Title:  Making Desktop Calendars

Software: PhotoImpact 10 or higher

Author: Merlene Guldager

Home Page: Gold Acres Designs

Skill Level: Beginner

Materials Needed:

  • The Calendar font & A Printed calendar for reference.
  • Description:
    This tutorial is going to have you thinking on a large scale for a change. I assume you already know how to download files and unzip them for use. I can't emphasize strongly enough the importance of having a printed calendar to refer to while you are making the grids for the months. You don't want to get the days wrong and miss an important appointment.

    BEFORE YOU OPEN PI
    Unzip the Calendar font & double click to open it. You can now Minimize it and it will be available for use in PI. If you are using Windows 7 or 8 you will need to install it by clicking on the Install button.

    Please check that you are using the correct mode. For PI 10, please use the "Standard" mode, for PI 11, please use the "Advanced" mode, and for PI 12 and X3, please use the "Full Edit" mode. PI 8 and earlier do not have modes.

    LET'S GET STARTED

    The Calendar Font

    1. Because it's a Dingbat font, it contains images as well as letters and numbers. The images are the numbered boxes for a Calendar grid. Things are not where you might expect them to be. Open a blank white image in PI about 500x300 pixels and experiment with the font.

      • To type letters hold down the SHIFT key.

      • Type the numbers unshifted as you normally would.

      • Numbered boxes begin on the letter 'q' and go across the keyboard pretty much consecutively.

      • For the Days of the Week, Hold the SHIFT key while typing the NUMBER keys across the top of the keyboard.

      • A blank or empty grid can be inserted by typing ]

      • Since some months need to double up days once in awhile, you will find the 24/30 and 25/31 on the SHIFTED [ ] keys

      Not all keyboards are the same so I have made an image as guideline. What you see in Red are the Keys. In Blue are are the glyphs produced when you type that key. It's not where the key is on your Keyboard, but what it would normally do when you type it that matters. For example if your to get the word Monday to appear you would type the @ symbol wherever that might be on your keyboard.

      Take time now to experiment with the font and see how it works. Then when you are ready go to the next step. Right click the image below and print it out if that would help you see it better.

    Making The Grid

    1. Open a new White Image 1024x768 in RGB True color

    2. Get your Printed Calendar and refer to and make your Grid. You don't want to get your days wrong and think it's Sunday when it's really Monday and you should be at work :)

      You have a lot of space so use a size of at least 48 for the font. You'll want to set it up as follows...
      Style = BOLD
      Justification = Center
      Size = 48 - 70
      Color = any dark color will work

    3. Begin with the Month and Year, press enter and add the days of the week if you want them. Be sure not to go over 7 boxes across. To look balanced use the Blank Box found on the ] key adding as many as your Printed calendar shows you need for the first or last weeks. DO NOT EXIT THE TEXT ENTRY UNTIL THE ENTIRE GRID IS COMPLETED so that it is a single whole object. This way you can apply presets and text styles to it. And don't forget about the double days if your month needs them.

    4. Right click the grid and Convert text to Path. This will make it possible to store and use your grid as Path Shape.

    5. Open your Easy Palette Libraries. Then drag your grid there and store it.

    6. Close this image.

    PART THREE

    1. Open a new image, 1024x768.

    2. Flood fill with your favorite Gradient set at 50%. This is to keep it from being too bright or dark. You want the Calendar to be the center of focus, not the background.

    3. Add a texture if you like, but keep it light. Remember this will be on someone's desktop. Heavy textures are overwhelming.

    4. Select your Path Drawing tool and choose Custom Shapes from the drop-list. Then browse to your new grid shape.

    5. Drag this shape across your background. If you hold the Shift key it will maintain it's original shape. But that isn't necessary.

    6. Since this grid is a path shape, you can apply any of the Materials in your Easy Palette to customize it. Have fun trying out different things. Remember that most have a shadow or a border included. You may need to alter those so that it's not difficult to read the dates.

    7. If you want more decoration, use your Stamps or imported Picture tubes.

    8. You might want to mark Special days with something so they are more obvious.

      This has been only the most basic version of how to make a desktop calendar. The possibilities are endless.

      Please take a few moments before you begin to go and visit the site here. Download a couple in different sizes to see how they look and how they work.

      You will notice that there are three sizes offered, Regular, Large and Extra Large. In each of those categories there are two sizes. So you will be making a set of calendar wallpapers or six identical ones, one in each of all those sizes. That's six calendars in all that will be identical except for size. That sounds like a whole lot of work, but it really isn't.

      Here are the sizes you will be making:

      • Regular - 1024x768 pixels & 1366x768 pixels
      • Large - 1280x1024 pixels & 1440x900 pixels
      • Extra Large - 1680x1050 pixels & 1920x1080 pixels

      Really it's a case of resizing from one to another and saving again.

    9. Don't forget to apply your watermark.

    10. Please don't forget to optimize your calendar files as you save them.

    Copyright © Merlene Guldager

         This document and the images contained therein may not be translated, duplicated, redistributed or otherwise appropriated.