Implementing a Brilliant Idea

by | Dec 3, 2014 | Tips & Tricks | 0 comments

New things never cease! I received a request to include something in a Personalized Calendar that I had never received before. Have you ever seen a wall calendar that had a Bible Reading Plan in it? Neither had I! So when Olivet Baptist Church purchased some calendars the other day and provided me with the Scriptures, I was wondering how I would do it. But I knew it was a brilliant brilliant idea. Talk about a value-added product! I was sure it could be done, but I wasn’t exactly sure at first.


This is not the only way a calendar can be personalized. Adding birthdays of church or family members is very popular. Adding personal verses and songs are also things that can be changed beyond just adding church, ministry or business information. Get started on your Personalized 2015 Calendar here.

So, are there any InDesign geeks out there? How would you quickly add this considerable amount of text to a calendar? I’ve outlined below the best way I could figure. Anyone else out there know of a better way?

1. Duplicate the existing calendar grid. The absolute best way to create grids for calendars is by using Tables. They completely eliminate the need for literally hundreds of individual text boxes, and they are very easy to format. If you’ve already got a calendar set up, then what you’ll want to do is “Copy” the grid and “Paste In Place” so it sets directly over the first grid.

2. Move the grid to a new layer. While most folks don’t think of InDesign as having a layers system, it’s one of the most handy features in the program for creating complex documents like calendars. In the Layers panel, just create a new layer and move the newly created grid into that layer. You can then Lock the first layer so it doesn’t get in the way while your working on the second layer. The first layer will still be visible, just temporarily un-editable.

3. Clear all formatting. With your new grid on a new layer, you can now erase every bit of visible formatting that was copied over from the first grid. In so doing, you are essentially making the new grid invisible. And that’s what you want.

4. Create a new Paragraph Style for the Scriptures. Experiment with where you want the Scriptures to be in each date box. As you can see in the above image, I chose to have the text in the top right corner. I also thought italic and black text would look best. So I created a new Paragraph Style with these characteristics (or should I call them “paragraphistics”?) and applied it to all the Cells in the Table.

5. Copy and paste as fast as you can. I had Olivet Baptist Church send me the Bible Reading Plan listed out the way they wanted it in a spreadsheet. Before copying and pasting Scriptures into the Table, I made sure to copy and paste the entire Table I just created into all 12 months of the year. Then from the spreadsheet, I copied and pasted every single Scripture passage into the Tables as fast as was possible. Sometimes you can get into a groove of a certain pattern of key strokes which makes the process go by quickly. Other times, you might be able to find special combinations of selections or copying/pasting features that when implemented together will speed up the process. And perhaps some people could build Scripts or other automated methods of entering in the data. There’s never just one way to do something in InDesign.

Is there anything you would like to add to a calendar? I’m up for the challenge! Click here to start your Personalized 2015 Calendar.

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