How To Make A Calendar Template In Excel

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excel logo   How To Make A Calendar Template In ExcelAs an avid Excel user, I often find myself trying to do things with Excel that most folks would never consider. There are several reasons for this, but the most important is that Microsoft Excel has certain features that make certain unique formatting tasks extremely simple and easy to automate.

Earlier, I introduced MUO readers to my love affair with Excel when I wrote about how you can use it to create an effective household budget. I was also pleased to read some love from other MUO authors, such as Karl’s article about how to split a monster sized Excel spreadsheet, or Eyal’s Excel printing tips.

Today I’m going to share¬†a few additional cool features in Excel that you can use specifically to make a calendar template in Excel.

Make a Calendar Template in Excel – A Step-By-Step Tutorial

The following calendar sheet is an Excel calendar template¬†that you can open up and print each month. You have the option to keep it blank and it’ll automatically update to the correct month – all you have to do is print and fill in the days. Or, you can use the last few techniques described at the end of this article to fill in the sheet with the days before printing. It requires a little extra work, but it looks very cool.

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Step #1 – Create The Header And Title

The first thing you’ll need to do is create the weekday header as well as the month title. This step will demonstrate the merge-and-fit feature as well as how to set the width of multiple columns at once.

First, type in the weekdays in a row across the top, but leave one row blank for your title.¬† Format the text around 12 point and bold. You’ll notice that some of the weekdays extend beyond the limit of the column.

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To fix this, just highlight the weekdays that you’ve typed and then select Format -> Column -> Width – and set the width for around 15 to 20.

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Now that you’ve got your weekday header nicely formatted, it’s time to add the current month at the top of your calendar sheet. While you could just manually type in the month at the top of the sheet, this wouldn’t be very efficient, as you’d have to change it every time you wanted to print a new calendar sheet. It makes more sense to create an Excel calendar template that knows what month it is and changes the month title for you.

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You do this by choosing any cell above your weekdays, and typing in the formula, “=TODAY()” – which tells Excel that you want today’s date in that field. After you do this, you’ll notice that it looks nothing like the month and it’s formatted all wrong. First, format the title with a font of around 20 to 22 and bold. Then, go into the Format -> Cells -> Number tab, select date and choose the format that you’d like for the month title.

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Once you’ve got your title formatted correctly, you’ll still notice that it’s not centered properly and exists only within one cell at the top of the spreadsheet. In other words, it looks odd. To fix this, highlight all of the cells above your weekday header (including the one where your month is displayed) and click on the “merge and center” button.

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Clicking “merge and center” turns all of the highlighted cells into one collective cell, and then centers your title in the middle of the highlighted region. Now you’ve got yourself a nicely formatted, automated calendar header.

Step #2 – Create The Calendar Days

The next step to make your calendar template in Excel is to once again use the “merge and center” feature, but this time you’ll merge a few empty cells in order to create one larger cell that represents a single day.

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This step is where you’ll build the body of your calendar template, but it’s also the easiest step. First, highlight about 5 or 6 cells, and click on the “merge and center” button. This will form one cell the perfect size for one day on the calendar. Then, while this large cell is highlighted, copy it (control-c or Edit->Copy) and paste it into the other days (or just drag the lower right corner of the box over to the right). This will duplicate your box for every day of the week. Do this for five rows. Your calendar should now look like this:

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Highlight your entire calendar click on the borders tool, and select the “grid” so that every grid line shows – essentially “drawing” out your calendar for you. Finally, you can either leave your template as it is (so you can write in the days yourself) and move ahead to step 3, or you can add in the days using Excel. Instead of going through and manually typing in “1” to “30”, you can save a lot of time by using Excel’s auto-fill feature.

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Using this technique, you simply enter in a formula for the first Monday and the second Sunday of the month. For example, if the 1st of the month is on Sunday, you’d enter “1” into the first Sunday box (and of course nicely format it at 14-point and bold). Then, for Monday you’d type “=” then click on the day before it (A1) and type “+1″.

When you’re finished, highlight the box where you’ve entered this formula, and drag it across the entire week – this will correctly fill in all of the days of the week. Then, do the same thing for the following Sunday, but click on Saturday and add 1.

When you’re done, drag this box down each week so that every Sunday has the same formula (adding 1 to the previous Saturday). Drag the formula from the previous Monday down through the month as well – and then drag from Monday across each week. While it may sound confusing, as you give it a try you’ll find that filling in the days only requires a few clicks and less than 5 minutes.

Step #3 – Printing Your Calendar Template

Finally, you’re ready to print out your calendar to a nice clean paper so you can pin it up on your wall. By this point, your calendar should look like this.

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While this looks absolutely fantastic within the Excel sheet, it won’t print properly because the edge of the calendar template goes beyond the printable page, so you’ll end up with parts of it on two pages. To fix this, go to File -> Page Setup, click the Page tab, and make sure it’s configured as shown here.

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Set the format for landscape, and fit the entire calendar to 1 page wide by 1 page high. Click OK, and when you do a print preview you’ll find that your calendar template is formatted on one sheet and ready to print!

The next month, just open up the same Excel file (the month will already be correct), renumber the days and click Print – it’s as simple as that!

Do you have any tricks that might make creating a calendar in Excel a little simpler? Have you ever created any unique projects using Excel? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

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20 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

skannloh

How do I enter a centered large size date (number) in each square box instead of the small font at the top right position?

Reply

Ryan Dube

Hey Skannloh – thanks for the question.

After you set the date format that you want, then go to Format -> Cells, click the alignment tab, and set the horizontal and vertical alignment to “center” – that should do it! Good luck.

Reply

Mike D

I’m not much on Excel and the auto fill instructions for adding the dates aren’t making sense to me. Could you break it down to in simpler format?

Ryan Dube

Hey Mike – sure…I know I stuffed a few steps into three paragraphs, so I’ll great it down here:

1. Manually number the first week in your calendar up to Saturday. Then, for the following Sunday, enter “=” then click on the previous Saturday, and then type “+1″ and press enter.
2. Hold the “fill” handle at the lower right corner of Sunday’s box and slide it down through the rest of the Sundays for the month. This will make sure that every Sunday, 1 is added to the number from the previous saturday. (the numbers will be all messed up at this point – ignore that)
3. Go back up to the week where you just entered the formula for sunday, and in the blank Monday box enter “=”, then click on the sunday before it, and type “+1″ and enter.
4. Now, grab the “fill” handle for that Monday and drag it down in the same way you did for the sundays.
5. Go back up, grab the same “fill” handle for monday and drag it to the right through the whole week to Saturday.
6. Do the same thing (the right-drag) for every week of the month, and you’re done!

For strange months where there’s a partial week at the beginning or end, you type those manually. If it’s more work for you to figure out how to quickly use the fill handle to fill in your calendar, it might actually take less time for you to just go through and type in the numbers…whatever works easiest for you! Good luck.

Reply

edwardthay

Finally I knew how to do it. Great.

Reply

youthworker

Interesting that in step #2 you merged cells… I’ve always found it easier to simply highlight the row and drag it to a new height. Selecting multiple rows gives you the chance to stretch them all to the same new size together. (or use the menu bar, in the same way you changed the column width in step #1.)
I find it less confusing this way, since it is easier to see which cell you are referencing. In your example, the first Sunday could be referred to as A3, A4 etc up to A8. I’d find that a little confusing.
Still, it’s a great looking calendar, and it’s nice to see someone using classic excel (rather than 2007 version) in a tutorial!

Ryan Dube

youthworker – I like the technique you decribe to select multiple rows and set row-width. The method I included in this article is one that I’ve used often to combine multiple cells quickly in any spreadsheet, but in this particular case I actually like your suggested approach better for the very reason you listed – the cell labels remain intuitive. Thanks for your comment!

Reply

Jaison

Thanks for the detailed instructions. I was looking for something like this to paste in my cubicle. I went an extra mile by adding a background picture and changing the transparency. It looks very professional now :). Thanks again for the tips.

Reply

Dave

To get the columns to the correct width, just double-click on the dividing line between each header box, and Excel will set the column to the width of the widest cell. Much easier and quicker than having to guess a number.

Reply

Scott

First, allow me to apologize for this question, which does not directly apply to this article but concerns Excel worksheet tab formatting. Can Worksheet tab names be tied to cell contents? I want the Worksheet tab names to be FirstLastName1, FirstLastName2, …, FirstLastNamen. All of the FirstLastName[1:n] are located on a roster Worksheet. I want to change the names on the roster worksheet and the Worksheet names will automatically follow. I am using Excel 2000. I have enjoyed your other articles. Thanks in advance.

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Tiffany

Thanks for this tutorial, it was just what I needed for the start of school! I have a question. The month header as i entered =TODAY(), came out correctly for August. But I would like to make a calendar for tomorrow’s month, September. It comes out as ##### when I try to manually type in the month. Any way to fix this? Thanks for your help! :)

Reply

Olivia

When Adding the date at the top of the page(ie August 09):

a. I don’t have the option to just chose a month – all the options include an actual day so I end up with 1//9/09 for example rather than just September 09. Any solution to this?

b. When I hit the centre and merge button the date disappears and I end up with a just a blank row. Again any ideas for this?
Many thanks!

Reply

jawahar

How can i add the date at the right top corner of the grid.

Reply

Courtney

Basically- the date won’t appear on the sheet even after typing in =TODAY()this is also after Format Cells DAte

Reply

eric

i got this idea for a calendar and can’t figure out how to get it to work and now I just can’t leave it alone. I want to make a calendar that will automatically number the days of the month after you type in the starting day. the problem i’m having is in the first week. if the month starts on wednesday then the formula needs to recognize that sunday, monday, and tuesday need to be blank and thursday friday saturday need to recognize they are the previous date plus 1. any ideas, it’s got to be possible.

Reply

ericklamb

nevermind. i just figured it out.

Maria

Hi, I have been trying to do the same thing, do mind sharing your idea?

ericklamb

you must have a cell that you type in the starting day of the month. assuming it is a sunday thru saturday calendar; put this formula =IF($L$1=D2,1,IF(C3=””,””,C3+1)) where L1 is the starting date D2 is the cell that defines the day of the week and C3 is the date of the previous day. use that formula for monday-saturday of the first week of the month only. use this formula =IF(L1=B2,1,””) where B2 is the cell that defines the sunday column, for the first sunday of the month. for every other day except the last week use this formula =C8+1 where C8 is the date of the previous day. for the last week use this formula =IF(U18=30,””,IF(U18=””,””,U18+1)) where U18 is the date of the previous day. this formula will make the calendar stop at 30 days. i started working on a formula that would recognize the month of the year and how many days are in that month but I lost interest. however it is simple enough to change the 30 in the last formula to a 31 or a 28 each month and just copy and paste to the other cells that need the change. but anyway, I hope this helps.

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household budet template

Wow…. I will send this site to my secretary to use it because she always forget my time schedule. Thank you

Reply

household budet template

I will send this site yo my secretary.

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