This is going to be a quick tip for any users who regularly use iCal. When you create a new event, either in the day, week or month viewer you will realise that the length of the event is one hour long, for most people this is fine. However if you regularly have meetings which are half an hour long, or book rooms for two ours at a time, it may be beneficial and more efficient to adjust the default meeting time. This means you don’t have to fiddle around with the length slot if you regularly use the same event length.
This trick, as many tricks on this site do, uses Terminal. Open it up from Applications > Utilities. Then type or copy and paste, the following and hit enter.
defaults write com.apple.iCal 'Default duration in minutes for new event' 15
This will change the default event length to 15 minutes. To see the results re-open iCal if you already have it open. The number at the end represents how long the new iCal event will be. You can change this to any length you want, 10 for ten minutes in length or 120 for two hours in length. Don’t make it too small otherwise it may be difficult to see the event in iCal. For example if you set the iCal event to 1 minute long, all you will see is a small strip in iCal and you may find it difficult to adjust the time.
If you want to reset it back to the default time of one hour, simply change the value to 60. You could delete the preference option with this command:
defaults delete com.apple.iCal 'Default duration in minutes for new event'
Again, restart iCal to see the effect. Note that if you don’t restart it will take about 10 minutes for the preference to kick in. Restarting allows you to see the effect straight away.
If you have any questions of comments please leave a comment below. If you want to find out more iCal tricks, either use the related links below. If you fancy a cool book to ready with lots of tips and tricks I recommend Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual. Its a good book with plenty of tricks.