Thursday, September 27, 2012

Make Your Own Printables

Over the last few years I have tried many different planners and calendars, from store-bought to ones I found online. After getting frustrated trying to adapt these to my life, I finally designed my own weekly and daily planner sheets. As promised, I have put together a tutorial to show you how easy it is to make your own.

Some people use PhotoShop or Excel to make their printables but I like to use Open Office's Draw program. It is a free download and is very easy to use. The package also includes a word processing program, a spreadsheet program and others - free alternatives to Microsoft Word, Excel, etc - and they are all great! | Download Here | Once you have downloaded the program and click to open it you will see the following screen.

Click on the button that says "Drawing" to open the Draw program.

1. This is the preview box. It will show your entire document at a glance.
2. This is your working space for your document.
3. This top section houses the command buttons (left to right/top to bottom) to: start a new document, open a document, save your document, export to email, edit, save as pdf, print, manual spell check, auto spell check, cut, copy, paste, format paintbrush, undo, restore, insert chart, insert hyperlink, navigator (if you have multiple slides), zoom, help, style/formatting, lines, arrows, line style, line width, line color, area paint, area paint style, area paint color and shadow.
4. This bottom section houses the command buttons (left to right) to: select, line, line with arrow, rectangle, ellipse, text, curve, connector, lines and arrows, basic shapes, symbol shapes, block arrows, flowcharts, callouts, stars, points, glue points, fontwork gallery, from file, gallery, effects, alignment, arrange and extrusion.

When you open the program it will begin with a new document. To start out making your planner page, you will choose a shape at the bottom for your text box. In the example, I chose the rectangle button. Click on the button and then go back up to your document to draw your shape the size that you would like it to be. If you would like to change the color of the line, the width of the line or if you would like to have the box a certain color you would change that at the top before you start to draw. In the example above, I have the line color set to gray and the area style set to invisible to make an empty box.

In this example, I used the ellipse and set the style as color and blue 9.

After you have your "boxes" the way you want them you can add your text. Your text does not have to be in a box (or circle, scroll, etc.), you can add it directly to the page without one. Any fonts that you have downloaded to your computer will be able to be used on your document. When you add text, the upper commands will change to allow you more options for editing your text. You will be able to change the font size, color, alignment and you can also add a shadow or insert bullets and checkboxes for lists. 

To give you an example of what all you can do with the program, here are pictures of the weekly and daily sheets that I designed.

As you can see, there are many different box style options. You can also add your own images into the document. Play around with all the different options to get it just the way you want. Of course, this can be used to do any type of printables you want to do (ie: use Draw to make flyers or make your own worksheets if you teach/homeschool). I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. If you have any questions that I haven't answered, feel free to send me an email - lslbrk1 (at) gmail (dot) com - and I will be more than happy to help! Have fun creating!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this tutorial. I think I can do it๐Ÿ˜‰