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Build a calendar

Written byPhuoc Nguyen
19 Dec, 2023
CSS grid calendar
Here's what we'll cover:
  • How to use the `repeat` function to create equal widths within a grid layout

Calendars are a crucial tool for managing time, whether it's for personal or professional use. They're used in both web applications and real-life situations.
In your personal life, a calendar can help you keep track of important dates like birthdays, anniversaries, and appointments. And in a professional setting, calendars can help teams coordinate meetings and deadlines.
For instance, let's say you work for an advertising agency. You can use a calendar to plan and schedule social media posts for different platforms on specific dates and times. This ensures that your content is consistent and posted at the best times for maximum engagement.
Another example is using a calendar to manage project timelines. Imagine you're building a website for a client. A calendar can help you plan and schedule each phase of the project, from design to development to testing and launch. This ensures that your project stays on track and is delivered on time.
In this post, we'll show you how to create a calendar using CSS grid. Our calendar will only display the weekdays and dates of a given month, with fixed dates that don't change dynamically.
However, it's worth noting that in reality, JavaScript can be used to dynamically determine the start and end dates of a given month, and populate them into the calendar.

Creating a calendar layout with tables

Before diving into the modern approach using CSS grid, let's first take a look at the traditional way of creating a calendar layout using tables.
Think of a calendar as consisting of two main components: the weekdays and the dates of the month. We can use the table header to display the weekdays, and the table body to display the dates.
Here is a simple example of using a table to create a calendar layout:

<!-- Week 1 -->

<!-- Week 2 -->
<!-- Continue with the rest of the days in the month -->
In this example, we use `thead` and `tbody` tags to separate the table header from the body. The `thead` tag shows the weekdays in a single row with different cells. The `tbody` tag, on the other hand, has different rows with cells for each day of the week. We can leave some cells empty for days that don't belong to the month.
To make all date cells of equal width, we can use the `width` property in CSS. We'll set the width to be `calc(100% / 7)`, which means that each cell will take up one-seventh of the available space in its container. This ensures that all cells have the same width, regardless of their content.
td {
width: calc(100% / 7);
There's another way to ensure that cells have the same width, which is to use a fixed table layout. This means that each cell will take up an equal amount of space in the table, regardless of the content it holds.
table {
table-layout: fixed;
width: 100%;
When we set `table-layout` to `fixed`, we're telling the browser to use a consistent algorithm for laying out the table, which results in evenly sized and aligned cells.
To make the table adapt to different screen sizes, we can set its width to `100%` so that it fills its container. This allows for easy creation of responsive layouts.
Check out the demo below:
While tables were once a popular choice for layout design, they are no longer recommended for modern web development. Instead, we will be using CSS Grid to create our calendar layout in the next section.

Creating a calendar with CSS grid

In order to create a calendar using CSS grid, we'll begin by replacing the table and its cells from the previous section with simple `div` elements.
<div class="calendar">
<div class="calendar__days">

<div class="calendar__dates">
<!-- Week 1 -->

<!-- Week 2 -->
<!-- Continue with the rest of the days in the month -->
In the previous section, we used empty cells (`td`) of a table to represent dates that don't belong to the month. Now, let's apply the same approach to our grid by leaving empty `div` elements for those dates.
To display the days of the week in a grid format, we'll use the `calendar__days` class. First, we'll turn the weekdays container into a grid container by using `display: grid`. Next, we'll define our grid columns using `grid-template-columns`. We want to repeat 7 columns with equal width, so we can use `repeat(7, 1fr)` as our value. This creates 7 columns, each taking up an equal amount of space within our grid container.
Below are the CSS declarations for the class:
.calendar__days {
display: grid;
grid-template-columns: repeat(7, 1fr);
We can use a similar approach to create a grid of dates for the given month. Check out the demo below:


In this post, we learned how to build a calendar using CSS grid. First, we tackled the old-fashioned way of using tables to create the layout. Then, we moved onto CSS grid, which gives us more flexibility when designing modern web layouts.
This post specifically shows how to use the `repeat` function. It's an easy and efficient way to create equal widths within a grid layout. By simply passing in the number of columns we want to repeat and the desired width of each column, we can create a responsive grid that adapts to different screen sizes.
The big advantage of using `repeat` is that it makes it super simple to change the number of columns in our grid without having to recalculate each column's width. This saves us time and makes our code more maintainable.
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Phước Nguyễn