Encoding newlines in iCal files


Icalendar Problem Overview

I'm trying to figure out how to encode newlines in the DESCRIPTION part of an iCal file in such a way that they will import properly into Outlook, Google Calendar and the Apple Calendar.

The original code I inherited used "=0D=0A" with a quoted-printable encoding, which works great in Outlook, but not in Google Calendar.

The spec seems to say you should use "\n" to represent a newline. This works great in Google Calendar, but Outlook just puts the literal "\n" characters in there.

Is there a way you've done this that will work consistently accross calendaring systems?

Icalendar Solutions

Solution 1 - Icalendar

OK, looks like I'm answering my own question.

The correct way to do it is to use "\n" for line breaks. Outlook did not recognize this because I had "ENCODING=quoted-printable" on the description. Once I removed that, Outlook displayed the new lines correctly.

Also, to get the file to open correctly in Apple iCal, you need to use "VERSION:2.0" for the file version. If you use "VERSION:1.0", it will tell you it can't read the file (even though it conforms to the 1.0 spec).

NOTE: As others have mentioned, the file actually has to contain the literal string \n. Since most languages treat that as an escape sequence meaning a newline character, you probably need to use the string \\n in your code.

Solution 2 - Icalendar

The comment with the link to the RFC from Matthew Bucket above in the original post helped me. Quoting from there:

> A BACKSLASH character in a "TEXT" property value MUST > be escaped with another BACKSLASH character

So, I did a

$description = str_replace("\r\n", "\\n", $description);

and it worked

Solution 3 - Icalendar

Might be worth saying that you need the literal \n, not the newline symbol, literally backslash then n in the ical. Also don't forget to do the 75 character "folding" too.

Solution 4 - Icalendar

Your output file should be like below---

PRODID:-//2013//#Ur Site Name#//EN
SUMMARY:#Meeting Title here#
DESCRIPTION:What is realistic for financial services companies to achieve via Social Media channels?    \n\nJoin us on 11th September 2013 at 4pm (BST) where we 
-----bla bla bla ----

Here you have to take care of Version, it should be 2.0 and Escape char ... \n(newline), semicolon(;) and comma(,). If you are writing in .net then it should like ... "\\n", "\;" and "\\,".

You can check your output file on this site as well... https://icalendar.org/validator.html

Thanks, Bhaskar

Solution 5 - Icalendar

According to this RFC:

> Content lines are delimited by a line break, which is a CRLF sequence (CR character followed by LF character).

So you should use \r\n. I used this in strings without additional backslash escaping.

Solution 6 - Icalendar

This is my answer for DESCRIPTION

$filev = str_replace("\r\n", '\\n', $p);
$filev = str_replace("<br>",'\\n',$filev);
$filev = (str_replace(";","\;",str_replace(",",'\,',$filev)));

Solution 7 - Icalendar

I had to escape the output in the string to set a literal "\n" in the output file. Like so. Worked a charm.

$events .= "DESCRIPTION:" . str_replace("\n","\\n",str_replace(";","\;",str_replace(",",'\,',get_event_contents()))) . "\n";

Solution 8 - Icalendar

=0D=0A works with Outlook, but you'll need to change the DESCRIPTION key, so that line breaks can be interpreted.


Enter your text after the colon, using =0D=0A for line breaks. Outlook will read the line breaks correctly. Using \\n only works if you're using DESCRIPTION without ENCODING:QUOTED-PRINTABLE.

I'm using VERSION:2.0


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Content TypeOriginal AuthorOriginal Content on Stackoverflow
QuestionEric PetroeljeView Question on Stackoverflow
Solution 1 - IcalendarEric PetroeljeView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 2 - IcalendarperiklisView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 3 - IcalendarTony JohnsonView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 4 - IcalendarBhaskarView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 5 - IcalendarSerhii MaksymchukView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 6 - Icalendaruser8716145View Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 7 - IcalendarJosh BruleView Answer on Stackoverflow
Solution 8 - IcalendarLybelle KatbeyView Answer on Stackoverflow