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Excel at Seating Plans!

I don’t excel at seating plans because I often don’t have the time to write them.

Writing down names can be time consuming and personally I find that the faster I write the more illegible my writing becomes. As a result, I usually have other ways of determining where students will sit.

But a week or so ago, I was thinking of other uses for Excel and how it could be useful to teachers.

I decided to try and use Excel to create a template where seating plans could be created by quickly selecting a name rather than having to write it out.

It is easy enough to create a list of names, but it is difficult to randomize names without any repeats and you would need to know which names you have already used. It would also need to be flexible enough so that many different classroom layouts could be designed. How could that be done?

Blank Seating Plan Template
Blank Seating Plan Template – Excel 2013

Well, this is what I came up with. Nothing original. Squares and an indication of where the front of the class is. At least that is what it looks like, but each square has three options. You can select a random name, you can select a specific students name or you can shade in the square as an empty seat.

Click on Seating Plan to download the template.


Watch this demo to see how the seating template works. The demo is 3:53 minutes long, but it shows you how to add your own names and how to create your own classroom layouts.

A good seating chart can help you remember students’ name and be a useful aid in setting up activities and general classroom management.

With this template you will be able to quickly create seating charts and after you have put the names in once, it only takes a few clicks to reorganize the seating arrangements in the classroom.

I hope you’ll find it useful.

Things to remember

Select Names
Screenshot of the layout tab of the Seating Plan Template – Excel 2013

Don’t add your names to the names list on the layout tab, remember to click on the names tab to edit the names list.

When you click on a square, the first selection will give you a random name. This name won’t repeat once it has been selected. The second selection will shade the square grey to represent an empty seat and the third option is a list of specific names.

If you manually type in the names and you find you have used a name twice, then that name will be highlighted in the names list.

The Names List
Screenshot of the Names tab of the Seating Plan template – Excel 2013

Remember don’t delete the random name or ’empty seat.’

If by some chance you do, you can just type ’empty seat’ in again and type =G5 into the cell to recover the random name.

=G5 refers to the hidden cell G5 that contains the following formula:

There isn’t enough space on the template. Can I add more rows or columns?

Yes, you can. At the moment, the template contains 8 rows and 11 columns giving a total of 88 blank squares. However, if you need more space, you can insert new rows and columns.

Watch this tutorial to show you how to insert new rows and columns and the adjustments you will need to make to the template. The tutorial is 2:17 minutes.

Do you use seating plans? If not, what other methods do you use? Leave a comment and let me know.

Alternatively you can send me a message on my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Thanks for reading and take care!

This website helped me to create the template by giving me advice on how to deal with gaps in lists. Thanks!

6 thoughts on “Excel at Seating Plans!

  1. That’s neat! I actually made one a while back which generates several seating plans (groups of 4), ensuring that everyone gets new partners each time (not random). That way I can easily change groups several times through the semester. I can send you a copy if you like.

    Liked by 1 person

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