Java Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit, Latest Java update installed (version 7 update 15)

    1. Sallie

      Hi Dennis –

      Thanks for your question. I passed it on to my husband who is actively working on a new release of PrintMyCal to address some issues.

      Blessings!

    2. Hal

      Find the .jar file and right click. I right clicked on Print My Cal. Under General, “Opens with” probably has a zip utility. Click on change and pick Java Platform or something like that. Click Ok/Apply to close the windows.

      If Java Platform is not in the pick list, reload Java from java.com.

      HTH

  12. Dave Arndt

    Kevin & Sallie –

    Print My Cal is exactly what we were looking for! We’re having intermittent success, however. While it will process our June calendar, it hangs up calculating calendar events for our may calendar. When we try to add our school calendar (all of these are google apps calendars), it does the same thing. Any suggestions? Thanks for a GREAT niche product that fills a very real need!

  13. Judith

    Hi,

    First of all, I love that you have made this available to others and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. This has been my single biggest headache all school year long trying to keep my kids’ school schedules, the family schedule and the homework schedules updated instantly online AND have a print out for our refrigerator to glance at.

    I am having the same issue as Dave is. When starting the program, it has “July” as the month showing in the selection box. Today is June 2nd. I select June and am able to download that month no problem and LOVE it!!! Now I need July and August (getting summer schedule worked out) but when I select July, it hangs on the second calendar (out of 8 I’ve added to the layout.) The first one is US Holidays and it speedily processes that. Mine is the second one and it just stalls on processing it and the little circle in the bottom right is no longer animated but still. I tried creating another layout but the month selection was still grayed out. I have to close the program. But it still stalls on July when I reopen.

    When I then try to print the new layout for June, it works perfectly again and in seconds. August does not work either.

    I would love to find out why only the current or past months work. Can you help?

    Thank you!
    Judith

  14. Julie

    Hi Sallie,

    Like so many others, we found Print My Cal a few months ago and LOVE it. It’s so kind of you and your husband to create this and offer it to others! I don’t know if you are willing to entertain/address issues but we ran into one as we tried to print our August calendar for the newsletter. For some reason, Aug. 26th was “embedded” for lack of a better word in the same box as Aug. 25th. We tried on more than one computer and got the same results.

    It may be a problem with Google Calendar. I tried searching to see if there were any other reported issues and that’s how I found this blog post. I just thought I would try to confirm that Google Calendar is the source of the problem.

    If you have any suggestions or if you are aware of recent problems I would very much appreciate knowing what they are. We’ve become so dependent on your great program that we’re devastated that we can’t use it now. Thank you!

  15. coco corbin

    i’m managing 8 family calendars, so each day is VERY full. is there any way to view/print just 1 week at a time, so I can fit everything on the print? (the month view cuts off a lot of the events each day)

  16. Jerry Platz

    I got printmycal working on a personal PC running windows 2007, several months ago. I don’t remember the details, but seem to remember I had some trouble getting it to run, related to Java. Wish I’d taken notes. Now I’ve installed it on the church laptop for our secretary to use — but again can’t get it to run. When I try to open the application from the START menu, I get a dialog box “choose the program you want to open the file.” In that dialog box I’ve found and chosen java.exe in the java folder — and get a momentary blip of a small black-filled (dialog?) box on the screen, then both the dialog and the “small black box” are gone — and the application is not running. Any ideas? Would like to get this running for her before she gets in, in a few hours.
    — Pastor Jerry

  17. Jerry Platz

    Had to unzip it? all of a sudden it’s working. I’d uninstalled and reinstalled java and printmycal, to no avail; then tried using WinZip to unzip. WinZip said it was unsuccessful — but now the program runs.

    Blessings,
    Pastor Jerry

  18. Mike

    Hello,
    Love this program for our school food service menus. We have hit a snag though, Seems we printed the October calendar with no problems, but November seems to hit a snag. Everytime we try to print it, we get an error message that states that one or more tables are not correct or the text is too long. We have looked and the text is the same as we mostly depulicate the events from month to month. Any ideas on why this is happening/
    Thank You,
    Mike

  19. Mike

    Hello again,
    Here is the message we receive when we try to print the calendar.
    thank You
    Mike

    This error message may be the result of a corrupt table in the current document.

    You can recover the contents of the document and the table by closing the document, and then reopening it by using the Open and Repair command in the Open dialog box. To find the Open and Repair command, click the File tab, click Open, click the down arrow next to the Open button, and then click Open and Repair. After the file is repaired, the corruption or incorrect formatting of all tables in the document should be corrected.

    If the document still has errors in a table after a repair, you may want to examine each table to see if any text is too long for any given cell or row, or if an incomplete table was created or imported into the document.

  20. kristal

    I am trying to open google authorization page from print my calendar which I have downloaded to my computer. I am using windows 8 and tried it in both firefox and googlechrome. I get to the permission page, but the “accept” button stays dim and will not allow me to accept the invitation or permission. I am using the recommended Java installed (Version 7 Update 45). Any help or suggestions?

  21. Lionel

    Is there any way to only print one week at a time in order to include more details?

    Thanks.

  22. Michael Duggan

    Ma’am,

    Thank-you so much for developing Print My Cal! My small church in Arlington, Virginia has been using it for several months. It is soooo helpful!

    I do have a question, though. Today I began to review the Print My Cal version of our March calendar and found that instead of the usual 9 lines of text available in each date block on the calendar, now there are only 7 lines of text available. Can you help me get all 9 lines back? Those extra 2 lines are used to list events almost every Sunday.

    Thank-you very much.
    Mike

  23. Mike

    For those who are having problems with the calendar imbedding one day on top of another and/or getting the error in Microsoft Word regarding the tables, reopening with open and repair, etc., I’m having the same issue with all of the 2015 months. I did the open and repair, but the last week is offset and doesn’t align with the weeks above. I decided to try to open the file in Apache Open Office 4 Text Document and the calendars all look fine with no errors. Apparently something with Print My Cal isn’t playing nice with Microsoft Word, or there is a setting in Word that isn’t right. You’ll have to set Open Office Text to be the default program for opening an RTF file and then it opens up in Open Office right from Print My Cal.

  1. WELSTech » Blog Archive » 198 – WELS Hacker: Pogo Cal

    […] Print My Cal […]

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