When a new year rolls around, you can count on two things: you will write the wrong year on your checks until April, and you’ll need a new calendar. Although there’s not much I can do to help with the first situation, I can help with the second.
Like everyone else, I needed a calendar to help get myself organized and start the year off right. I wanted to create a quick calendar I could print out for the month of January.
Most Word calendar templates use macros extensively to set up the calendar. Macros are great for some things, but I’m not a nerd and I hate figuring out macros so I avoid them whenever possible. I wanted a super quick and dirty calendar I could create easily any time in any version of Word without a template. So here’s my solution to creating a calendar in Word without macros.
The Quick and Dirty Calendar
This calendar technique takes advantage of Word’s table and autonumbering features. The bad news is that you do need to have a calendar around somewhere so you know what day of the week the month starts and ends on.
To create the calendar, follow these steps.
1. Choose File|New to create a new document. Then choose File|Page Setup and in the Margins tab, change the Orientation to Landscape.
2. At the top of the page, type your month. In this example, I use January. Choose Format|Paragraph to center the text and add some space below to set it off from the rest of the calendar.
3. Now choose Table|Insert|Table. In the Insert Table dialog box, create a table with 7 columns and 4 or 5 rows (depending on the month). In this case, for January I needed 5 rows. If you want the days of the week across the top of your calendar, you can include a row for them as well (for a total of 6 for this example).
4. Select the entire table by clicking in the table and choosing Table|Select|Table. Then choose Table|Table Properties. In the Row height, set the row height to a fixed size. You may have to experiment with the row size to keep it all on one page. (Months that need only 4 rows or reducing your margins let you make your row height taller.) If you have a separate row for the days of the week, you may want to make its row height smaller than the cells for the days of the month. Select only that row and choose Table Properties again.
5. Now it’s time to add some borders. Select the entire table again by choosing Table|Select|Table. Next, choose Format|Borders and Shading. Click All to add borders around the whole table. Or you can get creative and only add horizontal or vertical lines to your calendar.
6. To add the numbering, you use Word’s autonumbering feature. The trick is that you need to select your cells in order. For example, in this example, the month starts on a Thursday. So in the first row, highlight the last three cells and click the Numbering button on the toolbar.
7. Now highlight the block of cells in the center of the calendar by clicking and dragging from the top left cell of the second row down to the bottom right cell in the fourth row. Then click the numbering button on the toolbar.
8. Finally, you autonumber the last week of the month. In this case, the month ends on a Saturday, so you highlight the entire week and click the Numbering button. (Technically, in this example, because January ends on a Saturday, you could include it in the highlighting block in step 7, but in most cases, you’ll need this extra step for the autonumbering to work correctly.)
9. Since you are using a numbered list, by default, Word puts a period after the number of each day of the week. If you want to remove the period after the number, you can. Click in the first calendar box and choose Format|Bullets and Numbering. Click the Customize button and remove the period.
10. You can add text into your calendar blocks. The key to this process is to type Shift+ Enter to move your cursor down within the block. So pick a day and press Shift+Enter. (Note that there’s a good reason to use Shift+Enter; if you press the Enter key instead, you’ll see Word tries to continue the autonumbering, which is not what you want.)
Although it may seem like quite a few steps, the process of creating the calendar actually goes quickly. This calendar method does have a few limitations, but when you need a really quick calendar and can’t be bothered to find a template, it’s a great option!