How to Make a Calendar Using Excel

By Filonia LeChat

Microsoft Excel 2013 may be your go-to program for invoices, budgets and all other things numbers, but you should make a date to explore its scheduling template options as well. Run the numbers on Excel’s calendar templates and you’ll find a quick and easy way to make custom day planners. Even if you’re at that part of the year when the last year’s calendars are gone and the new ones aren’t for sale yet, you’ll never be without a way to see your days, weeks and months planned ahead.

Step 1

Launch Excel 2013 and click the “Calendars” link under the Search box on the splash screen. This will bring up all of Excel’s calendar templates for you to sift through. You can use the Category column on the right to narrow down options, such as “12-month” or “Business.” You can also type a more specific term into the Search box, such as “Student Calendar” or “Annual Calendar.” Double-click a template and it opens in the Excel window.

Step 2

Scroll the calendar or, if you chose a multi-page template, all the pages, to get an idea of what may need to change. Note the small increment options usually near the top of templates. For example, if you opened a calendar template that shows 2013, click the increment box up once for 2014 or your preferred year, and the rest of the calendar adjusts. Many templates also let you customize the start day for the calendar, which may be Sunday or Monday, per your document’s requirements.

Step 3

Click the “Page Layout” tab and review the Themes section of the ribbon. Click the “Themes” button to instantly change the color scheme, fonts and design elements of the calendar, all in one click. You can also individually customize the calendar’s design with the “Colors,” “Fonts” and “Effects” buttons on the Themes section of the ribbon. This is helpful if you’re coordinating the calendar to a specific season, team or business theme colors, or other designs.

Step 4

Right-click a generic image that may have been included on the calendar template. Choose “Change Picture” to bring in your own. Choose either “Pictures” and browse to an image of your own for a custom calendar look, or “Online Pictures” to browse clip art. This is an ideal way to customize the calendar for a month, season or theme. For example, if you’re working on an October page, type “Halloween,” “pumpkins” or “candy corn” to insert images onto the calendar.

Step 5

Double-click inside one of the date boxes on the calendar. Note that the ability to type into a calendar date is determined by the template – some allow it, some do not. Calendars that feature one month per page offer more room and flexibility than full-year calendars that show all the dates of a year on a single page. Where applicable, type special reminders, birthdays, meetings, holidays and other calendar items into the date box. To format the text, click the "Home" tab and use the Font section of the ribbon. You may want to color-coordinate, such as making all birthdays one color and all work events another, or devote one color per household member.

Step 6

Make changes to any other pages or months of the calendar, per your template and document preferences. Save the file with a unique and recognizable name, such as “FamilyCalendar2014” or “BusinessMeetingsJuly2014.”

Tips & Warnings

  • These instructions are written for Microsoft Excel 2013 users. Earlier or later versions of the software may behave differently.