Why Customize?

PrintableCal comes installed with a number of attractive templates. However, there may be cases where you'd like to customize a template to include things like business logos, contact information, photos, different colors, different layouts, etc. PrintableCal enables you to do this, and then re-use your customized template again and again. 

Think of all the time this could save when you need to create or update your calendar. Instead of editing by hand, the template pulls in all your schedule data and formats it based on how your template was defined. PrintableCal automates the process and can complete in a matter of seconds what would normally take hours of manual data entry.

Creating a Custom Template - A Walkthrough

The steps below explain how a fictional business named Bob's Bicycles could customize the default Month template to include their contact information and logo. This calendar is printed and distributed to their customers. Many business have similar needs, or you might think of other ways to take the functionality described below and adapt it to your own requirements.

  1. Templates can only be customized in Excel. However, customized templates can be used when generating calendars in Word. The first step is to click the Customize button on the PrintableCal tab of the Excel Ribbon.

  2. After clicking the Customize button, the Task Pane will appear with a list of currently installed templates. Templates are listed by type, such as Agenda or Month. To see all templates for a certain type, click the + button to the left of the category name. Select the template you'd like to use as a starting point for your customizations and then click the Customize button. Note, when you save the customization, you can choose to save to a new template if you don't want to overwrite the original. In this example scenario, Bob chooses to customize the Default Month template.

  3. The template will open in a new workbook. if you're using Excel 2013 or later, this will be a new Excel window. Notice the template doesn't contain any events or tasks. Templates should always be saved without any events or tasks, since that data is dynamic and will be automatically populated in the template when a calendar is generated. Think of the template as a placeholder for your data. The template defines the layout and appearance of the calendar, but not its actual content. In this case, the Default Month template shows January 2014 as a placeholder for styling the template. The date shown in the template is arbitrary. When a calendar is generated you can pick the desired date range, which could span any number of months. The template will be re-used for each month, each on its own worksheet. The Task Pane also shows Save As Template, which is where the template name and description can be entered before saving. More on this later...

  4. The default template doesn't contain any branding or other information. Since Bob wants his customers to remember where the calendar came from, he'll add his company logo and contact information to the template. Also, the colors don't match well with Bob's logo, so he'll adjust the colors as well. The Notes area of the Default Month template is a good place to add some customizations. Bob removes the Notes label and pastes his company logo into the bottom-right corner. 

  5. Next, Bob adds his company's contact information to the template. There's some empty space to the left of the logo. The cells were merged in the default template, so he unmerges the cells first. The text color is set to match his logo.

  6. The blue border doesn't look good with Bob's orange and green logo, so he changes the border and year color. There are several ways to do this, but one quick method is to use the Colors drop-down on the Page Layout tab of the Excel Ribbon. Bob picks a color palette that replaces blue with orange.

  7. Bob's done! Here's how his finished template looks. Snazzy!

  8. The final step is to save the template, using the Save as Template area of the Task Pane. Bob enters a new template name so as to not overwrite the default template. He also enters a description and then clicks the Save button.

  9. After saving the template, it now appears in the template list when the Create Calendar button is clicked to populate the template with events.

Customizing Template Layouts

The walkthrough above covers a simple scenario. There are many other more advanced template customizations that can be performed. 

One very important thing to be aware of when customizing templates is how PrintableCal works with named cells.

When editing a template, there are some cells that must be present in the template. These are designated with cell names, which are shown in the upper-left corner, below the Ribbon. For example, one of the cell names required by the Month template style is Year, which tells PrintableCal where to put the year number for the month being printed. The cell value (i.e. "2014") in the template is arbitrary. The important thing is that the cell name is present so PrintableCal can dynamically populate the value when the template is used to generate a calendar. 

Cell names can be moved elsewhere when changing the template layout. For example, if you prefer the date to be below the calendar, or along the side of the calendar, the cell name could be moved to the desired location.

Every template style (Week, Month, Year, etc) has cells names it requires. When changing the layout of a template, make sure to note where named cells are located before moving things around. Also, be aware that when cutting and pasting cells, any referenced cell names are not pasted. For example, if cell B5 is named "DayName1" and cut/pasted to cell D7, the "DayName1" reference will be lost and will need to be manually set to the new location. 

Instead of re-positioning cells by cutting and pasting, click and drag the cells instead. This ensures the cell name references the new location.

When saving the template, if there are any missing cell names, a validation window will appear listing the problems and providing tips on how to correct them. Each template style has its own set of validation rules which must be satisfied before the template can be saved. For example, some template styles will ensure cell names are positioned properly in relation to each other. 

The template will only save when all validation rules have been satisfied. This ensures PrintableCal can properly generate calendars using the customized template.

We Can Help

If you don't have the time or expertise to develop a custom template, we provide this service at a very affordable price. Please send a description or (preferably) a mockup of what you'd like the template to contain to sales@printablecal.com. We'll estimate how long it will take us to create the template and provide you a quote for this service. We're speedy-quick and since we developed PrintableCal, we know all the ins and outs of customizing templates.

  • Hi Patrick, events are sorted by starting time. If two events start at the same time, the order will be based on which calendar is first in the list of calendar data sources. The calendars can be moved up or down in the list. I'm planning to add an option for grouping events based on calendar data sources, rather than sorting events based on starting time. I'll post a reply when this improvement is completed.

  • Hello, I have 4 calendars that I have set up to print. Two of them are always all day events. Two are not. One of the two is the schedule of a Professional Football team; the other is my normal day to day schedule.

    The all-day calendars always print first, which I like. The Football calendar is listed at whatever time it starts, in the midst of my day to day calendar. Is it possible to always have that calendar listed BEFORE my day to day calendar?

  • Hi Jonathan, the answer to your question is "it depends". Which template are you using? If the text you'd like to color differently is in a different cell, and if the template includes the category somewhere in the output, then it should be possible to customize the template with a conditional format which references the category value.

    If you'd like more help with customizing the template, please send an email to support@printablecal.com and attach a mockup/example of what you'd like PrintableCal to auto-generate. I'll let you know if it's possible with the current templates, or if it would require some additional development to make it happen.

  • Hi Jonathan, when generating in Word, there's a "Insert as picture" checkbox near the bottom of the PrintableCal panel. if you uncheck that box, the calendar will be inserted as a table instead of a bitmap. Note, depending on the template and settings you select, the table might not be able to fit properly on a page. If that's the case, you can insert as a picture, or generate in Excel and copy/paste into Word.

    I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  • Sorry, one more question...Is data import to word always in image format, please?
    Thanks again,

  • Hi
    Is it possible to customise using conditional formatting to change the font colour of data in one field (Eg, Event title / description) based on the category, please?
    Many thanks in advance,

  • Hi Simone, this feature is planned. I don't yet have an estimated completion date, but I'll keep you posted.

  • I'm intrerested for buy other licence of this software for my organization, but the secretary is now adding manually the partecipant of a meeting. you know if in the next version it will be developed?

  • Hi Simone, there isn't currently a mechanism to include meeting attendees in the output. However, this is certainly something that could be developed. I'll consider this for a future release.

  • Hi, is possible to add in the 'List' template the column for participant from Google calendar events?

  • Hi quietanchor, the cell names inform PrintableCal where the dynamic data (events, dates, etc) need to be located when the template is generated. It's usually best to start with an existing template when customizing. Also, the customized template should be empty of events. The events will be dynamically output when generating with the custom template. If the template itself contains events, they might incorrectly appear in the output on dates that aren't supposed to have any events.

    The page linked below provides an example walkthrough for how to customize the month template:

    Hopefully after reading through the walkthrough, it will be clearer how you can customize the Month template to look the way you'd like. If not, please contact me at support@printablecal.com and I'd be happy to provide further assistance.

  • Please Help--
    I bought this thinking I could save a template, but template saving is not working. I just get this error message telling me: The Template can not be saved due to the following problems:
    The following name isn't defined at the workbook scope: DayName1

    It goes on to say that dozens of day names and numbers aren't defined, as well as the month and year. See attached screenshot.


  • Hi Nichola, unfortunately the icons aren't available in the Google Calendar API so they can't be viewed in the calendars generated by PrintableCal.

  • N C

    hello, just started using the trial. like what I see so far, BUT....
    Cant seem to view ios/android ICONS that I have applied to events on my smartphone.
    I apply icons to most of my events to make them stand-out.
    PrintableCal just turns the icons into "?,?"
    any thoughts please.
    kind regards, Nichola

  • Hi Linus, are you referring to the Month template? If so, you could customize the template by following these steps:

    1. Click the "Customize" button on the PrintableCal tab in Excel (can't do this in Word).

    2. Select the month template you'd like to use as a starting point, such as "Default Month Template" and then click the Customize button.

    3. Dates in the previous and next month will be shared using conditional formatting. Open the Conditional Formatting Rules Manager (from the Home tab) and delete the rules that shade cells.

    4. Select the cells for the first week and change the background color as needed. Repeat for the other weeks.

    5. When finished, enter a new name for the template in the "Save as Template" panel and then click the Save button near the bottom-right corner.

    6. The new template will be added to your template list and when you generate using this template, you should see alternating colors for the weeks in the month.

    I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  • Hi! PrintableCal has already helped me a lot. One question: my colleagues would like to have the weeks in alternating colours, namely yellow for even week numbers and green for uneven week numbers. Any suggestion how to accomplish that?


  • UCW

    Thank you vusoft,
    Your second suggestion provided the solution. Solution and quick responce is much appreciated
    Aidan at UCW

  • Hi UCW, when generating with your template, make sure the "Text behavior" is NOT set to "Shrink to fit". This setting is on the "Create Calendar - Template Options" page when generating the calendar.

    Also make sure your calendar data source isn't configured to use a small font. The font size for a calendar data source can be selected by clicking the calendar name in the calendar list. A settings panel will appear below the list, where the calendar font and color can be adjusted. Try setting the font size to a larger value, to see if that helps.

    If those suggestions don't fix the problem, could you save your template and send it to support@printablecal.com, so I can determine what is causing the font sizes to be small?

  • UCW

    I am trying to create a template to generate a 11 x 17 inch (landscape) monthly calendar. For my starting template I use you default monthly calendar which appears to generate a calendar fora 8.5 x 11 page.

    Problem: While the adjusted row, column and new page sizes appear to work, every time I recall the template the size of the fonts are tiny? Any Suggestions.

  • Reinstalling won't affect your templates or settings.

  • Will I lose the working templates if I uninstall? I just resent the template.

  • I never received the template. Could you send it again? Regarding the other problems, try reinstalling PrintableCal (make sure to fully exit Word and Excel before reinstalling).

  • Hey, did you get the template I sent? I'm experiencing other problems, things seem to be getting worse with time. Excel hang, calendars importing differently from different Google calendars though same Printablecal template, excel hang, excel opens a new window for no discernible reason, excel crash.

    Can I uninstall and reinstall printablecal? Will I lose my templates?

  • My marybinc, could you send the template to support@printablecal.com, so I can determine what is causing the problem? To save the template, click the "Customize" button, select the template, and check the box labeled "Export to a file that can be imported on other computers" to save it.

  • I'm trying to make a new template based on an existing one. I modify the existing one, save as new template. It says it's saved. When I try and open a new calendar based on that template, it opens with two worksheets of the template (May and May(2)) and one blank sheet (Sheet1). There is *also* a hidden sheet, Sheet1 (2) that's back there. I get the following popup before the process completes:

    PrintableCal - Whoops!

    That name is already taken. Try a different one.

    at Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel._Worksheet.set_Name(String RHS)
    at Vuesoft.PrintableCal.Addins.Templates.MonthWeekdaysTemplate.MonthWeekdaysTemplate.Generate(Workbook workbook, ICalendarCollection calendars, IStatus status)

    No calendar entries import with this process, it's just another blank master copy. I've created a new master template and made sure that it only had one worksheet - May. There are no hidden sheets. Any thoughts? Thanks so much

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