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How to make beautiful calendars with iPhoto

Lesa Snider | Dec. 4, 2014
iPhoto's large, high-quality calendars make great gifts for friends and family, and they're easy to design.

calendars primary

For an incredibly meaningful gift, look no further than a wall calendar hand-crafted in iPhoto. Apple's calendars are nice and big (13 by 10.4 inches), beautiful, and affordable--$20 for a gift that lasts 12 months! Each one is wire-bound, with lots of room for pictures above the date grid. You can customize each month with text and titles, import holidays and events from iCal, and plop photos into individual date squares. It's printed on gloriously thick matte stock, and even the packaging is a treat--it arrives inside a classy white envelope.

While you'll pay a little less for a calendar from,, or more for one from're not as big, and the quality isn't as good. Plus, you'd have to upload photos to those sites and use their design system, which has fewer customization options. Here's how to create a calendar gift your recipient will never forget.

Choose your photos
If you use iPhoto to manage photos, create an album of 25 to 30 photos and then, if you'd like, reorder them by dragging their thumbnails inside the album. (Contrary to the stories you might've read, there's zero reason to switch to another app now--just hang tight until Apple releases Photos in 2015.)

If you use another app to manage photos, export the ones you want to use into a folder and fire up iPhoto--this will consume a little extra hard drive space, but the calendar's worth it. In iPhoto, choose File > Import to Library and navigate to the folder you created. iPhoto will grab all the photos in the folder, no need to select them individually. Choose File > New Album to create an album of the photos you just imported, which you can drag to reorder.

Create the calendar
Click the Share button in iPhoto's toolbar and choose Calendar. Pick a theme from the carousel--the Big Date theme is tough to beat--and click Create. In the resulting dialog box, tell iPhoto what period you want the calendar to cover, and then click OK. Additional months beyond 12 are $1.50 each.

iPhoto flows your photos into the calendar by sequence or date, and plops you into All Pages view, where you can drag to rearrange the pages (don't worry, the months stay in order), though it's best to save that task for last. To edit the photos on a page, double-click it to enter Single Page view. You can override iPhoto's choices by clicking Photos in the toolbar. This opens the Photos panel, containing thumbnails of the pictures you started with. (To place all the photos onto the calendar pages yourself, click Clear Placed Photos--you'll see gray placeholders instead). If you don't see the photo you want in the Photos panel, locate it in your library, drag it onto your calendar project's icon in the Source list, and then return to your calendar project.


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