1. Get started

MacOS, Windows, iOS, Linux, tablet, phone, smartphone, iPad, iPhone, Android, Chromebook

Overview

Prime Timetable is a school scheduling software designed for both automatic and manual timetabling on any device. The software is used in 100+ countries for scheduling primary or elementary, junior/middle/high or secondary schools, international schools, universities and other educational organizations (art and language schools), as well as for scheduling various events: school camps and courses.

Video tutorial: Introduction

tips, tricks, using

Video tutorials

In order to get up to speed watch getting started video tutorials and subscribe to our YouTube channel to get the latest video tutorials for free.

It's recommended to watch video tutorials first before using the app. Tutorials are only couple of minutes long but they are packed with tons of helpful info to boost your productivity.

Basic timetabling terms

Interpret terms as best suits your organization, e.g. use 'grade' instead of 'class' or 'course' instead of 'subject'.

School
Institution designed to allow and encourage student groups to attend school activities under the supervision of teachers
Subject / Course
For instance, Math, English, Biology, but also school recess, lunch, some non-class activities like teacher meetings
Room
Place where school activity occurs, e.g. biology room, history room, but also dining room, reception hall...
Teacher / Educator / Professor / Instructor
Person who teaches, guides, instructs, trains or helps another in the process of learning knowledge
Student
Learner, or someone who attends an educational institution
Class / Grade
Group of students, e.g. "Grade 5", "Year 8", etc.
Group
Class group attending a specific activity, e.g. "English", "French" or "Italian" groups
Resource
Class, Teacher or Room
Period / Time slot
Block of time used for activities
Activity
Structured period of time where a school activity is intended to occur, e.g. lesson, prep-time, lunch, recess, etc.
Card
Visual representation of an activity, e.g. a teacher has 5 lessons of Math which equals to 5 cards
Timetable / Schedule
Table which displays cards
Unscheduled card
Card waiting to be scheduled and therefore placed outside the timetable
Pinned card
Card locked on a specific period, meaning it won't be rescheduled while improving the timetable
Timetable view
Master or individual view that displays activities, e.g. class, teacher, room master view, Grade 8 view, etc.
Timetabler
Person who creates a school timetable
Conflict / clash
Group of cards on the same position or overlapping each other
Gap / Pause / Window
Empty period between school activities
Constraint
Requirement that should be met in the final timetable, e.g. gaps should be forbidden for all classes
Time constraint
Specifying whether a particular school resource or activity is forbidden, unwanted or mandatory in a certain period
Manual timetabling
Working on timetable by manually dragging the cards
Automatic timetable generator
Algorithm that improves a school timetable based on entered data and constraints
Timetable validation
Showing errors and warnings if the timetable is not valid
School scheduling/timetabling software
Software designed to simplify and automate scheduling/timetabling process

MacOS, Windows, iOS, Linux, tablet, phone, smartphone, iPad, iPhone, Android, Chromebook

System requirements

Software requires any modern browser such as the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge or Opera. Automatic generation in Internet Explorer 11 is many times slower so it's recommended to install modern browser instead.

Open browser, navigate to https://primetimetable.com and log in to start the app. Create shortcut on your desktop or home screen for faster access.

Layout

The screen is divided into:

  • top and bottom boards and
  • the view

The top board contains the owl which displays the main menu, save, undo/history/redo and open icons, document name, bell and profile icons. The bottom board shows card details, play, marker, pin, sponge and magnifying icons. The view is the central part of the application and occupies the most of the screen size. It is used to display master, individual and extra views.

2. Account

account,trial

Free sign up

To evaluate the software and see if it meets your school needs, you first need to sign up:

  • Click Sign up on the home page
  • Choose Free plan
  • Type your email address and desired password and optionally provide school info
  • Click Start my free month

By signing up you get a 30-day free trial and premium support included. Support team will contact you shortly after the sign up to provide you with the necessary guidance and answer any question you might have.

login,sign in

Log in

To start Prime Timetable you need to log in first:

  • Click Log in in the header of the home page
  • Enter your email and password
  • Click Log In

After successful login, the last opened timetable will be displayed.

forget,forgot,lost,account,retrieve

Forgot password

  • Go to forgot password page
  • Type your email and click Send code
  • An email containing a code (random alphanumeric string) will be sent to you
  • Copy and paste the code from the email and enter the new password
  • Click Change password

Login window will open where you can log in using the new password.

Log out

To leave the app:

  • Click in the top right corner
  • Click Log out

Your session will end and home page will show up.

user,account

Profile

  • Click in the top right corner and then My profile
  • Set your email and password used for login, and your first and last name
  • Click Edit

zip

Download my data

One of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) rights is Right to Data Portability:

  • Click in the top right corner, My profile and
  • Click Create archive
  • Click Download now

Created archive is available for download for the next 24 hours and contains all your data: school info, timetables, users and communication with support team.

Delete school account

gdpr,terminate,unsubscribe,deactivate,cancel,cancellation request,suspension,termination,disposal,erase

Right to Erasure or Right to be Forgotten (one of General Data Protection Regulations rights) have user with the Owner role who can delete school account by following below steps:

  • Click in the top right corner, My profile and
  • Click Delete school account and confirm

The whole account including timetables, users and all related school data will be deleted in the next two weeks.

School info

By signing up a new school account is created that can be shared with other colleagues and teachers. In order to provide more info about your school:

  • Click in the top right corner
  • Click Purchase and then select Free plan
  • Click Add more info in "Step 2. School account info"
  • Enter your school name, address, contact name, phone and other info
  • Click Continue evaluation to save changes
If there is more than one account for your school, contact us to merge them.

Extend subscription

renew

If subscription is about to expire or free evaluation period is over:

  • Go to plans and pricing
  • Select Basic (up to 40 teachers) or Premium plan (up to 100 teachers)
  • If you want to take advantage of special discounts, choose billing term by dragging year slider
  • If you are not logged in enter your email and password
  • Click Buy from 2Checkout

You will be redirected to 2Checkout form where you can purchase the software online. Check sales frequently asked questions for more info.

windows,mac,ios,ipad,iphone,android,windows phone,chromebook,linux

Create application shortcut

Desktop icon enables fast and easy access to Prime Timetable. In the latest Chrome browser choose Menu > More tools > Create shortcut... > Create, and the owl icon will be added to your desktop. Shortcut can be customized so that app starts in the full window just like desktop apps. For other browsers check how to create a desktop shortcut to a website and for tablets and phones use a feature called add to the homescreen.

3. Import

Import data from Excel/Sheets

Days, periods, subjects, rooms, teachers, classes, groups, students and activities can be imported from other software using copy/paste:

  • Open Excel/Word, Sheets/Docs, Notepad or any other similar app where you have a list of resources
  • Make a selection of resources you want to import, right mouse click selection and choose Copy
  • Choose Owl > Import > Import Days, Periods, Subjects, Rooms, Teachers, Classes or Activities
  • Right mouse click on the text field and choose Paste
  • Click Import

Video tutorial: How to import data

In import Sheets document each sheet shows an example of importing days, periods, subjects, rooms, teachers, classes/groups, students and activities. Items should be on separate lines or rows and short names should be in the separate columns or separated by TAB character.

Name Short Groups
Grade 11 11 Math, Eng|Art, Music, Science
Grade 12 12 Math, Eng|Art, Music, Science

Columns when importing class and its groups

Imported days will be inserted at the last selected position. In order to overwrite the existing day names and short names with imported ones:

  • Select the day you want to start merging with
  • Choose Import > Days
  • Confirm merging when asked

Imported periods will be properly inserted/merged based on period intervals.

Subject, room, teacher, class or student with an already existing name is not going to be imported.

Import activities

The whole timetable can be imported in a single copy/paste action by following the example in the "Activities" sheet and video tutorial How to import data. If entered subject, teacher, room or class doesn't exist in the current timetable it will be automatically added while importing. When adding a new item, the short name will be autogenerated or you can specify it in the following format the first time that item appears, e.g. "English {Eng}" will add a new subject called "English" and a short name will be set to "Eng". Comma can be used as a delimiter when there are more teachers, classes/groups or rooms.

Subject Teacher(s) Class(es) Group(s) Count Length Desired room(s) Alternative room(s)
Math Roberta 7A 3 1 Room 1 Room 2, Room 3
English {Eng} Maya,Dan 8A G1 1 2 Room 4 Room 1, Room 2

Columns when importing activities

4. Timetable

Create new timetable

  • Choose Open > New Timetable
  • Enter the name of the timetable document and description (optional)
  • Click Ok

Open timetable

  • Click or choose Open > Open Timetable
  • Select a timetable from the list
  • Click Open

Open from file

To open timetable from previously saved file on the disc:

  • Choose Open > Open from File
  • Click Choose File to locate the file on your disc
  • Click Open

The app will convert older timetable formats and import other recognized file formats.

Open example

  • Choose Open > Open Examples
  • Select example from the list
  • Click Open

Save changes

  • Click to save changes

All changes will be synchronized and merged across any device you or your colleagues might be using.

Create a copy of timetable

copy timetable,make copy,copy schedule

  • Choose Save as > Copy of Timetable
  • Enter the name of the timetable document and description (optional)
  • Click Ok

Delete timetable

  • Click
  • Select a timetable from the list
  • Click Delete

Restore timetable

recover,undelete,backup

If you delete timetable by accident, it is possible to restore it. Please contact us if you need to restore a deleted timetable.

Merge timetables

Merge enables working on separate timetables which can be merged later, useful in the following cases:

  • separate timetable for lower and upper schools; merge to find any conflicts for shared teachers and rooms
  • separate timetable for morning and afternoon shifts; merge to create all-in-one timetable
  • work on n-week timetables separately; merge to create the final e.g. month timetable
  • any other case with too many days and/or periods, e.g. too many 5 or 10 minutes periods or monthly timetables, where you would want to split a large timetable into several smaller once and later merge them

To merge two timetables:

  • Open base timetable
  • Choose Open > Merge timetables
  • Select timetable that you want to merge with the base timetable and click Merge

If there is already a day, subject, room, teacher, class or group with the same name in the base timetable, it will be used as it is; otherwise, it will be added. Default and custom periods are going to be merged based on entered start and end times. Activities, clips and marks from selected timetable will be added to the base timetable.

5. Data

change,info,timetable

Timetable info

Click timetable name or choose Open > Timetable Info to change:

  • Timetable name
  • Timetable description
  • School name
  • School year - usually academic year, e.g. 2019/2020

School name and school year are displayed on the published page and while printing.

Click to customize timetable to match your school branding.

rotated,rotation,day A,day B,cycle,rotating,6 day,5 day

Days

  • Choose Manage > Days or click day name in the view

Set the number of days in the timetable cycle by selecting desider value in the combo above displayed grid. For instance, for 1-week timetable set 5 days, for 2-week timetable set 10 days and so on.

Click Add to add a new day, or select the existing day to edit or delete. Each day has name and short name.

Instead of creating all-in-one timetable sometimes it could be more practical to create one timetable for each semester, term, month or week and then create a copy to modify it for the next semester, term, month or week.
If there are many days and periods use horizontal zoom to focus on specific day(s).

Days can be imported and reordered with arrows in the bottom right corner of the grid. Rename day to e.g. '9/5/2019' instead of 'Monday' if you need the actual dates.

Periods

time slot,time,times,bell

  • Choose Manage > Periods or click period name in the view

Set the number of periods in a day by selecting desider value in the combo above displayed grid.

If the number of periods vary from day to day, set the maximum number of periods for all days and then use Forbidden position marker to forbid positions that are not allowed.
If some activities last 45 minutes and others 15 minutes, add periods with 15-minute intervals and while adding activities choose triple length that last 45 minutes (3 * 15min = 45min).
If lower, middle and high schools have different period intervals consider creating a separate timetable for each school and optionally merge them later or use custom periods

Click Add to add a new period, or select the existing period to edit or delete. For each period set start/end time and optionally name. For start and end time use 24-hour clock, e.g. instead of 01:15 set 13:15. Choose Help > Options > Period format to control how periods will be displayed in the view.

Periods can be imported, sorted and reordered.

In order to quickly add lots of e.g. 15-minute period intervals:

  • Multi-select all periods except one and click Delete
  • Click Edit and set start time to e.g. 08:00 and end time to 08:15
  • From the list above periods grid select the number of periods you need

Custom periods

Period intervals might vary for specific resources, e.g. when scheduling both lower and higher grades in one timetable. Custom periods handle such scenarios by enabling two different actions:

  • showing custom periods instead of default periods for specific resources in the related individual views or
  • dragging cards to custom intervals for specific resources/days and displaying such intervals inside the cards

In order to add a custom period:

  • Choose Manage > Periods and select a default period to link a custom interval with and then click Add
  • Set start/end time
  • Click , choose class, subject, room or teacher custom period and select a desired action:
    • drag related cards to specified interval or
    • show custom period instead of default in the related individual views
  • Choose resources/days that custom interval applies to
  • Click Add

If a custom interval is valid on all days, it's easiest to just replace default periods with custom periods in specified classes. In that case, select Show custom period instead of default action. For instance, the first period in Grade 6A starts at 08:25, while the first period in Grade 12 IB starts at 08:15 in the same schedule. Otherwise, consider creating 10 or 15-minute period intervals to accomodate for all different activity lengths. Unless creating lots of default periods is desired, choose Drag related cards to specified intervals action and watch video below.

Video tutorial: How to use custom periods

When custom period(s) are added, related cards will be resized and repositioned based on the specified custom interval and its default period. Choose Owl > Help > Options > Period format > 12-hour or 24-hour clock to display custom interval within these cards in desired format.

When you drag a card, the card's shadow changes its length and position according to default and custom periods below. Thus, you will know exactly where to drop the card.

Notifications "understand" only default periods, so if you place two or more cards on custom periods which are all related to the same default period, these cards will be listed as conflicts. Pin such cards to resolve conflicts. Also, pin "custom" cards if you don't want them to be moved by the generator.

In order to change the related default period, select a custom period(s) and click up/down arrow in the bottom right corner of the periods grid. Custom text can be displayed in the top and bottom left corner of cards if custom period name is set in the following format: "!10:45-11:20".

Filters will appear above the periods grid if a timetable has custom periods. Choose a specific resource/day to filter custom periods.

For more information about custom periods please refer to these blog posts or take a look at K-5 example with lots of custom periods for specific grades on different days, e.g. for the same subjects, Kindergarten has different intervals compared to lower grades.

Subjects

course,courses,edit subject,edit course

  • Choose Manage > Subjects

Click Add to add a new subject, or select the existing subject to edit, delete or copy using the buttons on the right. Each subject has the following properties:

  • Name, e.g. Math
  • Short name
  • Color
  • Difficulty: Low, Medium or High
  • Allow subject to be taught more than once per day
  • Insert day off if subject is taught 2 times per week
  • Insert day off if subject is taught 3 times per week

The generator will try to optimize each day so that students don't get too many difficult or too many easy subjects per day. Otherwise, notifications will show adequate warnings.

If Allow subject to be taught more than once per day is unchecked, placing two or more subject cards a day for one class will be reported as an error, for instance, 2 cards of English on Monday for 5A class will show an error. If there are 10 English cards for 5A in 1-week timetable, errors are not going to be displayed, because there are more cards than days in a cycle and it's impossible to fix these errors. Otherwise, if this option is checked, placing a subject's card more than once in a day will never be reported as an error.

If Insert day off if subjects is taught 2 times per week is checked, that subject will not be scheduled on subsequent days, e.g. having that subject on Monday and Tuesday will show an error notification.

In case that Insert day off if subjects is taught 3 times per week is checked, having subject on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will cause error notification for a specific class, whereas Monday, Tuesday, Thursday will be valid.

classroom

Rooms

  • Choose Manage > Rooms

Click Add to add a new room, or select the existing room to edit, delete or copy using the buttons on the right. Each room has the following properties:

  • Name, e.g. "Computer lab", "Physics lab", "Bio lab", "Conference room", "Playground", "Meeting room", etc.
  • Short name
  • Color
  • Tags, e.g. "1st floor, lab"
  • Capacity
  • Building name

In order to group rooms, specify their room tag, e.g. "1st floor". That way, it will be easier to select them when adding or editing activities. Multiple tags should be separated with comma.

Room capacity represents maximum student seat number and can be used for optimizing room usage for students.

Building name can be used to optimize daily moves between buildings.

staff,educator,professor

Teachers

  • Choose Manage > Teachers

Click Add to add a new teacher, or select the existing teacher to edit, delete or copy using the buttons on the right. Each teacher has the following properties:

  • Name, e.g. John Smith
  • Short name
  • Color
  • Maximum activities in a row
  • Maximum gaps per cycle
  • Maximum gaps per day
  • Minimum activities to allow gaps
  • Maximum deviation from average daily load
  • Minimum activities per day
  • Maximum activities per day
  • Maximum moves between buildings

Maximum activities in a row assures that the teacher doesn't have more than specified number of subsequent activities.

Maximum gaps per cycle/day can minimize the number of teacher gaps (pauses/windows) per cycle/day.

Minimum activities to allow gaps assures the teacher has a specified number of subsequent activities before gaps (pauses/windows) are allowed.

Maximum deviation from average daily load is used to evenly distribute teacher's activities across the cycle. For instance, let's say a teacher has a 5-day cycle with total of 20 activities. Average daily load is 20 / 5 = 4. If the value is set to 1 that means that allowed daily load can be 3, 4 or 5 activities, while 2 or 6 activities in a day will be reported as an error because the deviation is greater than 1.

Minimum and maximum activities per day is used to make sure the teacher doesn't have too few or too many activities per day.

Maximum moves between buildings reduces unnecessary teacher moves. If required, teacher moves after the gaps can be ignored.

grade,grades

Classes

  • Choose Manage > Classes

Click Add to add a new class, or select the existing class to edit, delete or copy using the buttons on the right. Each class has the following properties:

  • Name, e.g. 7A or Grade 8 or Year 9
  • Short name
  • Color
  • Start on 1st period
  • Forbid gaps
  • Whether groups have to finish activities at the same time
  • Allowed difference between maximum and minimum daily activities

When forbid gaps is checked, the class will have no gaps (pauses/windows), meaning there will be no empty periods between activities. Otherwise, each gap will be reported as an error.

Allowed difference between maximum and minimum daily activities assures that the class has nearly the same or equal number of activities per day. For instance, if the value is set to 1 and class has 4 activities on Monday and 6 on Tuesday, this difference of 2 activities between days will be reported as an error as it is greater than the set value (1).

When adding a new class, the following set of groups will be created: Boys and Girls and Group 1 and Group 2.

groups,division,divisions

Groups

A class can be divided into one or more sets of groups:

  • Choose Manage > Classes
  • Select a class on the list
  • Click Groups
Manage group sets and groups

Manage group sets and groups for Grade 12 IB in United States International example

A window with group sets for the selected class is displayed. Add will add a new group set with 2 groups already added. Delete will delete selected group set(s). Copy will copy selected group set(s) to other classes.

Edit opens a window to manage groups for the selected group set. Add will add a new group. Edit allows changing group's name and short name. Delete will delete selected groups (at least two groups are required). Both group sets and groups can be reordered.

In Example 3 5-A class is divided into French and German groups, and related cards are clipped so they will always be scheduled on the same position. In Egypt example 11A class is divided into Art, Cooking and Music groups.

Students

learner,pupil,junior,scholar,add student

  • Choose Manage > Classes
  • Select a class on the list
  • Click Students

Click Add to add a new student, or select the existing to edit, delete or copy using the buttons on the right. Each student has the following properties:

  • Name
  • Short name
  • Groups it belongs to

By adding activities for groups, students belonging to these groups will be assigned to these activities as well. Individual class view can be filtered by specific student and the browser's url is updated accordingly, so each student will get an url for their own published timetable.

Students can be imported, sorted, reordered, printed and you can view their statistics.

Alternatively, students can be managed as classes or groups. For instance, students are managed as classes in English College Example as there are fewer students.

lesson,lessons,activities,section,assignment,assign,allocate,allocation

Activities

Choose Manage > Activities to manage and filter activities or view statistics. When adding, editing or copying activities the following information can be specified:

  • Teacher(s)
  • Subject
  • Class(es) and/or group(s)
  • Activities per cycle count
  • Activity length: single, double, triple, etc.
  • Desired room(s)
  • Alternative room(s)

More... buttons allow you to add activities with more teachers, classes, groups and rooms. For instance, more teachers are needed for teacher meeting and more classes are needed for lunch.

Activities per cycle represents the total number of recurring activities in one cycle (5 days for 1-week, 10 days for 2-week schedule, etc.). For instance, a class can have 5 English lessons in a cycle.

Activity length can be single, double, triple and so on depending on default period interval. For instance, if default period interval is 30 minutes and activity lasts 1 hour, length should be set to double.

The majority of activities require only one desired room. If more than one room is required click More... to add more rooms, e.g. Physical education might require Sports Hall and Gym. If desired room is unavailable, the generator will try to allocate the activity in alternative rooms.

By adding activities you are creating cards in the related views that you can freely drag to the desired time slot or let the generator create the schedule for you.

You can import activities via Excel/Sheets. Alternatively, add activities for one class and then copy and edit cards for other related classes or leave the desired room empty and assign teachers to their homeroom later. Subjects, teachers, classes, groups and rooms are displayed in the grid using full names by default. Click "Total: " above the grid to switch between full and short names.

recess,snack,break,cafeteria

Lunch

In order to manage lunch, snack, recess, break or similar a new period should be added (e.g. "Lunch"). There are two common ways to manage lunch: lunch as pinned cards and lunch as forbidden positions.

Lunch as pinned cards

Lunch as pinned cards

Kindergarten through 5th grade example shows lunch as pinned cards

Lunch as forbidden positions

Lunch as forbidden positions

United States International example shows lunch as forbidden periods

meetings

Teacher meeting

There are two common ways to manage teacher meetings: add one activity for several teachers or add meeting activity for each teacher separately and then clip related cards.

Meeting as activity with several teachers

  • Add 'Teacher meeting' as a subject
  • Add new activity
    • Set Teacher meeting as a subject
    • Assign related teachers by clicking More...
    • Leave classes/groups empty
    • Optionally add desired room
  • Switch to teacher master view and drag meeting cards to desired position and optionally pin them

Meeting as clipped teacher cards

  • Add teacher meeting as a new activity for each teacher separately
  • Switch to teacher master view and drag meeting cards to desired position
  • Clip related meeting cards so they are scheduled/dragged together

Select multiple items

  • Hold down CtrlCmd key and click the items
  • Click the first item, hold down Shift key, and then click the last item to select a consecutive group of items
  • Hold down CtrlCmd key and press A to select all items in the grid

order,move up,move down,alphabetic,ascending,descending

Sort and reorder

Sort days, periods, subjects, rooms, teachers, classes, activities and other items by clicking desired column name. For instance, in order to sort teachers by their names:

  • Choose Manage > Teachers
  • Click Name column in the grid header
  • Click it once again to sort in the reverse order

To reorder items in the grid:

  • Select item(s) in the grid
  • Use up and down arrows in the bottom right corner of the grid to reorder selected items

Undo and history

The state(s) of timetables can be controlled by using the Undo/Redo commands and the History panel. To undo the latest action click . To redo the latest undone action click . To display or hide the History panel click .

Use History panel to jump to any recent state of the timetable created during the current working session. Each time you apply a change to timetable, the new state is added to the panel. For example, if you drag a card, draw constraints, improve timetable, each of those states is listed separately in the panel. When you select one of the states, the timetable reverts to how it was when that change was first applied. You can then work from that state.

Timetabling history

Use History panel to undo/redo several actions at once

Keep the following in mind when using the History panel:

  • Publishing timetable, changing school name, skin, switching/zooming views, dragging/resizing windows and similar, are not reflected in the History panel.
  • Once you reopen or save the document, all states from the working session are cleared from the panel.
  • States are added to the bottom of the list. That is, the oldest state is at the top of the list, the most recent one at the bottom.
  • Each state is listed with related icon and the name of the tool or command used to change the timetable.
  • When you select a state, the states below it are dimmed. This way you can easily see which changes will be discarded if you continue working from the selected state.
  • Selecting a state and then changing the timetable eliminates all states that come after it.
  • If needed, History panel can be resized and dragged elsewhere.
  • History panel lists the previous 100 states by default. The number of remembered history states can be changed in the options.

report,reports,track,tracking,hours

6. Statistics

Class statistics

  • Choose Manage > Activities
  • Total number of classes, activities and hours is displayed above the activities grid
  • Open class combo to filter activities by specific class and group/student and see their total activities count and total hours

Teacher statistics

  • Choose Manage > Activities
  • Click the class icon above activities grid to filter activities by teacher
  • Select a teacher from the combo to filter their activities and see the total activities count and total working hours

Teacher's activities can be filtered by specific subject in case they teach two or more subjects.

Room statistics

  • Choose Manage > Activities
  • Click the class icon above activities grid to filter activities by rooms
  • Select a room from the combo to see the total activities count and total hours

Subject statistics

  • Choose Manage > Activities
  • Click the class icon above activities grid to filter activities by subjects
  • Select a subject from the combo to see the total activities count and total hours

Export statistics

  • Choose Manage > Activities
  • Set desired filter above the grid
  • Click TXT icon to export report in tab separated values file which you can copy/paste or open with spreadsheet app to customize and print

Based on selected filters you can export statistics for classes, teachers, rooms or subjects, as well as individual class, group, student, teacher, room or subject statistics. Individual statistics provide more details, e.g. if a teacher teaches two or more subjects, the statistics will be displayed for each subject separately. If some activities are not scheduled, total hours will be approximated based on the average period length.

7. Views

Timetable views

Each view consists of: view indicator icon, timetable with related cards and unscheduled area with unscheduled cards. Indicator icon is placed in the top left corner and can be used to switch to class, teacher, room, subject, student or group view. The timetable displays cards for the currently selected view. Timetable width can be adjusted by dragging the vertical splitter which divides scheduled from unscheduled cards. Unscheduled area displays unscheduled cards which can be freely dragged to the desired time slot or you can start the generator.

Views are highly interactive, for instance:

  • When you select a card in one view, it will select and scroll to that card in all other opened views and the selected card will blink so you can easily spot it. You can also select more cards at once.
  • Any change in one view, e.g. dragging a card or improving the timetable, instantly updates all other views and notifications
  • Markers, pin and sponge can be used in any view, hold tool and click day/period to affect all day/period
  • The shadow of the dragged card appears in all extra views helping you avoid conflits
  • The details of the last selected or mouse overed card are displayed in the bottom left corner
  • As you move the mouse cursor over the timetable, the related day, period and resource names will be shaded to show you the exact position
  • Right mouse click any card or day/period/resource name to open the context menu with more options

Master views

There are 4 master views: class, teacher, room and subject master view. Each master view displays the list of related resources in the first column along with cards in the respective rows, e.g. class master view displays all classes and their cards and teacher master view displays all teachers and their cards. Unscheduled cards for a resource are placed outside of the timetable in the same row where the resource is displayed.

Click the indicator icon and then click , , or to switch to the related master view.

Cards can only be dragged horizontally across the class, teacher and subject master views to prevent changing the resource by mistake. Only the room master view allows dragging cards vertically to change the scheduled/desired room.

Individual views

In order to switch to individual class, teacher, room or subject view, click the first column (resource name) in the related master view. Individual class view can be filtered by specific student or group(s). Click student or group to view their individual timetable and click again to remove the filter. When filtering by students/groups, the related icons will replace the indicator icon.

Filtering class view to get individual student timetable

Filtering 6A view to get individual student timetable for Donna Gordon

While switching or filtering views, the browser's url is updated accordingly, so you can copy/paste url and share it with others provided they have access or the timetable is published online. In that way you can easily share a direct link to specific teacher, class or student timetable.

Once in the individual view, hold CtrlCmd+,,Home,End to navigate through other individual views. To revert to the master view, click the first column again or select the desired view by clicking the view indicator icon, or press Esc.

Extra views

Extra views can help avoid conflicts, as they provide additional master and individual views all in one screen. Moreover, there is no need to constantly switch between the views, as you get a clear overall picture of the whole timetable. The shadow of the dragged card appears in all opened views, so you can avoid conflits while manually dragging the card.

To show or hide extra view:

  • Click any card so that card details are displayed in the bottom left corner
  • Click the class, teacher, room or subject icon in the card details

The height of the main and extra views can be adjusted by dragging the horizontal splitters up and down.

Video tutorial: How to use extra views

To open extra view in the new window click in the top right corner. Floated extra view can be freely dragged and resized.

Just like in the main view, clicking the first column will open an individual extra view.

Vertical zoom

  • Click in the bottom right corner to open zoom panel
  • Use vertical slider to vertically zoom in or out the main and extra views

Master and individual views each have their own zoom values.

Horizontal zoom

  • Click in the bottom right corner to open zoom panel
  • Use horizontal slider to horizontally zoom in or out the main and extra views

Horizontal zoom is useful when there are lots of days and periods or to focus on specific day(s).

Zooming in and out can also be done using the browser zoom:

  • Hold CtrlCmd and press + or - to zoom in or zoom out
  • Hold CtrlCmd and press 0 to reset zoom to default value

8. Cards

Drag and drop

move,change,move card

  • Select card by clicking it with the left mouse button
  • While keeping the left mouse button pressed, drag card to a new position
  • Drop card by releasing the left mouse button

On touch devices use finger to drag cards.

If there is already a card on the drop position, those conflicted cards will be slightly rotated. Clicking the bottom card in conflicted group will bring it to the front.

Select multiple cards

Select multiple cards in order to perform bulk actions on more than one card, like multiple drag and drop, edit cards, clip, copy, pin/unpin, merge/split etc. using context menu. There are many ways to select multiple cards:

  • Click and drag the cursor across timetable. A rectangular marquee will appear, with one corner where you started dragging and the opposite corner where you stopped and all cards inside the marquee will be selected.
  • Hold CtrlCmd while clicking cards to add or remove cards from the selection
  • Hold CtrlCmd while clicking day, period or resource name to (de)select the whole day, period or resource cards
  • Hold Shift while you click the last card that you want to include in the new selection. The rectangular range between the active card and the card that you click becomes the new selection.
  • On touch device, hold card with one finger while tapping other cards, day, period or resource name with other fingers
Selecting multiple cards by surrounding desired cards with the mouse

Selecting multiple cards using rectangular marquee

Click empty cell to reset selection or click any non-selected card without CtrlCmd or Shift key pressed to start a new selection.

status, status bar, card info

Card details

The details of the last selected card (or the currently mouse overed card if there is no selection) are displayed in the bottom left corner. Icons show/hide related extra views. The text selects a resource in the related grid. Click to edit activity represented by the selected card.

Card details

Showing details of the last selected card: subject, teachers, classes and scheduled rooms + [desired rooms] + (alternative rooms)

repeat

Copy/paste cards

Cards can be copied from one resource/day/period to another:

  • Select one or multiple cards
  • Right mouse click any selected card/day/period and choose Copy
  • Right mouse click resource name, desired day or period
  • Choose Paste from the context menu
Copy/paste cards

Right mouse click day (Tuesday in the screenshot) and choose Paste from the context menu to copy the selected cards into the specific day

Edit cards

change,change cards,teaching

  • Select one or multiple cards
  • Right mouse click any selected card and choose Edit cards
  • Change subject, teacher(s), class(es)/group(s), length, desired or alternative rooms
  • Click Edit

substitution,absence

Substitute teacher:

  • Switch to teacher master view and hold CtrlCmd while clicking teacher name to select all teacher's cards
  • Right mouse click any selected card and choose Edit cards
  • Choose different teacher
  • Click Edit

homerooms

Assign a homeroom to a teacher:

  • Switch to teacher master view and hold CtrlCmd while clicking teacher name to select all teacher's cards
  • Right mouse click any selected card and choose Edit cards
  • Choose desired room
  • Click Edit

Add teacher assistant(s):

  • Select one or multiple cards where teacher assistant(s) are needed
  • Right mouse click any selected card and choose Edit cards
  • Click More... next to selected teacher. Note that current selected teachers are displayed as "Current"
  • Select teacher assistant(s), click Ok and then Edit

clear,delete

Remove cards

  • Click the and then click card(s), day(s), period(s) or resource(s),
  • Right mouse click any card(s), day, period or resource and choose Remove from the context menu or
  • Select one or multiple cards and then press CtrlCmd + Backspace

Removed card(s) will be placed outside the timetable, along with other unscheduled cards.

In order to remove all cards from the timetable click the top right corner with sponge selected. Alternatively, hold Shift key while clicking the sponge tool.

Delete cards

  • Right mouse click unscheduled card(s) and choose Delete from the context menu or
  • Select one or multiple unscheduled cards and then press CtrlCmd + Backspace or
  • Choose Manage > Activities and click Delete

Merge cards

Merge allows combining two or more cards into one, thus avoiding conflicts:

  • Right mouse click any conflicted/rotated card to open the context menu
  • Choose Merge

Two or more cards can be merged into one if they are on the same position, have the same subject, length and rooms, but different teacher(s) and/or class(es)/group(s).

Video tutorial: How to merge cards

Split cards

Split is the opposite of merge as it creates more cards out of the one when there is more than one group or teacher. For instance, if card has 2 teachers and 3 groups, 6 new cards will be created after split all with only one teacher and one group. In order to split card:

  • Select card(s) which have more than one teacher or group
  • Right mouse click selected card(s) to open context menu
  • Choose Split

Customize cards

change text,template,style,custom text,edit card text,change card text,change card name,edit card name,rename card,card text,change text

To change the text, background color and border in any master or individual view:

  • Right mouse click the card and choose Customize from the context menu or
  • Choose Print > Customize Cards

The opened customization panel shows the related card enlarged. Changing the text, background color or border will update cards in the related view.

Video tutorial: How to customize cards

The text inside the cards can be any combination of class, teacher, room or subject names, their short names or even custom text. Selecting the text options from the list will add the related text to the cards, while clicking a row in the enlarged card will remove it. Choose Set custom text option from the list to enter custom text to the selected card(s) that will be displayed in individual views and custom short text that will be displayed in master views. Click "Use default" button to remove custom text and use default instead.

Background card color can be picked from the current class, teacher, room or subject, or you can choose no background color.

Card border can be set to: round, square, round (no border) and square (no border).

Customization changes are also saved in the timetable document. Creating a new document will copy the customization from the previously opened one.

9. Constraints

time request,block,forbid,restrict,availability,not allowed,time off,part-time teacher

Use markers to draw constraints

Marker draws or erases forbidden, unwanted or mandatory card positions for classes, teachers, rooms and subjects. When a marker is selected, previously drawn marks will color (red, yellow and blue) while the cards fade away. To draw or erase marks click on any position in the timetable view or any day/period/resource with a selected marker. To drop the marker press Esc or click outside of the timetable.

Markers can be used in any master, individual or extra view and notifications will be updated upon any change.
Specifying constraints with markers

Forbidden (red minus), unwanted (yellow exclamation mark) and mandatory (blue plus) marks in the master teacher view

block,forbid,time off,time request,break

Draw forbidden positions

  • Pick the red marker Forbidden position marker to draw/erase forbidden positions

Video tutorial: How to draw forbidden positions

Draw unwanted positions

  • Pick the yellow marker Unwanted position marker to draw/erase unwanted positions (displayed as yellow exclamation marks)
  • Mouse over the first column (resource name) to open unwanted settings
  • Set allowed number of unwanted activities per week/day
If allowed number of unwanted activities per week/day is set to Arbitrary which is a default value, unwanted positions will be completely ignored by the generator.

Draw mandatory positions

  • Pick the blue marker Mandatory position marker to draw/erase mandatory positions (displayed as blue plus signs)
  • Mouse over the first column (resource name) to open mandatory settings
  • Set allowed number of missed mandatory activities per week/day
If allowed number of missed mandatory activities is set to Arbitrary which is a default value, mandatory positions will be completely ignored by the generator.
Mandatory settings

Marker settings when mandatory marker is selected

Copy marks to other resources

  • Mouse over the first column while using the red, blue or yellow marker
  • Click Copy to
  • Select resources and click Ok

Erase marks

  • Pick the eraser Eraser marker to erase already drawn marks

lock cards, fix cards

Pin cards

The pin Pin/unpin timetable tool is useful when you are satisfied with the position of card(s) and want to make sure that those cards won't be moved while improving the timetable. Click the pin and then click card(s)/day(s)/period(s)/resource(s) you want to pin/unpin, or right mouse click any card/day/period/resource and choose pin/unpin from the context menu. To drop the pin press Esc or click an empty cell.

Additionally, related conflict notifications will be removed by pinning conflicted/rotated cards. Also, pinned unscheduled cards will be ignored by the generator.

Video tutorial: How to pin cards

join,clipping,link,relation

Clip cards

Clipped cards have a little clip icon in the top left corner and will be scheduled, selected, dragged and removed all together. Clipping can be useful for electives, e.g. when one class group has French and the other German language (see Example 3) or when two or more activities from different classes needs to be scheduled at the same time. In order to clip two or more cards:

  • Select multiple cards
  • Right mouse click any selected card
  • Choose Clip

Video tutorial: How to clip cards

Only non-conflicted cards with the same length and which are on the same day and period but have different set of teachers and classes can be clipped. Otherwise, the clip won't be visible in the context menu.

In order to unclip cards:

  • Right mouse click any already clipped card
  • Choose Unclip

In order to add cards to existing clip relation:

  • Click any already clipped card
  • Hold CtrlCmd to add additional cards to selection
  • Right mouse click any selected card
  • Choose Clip

10. Generate

Improve timetable

generator,solver,builder,optimizer,creator,scheduler,engine,optimize,play,module,automatic

Click to start improving the timetable. The automatic generator will try to find the best solution by rearranging cards in order to solve all constraints and avoid any conflicts. Total generation progress is displayed in the window title as well as progress for specific categories: card conflicts, forbidden positions, class gaps, same day subjects, unwanted or mandatory positions, class and teacher warnings. During the generation process, pinned cards won't be moved. Hold Shift key while clicking the play icon to remove all non-pinned cards and start generation from scratch.

Video tutorial: How to automatically generate a school timetable

Improvement tips & tricks

  • First generate a timetable with no constraints at all and then gradually add them. If the timetable can't be generated even without constraints revise your entered data by checking statistics.
  • The generator will always try to find a better solution no matter how hard the constraints. If there is no progress for a couple of seconds or so, stop the generator and revise constraints or data.
  • Always follow basic timetabling rule: One school resource during one period can be scheduled in only one activity, otherwise, there is a conflict. If you need more resources click More... to add activities with more than one group/class/teacher/room.
  • As long as there are cards scheduled on forbidden positions, card conflicts or class gaps, the generator will not be working on improving the rest of the timetable because of priorities.
  • Click to open notifications. Conflict or gap exceptions should be resolved first. For example, if you pin conflicted/rotated cards with Pin/unpin card or mark gap position as forbidden with Forbidden position marker, related notifications will be removed.
  • Instead of pinning, a more convenient way to resolve conflicts is to merge cards: right mouse click the rotated card and choose Merge from the card's context menu. When you clip two or more cards, they will always be scheduled on the same position.
  • Changes can be reverted by using undo/redo icons and there is also a history icon which lets you see all previous changes and undo more actions at once.

Improvement priorities

Automatic generator is supposed to solve about thirty highly complex requirements. Since these are commonly conflicted and it is usually impossible to solve them all, priority levels have been introduced, which the generator manages in the following way: lower priority requirements will not be solved as long as there are unsolved higher priority requirements.

The problem is that the generator is not always capable of detecting that some requirements cannot be satisfied and will keep trying to solve them at all costs, perpetually working without progress, leaving the rest of the timetable in poor state. That's why it is necessary to prepare quality data in order to help the generator do its best. Notifications are an irreplaceable tool for this task. However, some of the oversights made while entering data cannot be seen even in the notifications. The problem can be solved only if you abide by the following rules:

  • Do not expect an instantly perfect timetable, because it is impossible to know beforehand whether such timetable is even possible
  • At first, set moderate requirements and let the generator automatically create the timetable
  • Only when you manage to get a valid timetable should you gradually increase the requirements and start the automatic improvement again.

The generator recognizes three levels of priority, each consisting of a number of individual requirements:

1. Fatal error level

This group includes:

  • card conflicts
  • cards scheduled on forbidden positions
  • class gaps

As long as any of these errors exist, the generator will not be working on improving the rest of the timetable. Here are some typical beginner mistakes that should be avoided at all costs:

  • A teacher/class has so many forbidden positions that some cards must be placed on a forbidden time slot
  • There are more activities you want to put in a room or assign to a teacher than the total number of periods in the timetable
  • Too many forbidden positions for a specific activity and related resources

2. Difficult warning level

Difficult warning level includes only one item: a subject appears in some class timetables more than once a day. You should make sure to enter as many subjects as really taught in the school and choose the right subject for each activity.

3. Warning level

There are over twenty different warnings that will often appear in notifications. The generator will solve them only when all other errors and warnings have been solved.

11. Validate

validator,verify,verification,correct,health,status

Notifications

Notification number in the bell icon shows the total number of errors or warnings. The number is instantly updated along with all notifications upon any change. The bell icon shows or hides the notification list. The notification list can be dragged and resized to best suit your device screen.

Video tutorial: How to validate a timetable

The timetable is valid if there are no notifications, which means that all entered requirements and constraints have been resolved. The red notification indicates that the timetable has a fatal error which needs to be fixed, whereas the blue one represents a warning. When red or blue notifications are clicked, related cells will blink in the view, making it easy to spot the problem. To stop blinking click the notification category title or click the bell icon to hide the whole notification list.

resolve,ignore,exception,error,warning,errors,warnings,clash

Resolve notifications

In some cases there might be exceptions to the rules, e.g. two or more cards might be purposely scheduled at the same position causing a conflict, or a class gap should be allowed only for lunch (otherwise gaps are forbidden), or unscheduled card(s) should be ignored, etc. These exceptions will appear on notification list and must be resolved first at all costs, before the automatic generator can move towards solving other constraints and conflicts.

Resolve conflicts

Conflicts should be resolved by merging cards. If merging is not possible or desired (e.g. conflicted cards have different subject, room(s) or length), pin conflicted/rotated cards using the Pin tool and related notifications will be removed.

Resolve gaps

Mark a gap as forbidden using the Forbidden position marker and related notifications will be removed. Additionally, uncheck Owl > Manage > Classes > Edit > Forbid gaps for specific classes.

Resolve subject warnings

The notification "subject appears more than once in a day" can be resolved by checking Manage > Subjects > Select specific subject > Edit > Allow subject to be taught more than once per day.

Resolve missing groups

The notification "missing groups in the class" can be resolved by unchecking Manage > Classes > Select specific class > Edit > Forbid gaps.

Resolve unscheduled cards

The notification "unscheduled cards" can be resolved by pinning unscheduled cards. The generator will ignore pinned unscheduled cards.

Exclude resources

To exclude specific subject, room, teacher or class from notifications and improvement process:

  • Set "-" (minus without quotes) as a short name for the item you want to exclude
  • Check Owl > Help > Options > Exclude items with short name set to "-"

For instance, set short name to "-" for Lunch (subject) and Gym (room) and all errors and warnings related to Lunch and Gym will be completely ignored and won't be automatically improved.

12. Print

13. Share

user,users

Share with others

Choose Share > Share with others to manage people who have access to school timetables. The following roles are available:

  • Owner
  • Creator
  • Viewer

The owner is a person who created the school account and has the highest privileges. The owner can add or delete other owners, creators or viewers. The creator can create and change timetables but can't manage, add or delete other people who have access. The viewer can only view timetables and is not allowed to move cards or save changes.

concurrency,multiple users,sync,multi-user

Collaborate with others

Timetablers can collaborate on the same timetable and at the same time. All saved changes will be seamlessly synced and merged across any device you or your colleagues might be using.

For instance, one timetabler can change a teacher's name and the other one their short name, but there will be no overwrites after saving changes. In the rarest edge case when merging is not possible, e.g. timetablers have both changed the same teacher's name the software uses "last save wins" model: the name saved by the latter timetabler will overwrite the name saved by the former one, while all other changes will be properly merged.

Publish to the Web

A teacher, class/group or student can have direct access to their timetable simply by bookmarking the web page which shows it. Note that individual class view can be filtered by specific student or group. The published web page is accessible from any device, including phones and tablets, and is automatically updated when the timetable is saved. Furthermore, the page will automatically refresh within minutes to make sure the latest timetable changes have been delivered to all. In order to publish a timetable:

  • Choose Share > Publish to the Web
  • Click Publish to the Web
  • Copy and share the provided link. If you need the list of links to all individual class, student, teacher and room timetables, click and then "Download links for individual timetables"
  • Visit the published web page by clicking "View published timetable"

To stop publishing:

  • Choose Share > Publish to the Web
  • Click Unpublish

The previously published timetable will not longer be accessible for everyone.

Share on social networks

  • Choose Share > Social Networks
  • If timetable is not published, click Publish to the Web and customize it by choosing skin, period format, etc.
  • Click or to share timetable on Facebook or Twitter

Embed timetable in school website

  • Choose Share > Embed Timetable
  • If timetable is not published, click Publish to the Web and customize it by choosing skin, period format, etc.
  • Copy generated Html code and paste it into your website
  • Optionally, adjust Html code to suit your website, e.g. change background color, size and similar

Customize published timetable

Choose Share > Publish to the Web to customize the published timetable:

  • Choose initially displayed master view
  • Choose a desired timetable skin
  • Choose period format: period number or name, 12-hour or 24-hour clock
  • Check whether switching view is allowed

The size of cards in the published page can be adjusted based on parameters in the link. For instance, this is the published page for Example 3 where cards are vertically zoomed in by 150% in both master and individual views.

Rotation of conflicts in the published page can be disabled by adding rotate=0 to the url.

Advanced customization

Timetables can be completely customized to match your school branding. With a bit of HTML and CSS knowledge you can:

  • Add custom school logo
  • Set custom font family, size and colors, e.g. to match styles in your school website
  • Make any other HTML or CSS changes

United States International and United States examples are already customized with the most common changes:

  • Choose Open > Open Examples
  • Open "United States International" or "United States" example
  • Choose Open > Timetable Info and click
  • Examine Custom HTML and Custom CSS, read the comments and copy/paste the relevant parts in your timetable but change url to your school logo, font styles and colors

All textual fields in software supports html tags so you can set teacher name to e.g.:

<span style="font-weight: bold; font-size:14px; color:red;">Mr. John Cleese</span>

That will display only that teacher in bold using larger font and in red color. In that way not only you can add specific html code that you need, e.g. school logo, customize and override chosen skin settings to exactly match your school branding, but you can control individual resources as well, such as day, period, subject, room, teacher or class and style their names individually any way you need.

14. Export

Save as local file

  • Choose Save as > Local File

Timetable will be downloaded to your disc as an JSON file which can be opened later.

Save as spreadsheet(s)

In order to export timetable(s) to the spreadsheet app:

  • Choose Save as > Spreadsheet(s)
  • Choose current timetable view or all related individual timetables and click Download
  • Open downloaded html document and select the desired timetable(s) by making a rectangular marquee around them
  • Right mouse click selection and choose Copy
  • Switch to Excel or Sheets, right mouse click cell and choose Paste

Save as CSV file

  • Choose Save as > CSV File
  • Choose iSAMS, SmartSchool or Siged format
  • Optionally exclude column names and/or group short name
  • Click Download

CSV (comma separated values) file will be downloaded to your computer and can be used to import timetable to other software like SIS.

The columns in the iSAMS format are: PeriodId, Set Code, Year (class name), optional Group short name, Subject short name, Teacher short name and Room short name. Period Id is calculated using the following formula: periodCount * (day - 1) + period. Set Code column is: class short name + group short name.

The columns in the SmartSchool format are: Activity number, Class short name, optional Group short name, Teacher short name, Subject short name, Room short name, Day position and Period position. In Siged, all columns are the same as in SmartSchool except for Period position which is represented with two columns: Start period position and End period position.

Export grid data

In order to export activities:

  • Choose Owl > Manage > Activities
  • Select all activities by making a rectangular marquee around the activities grid: click outside the grid (top-left corner), hold the left mouse button while moving the cursor to the bottom-right corner of the grid
  • Right mouse click inside the grid and choose Copy from the context menu
  • Switch to Excel or Sheets, right mouse click the desired cell and choose Paste

In a similar way you can export teachers, subjects, rooms, classes/groups, days, periods or any other data displayed in the grid.

Save as PDF

Any master or individual view can be saved as PDF. Export to PDF is built-in on Mac while printing. On Windows you need to install a PDF printer.

There is also an option to export the published web page to PDF using various free online tools. For instance, if your url to published timetable is this one then copy published url and paste it on this website https://pdfcrowd.com and it will convert the web page to PDF for free.

15. Options

Application options

Choose Owl > Help > Options to customize the following:

Skin

Choose blue (default), green, red, violet, orange, pink, cyan, brown, gray or dark skin.

time

Period format

Choose period name or number, 12-hour or 24-hour clock for displaying period intervals in the views. For instance, if you choose 'Name or 12-hour clock', you can customize a specific period by setting period name to e.g. "Lunch" thus overriding the default 12-hour clock display.

Default view

Set master view that will be displayed when application starts.

Save reminder

Set save reminder interval. Default is 20 minutes.

History states

Set the number of history states that you can undo/redo.

Rotate conflicted cards

Set whether or not conflicted cards should be rotated (checked by default).

Show notification number

Set whether notification number in the top right corner should be shown or hidden.

Show tips & tricks

The owl will hoot useful info related to the current context if this option is checked. Experienced users might want to hide tips & tricks and uncheck this option.

Exclude items with short name set to "-"

Any subject, room, teacher or class with short name set to "-" will be completely excluded from notifications and timetable improvement process if this option is checked. For instance, set short name to "-" (minus without quotes) to Lunch subject or Gym room and all related notifications will be instantly removed.

Keyboard shortcuts

Key combination Action Key combination Action
CtrlCmd+O Open timetable CtrlCmd+S Save changes
CtrlCmd+Z,Y Undo/redo Esc Close window, drop marker/pin/sponge, revert from individual/print view
CtrlCmd+1,2,3,4 Switch to class, teacher, room or subject master view CtrlCmd+Alt+1,2,3,4 Show/hide class, teacher, room or subject extra view
CtrlCmd+,,Home,End Navigate through other individual views F11 Toggle browser between full-screen and regular view
CtrlCmd++,-,0 Zoom in/out/reset, hold Shift key for vertical or Alt for horizontal zoom CtrlCmd+D Opens data window
CtrlCmd+Alt+D Manage days CtrlCmd+Alt+P Manage periods
Switch to left/right tab CtrlCmd+Alt+H Show or hide history panel
Home End Select up, down, the first or the last item Type first letters Find and select item in the grid
+ Add new item Enter Edit selected item
Backspace or Delete Delete selected items CtrlCmd + click Multi selection of cards/items
Shift + click Range selection of cards/items CtrlCmd+A Select all items
CtrlCmd+C Copy selected cards to clipboard CtrlCmd+V Paste items from clipboard into grid
CtrlCmd+M Pick or drop the marker CtrlCmd+. Pick or drop the pin
CtrlCmd+Backspace Remove/delete selected cards CtrlCmd+Alt+N Show or hide notifications
CtrlCmd+Space Improve timetable CtrlCmd+Shift+Space Generate timetable from scratch
CtrlCmd+P Print timetable CtrlCmd+Shift+P Print individual timetables
CtrlCmd+Alt+Shift+P Publish to the Web CtrlCmd+U My profile
CtrlCmd+Alt+I Timetable info CtrlCmd+Alt+M Merge timetable
CtrlCmd+Alt+O Application options F1 User guide

16. Troubleshooting

Resolve common issues

I am not allowed to save changes

  • Click in the top right corner:
    • Check your expiration date because your account might have expired and you need to extend subscription
    • Click My profile to make sure that you are logged in and that you have Creator or Owner role assigned

My account is locked and I am not allowed to log in

I have some other issue

  • Save your schedule as a local file to create a backup on your device and optionally save changes on our server.
  • Force refresh in your browser, e.g. CtrlCmd + F5 so that app can load properly.
  • Install any other modern browser like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge or Opera and then try again
  • If your issue is not resolved, contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

17. Questions

General questions

How do I start?

Watch getting started video tutorials, first. Inspect automatically generated examples and search user guide for any topic you are interested in, e.g. search for 'part-time teacher', 'lunch', 'clip' and similar.

Are there any limitations during my 30-day free trial?

In order to evaluate some printing/exporting options you need to open one of our examples. Other than that, no limits.

Can I create more than one account, e.g. to share timetable with staff?

There is no need to create more than one account. Instead, choose Owl > Share > Share with others to manage people who have access to school timetables. The following roles are available: Owner, Creator and Viewer.

Can I use the software to schedule lower, middle and high schools?

Yes. Check this example for all-in-one schedule. If there are different period intervals for specific grades then use custom periods and take a look at K-5 example. Also, consider creating separate schedules for lower, middle and high schools if it's too bulky for one document. There is also an option to merge timetables later.

Data questions

How do I create 2-week timetable?

For 2-week timetable set the number of days to 10, for 3-week set it to 15 and so on. If activities are identical on most days in all weeks check this blog post or experiment with copying days/periods. Read more about days.

Our periods vary from day to day. What do I do?

Set number of periods per day to the maximum number of periods for all days and then use Forbidden position marker to forbid positions that are not needed. Read more about periods.

How do I deal with period intervals that are different for specific day/grade?

Custom periods let you create flexible schedules where activity interval depends on specific day/class/subject/teacher. Read more about custom periods.

Some activities last 15 minutes and others 45 minutes. What do I do?

Check 15-minute interval example. Basically, add periods with 15-minute intervals and while adding activities choose triple length for activities that last 45 minutes (3 * 15min = 45min). Use horizontal zoom if there are lots of days/periods.

How do I deal with lunch, snack, recess or break?

How do I define terms, semesters or weeks?

Instead of creating all-in-one timetable it could be more practical to create one timetable for each term, semester, month or week and then create a copy to modify it for the next term, semester, month or week.

How do I add activities for a subject with varying length across the week, e.g. 3 times single and twice double length per week?

With a couple of adds you can add any combination of activities and their length, e.g. choose Manage > Activities > Add and select Math, Teacher John, Grade 5, 3 times per week, single for length and click Add button, then repeat it, add another activity and again select Math, Teacher John, Grade 5, but this time choose 2 times per week and double length.

How to add activities with a number of classes/groups/teachers e.g. Gym, Cafeteria, Lunch, Meeting...?

Choose Owl > Manage > Activities > Add. More... buttons allow you to add activities with more than one teacher/class/group/room. Read more about activities.

Can I sort and reorder items any way I want?

Yes. Use up and down arrows in the bottom right corner of the grid to reorder selected items. In order to sort items click desired column name in the grid.

Will I lose the data if I collaborate on the same timetable with others at the same time?

No. Timetablers can collaborate on the same timetable and at the same time. All saved changes will be synchronized and merged across any device you or your colleagues might be using.

Generator questions

How do I deal with part-time teachers not available at certain times?

Switch to teacher master view and use Forbidden position marker to forbid positions that are not allowed. Read more about markers.

I need to make sure that cards related to student's options go together. How do I do that?

If you use the clip, the cards will be scheduled/dragged all together.

I have lots of errors (red notifications) displayed in the bell icon. What do I do?

The goal is to generate an error-free timetable. Some errors and warnings can be easily resolved, e.g. conflicts can be resolved by pinning conflicted/rotated cards or by ignoring specific resources, class gaps can be resolved by marking gap as forbidden using Forbidden position marker. Read more about notifications and how to resolve them.

It looks like the generator isn't making any progress. What should I do?

The generator will always try to find a better solution no matter how hard the constraints. If there is no progress for a couple of seconds or so, stop the generator and revise constraints or data. We strongly advise to learn more about the generator and its priorities.

Sales questions

What happens after evaluation period expires?

Saving changes is disabled, your account might be locked and after some time your data might be deleted. If you want to continue using it, purchase the software.

Basic plan is up to 40 teachers. Are teacher assistants included?

Yes. Plans are related to the total number of unique rows in all created timetables when you choose Owl > Manage > Teachers.

Premium plan is up to 100 teachers but we have 150. What is the price for our school?

Please do contact us. In general, the price is proportionally higher, e.g. for 150 teachers it is 1.5 * the price of Premium plan, for 200 teachers it is 2 * the price of Premium plan and similar discounts are applied for multi-year purchase.

Is the price related to the country? What about international schools?

The price is related to the country where the school is located. International schools fall under the curriculum-based pricing. For instance, if the school follows British curriculum, the prices will be the same as in the United Kingdom.

Are there any discounts?

Yes, for multi-year purchase. If you want to take advantage of special discounts (up to 40%), select Basic or Premium plan and then choose billing term by dragging the year slider below.

What are alternative payment methods as my credit card has just been declined?

2Checkout supports various payment methods such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Diners, JCB, PayPal and many more. In some cases an 'authorization failed' error message pops up during payment process. Here are some alternatives to consider:

  • Try another credit card or check with your bank why they stopped the transaction. The reason might be that the purchase is marked as suspicious. Mark the purchase as regular if you have that option in your e-banking app.
  • Pay via PayPal: instead of entering the credit card information choose to pay via PayPal.
  • Pay via credit card using Payoneer service. Send us your full name, email, country and state (if applicable) and we will send you the request for payment via Payoneer.
  • Wire transfer of money, we will send you the invoice with SWIFT code and other bank and company details.
  • Check is another option, 'Pay to the order of' should be the name of the company: "Danijel Stulic PR Micria".
  • Contact us for more alternative payment methods.