How to put a calendar on a Windows or Mac desktop

How to add a calendar as quick reference to your desktop on Windows or Mac. It can be a yearly, monthly or weekly calendar, just like the old paper calendar / blotting paper on an office desktop in olden times (i.e. 20 years ago)!

A handy place to put a calendar is on your Windows or Mac desktop.  With a simple shortcut, you can see a calendar (yearly, monthly, weekly) in Windows or Mac. Press the shortcut again to restore your app windows.

Use the same trick to make a calendar as a drop into a Word document, PowerPoint slide or even a screen saver.

Make your calendar

First, make or find your preferred calendar.  Here’s one we made in PowerPoint, starting with Microsoft’s ‘Botanical’ template then adjusting to something simpler and larger.

Or this full year calendar, based on the Excel “Playful’ Calendar template.

Take a screen shot

Next, make a picture of your calendar and save to an image file.

Make your calendar as large as possible on the screen, then take a screen shot.  See Taking Screen Shots on Windows, Mac and more

Save the screen shot to your computer. A common image format like .JPG is OK.

Add calendar to desktop

Now you have a picture of the calendar, use it as a desktop image.

As you’ll see in this example, it’s a good idea to leave some blank space at the bottom and sides so the taskbar and desktop icons don’t get in the way.  Either make allowance for that when taking the screen shot or add the extra space in any image editor.


In Windows, right-click on the image file and choose ‘Set as desktop background.


It’s a little more complicated on a Mac see Apple’s help for your version of macOS.

Shortcuts to view desktop


Windows + D (for Desktop) is the easiest way to reveal the desktop, use the shortcut a second time to restore all the windows.

There’s also a small ‘Show/Hide Desktop’ button in the bottom right corner of the screen (i.e the right-most part of the taskbar).

Other options are available, depending on your version of Windows.


Show the desktop using Command + F3  or F11 /  Fn + F11

Or there’s a ‘Hot Corner’ option that you can setup in Mission Control.

Other uses for a calendar picture

An image of a calendar can be used anywhere you like.

  • PowerPoint slide – it’s an easy option instead of a complicated calendar as a table.
  • Word doc – similarly in a document, drop in an calendar image.
  • Screen saver – make the calendar your screen saver image.

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Office Watch has extensive help to make Calendars in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

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