What are calendar diary block entries about? I've been looking around the web and I can't figure out why I would use that particular format, or how to use it, aside from assigning a starting and ending date. I've looked at the doc's but they don't explain the purpose for using the format.

(Just to be clear, I'm talking about the basic calendar diary. This has nothing to do with org-mode.)

  • Please indicate what about block entries is unclear to you. Their purpose is explained by what they are. Have you looked at the doc in (emacs) Special Diary Entries?
    – Drew
    Apr 5, 2018 at 17:33

2 Answers 2


From (emacs) Special Diary Entries:

A block diary entry applies to a specified range of consecutive dates. Here is a block diary entry that applies to all dates from June 24, 2012 through July 10, 2012:

%%(diary-block 6 24 2012 7 10 2012) Vacation

The 6 24 2012 indicates the starting date and the 7 10 2012 indicates the stopping date. (Again, if you are using the European or ISO calendar style, the input order of month, day and year is different.)

To insert a block entry, place point and the mark on the two dates that begin and end the range, and type i b. This command displays the end of your diary file in another window and inserts the block description; you can then type the diary entry.

That suggests that the purpose is to have a single entry that applies to a sequence of dates. Nothing more or less than that, as far as I know.

  • Oh, so for example, if you miss writing a week in the diary you can group together what happened during that week in a single post? I thought it was to group together several entries in a "block" or something like that. Like logging your vacation, into a single block making it easier to pull that "block" out when reviewing your past entries.
    – M. Minor
    Apr 5, 2018 at 20:05
  • 1
    It's called "diary", but it's really more of an appointment book, AFAIK. You use it to record appointments, and an "appointment" could extend over multiple days. E.g., if you plan to take a trip to Oz from May 1 through May 14, then you can record that as a single, block entry. See the doc.
    – Drew
    Apr 5, 2018 at 20:30
  • Yeah, I'm starting to catch on to the idea. So, to keep going with your example, you would write something like. Monday 9:00 save the tin-man. Tuesday 10:00 visit the munchkins...and then through the magic of emacs it would remind you of those appointments? Am I pick up what you're laying down?
    – M. Minor
    Apr 5, 2018 at 20:34
  • Yes. Please see the doc.
    – Drew
    Apr 5, 2018 at 20:41
  • Yeah, I read the doc, several times over. I looked online, but I couldn't grasp the concept. That's why I posted the question. Thanks for your help.
    – M. Minor
    Apr 5, 2018 at 21:02

You should play with the calendar. Please do

M-x calendar

then mark with the mouse or with the keyboard a range of days and type

i b

thus Emacs will open your diary file and show a line like this

%%(diary-block 2018 05 18 2018 05 31) 

the sequence of numbers might be different for you. Then you should add your reason for this block

%%(diary-block 2018 05 18 2018 05 31) This is my first block entry

After saving the diary file you will see that this range of days is marked in the calendar. And when you type d when the cursor is on a day in this range the calendar indicates you the reason for this marking.

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