Timetables view

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Resources view | Events view | Weeks view | Timetables view

In this view you create timetables for your resources by scheduling the events you have allocated to each of the weeks of your schedule. When you schedule an event in the timetable of one resource Mimosa automatically schedules it in the timetables of all the other resources required for the event, taking care that no conflicts occur. You can create the timetables, and schedule the events in them, in any order you wish.

If you only have one week in your schedule Mimosa will automatically allocate all your events to that week. If you have more than one week you should allocate your events to weeks in the Weeks view before you schedule them in this view.

In this view you can:

  • Schedule and unschedule
  • Make or cancel bookings to block inappropriate scheduling
  • Move scheduled periods between timetable slots
  • Optimise schedules
  • Undo and redo all scheduling actions
  • View the timetables of all resources connected to events

Recommended prerequisites:

  • You have created some resources in Resources view
  • You have created some events in Events view and attached resources to them
  • You have allocated some event periods to weeks in Weeks view (if you have timetables for several weeks)

With Mimosa you can schedule the periods of events in timetables in several alternative ways, depending on your preferences and requirements. Most important tools are presented below:

Timetables view is the most common way to schedule periods interactively and easily. In this view you can also simultaneously view all the related timetables and also Undo and Redo all the actions you have made.
If the start and end dates and the time periods for event schedules are known beforhand, Edit|Bulk schedule in Events view is a recommended selection.
If you can copy the schedules from an event to another event, Edit|Copy schedule in Events view can be used.
If you prefer to schedule events when attaching resources to events, select Instant scheduling in Events view.
You can also import schedules from your spreadsheet application by using the appropriate Clipboard selection in Events view.
You can also import schedules as all other Mimosa data from other applications by using the Import/export with text files tools and the File|File Import or File|File Add selections.
Timetables can also be created automatically by using the Initial solution selection and optimise the results with the Optimise tool.

Have you defined one or several weeks in Options|Limits?

If you have defined more than one week in Weeks or terms > 1 of Options|Limits selection, the periods of the events do not automatically appear in this view before you allocate at least some of them in Weeks view. After that you can pick the active week from the drop-down list and schedule the periods timetables.

If you have set only defined only one week (Weeks or terms = 1 in Options|Limits selection, you can schedule them immediately since all planned periods are automatically allocated to this week.

Timetables view layout:

Note that you can edit only the timetable on the top left (the active timetable). All changes are automatically reflected to other related timetables. When you activate an event, all other timetables connected to this event are shown on the right. When you [Double-click] a timetable on the right, it becomes then the active timetable. You can adjust the width and height of the active timetable by moving the mouse to the locations shown below and clicking the appropriate arrow keys:

When you type [Ctrl+B], you can view the timetables also in Bird's eye view. This displays all timetables on top of each other horizontally, enabling to compare their content.

Searching for periods to schedule [F3]:

At the start you should see a timetable full of green check-marks () to indicate that you can schedule a period anywhere in the timetable, like in the timetable below.

If you cannot see this view, click the screen and Mimosa tells you the reason for that:

  • You have not created any resources - go to Resources view
  • You have not created any events with resources attached to them - go to Events view
  • You have created events, but you have not allocated their periods to weeks (and you have several weeks) - go to Weeks view

If you like to view and schedule periods of the specific timetable, event or week, you can use the list boxes on top to find the appropriate item.

Note that you will edit only the slots of the timetable on the top left. Other timetables you see on the right provide you automatically additional information of other timetables related to the event you are about to schedule.

You can press the [F3] key or click to search for the next timetable containing at least one unscheduled period. The timetable you edit is located in the top-left corner of this view, and in this timetable you can schedule and remove periods or bookings. Other timetables on the right of this view are automatically displayed according to the resources of the active event to help you to visualise how the changes affect to all related timetables.

After you have scheduled all periods of the current timetable, the event list is replaced with the following button:

Click this button to let Mimosa look for the timetables containing unscheduled periods.

Scheduling and removing periods with double-click:

Next, double-click some of the slots containing the check-marks () to schedule periods. [Double-click] is the simplest way to manually schedule individual periods and it also works other way round: double-click to remove already scheduled periods from the timetables.

[Double-click] the slots until all check-marks have disappeared from the current timetable, indicating that this timetable is completed. You can then press the [F3] key or click again to search for the next timetable to be scheduled. Note that Mimosa automatically schedules the periods of the current event to other timetables which are linked with it and it automatically takes care that conflicts cannot occur.

You can select the next event to be scheduled from the event list below the timetable. Mimosa displays here only those events which are related to the current timetable.

By default, the columns ALLOC and SCHED contain the numbers of allocated of and scheduled periods of each event on the current week, respectively. The column LEFT is equal to the number of allocated minus the scheduled periods of each event on this week. When all periods of all events of the current timetable have been scheduled on this week, this list becomes empty. Events in this list are sorted in descending according to the unscheduled periods, and if you do not pick any event from the list, Mimosa automatically selects the first event from this list.

You can select Mimosa to show the numbers in ALLOC and SCHED as sums of all weeks instead of the current week. Go to selection View|Cell display options|Show weekly periods and uncheck this option if required. If you have only one week in your file, this selection has no effect, since the numbers in ALLOC and SCHED are the same in both cases.

Note that you can schedule only the periods that have been allocated to the current week in Weeks view. In some cases you may like to adjust the number of unscheduled periods (in the LEFT column) instantly, without switching to Weeks view. If you note during the scheduling process that you like to increase or decrease the numbers available periods on some events.

Adjusting the numbers of unscheduled periods

You can adjust also in this view the numbers unscheduled periods one by one, without switching to Weeks view. This means that you can easily make minor weekly changes to periods also from this view. Right-click to show the pop-up menu with the following selections:

  • Increase LEFT of [Event] by one increases the available periods (ALLOC) of [Event] by one
  • Decrease LEFT of [Event] by one decreases the available periods (ALLOC) of [Event] by one
  • Set LEFT of [Event] to zero clears all unscheduled periods of [Event], by setting ALLOC=SCHED (if ALLOC=0, [Event] is removed from the list)
  • Add a new event to this week adds a new event to this week and sets its available periods to one (ALLOC=+1)
  • Lock or unlock [Event] locks [Event], or unlocks it if it is locked

You can also press the [+] key to increase or press the [-] key to decrease the number of LEFT periods. When you type the number 0 or select Set LEFT of [Event] to zero, the unscheduled periods of this event on this week are cleared and the event is removed from the list.

When you select to change the numbers (or unscheduled periods) in the LEFT column, they also automatically adjust the allocated periods of the current event and week in the Weeks view. For example, if you have the number +3 in the LEFT column, it means that you still need to schedule 3 periods of this event.

If you note that some of the periods of the current timetable are not allocated to the current week, you can add one period of this event to the current week, by selecting Add a new event to this week. When you have selected this option, it displays all relevant events that you could schedule in the current timetable, but you have not allocated any periods to this week in Weeks view. Selecting an event from the list adds one period to the current week and also to the list of unscheduled events.

When you have scheduled all events of this timetable, the events list becomes empty. You can then switch to some other timetable to find unscheduled events or press the [F3] key to let Mimosa do the searching for you.

When scheduling periods, some slots become unavailable:

When you have scheduled more and more periods, you will note that less and less slots become available and a red stop sign () is displayed in those slots. This is caused by the other events using the same timetable as you are currently using.

What those numbers in the brackets are for?

In those slots where you can and where you cannot schedule, you may also see numbers (or "indicators") in brackets. You can select to show or hide them in the selection View|Cell display options|Show indicators. These numbers give you condensed information of other timetables which are related to the current timetable and the event that you are just scheduling.

  1. The negative number (such as [-2]) on the right of the stop sign () indicates, that there are events or bookings in two other timetables which prevent scheduling the period in this slot. Double-click this slot to see which timetables and events are preventing scheduling to this slot. If you like, you can also clear these slots from other timetables and continue scheduling the current event.
  2. The positive or negative number (such as [+2] or [-3]) on the right of the check-mark () indicates that scheduling into this slot is possible, and it either reduces (a positive number) or increases (a negative number) the number of gaps in the timetables in this week. If the scheduling does not change the number of the gaps, this number is not shown.

When you [Double-click] a slot where scheduling is not permitted (for example, containing [-5]), you will see the reason why the intended event cannot be scheduled in this slot. You can optionally select from the list of the conflicting resources (plus their events or bookings) those you want to clear, without displaying their timetables. If you clear them all, you can continue scheduling your current event in this intended slot.

"Conflicts pre-check": Note that when you click a slot where scheduling of the current event is not permitted (containing the icon ), Mimosa automatically displays a box on the right of this slot, containing the list of timetables which prevent scheduling, plus enclosed the events or bookings in the slots which would cause conflicts, and so you do not necessary always need to [Double-click] this cell to see the list. You can optionally hide this box by clicking on it.

What are the other timetables on the right?

When you select an event, you will see on the right also the timetables of other resources of that event. For example, if the event consists of a group, teacher and room and you are about to change the timetable of the group, also the timetables of the teacher and room are visible. This enables to view how the changes affect to other related timetables and which events or bookings prevent you from scheduling the current period. You do not need to schedule the event to these timetables separately, since all other relevant timetables are always automatically updated when you change the timetable on top left.

You can change the contents only in the timetable on the left, but you will see the same indicators also in the timetables on the right and when changes are made in the timetable on the left, they are automatically reflected to the other timetables as well. Double-clicking a timetable on the right moves it to the left.

The indicators and the numbers guide you in the scheduling by showing information also of those timetables which are not currently visible. When you schedule, it is a rule of thumb to prefer those slots which have a big positive number, since on average it will keep the number of gaps low.

You can select to display or hide the indicators in View|Cell display options|Show indicators. When scheduling or unscheduling, you will also see the "hint box" on the bottom right on the screen guiding you about the basic operations you can do on the active slot. To show or hide these hints, you can click Ctrl+Alt+H].

Scheduling and unscheduling several periods with one click

If you are about to schedule or unschedule several periods with one click, first paint an rectangular area in the timetable and then click the [Schedule] button () or the [Unschedule] button (), respectively. For the same effect, you can alternatively press the [Insert] or [Delete] key after painting the area. For instance, you may like to schedule a row of periods on the same day or clear a range of selected slots.

Make or cancel bookings (restrictions):

In similar way, you can set and remove bookings, which indicate that the slots where they have been set, are not available for periods in that timetable. Select the area in the timetable and press the [SPACE] key (or click ) to set bookings or cancel them. You can select from three captions of bookings and you can change them in Edit|Change booking type. You cannot schedule periods on slots where bookings have been set, and you cannot set a booking to a slot where periods have already been scheduled.

Type the [SPACE] key to make a booking into an empty slot or cancel the booking from the slot which already has a booking set (such as /////).

After all periods have been scheduled:

After you have scheduled all the periods in all timetables, the screen looks like the one below:

The colours of the events displayed in each timetable are selected by Mimosa, unless you have not set colours to them in Events view. If you like to change the colour palette Mimosa is using, go to Options|Colours.

You may also note that:

  1. Conflicts in scheduling of periods and setting of bookings are prevented.
  2. Permissible and impossible scheduling options are shown.
  3. Other timetables related to the active event are shown.
  4. Information about the quality of timetables is displayed.
  5. Navigation and changing of timetables affecting to the current timetable is enabled.
  6. You can undo and redo up to 2000 last changes and go back to any previous or bookmarked step.

There are several ways to navigate to the desired timetable, event or week you like to start with. If you are using this view for the first time, you can do the following:

  1. Click the Find button or press the [F3] key to find the first timetable, which has unscheduled periods.
  2. Click from the event list (below the timetable) the event you are about to schedule or remove.
  3. [Double-click] a slot in the timetable where you find a green check-mark.
  4. Repeat these steps until all green check-marks have been gone.

If you see resources, events and weeks listed in the list boxes on top of the screen you can start creating timetables. Although you can create then automatically (in Tools|Optimise|Initial solution), we recommend that you start from here, since it is more than probable that you like to edit the timetables manually sooner or later. Even if you prefer to create timetables automatically, there always will be some need to alter the current solution, and also to place some of the periods into predefined slots.

periods of the events are automatically scheduled in the timetables of their resources. When scheduling or removing a period, the changes in other connected timetables of this event are automatically changed. You can alternatively schedule the event immediately when you create or edit events in Events view, as described in Instant scheduling. In both cases, changes always affect the same timetables in a similar way.

If you have several weeks or terms in the school year, you first select the timetables of the week you are going to edit from the Weeks list on the top right. After that you might like to select the timetable from the Resources list. If you do not see green check-marks in the current timetable, select another timetable from the list or click [F3] to let Mimosa automatically find the next incomplete timetable for you.

If all periods of the current week or term have been scheduled, you are prompted to move to next week or term (if it exists).

You need to be focused only on the timetable which is located on the top left, while Mimosa automatically takes care of all background tasks needed to keep all other timetables synchronised and Mimosa informs also about possible scheduling options. When you change the active event, the other timetables are changed according to its resources. Double-clicking a timetable on the right moves it to the active timetable to the top left.

Moving periods to other locations:

In order to use this option, the selection View|Cell display options|Show move options must be checked.

It is often simpler to use the selections of Edit|Move block to... to move periods to other locations. When you press the [F7] (or the [Shift+F7]) key, Mimosa automatically moves the selected block to the next (or previous) available location in the timetable, and finally back to the original location.

After all periods of an event have been scheduled, it is easy to move a sequence of periods to some other location within the timetable with just one mouse click. When you click the active time table slot twice, Mimosa displays all other available locations for the active event using the move icon () and a blue number in brackets. Note that you can also split the current sequence of periods in two parts, and the available locations are indicated for the rest periods in the sequence. When you click this slot again, move options disappear.

The same operation can be performed in two stages, by first removing the current sequence and scheduling it into the new location, but using the move option saves unnecessary mouse clicks and you can also see in advance all available options.

Instead of clicking the first period of a sequence of periods, you can alternatively click some of the next periods to gain more options to move the rest of the sequence to another location. This operation will split the sequence into two parts, leaving the previous periods in their original position.

Note that when you click other than the first period from a row of periods, you will typically gain more options to move, since the row of periods is shorter. The numbers (for example [3]) indicate the first slot where the periods can be moved from the active slot.

Undo and redo

You can Undo and Redo all operations (up to last 2000 steps), such as scheduling, removing and moving of periods and bookings, using the buttons () and (), or the shortcuts [Ctrl+X] and [Ctrl+Y], respectively. In the Edit menu selection you can also Undo all and Redo all changes, and also set a bookmark to the state you want to revert back later on.

Changing several cells at once

It is also possible to first paint a rectangular area of slots on Master timetable and then use selections to schedule or remove periods or set or cancel bookings in this area:

Use the Timetables list or the arrows keys (down and up) to select the timetable on the top left corner. You can then click the event to be scheduled from the List of unscheduled events below. When you click an event in the timetable, Mimosa automatically displays also all related timetables.

Colours and other effects are used to make timetables more legible, but you might find that the slots are stacked with information that is not currently useful for you. Please go to the selection View|Cell display options to deselect those elements that are not essential.

When the timetables are printed or published, all slot contents are replaced by the event codes, names and collections, depending on your preferences set in the File|Print|Timetables selection.

Slots containing bookings (restrictions) are shown in red colour (like "////").

A slot in each timetable can be in three exclusive states: it can be either empty, it can contain a event or a booking. The appearance of slots may look different on your screen, depending on the selections that has been made in View|Cell display options. Below are samples of different slot statuses and how they are displayed on Master timetable.

Notations for slots which are EMPTY:

SymbolExplanation

All events of the current timetable have already been scheduled. [Double-click] the slot to set a booking on it. If this slot constitutes a gap between non-empty slots, you can optionally emphasize it with an icon (View|Cell display options|Show gap picture).

The active event can be scheduled in this slot, but it causes two ([-2]) gaps. [Double-click] this slot to schedule a period in it.

The active event cannot be scheduled into this slot, since two ([-2]) other timetables which are connected to this timetable prevent this operation. [Double-click] this slot to find the timetable(s) which prevent scheduling in this slot.

Counting from the active slot, a sequence of two ([2]) periods of the current event can be moved to this slot.

Notations for slots containing a an EVENT:

SymbolExplanation

Event SEA646 (or DRA405) is scheduled in this slot. [Double-click] the slot to remove the scheduled period from this cell. You can also optionally display the manual room (m) and/or the slot comment (c).

This slot of a Room timetable has been scheduled to an event (STR308) manually. [Double-click] once to change it to a booking, [Double-click] twice to clear it.

Notations for slots containing a booking:

SymbolExplanation

The active slot contains a booking (of type Meeting). [Double-click] to remove the booking from the slot, [Double-click] to set it again. Click [Ctrl+O] to change the booking text.

In general, the fastest way to use and learn the basic techniques of this view is to double-click individual slots in the master table (on the top left corner) to see how scheduling and removing of periods or bookings functions in different situations. This double-clicking technique can then be extended to all other tables and lists that you see in this view. If you often schedule periods as blocks (double, triple periods,...) instead of single cells, right-click the pop-up menu on the master table and change the parameter in selection Default block length.

When you progress in scheduling, typically less and less free slots become available and scheduling becomes more demanding. This is caused by the increasing dependencies of events and their resources. It is a good practice to start from the events containing the largest number of resources, most periods and which have most limited scheduling options and finish with the events which are easier to schedule and which have more degrees of freedom.

Menu selections: Edit