Articles from archive, Page 4

Share school timetable with others

Ok, so you’ve created a school account and would like to share it with other timetablers, teachers, colleagues, etc. Prime Timetable makes sharing school account easy. Just choose Owl > Share > Share with others to manage users who have access to timetables. In order to share timetables with teachers, colleagues, or someone else you need to enter their email and password, select privileges, and optionally enter first and last names. After sign-in, the newly created user can change their profile using Owl > Profile.

Sharing timetables with others

The following privileges are available:

  • Owner
  • Creator
  • Viewer

Timetable owner

Timetable owner is any user who first created the school account. The owner has the highest privileges, which include managing users. For instance, the owner can add or remove other timetable owners, creators or viewers.

Timetable creator

Timetable creator can create and change school timetables but can’t manage other users.

Timetable viewer

Timetable viewer can view school timetables and is not allowed to save any changes.

Sharing timetable with others along with timetable collaboration in real-time and publish to the web, offers unique capabilities for sharing and collaborating on your school timetables. Hope you will enjoy them. Happy timetable sharing!

Download Prime Timetable 10x faster

Prime Timetable is an online school timetable software which implies that the time it takes to download software is crucial for application performances and for general timetabling experience. To optimize download time we have focused on what is the most important for teachers and students: to display timetable first and then download the rest. Therefore, Prime Timetable is divided into two major parts: Viewer which is downloaded first, and a Maker downloaded later.

Download and view timetable 10x faster

The major benefit for the teachers and students is that the timetable is downloaded and displayed 10 times faster! The Viewer takes only 250KB which is just a fraction of what it takes to open Facebook, Gmail or Hotmail. It takes only 1-2 seconds on average Internet connection to download Prime Timetable Viewer.

You won't even notice download progress anymore

Prime Timetable Viewer

The Viewer loads and displays the timetable. It shows the title and animated timetable cards. View indicator View indicator icon lets you choose different master timetable views and if there are any conflicts those cards will be rotated. In general, the Viewer is all you need to look into various timetable views and while you are at it, in the background, the Maker is downloading and the progress is displayed in the upper left corner.

Progress of downloading Prime Timetable Maker

Prime Timetable Maker

The Maker is responsible for all other scheduling work: managing school data, automatic school timetable generator, instant timetable validation, extra views, print, drag & drop cards, etc. When the Maker is downloaded, the menu and all other timetabling tools appear and you can start working with them.

Once our software is started for the first time, both the Viewer and the Maker are cached by the browser, so the next time you open Prime Timetable it happens instantly – without any download at all! Even previously opened timetables are cached and immediately opened.

We have really tried to bring you the best downloading performances and are looking forward to your feedback. Hope you will enjoy instant timetable viewing as much as we have enjoyed making it!

Merging school timetables

Timetablers working in campus school face unique timetabling challenges, e.g. they need to create a timetable for elementary and middle school and at the same time some teachers and classrooms may be shared in both schools! One option is to create a single combined timetable for all schools, but it has some obvious drawbacks: e.g. how to print separate timetables or share such combined timetable with students and teachers. It seems that a better option is to work on two separate timetables and then merge them in order to find out if there are any conflicts with shared teachers or classrooms.

Merging two timetables in Prime Timetable is easy:

  • Open base timetable
  • Choose Owl > Import > Merge with other timetable
  • Select the other timetable and click Merge.

Correct elementary and middle school timetable before merging

What will happen in the merging process? If there is already a teacher, room, class or subject with the same name in the base timetable, it will be used as it is; otherwise, it will be added. Periods and days are also going to be merged based on the same name. If a period doesn’t have a specified name then it will be merged based on what’s displayed on the screen; e.g. period interval or period number. Furthermore, all lessons from the second timetable will be added to the base timetable.

Merged school timetable with displayed conflicts for shared teacher and room

After merging, conflicts for shared teachers and classrooms can be easily spotted in the teacher and room views, so that the timetabler can fix them. This is where instant timetable validation helps tremendously.

Hey, that’s all for now! Let us know if merging timetables suit your needs. Request for merging timetables as well as 50+ others have been implemented based on Prime Timetable online feedback. So, thank you all for your suggestions and ideas (keep them coming!) and happy merging.

Customizing school timetable template using card designer

We have received a lot of feedback on how you would like to represent a lesson in the school timetable software. For example, a university may need to show a teacher, subject and room all in one card in the class view, while in a primary school showing a subject alone is sufficient. A college may need to show only the class in the teacher view (sometimes adding room is desired), while in private schools (e.g. dance school, music school, etc.) there is also a need for adding a subject. Some schools need different order of items; in lots of cases there is a significant difference between showing a lesson in main or in single (individual) timetable. Also, there are numerous requirements for different background colors, card borders, etc. In the Prime Timetable we have come up with a flexible solution called the card designer that gives a timetabler the full power to set how timetable will be displayed on the screen, on the printed page and published web page.

To open the card designer choose ‘Owl > Print > Card designer’ or just use mouse right click on the timetable card. Card designer form shows the enlarged selected card with the options to customize its appearance and style. After any style change, the enlarged card will be refreshed as well as the current view, so you get instant preview of the new appearance.

Customizing school timetable template for the class using card designer

Background card color can be from the current class, teacher, room or subject or you can choose no background color, which is useful in some printing scenarios.

Card text can be a group, class, teacher, room or subject name or short name. Selecting the card text from a list will add it to the card, while clicking the text in the enlarged card removes it. Thus you can completely customize the text shown in the card as well as text order. Group text can be added only in the individual or main class view and will be shown only if the card represents a group and not the entire class.

Card border can be set to: round, square, round (no border) and square (no border). Please note that if you choose no background color and no border you can still drag & drop such a card.

Customizing school timetable template for teachers main view

The best part is that all style changes are preserved and saved into the current timetable document as a timetable template. So, once you have customized the card appearance and saved timetable changes, the published web page will pick up the new styles as well. And you know what? Prime Timetable needs no print preview at all, because what you see on the screen is what is going to be printed, so by customizing the card appearance you are customizing timetable print output too!

Last but not the least, when you create a new document, or import timetable in the new document, all timetable style settings will be copied so you don’t have to tweak styles again.

We hope that the highly flexible card designer will allow you to create timetable templates that meet all your school requirements. Otherwise, please drop us a line in the comments below or add your suggestion in customer feedback. We wish you a very happy timetable customization!

Instant timetable validation

Creating a timetable can be a stressful task. For instance, are you able to remember forbidden positions for class, teacher, room or subject? Do you have an eye to spot the same subject appearing on consequent days or even the same day!? Are you sure that all teachers and classes have an allowed number of lessons and windows in your timetable? Do you have too many hard or too many easy subjects in one day? Are all rooms properly scheduled without conflicts? Is your timetable more or less valid when you reschedule a lesson? The questions and doubts go on and on. With Prime Timetable you can solve all these problems by utilizing excellent validation tools that will assist you all the way: instant validation and validation markers are a perfect fit for the timetabling job. Read on!

It takes only one click on validate icon Validate timetable to turn on instant validation. That means you get an instant validation feedback upon any timetable change. Just drag & drop any card or start the automatic generator to see the validation results immediately! You can even drag & drop cards in extra view, use undo/redo, change time requests or timetable data, open another timetable or do just about anything and still get instant validation feedback. Awesome, isn’t it?

If there are no validation errors and warnings, the timetable is valid and you’re good to go. Otherwise, the validation results window will list all timetable imperfections grouped and sorted logically and if you click any of them you will get markers displayed in the view.

Validation results window on the right and validation marker displayed in the last timetable row as a flashing red rectangle pointing to a card conflict

Validation markers are red blinking rectangles surrounding problematic period(s) in the timetable view. Since they are transparent you can still easily spot and drag problematic cards to a better position.

Some validation errors are more easily understood in another timetable view, e.g. teacher conflict can be spotted only in the teacher view. Our software will automatically change the main timetable view into teacher view and scroll to that validation conflict. If the extra teacher view is already open, it will be used for teacher conflicts leaving the main view as it is.

Dragging a problematic card in order to fix teacher windows and getting instant validation feedback

We hope that these unique validation tools will maximize your timetabling efficiency and minimize your stress. Happy instant timetable validation!

Exchange school data with Microsoft Office and Google Docs

Prime Timetable makes it easy to exchange school data with other software, whether you need to import or export. In both cases exchanging data reduces needless retyping.

Microsoft Word logoMicrosoft Excel logo

How to import school data from Microsoft Office and Google Docs?

Whenever you open an empty timetable the owl will remind you about all importing options, so you don’t have to remember them.

Copy teachers from Microsoft Excel

Empty timetable on the left and copying teachers from Microsoft Excel on the right

Typically, you would want to import, e.g. list of teachers already entered in Microsoft Excel or Word or Google Docs. Make a selection, copy (Ctrl + C) and paste it (Ctrl + V) into the proper (teacher’s) data grid in the Prime Timetable. Our software will smartly recognize the format and do the parsing and importing for you.

Paste teachers to Prime Timetable

Teachers pasted into Prime Timetable via Ctrl + V keyboard shortcut

If your data is stored in CSV (comma separated value) file, just drag that file from your desktop directly into the data grid and that’s it. Again, the software will recognize the format and import all data.

Copy and paste works across all data grids in our software, which means you can copy rows from one timetable and paste them into another one.

How to export school data to Microsoft Office and Google Docs?

You can export any data from Prime Timetable into Microsoft Office and Google Docs. Just select the desired data grid rows, copy (Ctrl + C) and paste them (Ctrl + V) into e.g. Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word. Data grid header will also be included as displayed in the screenshot below.

Paste teachers from Prime Timetable into Microsoft Excel

Teachers exported from Prime Timetable into Microsoft Excel using copy and paste

We believe that exchanging data with widely used software (Microsoft Office, Google Docs and others) will significantly improve your efficiency. Happy data exchanging!

Timetable collaboration in real-time

All school timetable softwares (apart from one :) ) are desktop applications which don’t allow multiple user access, e.g. you only get one license per computer, so only one user can run the application. Contrary to traditional timetable software, Prime Timetable is an innovative and modern online school timetable software that can be accessed from anywhere via Internet connection. That means that you can access it from your school, home computer or mobile. But, that’s not all: you can share your timetable with other teachers and collaborate simultaneously with all of them! Frankly, we were a bit taken by surprise that timetable collaboration has already been widely used among timetablers. We have seen scenarios where timetablers collaborate on the same timetable (!) from different countries (vacation, business trip, etc.). But how does it work?

To simulate multi-user collaboration just sign-in and open the same timetable in two tabs or browsers as illustrated in the screenshot below.

Simulating collaboration on the same timetable at the same time with two browsers side by side

Notice that the first user has 2 more teachers added and the second has just updated Teacher 1 into “Teacher 1 – updated”. What is going to happen when the first user clicks save and then the second one does the same?

Timetable changes are successfully synchronized when user clicks save

No need to bother, all changes will be properly saved and the last saved user will be synchronized with the latest changes (the owl will hoot what’s happened behind the scene). The first user will be synchronized upon the next save or open.

On the technical side, Prime Timetable uses “last save wins” concurrency model which we found suitable for timetablers. Individual entity properties are not going to be merged; instead, Prime Timetable will respect what the last timetabler had in mind, e.g. if the first timetabler set time request and at the same time the other one changed that time request along with other settings for the same teacher, all teacher’s settings would be updated as the last user saved them.

Overall, rest assured that you can freely collaborate even on the same school timetable, because all changes will be properly synchronized. Happy timetable collaboration!

Prime Timetable 3.0 is here

“Dear timetablers,
I am proud to announce the release of new Prime Timetable 3.0 which brings the latest innovations in school timetabling at your fingertips and mouse clicks. Thanks to you I have grown much wiser and learned a lot ow(l)ing to your great online feedback and ideas, 90% of which has already been implemented! We are eagerly waiting for your new ideas and in the meantime check out our hot features.”

Mobile timetable

Prime Timetable works natively on both Mac and Windows as well as in any modern browser but this time we have made it accessible on any device with Internet access. In other words, now you can use your mobile phone to sign in and browse through your school timetables. Also, the teachers and students you have shared your timetable with can view it on their mobile phone.

Our software will automatically detect your device and instead of full blown Prime Timetable, a new Mobile Timetable will be shown, which is entirely built using standard web technologies accessible everywhere. Experience all advantages of sharing your school timetable on iPhone, iPad, Android, Nokia, Windows Phone… or any other smartphone or tablet.

3D school timetable

How to spot a lesson conflict in a 2D timetable? How to discover that under a card there is another card or many more? The answer is simple. Prime Timetable will automatically rotate each conflicted card by 30° to the left and right respectively. Also, each card has its own Z-order on Z-axis, thus creating a 3D timetable. To emphasize 3D even more, the shadow of the card being dragged is darker when dragged over the conflicted cards and lighter when there are no cards below. Clicking a card at the bottom brings it to the front, while other cards automatically rearrange. As always, to bring you the best timetabling experience all rearranging, rotating and moving is smoothly animated.

Extra views

School timetable extra view Extra views are a great help if you want to adjust cards using only drag & drop (also known as manual timetabling). These views are fully interactive, just like the main view, meaning you can use all timetabling tools as usual, e.g. timetable generator, drag & drop, pin, sponge, undo/redo, etc. Of course, all opened timetable views will be automatically updated.

To open extra timetable view just click on teacher, class, room or subject icon in the bottom left corner when a card is selected. You can easily adjust the position and size of extra view which best fits your screen and display single extra view by clicking the first column.

Currently selected card in one view will be highlighted in all other views. Also, when doing drag & drop, the shadow of the card being dragged will be shown in all opened views, which allows you to track drop position, e.g. check that drop position is not already scheduled in another view.

Share timetable

Prime Timetable makes sharing easy: just choose ‘Share -> Publish to the Web’, click Publish to the Web button and voila! Your timetable will be visible to anyone you’ve shared the link with. The published web page will be accessible by any Internet device, so that people you share with can access the timetable even from their mobile phone.

You needn’t worry about any subsequent changes to the published timetable as it will be automatically updated when the timetable is saved. Furthermore, the published web page will refresh every 20 minutes to ensure the latest timetable version is delivered to all.

Here are some online examples of published timetables: Example 1, Example 2, Example 3, Example Brazil, Example Egypt, etc. As always, you can click on the first column to open single timetable view.

Online and offline timetabling

Prime Timetable goes offline In case your school doesn’t have reliable Internet connection or you would like to use Prime Timetable instantly from your desktop without going to web site and signing in, we now support both online and offline school timetabling.

Even if the Internet connection drops or you are only occasionally connected you can still continue working on your timetable. When the Internet connection is back, your local changes will be synchronized with our server so that you can share your timetable with others.

For our premium customers we’ve even enabled entirely offline timetabling work. Just go to Help -> Options and click Install Prime Timetable button which will install the software on your computer. You will get the newly installed program in Program Files and a new desktop icon. Starting Prime Timetable from your desktop allows you to access your timetables whenever you want with or without Internet connection and thus avoid going to Prime Timetable web site and signing in.

New design

Instead of Microsoft Office ribbon we have introduced good old wooden board and instead of classical popups we have turned to recycled paper as the background of our forms. Luckily, no trees were harmed or cut down while turning our user interface into more eco-friendly environment :) . We hope you like our new redesign!

Prime Timetable 2.0 screenshot - Mexico example

Prime Timetable 3.0 screenshot - Mexico example

New timetabling tools and options

Pin Timetable pin tool icon, sponge Timetable sponge tool icon and zoom Timetable zoom in tool icon Timetable zoom out tool icon make timetabling more productive, yet game-like. All timetable view operations such as drag & drop, pin, zoom, print, undo/redo and others are also available in single class, teacher, room and subject view and extra views. To select single view just click on the first column in a timetable row.

The new Help -> Options form allows you to tailor the school timetable to suit your needs, e.g. you can set default timetable view, set save reminder interval, set whether conflicted cards need to rotate, show or hide rooms in single view, show subjects in teacher view, show period intervals instead of numbers, show additional time request settings, exclude fake lessons while generating the timetable and Install Prime Timetable on your desktop.

Other improvements

There are lots of other improvements, such as lesson statistics and filtering, browsing timetables using back and forward, keyboard shortcuts. We have made Prime Timetable Manual in PDF format for download and print for those who don’t want to browse online help,

Timetable view performances are vastly improved so that large schools/colleges with 500 and more subjects/teachers can use our software without interruptions. Furthermore, our software will automatically adjust according to your computer’s performances, e.g. faster computers will display card animations, while slower computers won’t have such smooth experience. Talking about performances, timetable loading, importing and saving is 10x faster now!

What is next?

We have lots of plans for future releases. Since Prime Timetable is an online software as a service, you can expect frequent updates and improvements soon! As always, all our software updates and new versions are free of charge. Since, your feedback is crucial we have created Prime Timetable user voice, where you can shape our product to suite your needs by entering a new idea or voting for existing ones.

This release brings Prime Timetable one step closer to our goal – to give you the best timetabling experience world-wide. Thank you for being part of it.

Prime Timetable for mobile

Prime Timetable is web based school timetable software that works natively on both Mac and Windows as well as in any modern browser. Ever wondered if it could work on your mobile phone? Well, it can :) . We have made it accessible on any device with Internet access! In other words, now you can use your mobile phone to sign in and browse through your school timetables. Also, the teachers and students you have shared your timetable with can view it on their mobile phone.

Do you have to do anything to enable this? No. Our software will automatically detect your device and instead of full blown Prime Timetable application, a new Mobile Timetable will be shown, which is entirely built using standard web technologies accessible everywhere. Mobile Timetable enables you to browse your timetables and choose different views. Similar to how Prime Timetable works – just click on the first column to switch to single view.

Mobile Timetable works on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, Nokia and other smartphones and tablets

Here are some timetable examples that are accessible via mobile phone: Example 1, Example 2, Example 3, Brazil Example.

Dear timetablers, make the best of these unique timetabling features. Reach other teachers and students, seamlessly share timetables and collaborate using modern online technologies accessible everywhere. Happy mobile timetabling!

Timetabling options

Each educational institution such as primary/middle/secondary school, college and university needs a different timetable. If we add language dance, guitar or professional schools to the list you get a whole variety of timetables. Using Prime Timetable allows you to customize the appearance of your timetable and offers the following settings in ‘Help > Options’:

Default view

This view will be initially displayed when Prime Timetable is started. If you happen to be in the single timetable view, default view will show up when a new timetable is opened.

Save reminder

Set save reminder interval to your desired value. Default value is 20 minutes.

Rotate conflicted cards

Set whether or not conflicted cards should be rotated. This option is checked by default.

Show or hide rooms in single view

Set whether or not rooms should be displayed in the single timetable view.

Show subjects in teacher view

Teacher view shows classes by default. Some colleges and universities prefer subjects to classes which can be set.

Show period intervals instead of numbers

Set whether or not period interval should be displayed instead of a number, e.g. instead of 1,2 you get 9:30 – 10:15, 10:20 – 11:05.

Show additional time request settings

Additional time request settings are hidden by default. Checking this option enables you to specify allowed number of unwanted lessons per week/day as well as allowed number of missed mandatory lessons per week/day in time request window.

Exclude fake lessons while generating timetable

Sometimes you want lessons such as lunch, teacher meeting, etc. to be excluded from automatic timetable generator/validator. To do that just set short name to “-” (minus sign) to the resource you want to be excluded and check this option.

Install Prime Timetable on your desktop

Click install Prime Timetable button to install software on your computer. You will get the newly installed program in Program Files and a new desktop icon. Starting Prime Timetable from your desktop allows you to access your timetables whenever you want with or without Internet connection, thus avoiding going to Prime Timetable web site and signing in.

Other options

We are able to customize our software to suite your specific needs; for instance, if you need to set bell time to be e.g. 12:43, we will set period step to 1 minute (default is 5 minutes) exclusively for you. As always, if there is anything you wish to customize which is not listed here, feel free to add your suggestions.