bigcal - a little calendar printing tool


bigcal [-beHnpstw] [-123456789qhy] [-W nn] [calendarFile ...]


bigcal is the tool I use to print my calendar. It is called bigcal for historical reasons, because, by default, it prints a calendar that is much bigger than that which the unix cal command prints.

You may ask why the world needs another calendar printer, especially when there are so many full featured ones out there. Mostly because this one deals with upcoming weeks, rather than the present month. On November 20th, I don't really find it useful to see what I did on the 2nd, but I would like to know what is coming up on December 4th.

bigcal can print calendars in text, postscript or HTML. By default it displays the next four weeks in ASCII on your terminal. The postscipt option normally prints nine weeks worth and fits on one page. You can print that, stuff it in your pocket and not have to lug around a day runner or a PDA.

You drive it from 3 files.


-b just print a Blank calendar.
-e Edit $HOME/.cal file before printing calendar.
-H print calendar in Html.
-n do Not load $HOME/.cal, $HOME/.cal.birthdays & $HOME/.cal.base files.
-p print calendar in Postscript.
-s Squeeze out blank lines.
-t print Todo list ($HOME/.todo).
-w print Weekend days.
-W n print for terminal Width of n.
-q print next Quarter of a year (13 weeks).
-h print next Half of a year (26 weeks).
-y print next Year (52 weeks).
-123456789 print N weeks (default=4).

Format of $HOME/.cal file

# comment
month day [-tag] item1|item2 ...
month day [+b] item1
month day [+h] item1
-tag items print on same line as the date.
+b and +h mark the item as a birthday or holiday, respectively
other items print on successive lines.


Tony Aiuto (


The definitive source is located at If you use this package, please drop us a line at and we'll notify you about future updates.

This manual page describes bigcal 2.5.0 - as of 26-Nov-2002

gzipped source - bigcal-2.5.0.tar.gz
zipped source -


bigcal is released under a BSD style license. You can use it in commercial products without a problem. Just keep the copyright notices intact. We do ask, as a favor, that if you use bigcal, that you add a link back to our home page from some web site which you control.

If bigcal saves you money at work, I would think it a nice gesture if you sent me a check for 5% of the amount you thought it saved you. It really would help convince my wife that all the time I spend writing code at nights really has a productive side. If you are inclined to do that, send email to and I will be delighted to provide a snail mail address. I am also happy to add specific features for a fee.


I also have a Tcl library which reads Palm data files and a Tcl program which converts the data to bigcal format. That will be released on my web site sometime soon.

If you want a calendar/reminder tool which is more feature rich, try remind from Roaring Penguin