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There are many customizations that you can use to make the calendar and diary suit your personal tastes.
If you set the variable
t, calling up the calendar automatically displays the diary
entries for the current date as well. The diary dates appear only if
the current date is visible. If you add both of the following lines to
your `.emacs' file:
(setq view-diary-entries-initially t) (calendar)
they display both the calendar and diary windows whenever you start Emacs.
Similarly, if you set the variable
t, entering the
calendar automatically displays a list of holidays for the current three
month period. The holiday list appears in a separate window.
You can set the variable
in order to place a plus sign (`+') beside any dates with diary entries.
Whenever the calendar window is displayed or redisplayed, the diary entries
are automatically marked for holidays.
Similarly, setting the variable
t places an asterisk (`*') after all holiday dates visible
in the calendar window.
There are many customizations that you can make with the hooks
provided. For example, the variable
default value is
nil, is a normal hook run when the calendar
package is first loaded (before actually starting to display the
initial-calendar-window-hook, whose default value
nil, is a normal hook run the first time the calendar window
is displayed. The function is invoked only when you first enter
Calendar mode, not when you redisplay an existing Calendar window. But
if you leave the calendar with the q command and reenter it, the
hook runs again.
today-visible-calendar-hook, whose default value
nil, is a normal hook run after the calendar buffer has been
prepared with the calendar when the current date is visible in the
window. One use of this hook is to replace today's date with asterisks;
calendar-star-date is included for this purpose. In
your `.emacs' file, put:
(setq today-visible-calendar-hook 'calendar-star-date)
Another standard hook function adds asterisks around the current date. Here's how to use it:
(setq today-visible-calendar-hook 'calendar-mark-today)
A corresponding variable,
default value is
nil, is a normal hook run after the calendar
buffer text has been prepared, if the current date is not visible
in the window.
Emacs knows about holidays defined by entries on one of several lists.
You can customize theses lists of holidays to your own needs, adding
holidays or deleting lists of holidays. The lists of holidays that
Emacs uses are for general holidays (
local-holidays), Christian holidays
christian-holidays), Hebrew (Jewish) holidays
hebrew-holidays), Islamic (Moslem) holidays
islamic-holidays), and other holidays (
The general holidays are, by default, holidays common throughout the
United States. To eliminate these holidays, set
There are no default local holidays (but sites may supply some). You
can set the variable
local-holidays to any list of holidays, as
By default, Emacs does not consider all the holidays of these
religions, only those commonly found in secular calendars. For a more
extensive collection of religious holidays, you can set any (or all) of
t. If you want to
eliminate the religious holidays, set any or all of the corresponding
You can set the variable
other-holidays to any list of
holidays. This list, normally empty, is intended for your use.
Each of the lists (
other-holidays) is a list of
holiday forms, each holiday form describing a holiday (or
sometimes a list of holidays). Holiday forms may have the following
(fixed month day string)
(float month dayname k string)
(hebrew month day string)
(islamic month day string)
(julian month day string)
(sexp sexp string)
yearto compute the date of a holiday, or
nilif the holiday doesn't happen this year. The value represents the date as a list of the form
(month day year). string is the name of the holiday.
(if boolean holiday-form &optional holiday-form)
(function &optional args)
For example, suppose you want to add Bastille Day, celebrated in France on July 14. You can do this by adding the following line to your `.emacs' file:
(setq other-holidays '((fixed 7 14 "Bastille Day")))
The holiday form
(fixed 7 14 "Bastille Day") specifies the
fourteenth day of the seventh month (July).
Many holidays occur on a specific day of the week, at a specific time of month. Here is a holiday form describing Hurricane Supplication Day, celebrated in the Virgin Islands on the fourth Monday in August:
(float 8 1 4 "Hurricane Supplication Day")
Here the 8 specifies August, the 1 specifies Monday (Sunday is 0, Tuesday is 2, and so on), and the 4 specifies the fourth occurrence in the month (1 specifies the first occurrence, 2 the second occurrence, -1 the last occurrence, -2 the second-to-last occurrence, and so on).
You can specify holidays that occur on fixed days of the Hebrew, Islamic, and Julian calendars too. For example,
(setq other-holidays '((hebrew 10 2 "Last day of Hanukkah") (islamic 3 12 "Mohammed's Birthday") (julian 4 2 "Jefferson's Birthday")))
adds the last day of Hanukkah (since the Hebrew months are numbered with 1 starting from Nisan), the Islamic feast celebrating Mohammed's birthday (since the Islamic months are numbered from 1 starting with Muharram), and Thomas Jefferson's birthday, which is 2 April 1743 on the Julian calendar.
To include a holiday conditionally, use either the `if' or the `sexp' form. For example, American presidential elections occur on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of years divisible by 4:
(sexp (if (= 0 (% year 4)) (calendar-gregorian-from-absolute (1+ (calendar-dayname-on-or-before 1 (+ 6 (calendar-absolute-from-gregorian (list 11 1 year)))))) "US Presidential Election"))
(if (= 0 (% displayed-year 4)) (fixed 11 (extract-calendar-day (calendar-gregorian-from-absolute (1+ (calendar-dayname-on-or-before 1 (+ 6 (calendar-absolute-from-gregorian (list 11 1 displayed-year))))))) "US Presidential Election"))
Some holidays just don't fit into any of these forms because special
calculations are involved in their determination. In such cases you
must write a Lisp function to do the calculation. To include
eclipses of the sun, for example, add
other-holidays and write an Emacs Lisp function
calendar-holiday-function-eclipses that returns a (possibly
empty) list of the relevant Gregorian dates among the
range visible in the calendar window, with descriptive strings, like
(((6 27 1991) "Lunar Eclipse") ((7 11 1991) "Solar Eclipse") ... )
You can customize the manner of displaying dates in the diary,
in mode lines, and in messages by setting
calendar-date-display-form. This variable is a list of
expressions that can involve the variables
year, all numbers in string form, and
dayname, both alphabetic strings. In the American style, the
default value of this list is as follows:
((if dayname (concat dayname ", ")) monthname " " day ", " year)
while in the European style this value is the default:
((if dayname (concat dayname ", ")) day " " monthname " " year)
The ISO standard date representation is this:
(year "-" month "-" day)
This specifies a typical American format:
(month "/" day "/" (substring year -2))
In the calendar, diary, and related buffers, Emacs displays times of
day in the conventional American style with the hours from 1 through 12,
minutes, and either `am' or `pm'. If you prefer the
"military" (European) style of writing times--in which the hours go
from 00 to 23--you can alter the variable
calendar-time-display-form. This variable is a list of
expressions that can involve the variables
minutes, all numbers in string form, and
time-zone, both alphabetic strings. The default
calendar-time-display-form is as follows:
(12-hours ":" minutes am-pm (if time-zone " (") time-zone (if time-zone ")"))
(24-hours ":" minutes (if time-zone " (") time-zone (if time-zone ")"))
gives military-style times like `21:07 (UT)' if time zone names are defined, and times like `21:07' if they are not.
Emacs understands the difference between standard time and daylight
savings time--the times given for sunrise, sunset, solstices,
equinoxes, and the phases of the moon take that into account. The
default starting and stopping dates for daylight savings time are the
present-day American rules of the first Sunday in April until the last
Sunday in October, but you can specify whatever rules you want by
calendar-daylight-savings-ends. Their values should be Lisp
expressions that refer to the variable
year, and evaluate to the
Gregorian date on which daylight savings time starts or (respectively)
ends, in the form of a list
(month day year).
Emacs uses these expressions to determine the starting date of daylight savings time for the holiday list and for correcting times of day in the solar and lunar calculations.
The default value of
calendar-daylight-savings-starts is this,
(calendar-nth-named-day 1 0 4 year)
which computes the first 0th day (Sunday) of the fourth month (April) in
the year specified by
year. If daylight savings time were
changed to start on October 1, you would set
(list 10 1 year)
For a more complex example, suppose daylight savings time begins on
the first of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar. You would set
(calendar-gregorian-from-absolute (calendar-absolute-from-hebrew (list 1 1 (+ year 3760))))
because Nisan is the first month in the Hebrew calendar and the Hebrew year differs from the Gregorian year by 3760 at Nisan.
If there is no daylight savings time at your location, or if you want
all times in standard time, set
Ordinarily, the mode line of the diary buffer window indicates any
holidays that fall on the date of the diary entries. The process of
checking for holidays can take several seconds, so including holiday
information delays the display of the diary buffer noticeably. If you'd
prefer to have a faster display of the diary buffer but without the
holiday information, set the variable
number-of-diary-entries controls the number of
days of diary entries to be displayed at one time. It affects the
initial display when
well as the command M-x diary. For example, the default value is
1, which says to display only the current day's diary entries. If the
value is 2, both the current day's and the next day's entries are
displayed. The value can also be a vector of seven elements: if the
[0 2 2 2 2 4 1] then no diary entries appear on Sunday,
the current date's and the next day's diary entries appear Monday
through Thursday, Friday through Monday's entries appear on Friday,
while on Saturday only that day's entries appear.
print-diary-entries-hook is a normal hook run
after preparation of a temporary buffer containing just the diary
entries currently visible in the diary buffer. (The other, irrelevant
diary entries are really absent from the temporary buffer; in the diary
buffer, they are merely hidden.) The default value of this hook does
the printing with the command
lpr-buffer. If you want to use a
different command to do the printing, just change the value of this
hook. Other uses might include, for example, rearranging the lines into
order by day and time.
You can customize the form of dates in your diary file, if neither the
standard American nor European styles suits your needs, by setting the
diary-date-forms. This variable is a list of forms of
dates recognized in the diary file. Each form is a list of regular
expressions (see section Regular Expressions) and the variables
dayname. The variable
monthname matches the name of the
month, capitalized or not, or its three-letter abbreviation, followed by
a period or not; it matches `*'. Similarly,
the name of the day, capitalized or not, or its three-letter
abbreviation, followed by a period or not. The variables
year match those numerical values, preceded by
arbitrarily many zeros; they also match `*'. The default value of
diary-date-forms in the American style is
((month "/" day "[^/0-9]") (month "/" day "/" year "[^0-9]") (monthname " *" day "[^,0-9]") (monthname " *" day ", *" year "[^0-9]") (dayname "\\W"))
Emacs matches of the diary entries with the date forms is done with the standard syntax table from Fundamental mode (see section Syntax Tables), but with the `*' changed so that it is a word constituent.
The forms on the list must be mutually exclusive and must not
match any portion of the diary entry itself, just the date. If, to be
mutually exclusive, the pattern must match a portion of the diary entry
itself, the first element of the form must be
This causes the date recognizer to back up to the beginning of the
current word of the diary entry. Even if you use
form must absolutely not match more than a portion of the first word of
the diary entry. The default value of
diary-date-forms in the
European style is this list:
((day "/" month "[^/0-9]") (day "/" month "/" year "[^0-9]") (backup day " *" monthname "\\W+\\<[^*0-9]") (day " *" monthname " *" year "[^0-9]") (dayname "\\W"))
Notice the use of
backup in the middle form because part of the
diary entry must be matched to distinguish this form from the following one.
Your diary file can have entries based on Hebrew or Islamic dates, as well as entries based on our usual Gregorian calendar. However, because the processing of such entries is time-consuming and most people don't need them, you must customize the processing of your diary file to specify that you want such entries recognized. If you want Hebrew-date diary entries, for example, you must include these lines in your `.emacs' file:
(setq nongregorian-diary-listing-hook 'list-hebrew-diary-entries) (setq nongregorian-diary-marking-hook 'mark-hebrew-diary-entries)
If you want Islamic-date entries, include these lines in your `.emacs' file:
(setq nongregorian-diary-listing-hook 'list-islamic-diary-entries) (setq nongregorian-diary-marking-hook 'mark-islamic-diary-entries)
If you want both Hebrew- and Islamic-date entries, include these lines:
(setq nongregorian-diary-listing-hook '(list-hebrew-diary-entries list-islamic-diary-entries)) (setq nongregorian-diary-marking-hook '(mark-hebrew-diary-entries mark-islamic-diary-entries))
Hebrew- and Islamic-date diary entries have the same formats as Gregorian-date diary entries, except that the date must be preceded with an `H' for Hebrew dates and an `I' for Islamic dates. Moreover, because the Hebrew and Islamic month names are not uniquely specified by the first three letters, you may not abbreviate them. For example, a diary entry for the Hebrew date Heshvan 25 could look like
HHeshvan 25 Happy Hebrew birthday!
and would appear in the diary for any date that corresponds to Heshvan 25 on the Hebrew calendar. Similarly, an Islamic-date diary entry might be
IDhu al-Qada 25 Happy Islamic birthday!
and would appear in the diary for any date that corresponds to Dhu al-Qada 25 on the Islamic calendar.
As with Gregorian-date diary entries, Hebrew- and Islamic-date entries are nonmarking if they are preceded with an ampersand (`&').
There are commands to help you in making Hebrew- and Islamic-date entries to your diary:
These commands work exactly like the corresponding commands for ordinary diary entries: Move point to a date in the calendar window and the above commands insert the Hebrew or Islamic date (corresponding to the date indicated by point) at the end of your diary file and you can then type the diary entry. If you want the diary entry to be nonmarking, give a numeric argument to the command.
Diary display works by preparing the diary buffer and then running the
diary-display-hook. The default value of this hook hides
the irrelevant diary entries and then displays the buffer
simple-diary-display). However, if you specify the hook as
(add-hook 'diary-display-hook 'fancy-diary-display)
then fancy mode displays diary entries and holidays by copying them into a special buffer that exists only for display. Copying provides an opportunity to change the displayed text to make it prettier--for example, to sort the entries by the dates they apply to.
As with simple diary display, you can print a hard copy of the buffer
print-diary-entries. To print a hard copy of a day-by-day
diary for a week by positioning point on Sunday of that week, type
7 d and then do M-x print-diary-entries. As usual, the
inclusion of the holidays slows down the display slightly; you can speed
things up by setting the variable
Ordinarily, the fancy diary buffer does not show days for which there are
no diary entries, even if that day is a holiday. If you want such days to be
shown in the fancy diary buffer, set the variable
If you use the fancy diary display, you can use the normal hook
list-diary-entries-hook to sort each day's diary entries by their
time of day. Add this line to your `.emacs' file:
(add-hook 'list-diary-entries-hook 'sort-diary-entries)
For each day, this sorts diary entries that begin with a recognizable time of day according to their times. Diary entries without times come first within each day.
If you use the fancy diary display, you can have diary entries from other files included with your own by an "include" mechanism. This facility makes possible the sharing of common diary files among groups of users. Lines in the diary file of this form:
includes the diary entries from the file filename in the fancy diary buffer (because the ordinary diary buffer is just the buffer associated with your diary file, you cannot use the include mechanism unless you use the fancy diary buffer). The include mechanism is recursive, by the way, so that included files can include other files, and so on; you must be careful not to have a cycle of inclusions, of course. To enable the include facility, add lines as follows to your `.emacs' file:
(add-hook 'list-diary-entries-hook 'include-other-diary-files) (add-hook 'mark-diary-entries-hook 'mark-included-diary-files)
Sexp diary entries allow you to do more than just have complicated conditions under which a diary entry applies. If you use the fancy diary display, sexp entries can generate the text of the entry depending on the date itself. For example, an anniversary diary entry can insert the number of years since the anniversary date into the text of the diary entry. Thus the `%d' in this dairy entry:
%%(diary-anniversary 10 31 1948) Arthur's birthday (%d years old)
gets replaced by the age, so on October 31, 1990 the entry appears in the fancy diary buffer like this:
Arthur's birthday (42 years old)
If the diary file instead contains this entry:
%%(diary-anniversary 10 31 1948) Arthur's %d%s birthday
the entry in the fancy diary buffer for October 31, 1990 appears like this:
Arthur's 42nd birthday
Similarly, cyclic diary entries can interpolate the number of repetitions that have occurred:
%%(diary-cyclic 50 1 1 1990) Renew medication (%d%s time)
looks like this:
Renew medication (5th time)
in the fancy diary display on September 8, 1990.
The generality of sexp diary entries lets you specify any diary entry that you can describe algorithmically. Suppose you get paid on the 21st of the month if it is a weekday, and to the Friday before if the 21st is on a weekend. The diary entry
&%%(let ((dayname (calendar-day-of-week date)) (day (car (cdr date)))) (or (and (= day 21) (memq dayname '(1 2 3 4 5))) (and (memq day '(19 20)) (= dayname 5))) ) Pay check deposited
applies to just those dates. This example illustrates how the sexp can
depend on the variable
date; this variable is a list (month
day year) that gives the Gregorian date for which the diary
entries are being found. If the value of the expression is
the entry applies to that date. If the expression evaluates to
nil, the entry does not apply to that date.
The following sexp diary entries take advantage of the ability (in the fancy diary display) to concoct diary entries based on the date:
Thus including the diary entry
causes every day's diary display to contain the equivalent date on the Hebrew calendar, if you are using the fancy diary display. (With simple diary display, the line `&%%(diary-hebrew-date)' appears in the diary for any date, but does nothing particularly useful.)
There are a number of other available sexp diary entries that are important to those who follow the Hebrew calendar:
%%(diary-yahrzeit month day year) name
You can specify exactly how Emacs reminds you of an appointment and how far in advance it begins doing so. Here are the variables that you can set:
t(the default), Emacs rings the terminal bell for appointment reminders.
t(the default), Emacs displays the appointment message in echo area.
t(the default), Emacs displays the number of minutes to the appointment on the mode line.
t(the default), Emacs displays the appointment message in another window.
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