In any presentation, you might focus in on a few key dates or an upcoming schedule. As such, you might find yourself needing to insert a calendar in a PowerPoint presentation is so important. Whether you're leading a project or planning your schedule, PowerPoint is a capable tool for the task.
You might only think of Microsoft PowerPoint as a presentation tool. In reality, many professionals use it for simple document designs that could wind up exported as PDF or image files.
That's why it helps to learn how to create many different types of files in PowerPoint. You might find yourself in a job someday where the extent of your software choices are Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Drawing a calendar from scratch is far too time consuming, so we need shortcuts to skip ahead in the process.
In this tutorial, you'll learn to insert calendars in your PowerPoint presentations. We'll use a mix of templates built into Microsoft PowerPoint and advanced custom options as well. You'll see that both of these make it easy to create calendars in PowerPoint. Let's learn more!
How to Insert a Calendar in PowerPoint
PowerPoint offers a broad library of templates that are built right into the app, including calendar slides. There are a few choices for inserting a calendar into your Microsoft PowerPoint presentation.
To get started with the built-in calendar templates, jump over to the File menu and choose New. Now, you'll see a search box where you can search for templates that are available for free through Microsoft. A simple search for "Calendar" shows a couple of options as you can see in the screenshot below.
For this example, I'll click on one of the included options to insert the calendar template in Microsoft PowerPoint. Just click on one of the thumbnails to start with the calendar template in your slide deck. A new presentation will open, and you'll see each of the slides appear in your PowerPoint slide deck.
In the Seasonal Calendar example, you'll see one slide for each of the months of the year with corresponding templates. Each day of the year has a text box that can just be updated with details that pertain to each day. Type in those text boxes to add details for each day. Any box that you leave blank in this template won't contain any date-driven information.
Consider using a single PowerPoint file to keep track of all the key dates in your upcoming month. You can even adjust it as many times as you want to always keep your schedule up-to-date. Just keep customizing the dates on the example calendar until you've completed your planning.
If the background images don't fit your style, you'll need to edit the Slide Master to match your preferences. Jump to the View menu and choose Slide Master to modify the master and change the background images. In the example below, I deleted the snowy background scene for a more straightforward slide style.
Jump to the link below to learn more about editing slide masters in this quick screencast:
For a different take on creating calendars in PowerPoint, check out Techwalla's guide to creating calendars in PowerPoint. This approach to calendars in PowerPoint is more about using the custom shape library to draw a calendar from scratch. This is different than using templates, but accomplishes the same outcome with a different toolset.
But, these two approaches aren't the only ways to insert calendars in PowerPoint. We've just scratched the surface on the design options and styles for showing dates is limited if you only use the built-in options. Let's learn about an entirely different approach to inserting calendars in PowerPoint.
Using Custom Templates for PowerPoint Calendars
We've already checked out PowerPoint's built-in calendar templates, but let's face it: they leave a lot to be desired stylistically. There aren't many options in Microsoft's built-in template gallery, and they might not be up-to-date for the upcoming year.
That's why I frequently use pre-built templates from Envato Elements. If you've not checked out Elements, this is an incredible all-you-can-download service that offers unlimited access to creative assets. That includes more than 1,500 unique purpose templates for stunning, easy-to-create slide designs.
Here's how I use Elements to get ahead in building a slide deck:
- Develop a quick outline. Before ever opening PowerPoint, I generally jot some notes on the structure of the content. This is useful to help decide how to structure the presentation and supports me in choosing a template.
- Download a template. Next, I jump straight to Elements to sample several templates and find one that matches the style and content that I've got in mind.
- Fill in the placeholders. Elements templates include tons of slides and corresponding designs, but that doesn't mean that you've got to use every slide in the starter deck. Instead, fill in the placeholders with the content you developed earlier to save time in building the presentation.
One example of this is the Calendar 2018 PowerPoint template. Instead of drawing a calendar from scratch, you can instead use a starter template and merely substitute the details with your own.
Check out the entire lineup of Elements calendar templates for other options to creatively insert a calendar in PowerPoint. Each of these templates brings a slightly different approach to the table for creating calendars in PowerPoint.
Another option for inserting a calendar in PowerPoint is to use templates from GraphicRiver. This is more of a "pay-as-you-go" model for buying templates as you need them. If you know exactly what you want, choosing a single template from GraphicRiver can be one of the most cost-effective solutions for designing a PowerPoint presentation.
Elements and GraphicRiver have a template for every scenario. Mixing and matching slide designs from various templates can help you create any design in PowerPoint. Check out the Best Sellers list for the very best that marketplace has to offer.
Make sure to check out the round-up below for another example of just how flexible PowerPoint can be to create presentations, including Infographic:
- Microsoft PowerPoint20 Best PowerPoint Presentation Templates—With Great Infographic SlidesSean Hodge
Building a Calendar in Microsoft PowerPoint
You don't have to build a calendar from scratch to add key dates to your PowerPoint slides. You can insert a calendar in PowerPoint with just a few clicks thanks to the templates from Envato Elements.
Let's look at customizing three key slide options that are included as a part of Calendar 2018, the PowerPoint template that we're designing within this tutorial.
1. Key Dates in Each Month
In the Calendar 2018 template, slides 4 through 15 are single month calendars. There's a pre-built calendar for each month, each with a different color scheme as well.
As I mentioned earlier in this tutorial, you can customize starter slides from Elements templates to use in your presentation. In the example above, an accent color was used for critical dates in the month with a more extended description in the text box at right.
When you finish customizing the single month calendar slide, copy and paste the graphic into your existing slide deck. Or, use the calendar slide all on its own and copy-and-paste the entire slide.
If you've never copied and pasted an entire slide, it's easy. Make sure to check out the screencast below to see how you can move a slide between presentations and keep the style options intact.
2. Key Dates in Each Month (Alternate Slide Style)
The next example is very similar to our first, but slides 16 through 27 are single month calendars with a different color scheme. Again, you might want to use this slide on its own, or pick up the calendar graphic and paste the whole slide into another presentation.
When customizing this slide, it's easy to just highlight text and turn the highlight colors off and on with the standard font options on the PowerPoint ribbon. Just highlight your key dates, add the font color from the Font section of the ribbon.
Again, when you finish building out your slide, you can copy and paste the calendar graphic or the complete slide into another presentation. Don't think of Calendar 2018 as a standalone presentation of its own, but rather as a template that can help you supplement your existing presentations with a calendar graphic.
3. Key Dates for the Full Year
So far, we've sampled slide designs that only show a single month at a time. If you need to zoom out and show an entire year in the presentation, that's possible too. In this case, I'll use slide 2 from Calendar 2018. See the screenshot below for the starting view on that slide.
Imagine using this slide for a full-year view of payroll dates, for example. Again, you can just click on the dates and highlight or bold the dates to bring extra attention to them.
This slide is another excellent example of the flexibility of using pre-built templates. Pick up a few of the months, all of the months, or the entire slide and work them into your existing presentation.
That's it! No matter which slides style you chose to insert a calendar into your PowerPoint presentation, Calendar 2018 is going to save you a lot of time versus designing from scratch. Thanks to the minimalist design, it's going to fit in with practically any of your PowerPoint presentations.
Recap & Keep Learning
In this tutorial, we tackled adding a calendar to a PowerPoint presentation. With the help of custom PowerPoint templates, it's really easy to transform your slide into a date-based agenda.
There's no reason to stop learning PowerPoint now! One resource that you can use to keep learning is the Ultimate Guide to the Best PPT. This Tuts+ resource is the best collection of PowerPoint tutorials across the web.
Check out additional tutorials and roundups below to see even more ideas for using PowerPoint creatively. You'll see that there are templates for practically any purpose so that you can use PowerPoint for so much more than just presentations.
- Microsoft PowerPoint18+ Best PowerPoint Template Designs for 2018Sean Hodge
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to Make a Great PowerPoint Title Cover Slide - QuicklyAndrew Childress
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to Create Organizational Charts in PowerPoint With TemplatesAndrew Childress
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to Use Infographic Templates for PowerPoint PresentationsAndrew Childress