ICS file Timezone Formatting

I recently RSVP’d for an event that allowed me to add the event to my calendar via ICS file. But the file was somewhat crudely constructed and made no mention of what timezone the event was in, so I suddenly had a VERY early Sunday morning event to contend with (which would never do lol).

Being something resembling a web developer, I immediately tried looking at the source code of the ICS file to see what was going on. It loaded fine in my favorite plain-text editor (TextPad) and the problem was immediately clear — there was an absolute dearth of any timezone related information in the file. I tinker-toyed with the idea of just adding PDT to the end of the DTSTART and DTEND lines, but then decided – for the sanity of my calendar app – to do a precursory search for proper formatting of an ICS file. Who knows, I might get lucky and find a w3schools.com tutorial!

The first search I tried was for “ics file format timezone” and I right away struck paydirt with the very first search result!

Eric’s Notes: Fixing ICS Time Zone

By adding the information from that article directly to the ICS file, the event imported into my calendar with the correct timestamps! Woo hoo! 😀

So in case anybody winds up with a crudely formatted ICS file, hopefully this tale will encourage you to dig into it and take a look at what’s going on! 🙂

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