- Start with a blank Letter (11” x 8½”) landscape document.
- We’ll apply a background first. In the Format menu, click Background group, then More Backgrounds.
- In the Fill Effects dialog box, click the Textures tab and choose a texture. If you have a large photo you’d like to use, click the Picture tab. Locate the photo you want to use. Click OK.
- In the Insert menu, click Design Gallery Object, click Calendars. In the gallery, select a calendar theme you like. You can change the month and year in the Options panel on the right. We’re going to change the background so that it’s transparent. You can change the font color or style later if you want. I used the Boxes theme because it’s relatively simple and clean. After you’ve selected the calendar theme, click Insert Object. Move your calendar to the lower left corner of the page.
- The calendar may be too big at this point. Click on the calendar. Position your pointer over the top left corner handle. Click and hold the left mouse button as you drag the corner toward the lower right corner of the page. You can adjust the proportions later if you need.
- Highlight the cells with the days of the week and the dates. (Generally the cell with the month’s name is separate from the rest of the cells. This means we will have to change our backgrounds, etc separately.) Right click and click Format Table. On the Colors and Lines tab, in the Fill section, click No Fill. Leave the cells highlighted and in the Presets section at the bottom, click on the button on the left. We’ll change the font color a little later.
- Highlight the cell with the month’s name and repeat the Step 6.
- In the Insert menu, click Picture, and then click Clip Art. I used the term “plum blossom” to find the graphic I used.
- To change the size of the graphic, click on it and drag one of the corners to suit.
- If you want, you can flip the image. I wanted my tree to “lean” to the right, toward my calendar. Click on the image. In the Arrange menu, click Rotate or Flip, then Flip Horizontal.
- You may find that your calendar text moves after you’ve inserted your graphic. If that happens, click on your graphic. In the Arrange menu, click Order, then click Send to Back.
- Highlight the month’s name. In the Formatting toolbar, click on the arrow beside the font color icon. Click Sample Font Color. Your cursor will change to an eyedropper. Click an area on your graphic that’s the color you’d like to use. Your month’s name will now change to that color. Highlight the days of the week and the dates and repeat the process.
- In the File menu, click Save As. Browse to the directory where you want to store your image. In the Save As type space, click on JPG File Interchange Format (*.jpg). Change the file name.
- The default resolution is set for 150 dpi. Because we’re going to use this on our desktop, we want as crisp an image as we can get so let’s increase that. Click on the Change button. Click High quality printing or commercial press (300 dpi). Click OK.
Calendars in Publisher are just formatted tables. To allow the background to show, we’ll change the background to be transparent.
Now that my graphic is facing the way I want it, I can adjust the size and position to suit. We’re almost finished – just a few more steps!
I’d like my calendar text color to coordinate with my graphic.
Time to save the file as a .jpg and try it out.
You now have an image you can use as your desktop image. The steps to do that are going to vary depending on your operating system and I’ll provide links for how to do that at the end of this article. You may find you need to fine-tune your design after it’s on your desktop. I like a lot of desktop icons so I want my desktop image to be simple. My sister-in-law prefers a clean desktop, relatively free of icons. She might want to add more elements to her image after she sees it in place. Not a problem. Open the Publisher file, tweak, save it as a .jpg again, and set it as the desktop again.
Directions for how to change your desktop image: