birthdayBook Help manual
BirthdayBook application provides a great way to remember to send a card to a friend or loved one in time for their birthday or anniversary. It can also remind you of any upcoming events in a beautiful and logical way. For help using birthdayBook, see the Help Pages in birthdayBook by going to the Help menu and selecting "Help."
Important Note: After much agnozing I have decided to charge a minimal amount for birthdayBook in the App Store. The amount of time needed to bring it up to the new Apple standards, maintain updates and field the many enquiries from users, is taking away from time needed to earn a living, paint ( yes - I am an artists too! ) and play with my family. So it now costs $1.99 which I consider very reasonable for any application. I was hoping that user donations would cover at least bandwidth and OS upgrades but they haven't so this is the new reality. Please note that any of you who have given donations, some very generous, can email me and I will happily supply you with free upgrades going forward, if the $1.99 seems unfair.
Of course you can also still make a donation to further help the cause. see "Donations" below or click here to make a donation.
Compatibility: birthdayBook is compatible on Mac OSX 10.6 and up.
BirthdayBook 6.4 has many changes and some bug fixes. The application has been sandboxed to comply with App Store guidelines and adhere to the Apple security requirements for all apps going forward. The data model has been optimized and now uses an xml archive to store the user's event data.
For Mac OS 10.4x and earlier, download the version 5.4 from the Software page.
With birthdayBook you can:
• Remember upcoming birthdays, anniversaries and other events.
• See which famous people have their birthday today.
• Print a beautiful list-style birthday calendar in TextEdit.
• Customize the way the birthday reminders look.
• Schedule reminders once a day or at any set time.
• Import birthdays from Apple Address Book.
• Export your birthday list to an iCal calendar.
• Look up today's date in history on Wikipedia lookup (Help menu)
• Print the birthday list as a plain list.
• And more …
Just drag birthdayBook to your applications folder.
If you have scheduled reminders, open the Scheduling pane in Preferences and select "no reminders." Save your changes, quit birthdayBook and move the birthdayBook application to the trash.
1. Drag the birthdayBook application icon to the Dock for easy access.
2. Double click on the icon and you will see the birthday reminder window.
3. Click the "list" button to show the birthdayBook List Window. The List Window will have the heading “Birthdays & Anniversaries.”
4. In the List Window, you can add, import (see below) and remove birthdays and anniversaries as you like. Then click the “Save” button.
5. Also In the list window, you can drag the columns around to arrange the table to your desired order.
6. Next time you click the birthdayBook icon, your new birthday reminders will appear!
For more: set your user preferences for date range and appearance in Preferences (See "Preferences" below.)
Rearrange Column Order: Click on and Drag a column header (letter “A” in the illustration above) to the left or right to change the order of the columns. You can move particular columns out of the window viewing area if you don't want to see them in the table.
Re size columns: You can re size the widths of the columns by clicking and dragging on the column divider line between two headers (the gray line next to letter “B” in the illustration above) to make a column narrower or wider. Basic stuff. You can hide columns you don't want by moving or re sizing them off to the right out of view of the main window. Experiment.
Edit Information: Click on an item in the table to edit it (C).
1. Select 'birthday", "anniversary", or "other" in the event type popup
2. Enter the name in the name field
3. Enter the date in the date field. See below for proper the proper date format.
4. Press the + button.
Names: you can enter full names, nicknames, or the name of some event you wish to remember
Dates: The date must be entered correctly in the format for your language/locale of your computer. The format should be in the mm/dd/yyyy or dd/mm/yyyy format. So November 23, 1978 would be 11/23/1978 or 23/11/1978 depending on your locale.
01/09/56 is not a correct date entry because the year can not be abbreviated. It should be 01/09/1956.
If you do not know the date of someone's birthday then leave the date out. 11/23 or 23/11 would work fine and the date and age in the list window will be left blank.
You can also add any other dates you want to remember under "Other" type in the popup. In the table, under the "Date type" column, you can replace the word “Anniversary” with a more personal reminder. As an example, “Anniversary” might be replaced with "Cousin party" or some memorial event.
Remove list items: To remove names from the list click on them in the list window and press "remove". You may select multiples in the usual way (using the command key for individual choices, or the shift key for a consecutive group).
Key stroke shortcuts:
Edit: You can edit the names in the table itself but not the dates - birthdayBook takes care of the dates for you. If you need to change a date entry, it is best to re-enter the event and delete the incorrect on in the table.
Sorting: You can sort your list by any of the columns in the List Window. Just click on the column header(s) and the list will sort itself. Click again and they will sort in reverse order.
Phone and email lookup:
Email: To create an email message to someone on the list. Select just their name in the list window and press the small email icon in lower right of the window. If the name is in your Address Book, you will see a list of their email addresses to choose from. You will then be asked to type a short message, or stick with the default "Happy Birthday". If you delete the text then no special message will appear in the new email message. Mail application will then open and create a new message with a your message.
If you select "crazy colors" then the message will appear in random fonts and sizes and colors. Fun!
Phone numbers and Addresses: Select a name in your list and click on the small phone icon in lower right of the window. If you have a phone number or an address listed for this person in your Address Book, it will be displayed so you can call them, or send them a card for their Birthday too!
Using the birthdayBook File menu
Import birthdays from Address Book: Go to File menu and select "Import from Address Book". Your birthdayBook birthday list will now be updated to match all birthdays you have indicated in the Address Book. Only birthdays that are not already in the list will be added. You will be asked if you want to import just birthdays and anniversaries, or any custom dates too. Address Book application allows entering custom anniversary dates for a person.
Export Birthdays to iCal: birthdayBook will create a new calendar in iCal called "Birthdays". It will fill in the names and dates of all the birth dates in your list, in the new calendar. You can turn the new calendar on or off in iCal , or delete it if you change your mind. Keep in mind that this is not transferring items directly from Address Book - If a calendar called "Birthdays" already exists in iCal, you will be asked if you want to create a new one, or add the new Birthdays to the existing one.
Print birthday list: birthdayBook will print the birthday list from the table in the List Window. The print includes all the columns in the table so the size of the rows depends on the width of your columns.
Create pdf birthday list: birthdayBook will create a pdf file of your birthday list.
Print birthday Calendar: birthdayBook will print a beautiful list-style calendar using Text Edit application and a specially formatted template. You can customize the fonts, sizes and colors to be printed.
Backup your List data!
You can make a copy of your birthday list data for safe keeping. Just go to the File menu in the main menu bar on your screen. Choose "Create backup" and you will be asked for a location to store the backup file. It will have the name "Birthdays.plist." You can easily restore your birthdays or transport them to another computer by selecting this file in the dialog that appears when you select "Restore from backup."
You can set birthdayBook preferences by selecting "Preferences" from the File Menu in the Apple menu bar. There are several choices, just click on the tool bar icon at the top of the Preferences window to access that set of preferences.
Reminder date format: birthdayBook will select the date format automatically depending on the region you are in. You can, however, override this and select your own preferred style. Some countries use different code and birthdayBook will not interpret that so you will have to select your own format in that case too.
Reminder Display: choose to see name or date first in the list.
Import events from Apple Address Book automatically: birthdayBook will import any birthdays or anniversaries from Address Book each time birthdayBook is launched. The import only goes from Address Book to birthdayBook so there is no danger of losing data in Address Book. However, if you want to customize birthdayBook events and permanently remove events that still remain in Address Book - they will be re imported unless you turn off this feature.
Import from Address Book automatically: BirthdayBook will import any birthdays or other events you have in the Apple Address Book at each launch. If you use Address Book to store such events this is the best way to have both applications in sync. Note: by doing this the birthday list will always contain any birthdays or anniversaries listed in the Apple Address Book and if you remove some of those from your list, they will be restored at next launch.
Reminder dates: Set your range of days that you want to see reminders on. If you select "10 days before", then reminders will show for a birthday every day for ten days before the actual day. There is also a custom date range you can design yourself. Just type in your range of days, separated by commas, in the dialog box.
If you enable scheduling, birthdayBook will create a special file called located in your Home folder > Library > Launch Agents folder, which will tell the system to launch birthdayBook at a specified time or interval. You can also make birthdayBook a login item manually by opening your System Preferences "Account"s pane and in the "login items" pane, adding birthdayBook application to the list.
Remove all automatic reminders. This will cancel the automatic reminders and remove the external reminder file that was installed.
After every startup: This causes the birthdayBook application to become a startup item, to launch automatically when you start up Mac. It will quit when you quit the application. You will see the reminders only after every startup. You must click "Enable Changes" for it to activate.
Once a day after sleep or startup: This will cause birthdayBook to launch only once per day, either after a startup or after the computer has been to sleep. Use this option if you do not shut down your computer!
Once a day at a preset time: This will cause birthdayBook to launch at the time you indicate, once per day.
Reminder window colors:
Random colors will make the reminder window appear in different colors!
Custom Color lets you select a custom window color from the color picker (click several times).
Transparency will make the reminder window appear transparent - you can adjust the degree of transparency with the slider.
Hud style will make the reminder window appear as a floating grey-transparent utility window.
In daily reminders:
Display age in reminders will do just that! The "age" will be the age reached in the current year.
Display astrological signs will show a persons "sign" after their name and birth date in the reminder window.
Show reminders always? You can choose to see reminders every day even if there are no new birthdays to report. You will then see a "No new birthdays" message. Without that choice you won't be able to access the list if there is no message coming up but you can always access birthdayBook by clicking on the birthdayBook icon.
Display icons? Will do just that - display the birthdayBook icons in the reminder window. They are random and chosen from a selection of twenty custom icon images.
Create custom icons:
Custom icons. You can now choose your own images or icons to see in the reminder window! Just press "custom icons" button (see the picture above) and you will be asked if you want to use a folder of images, a folder of icons, or a selection from iPhoto. Select your choice and you will be asked to pick a size for the images to be scaled to. Fifty pixels is the default size but you can make it a bit larger if you wish. A range of 50 to 60 is best.
In the dialog box you have three choices:
If you choose Images, you will be asked to pick a folder containing up to twenty images. They should be jpeg, tiff, png, or any other common image format, and can be any size. Square shaped images look better and there is less cropping. BirthdayBook will then convert them to the proper scale for viewing in the reminder window.
If you choose Icons, you will be asked to pick a folder containing up to twenty icons. They must be Mac OS icon files. You can download many free sets of great icons online from Pixel Press and other sites. Or you can make your own, if you are very clever.
If you choose iPhoto, you should first select the photos in the iPhoto application before continuing. Select up to twenty pictures - by using the mouse, you can command-click on different images to select them all. Then press the iPhoto button in the dialog box and birthdayBook will create a set of icons for the reminder window, from your selection in iPhoto. Magic!
Custom Famous names lets you create your own famous names list. Select which sets you want and press the "Save changes"button! Be sure to check the box "Include famous names in reminders" to see them displayed.
Mostly myself, but thanks to the following for .......
Harry Wagendorp for endless help with Dutch code, morale, and solving some tricky AppleScript problems and his fast "Phone lookup" and much more. Thanks Harry!
Christopher Hickman for much help with OBJ C and the localizations.
Apple Computer: for the crazy text script that I modified
Simon G. Madam & Harry Wagendorp for wonderful Dutch translations.
Alain Boisvert and Henry for translating the French version of BirthdayBook
Frank Cornew for translating the Spanish version of BirthdayBook
Thomas Dietzel, Hans-peter Jungwirt and Hans-peter Rosenlechner for translating the German version of BirthdayBook
Federico Frezza and Giulia Criasfulli for the Italian.
Loizos Pavlidos for the beautiful "wedding cake" icon.
Support, thoughts, questions
Please email me Rob Dutoit at
Donations for the future of birthdayBook:
Donations page for birthdayBook and other cool stuff
version 2.01 First release of birthdayBook
version 2.2 Added full integration with the Address Book. Can now sync the birthdayBook list with birthdays in the Address Book.
version 2.3 Added Scheduling. Ability to have the reminders appear each day automatically whether computer is shut down or put to sleep. You can also set a daily time for message reminder. User can now enable BirthdayBook as a startup item automatically. Also now custom date ranges are possible.
version 2.4 Added ical integration, and phone number look up. also some bug fixes for Macs using OS 10.2x
version 2.5 Fixed the dreaded sorting bug in OS 10.2X. Added address lookup and increased speed of sorting and other functions.
version 2.5.2 Fixed a bug where "Create backup" didn't backup the current list unless you first press "Quit and Save". Now it backs up what you see.....
version 2.6 Added Anniversaries and "Year" and "Age" columns to the table. The table is now fully editable. Fixed a bug involving the custom date range feature in "Preferences."
version 2.6.3 Added importing from Ical, better date range and now the reminder dialog is sorted!
version 3.0 Compatibility with Tiger! 5 languages, Colors! Re sizing of reminder window. Editing of Table and more. Several bugs fixed.
version 3.1 Improved translations. Now there is Printing!
version 3.2 Fixed Printing bug, the "No reminder window" bug and several others. improved look of reminder window.
version 3.3 Wikipedia lookup, fixed prefs crash window, fixed incorrect age in reminders and more.
version 3.4 Fixed several bugs
version 3.5 Fixed the dreaded blank-window bug!
version 3.6.1 Fixed the prefs window for non-US users! Added a colorful toolbar to the prefs window and a unified look to the main list window.
version 4.0 Added custom icon, and famous name, sets.
version 4.3 Added Chinese, and the Wikipedia famous names lookup and improved date format code.
version 4.4 Added astrological signs and fixed some problems with the famous names series.
version 4.5 fixed a bug preventing launch in leopard
version 4.6 fixed a bug preventing export ti iCal and an optimized reminder script for Leopard.
version 5.0 rebuilt birthdayBook application for more efficient use of windows and memory. There is a new, more modern, list window. Fixed several small bugs.
version 5.1 Fixed a serious bug causing wrong age to appear in reminders.
version 5.2 Fixed a serious bug again causing wrong age to appear in reminders hopefully for the last time. Users can now switch between list and reminder windows on the fly. Several small fixes and a new French manual and Help Pages.
THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT OWNER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.