With the new school schedule to get used to, I thought it might be good to revisit our first assignment from last year, but do it in a new and interesting way. Again you’ll create a copy of your class schedule (or perhaps the schedule of your dreams) but we’ll use a different program this time, Microsoft Excel.
Excel is usually used more for math formulas and graphs and stuff (which we’ll get to later) but you can also use it to design your timetable.
Here’s a sample of my schedule for 605
Here’s your class schedule:
There are a *few* paper copies of your timetable in a black binder at the front of the room. Ask to borrow the one for your class if you like, but you need to take care of it and put it back!
NOTE: You could, if you want, lay out your timetable so that it reads from top to bottom (like the timetables you may have seen in the past.) I’ll show you how to make one that looks like the timetable above (but oh so much nicer!), but if you want, you could do it something like this:
You may, of course, change your classes to be whatever you want (eat, sleep, Fortnite, etc.) but I think it might be useful to make a realistic one.
Step ONE is just to type everything into its own cell (those boxes). Every bit of information goes into a separate cell. In the beginning, it might look like this:
You can see the first set of steps for setting up your timetable in the video below. If you are going to watch, USE HEADPHONES and WATCH A BIT AT A TIME. Stop the video when I complete a step and go do that step before playing the video again.
Step By Step:
Open Excel either by opening the Windows menu at the bottom left and scrolling to Excel
Or use the search bar and type in excel
The first time you use the program you might see a license agreement. Click Accept
Blah, blah, blah… Close
Choose the option to create a Blank workbook
The first step in any project is to SAVE!
Click the File menu at the top left (or click Ctrl + S)
Save As because we’ll be changing the name and the location
Click Browse to pick the perfect spot for your file
Two places you can save your file. If you’ve got OneDrive set up and RUNNING on your computer (your cloud is blue), you should save your file in your OneDrive folder
If not, you can always save in Documents
Call it Timetable
And now you’ll see at the top of your document that it’s saved with the proper name:
When we did this last year in Word, we had to set up our page and then instert a table. Well, Excel takes care of that for us. The page is as big as we want it to be and there’s already a massive table just waiting.
Each box is called a CELL.
At the top of your screen you see your COLUMNs (verticle, labelled with letters)
At the side, you see your ROWs (horizontal, labelled with numbers
You’ll put a title across the top. You should select the CELLS in ROW 1, COLUMNS A to K
Select those CELLS by either clicking in A and holding your mouse down to DRAG across to K OR Click in A then hold SHIFT and click in K
We want all of those 11 cells to be one wide cell. On the ribbon above your CELLS you will see a button that looks like this:
Click that and it will join all of the cells together and center the text, even though we don’t have any text in the cell yet.
If we start typing in the cell, we’ll be using the boring, horrible default font and size
YUCK! How BORING! You should ALWAYS CHOOSE YOUR OWN FONT! If we change it now, though, only the cell(s) selected will change and we’ll have to change the rest later. Save a step and change EVERYTHING AT ONCE.
Up in the top left corner of your table, there’s an empty cell between 1 and A. Click that to highlight the entire spreadsheet
Now if you make a change to the font and size, you won’t have to worry about it later because everything will be changed. You will still make some changes later, but most of our text will look like this, or at the very least we won’t have to see that boring, horrible default font.
This is what I chose, but you should choose something that:
LOOKS GOOD TO YOU
IS EASY TO READ
Now we can start entering our information. You’ll notice that when you click on a cell, up above there’s something called the Formula Bar. Everything you type goes into there and you’ll see it in the cell. So I have A1 selected and I’m going to type in my title
Down below that, we’ll SKIP A2 and start typing in our periods
You’ll notice that they aren’t quite fitting, but that’s OK. We’ll fix that in a minute, but you should keep entering your information.
Some of the information will look like it’s going into two cells:
but if you click on E2, you’ll see that there’s actually nothing in that cell and you can enter the next period there
It’ll start to look a bit messy, but keep going.
Once you’ve got them all typed in, we can start to widen the columns to make the information fit.
Between two Column letters (like C and D in the image below) you can click that line and drag it to the left or right to resize.
OR, even BETTER, you can just CLICK that line and it will automatically adjust the size to fit whatever is in the column
Some of the columns get really wide though (Morning and Afternoon Break). I don’t like that. I prefer to have the two words go on separate lines.
Select D2 (Morning Break)
Then look up above on the Ribbon for a button called Wrap Text. Click that
Now if you drag the line between D and E to the left to narrow the column, the word Break should jump to a second line
If it doesn’t, you may need to adjust the depth of the ROW. Again, between two ROW numbers, you can click and drag to adjust
After that, Morning Break will look much better
Do the same thing for Afternoon Break
Now you can see that the words aren’t centered and all of the text is sitting on the bottom of the box.
Again, select everything by clicking the box at the top left, between 1 and A
And look on the ribbon for two justification buttons, horizontal and vertical
You may have to click each button TWICE because not all of our cells are the same (we centered A1 already)
But once you have both buttons in the middle
** From time-to-time as you work, make sure you SAVE YOUR WORK! **
Easiest method is to press Ctrl + S
In row 3 we will put the times for each period and break. Again, skip column A and put the times below each period/break
Again, they don’t really fit properly. I like to WRAP that TEXT as well. You can select all of those cells by clicking in the ROW number: 3
That should do the trick. I got really picky and got rid of the first space before the hyphen (you DO NOT have to do this if you don’t want to)
So mine looks like this:
The last thing you have to set up before filling your schedule in is the school days along the left
Here’s one of the many cool things that Excel can do:
Type in Day 1 in row 4
At the bottom left of the cell there is a tiny little box. That’s called a FILL HANDLE. If you pull that handle, Excel applies a similar formula (or same text) to other cells. Click it and pull down
Excel will count for you!
Of course, that’s way too many, so just go from row 4 to row 9
now just fill in the text for your class or make up your own schedule if you like!