In this article, we will learn how we can create our own calendar layout design. The Event calendar Maker Excel template comes with 7 different layouts (Yearly, Yearly with Events, Monthly, Monthly with Events, One Month, Weekly and Daily). However, if we need to have any other layout, we can do that easily using Excel’s ‘Paste as Linked Picture‘ feature (also called as ‘Camera tool’).
For example, we have the Yearly design which displays four months in a row with 3 rows in total. Our Yearly w Events design displays two months in a row with 6 rows in total. Let’s say we want to have 3 months in a row and we want to be able to add other elements as well. It’s easy and can be done in just a few minutes. In this exercise, we will create a new layout where three months are shown in one row. Once you understand the fundamentals of the approach, you can create any other layout you would prefer. Let’s get started.
If you prefer videos, you can watch this exercise demo in this video.
CREATING THE BASIC LAYOUT
Let us create a new sheet first where we will design the layout.
Create New Sheet
1. Go to the Yearly sheet and select the first month’s cells.
Select a Month’s Cells – Yearly Calendar Design
Remember to select 6 weeks even if the month you select doesn’t have 6 weeks. This will ensure that our approach will work even if the month is changed in the future.
2. Copy cells by pressing Ctrl+C (Ctrl key and C key together).
3. Go to the new sheet we created. Click on Paste in the top left menu (in the Home ribbon) and then choose ‘Linked Picture‘ in the options available.
Paste as Linked Picture
We have now created a linked image which will display whatever will be in the Yearly design’s first month’s cells. This is a picture now and hence if you click on it, you will realize that you can move it around like a picture object.
For example, we can apply border to the image by selecting the color, border weight and line type (dashes).
Choose Picture Border as needed
We can repeat the above steps with second and third month. At the end, we will have an image like this one below.
3 Months in the new Layout
ALIGN AND DISTRIBUTE
If we are not very careful in lining up the three images in one line, it might appear like above. Not to worry. Excel has all the tools needed. If you would prefer the three months to appear aligned in one row, then we can use Excel’s picture tools to align. Select all three images. To select all three,
Click on the first month image.
Press the Ctrl key and click on the second month image while pressing the Ctrl key.
Click on the third while still pressing the Ctrl key.
Then, click Align in the Picture Tools ribbon’s Format section. Select ‘Align Top‘.
Align Top option in Picture Tools
You would also have noticed that the three months are not spaced equally horizontally (horizontal gaps between them are not equal). Excel to the rescue again. With all the three images selected, go back to the Align menu and choose ‘Distribute Horizontally‘ this time.
Distribute Horizontally in Align Menu
Now, the calendar will look aligned and evenly distributed.
Three Months Aligned Calendar Layout
This is how easily we can design our own calendar layout using Excel’s ‘Paste as Linked Picture’ option. This new calendar will update as you enter new events or change event types (colors). If you change the beginning month in the Home sheet’s settings, that will also get reflected in this new layout. Everything in this new layout will work exactly as it does with the default calendar design layouts in the template.
Usually the pasted image appears slightly less clear compared to the original cells. This is how Excel does and is usually not an issue. However, depending on your need, please test the clarity of the output in print or PDF.
ADD LEGEND AND MORE
It is important to note that you can apply this method to any type of cell. For example, I recommend adding the legend to your new calendar layout so that it is clear what the different colors mean. We can copy the legend from the Yearly design and ‘paste as linked picture’. Similarly, we can add event details as needed.
We can also insert other images from our computer such as our logo. For this, we would go to the Insert ribbon and choose ‘Pictures‘.
Insert Logo or other pictures to Calendar
A sample of such a calendar layout will look like the one below.
Add Legend, Logo and Event Details to Calendar Layout
A couple of useful tools while inserting your own pictures will be Cropping (if your image has other elements you don’t need) and re-sizing (ex. reducing the size of the logo)
Cropping and Resizing Image in Picture Tools in Excel
We used the Yearly design as the source for our demo. Please note that you can copy calendar months from any of the existing calendar designs.
You can copy as many months as needed.
You can also apply colors/borders on the cells (in addition to the images) in the new calendar layout
You can add text or text boxes as needed.
If we would like to export to PDF or to print this new design, we need to set it up for printing.
Select cells that cover the printable area. We shouldn’t select the images directly. Whatever area of cells we select, any image that floats over that area will get printed.
Click on Page Layout ribbon and select Print Area –> Set Print Area.
Set Print Area for Calendar
Then, we can print or export as usual from the File menu. We would choose the appropriate print settings based on the layout we design (for example: landscape or portrait).