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It’s InDesign Calendar Template Time!

It’s just after the US Labor Day holiday and as we put away our flipflops, swimsuits, and shorts (except in Seattle where they wear them year round and Australia/New Zealand where they’re shedding their winter coats), it’s time to start thinking about creating the calendar for next year’s print project.

Of course you wouldn’t want to have to make a calendar from scratch. Much too much work! So here are some of my favorite resources for creating calendars.

My first choice isn’t actually a template; it’s Adobe Calendar Wizard, a script which adds calendars to an InDesign document. This is my ultimate favorite.

First thing that I like is it’s FREE, although if you like it, you’re asked to donate to the authors.

Next, it’s open source. If you know javascript you can adapt it further.

It’s designed to be very flexible in creating calendars, laying out the page, and adding common cell content in such a way that the user can take advantage of the InDesign’s features to easily sytlize it.

The calendar wizard is compatible with Adobe InDesign CS and above on both OSX and Windows platforms.

The interface and controls are somewhat daunting but provides a lot of controls for the arrangement of the months.

Don't let the 2011 heading fool you, Calendar Wizard works for 2014

Don’t let the 2011 heading fool you, Calendar Wizard works for 2014

What’s great about Calendar Wizard is it has been formatted with very intense paragraph, table, and cell styles. This makes it very easy to customize the look of all the months.

The styles for Calendar Wizard

The styles for Calendar Wizard

There is some documentation for Calendar Wizard, but here are a couple of places to find more:

Other Options

I also found Nikolay Dimitrov, a fashion photographer, who each year posts a single page calendar for anyone to use. There are a few paragraph styles to use to modify the template.

Nikolai Dimitrov's free 2014 calendar template

Nikolai Dimitrov’s free 2014 calendar template

What’s nice about Nikolai’s download is it comes as an InDesign file (indd), an interchange file (inx), as well as an image (jpeg) and PDF.

Another, customizable template for individual months is at graphmaster.com. The documentation is excellent with step by step instructions and a few styles that you can use to modify it.

Instructions for modifying the graphmaster.com template

Instructions for modifying the graphmaster.com template

Finally, you have to understand that I am the cheapest person in the world and would never pay for any template. But Augetype.com has a page of 35 different templates for wall calendars for sale at $19.50.

Just a few of Augetype's calendar templates

Just a few of Augetype’s calendar templates

What’s nice is these templates can be used by just about anyone even with very limited InDesign skills. And you can even purchase the sample images in the calendars.

And whichever template source you use, Happy New Year designs.

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Comments

51 Comments on “It’s InDesign Calendar Template Time!

  1. I make a 2′ x 3′ calendar in InDesign every year using the previous year’s as a template. Since I work in a manufacturing environment, I stack the months in two vertical columns of six to help in counting numbers of weeks. It took me 10 minutes to convert to 2014. I just take the file to my local office supply print shop, and they print it for me for $3.

  2. I make calendars fairly irregularly. But when I do, I just do a table, set the leading to 0.1pt.

    Then I activate the Automatic Numbering in the Paragraph Style.

    And insert a blank return.

    Fairly straight forward.

    You can do the boxes on the side by having the Frames firstly threaded for each month.

    Then you can use InDesigns Fancy “Place Linked Text” to insert a thumbnail version of the calendar on the page where you like.

    I find it very simple to make calendars.

  3. Thanks for the info, appreciate your findings – i’ll give the script a try. The other comments have some tips for diy, so they could be useful too.

  4. Scott,
    I haven’t started to try to fill this in yet, but am in awe of how well and quickly it built a calendar for me in InDesign and how good your documentation is. Will follow up with comments and donation when I get this little family project finished in January.

  5. I downloaded the Calendar Wizard and have not had any success on laying out a file. There are no first step directions. I double clicked on Calendar Wizard and did not get the window that is shown in the tutorial. It took me to a Code window. Worked with it for 3 hours and no success. I give up! Totally frustrated. Going to another site to download vector art that I can place in InDesign.

  6. Jan,

    Wait, wait, wait! Don’t give up! I’m here to help.

    First, you’ve already downloaded the zip file and uncompressed it. Good!

    Now, you’ve got a folder (directory) called Calendar Wizard. Don’t bother opening it.

    You want to put that whole folder in the Scripts folder for InDesign. (You DON’T want to open the folder or anything in it.)

    You want to find the InDesign scripts folder, but that isn’t always simple.

    Go to this ID Secrets article that will explain how to install scripts.

    http://indesignsecrets.com/how-to-install-scripts-in-indesign.php.

    Once you’ve put the folder in the right place, open InDesign. (Actually, you don’t even have to close it to install the script.)

    Go to Window > Utilities > Scripts. The Scripts panel will appear.

    Go to the folder where you installed Calendar Wizard.

    Double click the calendar wizard.js script.

    You will see a rather complicated dialog box that allows you to customize your calendar.

    Don’t mess with anything except the top left settings for how many months. Change to go to setting to 2014. Click OK.

    In a moment you will have a 13-page ID document with your calendars.

    If you still have problems, post them here. I will try to help.

    But I will be away starting Dec. 20, so I may not be able to help you too much after that until after Jan. 6.

  7. A clarification. In the step that says “Go to the folder where you installed Calendar Wizard,” I mean the place in the Scripts panel, not the Finder (Windows Explorer).

  8. Jenn,

    You need to download the script, install it, and run it. Then you can decide how you would want to add the large photo.

    Most likely you’re going to just need to add a page between each calendar month and add the photos to those.

    • Sandee,

      Your instructions were extremely helpful. Without them, I would have quickly given up.

      Now that I have the calendar set up with page-size photos in InDesign 6, I need help to view the 8.5×11 pages as 11x17H reader spreads. Imposition software will be used to print and bind the calendar so I need to keep the individual pages at 8.5x11W.

      Help is much appreciated.

      Thanks again!

  9. This is completely amazing. I’ve been putting a calendar together to mail to our customers for 15 years, and I’ve done it all by hand the whole time. Oh my goodness this is a huge time saver. Thank you for pointing it out!

  10. Is there a way I can customize the wizard to include my own personal recurring dates, such as birthdays etc so they are included each year I create a new calendar?

  11. Hi Tina,
    Yes, there is a way to customize the wizard to include your own personal recurring dates such as birthdays, etc.

    You need to open the folder that contains the Calendar Wizard. I go to the Scripts folder and then Right mouse (Control)-click the name of the folder. I then choose Reveal in Finder/Explorer.

    Now, in Finder/Explorer, open the Holidays folder. There are several items there. You want to open one of them in a text program. I use TextWrangler on the Mac or Notepad on Windows. You may have a problem using TextEdit on the Mac because it converts the text to RTF.

    I opened the file United_States_2009-2015.holidays. Once it is opened, you’ll see a list of recurring holidays on the top such as:

    1-1:New Year’s Day
    2-2:Groundhog Day
    2-12:Lincoln’s Birthday
    2-14:Valentine’s Day
    2-22:Washington’s Birthday

    This is where you want to add your own recurring holidays. For example, my wedding anniversary is February 22. So after Washington’s Birthday I add:

    2-22:Wedding Anniversary

    You’ll also notice that the holidays that fall on different dates each year are going to run out at the end of 2015. It’s never too early to prepare for Calendar Template Time.

    I found a list of 2016 holidays at: http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/2016.

    They need to be massaged to fit the format of the text file, but it’s basically the format month#-day#-year#:Name of holiday.

    For instance, Mardi Gras for 2016 will be:

    2-17-2016:Mardi Gras

    Once you’ve modified the Holiday text file, save it and close it up. You now have those holidays in new calendars.

    I don’t know if the creator of Calendar Wizard will update the list of holidays. But if he doesn’t, I’ll try to get around to making a new one in the summer of 2015 that includes 2016, 2017, 2018.

  12. I need my calendar on two pages with space for hole punching in between. Basically, Sunday through wed on one page and the rest plus space for notes on the opposite page. Is there any way to do this? I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to figure it out with no luck! Thanks!

  13. Please help….

    I am a complete novice on Indesign, downloaded my trial today and plugged in the calendar script, after being told by my printer that my MS publisher file wasn’t going to work :(

    HOW do you edit the script so that it renders the calendar over two pages – is this possible?

    So a two page spread would contain the first half of January with the week names,and the second page would just finish up the month?

    • Bianca: I don’t think there is any way to spread the calendar onto two pages. Perhaps make the calendar on a larger InDesign page and then print it on two pages using manual tiling?

  14. THANK YOU for sharing the Calendar Wizard!!! I’m an InDesign newbie and am moving a newsletter from Publisher to InDesign. The calendars were the last piece.
    The donation I made to the creater of Adobe Calendar Wizard was worth EVERY penny.

  15. I just want to change the calendar year! I did 2014 and i want to keep same design for 2015, etc. How do I do that? Do I have to start all over?

  16. Yes. You will have to start over unless you want to manually change every number for every month.

    But Calendar Wizard does make it easier.

    • Since the ‘lines’ are actually table ‘rules’ you simply select the Text tool, position the cursor over the top left so the cursor changes to a diagonal arrow, click and drag to select the entire table and set the stroke to either zero or non-colour.

  17. OR you can carry out a global change by going into the cell styles palette and set the style a zero stroke from there

  18. Very slightly off topic..it was this very script that finally helped to convert my pre-press colleague here at CPL Print over to InDesign

    He was a staunch, dyed-in-the-wool, QXP user who must remain nameless ( but let’s just call him ‘Raj’ LOL! ) until I showed him the ease of this script compared to his old method – ie QXP plus manually inserting the dates into 3 different styles of calendar for the one job! 5 minutes versus 2 hours!!

    He owes me a beer or two I reckon ;))

  19. Thank you so much for your tutorial! Most helpful!!! I am just trying to make the font slightly larger in my calendar but when I change the font size the entire grid gets bigger. Is there anyway I can change the font without it effecting the grid size?
    Thank you!

    • The grid gets larger to accommodate the font size…however, if you go to Cell Styles and adjust the Text Inset to a smaller value or even zero you can enlarge the font a little without unduly enlarging the grid

  20. Hai, I plan to create a monthly calendar for the year 2015 using indesign cs6,can pls anyone guide me how to create a calendar easily using scripts,and how to create a template.its top urgent..waiting for your reply people..

    thanks in advance….

    • I figured out a way around it. I can cut/paste the minis, then run it again without them. I don’t mind doing that, but is there an easier way to move, or unanchor the minis?

      • another question: Is there a way to place text/art on the top off the calendar? I’m trying to tweak it to fit my needs but I’m not able to arrange my text/graphic “to the front”.

  21. This is wonderful! I am making a one page calendar (12 months on one page). I want the date of the holiday highlighted in a different color but (obviously) not the holiday name spelled out. Can’t seem to make that happen. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Lisa…inevitably there will be an element of ‘manual’ tweaking to suit each person’s desired result…to incorporate every possible option would make the script balloon out of all proportion to useability.

      In it’s present form it is simple, fast and covers the majority of user’s needs IMO

  22. Not sure if you have covered this, but when i switched from CS6 to CC, the Calendar Wizard doesn’t work. I did the same steps on the install, but no luck. Although, i think the problem may lie in the CC because Adobe screwed up the update process so i have 2 versions of Indesign: CC & CC 2014. DYING! Any Suggestions?

    • Hi Tiffanie – we’re running CC and the script works just fine.

      Have you dropped the latest version of the script into the Scripts folder for CC?
      Do you see it in the Scripts pallette?
      What happens when you run it…nothing at all or do you get an Error message?

      • Yes, I put the latest in both scripts folders for CC & CC14; same steps i did for CS6. Nothing shows up in the palette. I’ve open each version to see if it shows up, but no luck. I’ve restarted. Nothing. Now i wish I would have kept CS6 installed.

  23. Hi Tiffanie, that’s strange…do other scripts show up in the pallette?

    If so do a search for one of them and just make sure that the location where you’re dropping the Calendar script is identical the same as the script you found.

  24. Hi, I tried creating a calendar with a custom size page 7″w x 10.5″h and sized the months to use up the lower part of the page. The wizard created a perfect document (12 pages) but it did not create the calendar part, just the layout. I thought I should run the fit calendar to frame script but got #45 JavaScript error ‘object is invalid’. Any suggestions on what I’m doing wrong?

  25. thank you very much, I work in a small print shop and we make calendars about this time every year, and this is a great way to save some time, I really appreciate it, keep up the great work.
    PS. I’m definitely put your web in to my favorites. ;)

  26. This script is wonderful!! I figured out how to change fonts and font colors, but is there any way to remove the year from behind the month? I could not figure out how to do that.

    Thank you!!

  27. Hi!

    This seems great, thank you!

    One question:
    Is it possible to use this to make an one page (A2) calendar with 12 columns, 31 rows, all squares with day and date (written in tiny, tiny letters)?

    Thank you again!

  28. Why thank you Mr Beach sir…however, clicking on your name seems to project me into a parallel universe where men apparently have need of, ahem, ‘enhancements’.

    Currently I have no need of such exotic items although take note of my name and email me when I’m 95.

    Meantime, I hope the moderator sends you a lovely spike, James Bond style :D

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