Super-quick super-easy calendar page in OpenOffice with Mac OS X or Linux

Here's a quick hack if you're interested in generating your own custom-size monthly calendar. I used this to make "landscape" calendar pages for my classic size planner. Using the standard Unix command "cal" you can easily generate a dump of any month/year combination. By cutting and pasting the results into a text box in OpenOffice Draw, you can then have it scaled to any size you like.

Open up a shell window ("Terminal" on the Mac) and run the "cal" program as follows:

cal month year

month and year are both numbers, so for May, I enter:

cal 5 2007

The output is:

      May 2007      
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
       1  2  3  4  5
 6  7  8  9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31      

Now get Open Office running and start a new Draw document. Create a text box, and copy and paste the calendar from your terminal window into this box. Change the font to a monospaced font like Courier.

Now the tricky part: edit the Text properties of the box you just created so that "Fit to Frame" is chosen. On my version of OpenOffice, this means unselecting the default "Fit height to text" box first. Apply the changes to the box.

Now as you resize the text box in Draw, the text within will be scaled both horizontally and vertically to fit. You can easily smoosh the calendar to fit on a 3x5, or scale up to a page (or half-page) size.

You do not get fancy grid lines and the like with this method, but if you change the text color to something light you can write on top of the numbers as needed. I changed the font to a bold italic and the color to a light grey pattern, so the numbers are clear, but I can scribble on them, too.

The cal program can start weeks on Monday...

cal -m 5 2008

      May 2008      
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
          1  2  3  4
 5  6  7  8  9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31   
                    

It can also dump a whole year at once if you're looking for a year-at-a-glance mode:

cal 2008

                               2008                                
       January               February                 March        
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa   Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa   Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
       1  2  3  4  5                   1  2                      1  
 6  7  8  9 10 11 12    3  4  5  6  7  8  9    2  3  4  5  6  7  8  
13 14 15 16 17 18 19   10 11 12 13 14 15 16    9 10 11 12 13 14 15  
20 21 22 23 24 25 26   17 18 19 20 21 22 23   16 17 18 19 20 21 22  
27 28 29 30 31         24 25 26 27 28 29      23 24 25 26 27 28 29  
                                              30 31                 
        April                   May                   June         
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa   Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa   Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
       1  2  3  4  5                1  2  3    1  2  3  4  5  6  7  
 6  7  8  9 10 11 12    4  5  6  7  8  9 10    8  9 10 11 12 13 14  
13 14 15 16 17 18 19   11 12 13 14 15 16 17   15 16 17 18 19 20 21  
20 21 22 23 24 25 26   18 19 20 21 22 23 24   22 23 24 25 26 27 28  
27 28 29 30            25 26 27 28 29 30 31   29 30                 
                                                                    
        July                  August                September      
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa   Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa   Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
       1  2  3  4  5                   1  2       1  2  3  4  5  6  
 6  7  8  9 10 11 12    3  4  5  6  7  8  9    7  8  9 10 11 12 13  
13 14 15 16 17 18 19   10 11 12 13 14 15 16   14 15 16 17 18 19 20  
20 21 22 23 24 25 26   17 18 19 20 21 22 23   21 22 23 24 25 26 27  
27 28 29 30 31         24 25 26 27 28 29 30   28 29 30              
                       31                                           
       October               November               December       
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa   Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa   Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
          1  2  3  4                      1       1  2  3  4  5  6  
 5  6  7  8  9 10 11    2  3  4  5  6  7  8    7  8  9 10 11 12 13  
12 13 14 15 16 17 18    9 10 11 12 13 14 15   14 15 16 17 18 19 20  
19 20 21 22 23 24 25   16 17 18 19 20 21 22   21 22 23 24 25 26 27  
26 27 28 29 30 31      23 24 25 26 27 28 29   28 29 30 31           
                       30                                           

Windows users, I'm not aware of any built-in routine that does this, though I know that you can install Cygwin for simulated Linux happiness.

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Dirty little secret...

You've hit upon the way I create my calendars for the D*I*Y Planner, although I paste them from cal's output in the terminal into Adobe Illustrator, set the font to Monaco, and convert them to curves before resizing. Plus, I found a newer version of cal that also allows me to pump out versions with months that begin with Monday for the "European" months. (The OS X version didn't have that capability, I think, at least at the time. Hmm. Though I guess I could have just ssh'ed to the Linux box....)

dj

Calendars from timeanddate.com

Hi. Neat idea.

I typically build my calendars using Make a customized calendar on timeanddate.com.

Historical calendars, too!

Thanks, Rebecca. It even handles historical calendars (run it for September, 1752 - it was a VERY short month that year :D ), which is great news for me.

(Btw, if you do run it for the above month and year, it will give you an error message BUT it looks like it still comes through as it was.)

I read an article a while back that says that the calendar riots that year were probably apocryphal. Such a shame. There's something appealing about an angry mob running through the streets shouting, "Give us back our eleven days!"

Oh, I love history. :D

As does 'cal'

   September 1752   
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
       1  2 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

And we thought Y2K was a big deal! :-D

OS (as in Old Style)

Cal, too! That's handy. It means, however, that both these calendar programs are Old Style before 1752. Now I have to track down one for the Continent (New Style).

Thanks for this. Sometimes I think because computers reset to 1980 or 1900, that nothing on them goes back beyond those dates.

ooo

Thank you for another link to a free calendar creator~! I love these types of tools. Very versatilve and useful. :)

my artwork | my blog

timeanddate.com Calendar maker

I like the way that one lets you customize the number of months and sizes. I also like Myfreecalendarmaker.com for straightforward Monthly & Yearly Calendars, also makes nice Day & Week planner sheets.

- Chris :)

Cal program

I got to try that one on my Linux box.
Anyway, if you don't have Linux, Sign-up for a UNIX (Actually FreeBSD for technical people) shell account at Arbornet (http://www.arbornet.org)

- Chris :)

another option

Another option:

1) visit timeanddate.com
2) atl-print (or ctrl-shift-4) and paste into destination

...dave
insomnia cure