Okay. For the past two days I have been working on my computer-generated Periodic Table of Elements. Before I begin, I would like to say that this takes about six hours to complete.

Step One: Find a Template

Unless you want to spend a few more hours drawing 118 rectangular boxes, then I recommend using a template. All I did was type in ‘Blank Periodic Table’, and saved quite a few to my computer. However, none fit my specifications, so I would have to do some editing. However, don’t worry about trying to buy Photoshop (which takes forever to learn) or anything like that. I just used Microsoft Paint (if you use the 2010 or 2013 version it will be much easier than the 2003 version). Sorry Mac users, I have never owned a Mac before and have only used a Mac once, but if there is a similar program to paint, then it should be fine.

Step Two: Edit the Table

This step is entirely optional if you want Lanthanum and Actinium with the rest of the f-block (like me). I just copied pieces of lines and made my own boxes that were the same size as the rest. I then painted white over the lines so they can’t be seen.

Step Three: Categorization System

This usually takes five or ten minutes, depending on what colors you want and what categorization system you are using. Mine took fifteen minutes because I had to make colors that weren’t too dark but could be seen apart from each other. The example took five.

For this I just did the categories. basic categories (metals, metalloids, and nonmetals)

. 1periodictablestep3


1periodictablestep3pt4 Oops. I made a mistake. Can you find it?  I labeled hydrogen as a metal. Hydrogen isn’t a metal; its a gas that is non-metallic (despite hydrogen sharing properties with alkali metals, it is not a metal).

1periodictablestep3pt5 There. That’s better.


Now let’s not forget the Lanthanides and the Actinides. I also put unknowns as grey.

Step Four: Labeling Elements:

To label an element, out text in that box. It’s easier if its 4 text boxes instead of 1 big one if you do the 4 main things. Atomic Number, Symbol, Name, and Atomic mass.

Example on what stuff is that I put in my boxes

helium box

Step Five: The Legend

A legend isn’t just optional; it’s necessary. Why? Because not everyone knows the Periodic Table and had good luck with it (I have had very good luck). For the legend, cut the colors out and grow them all to be evenly sized. Put text boxes for labeling elements. Copy a box to make the legend for the box. This can be done before step four or after it.

Step six: Cite Sources

I cited sources of information and templates too on here. This is my finished product. (click on image if blurry)

periodic table science blog posting