How to Make a Free Online Classroom Seating Chart

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Learn how to make a seating chart online using a free tool, Google Slides. Get step-by-step instructions for creating a digital seating chart you can use as a free online classroom seating chart template. Find out how to customize the digital seating chart to fit your needs, and make copies as needed. Once you have it set up, it’s easy to modify into different seating plans. You’ll have an online classroom layout template you can use as you wish. There’s no need for a fancy online classroom layout tool. As a veteran classroom teacher who is now a school librarian, I have had over 25 years of experience designing different classroom configurations. This is the easiest way I’ve found. Ready to learn how to make a free online classroom seating chart? Let’s learn how to create a seating chart online!

online classroom seating chart google slides pinterest graphic

First, Create Your Online Classroom Seating Chart Background

Open Google Slides and click on the plus sign to create a new slideshow. Google Slides is such a versatile tool. I’ve used it to create virtual bingo games, for student research projects, and for designing virtual interactive classroom seating charts. For this example, I just chose to draw a simple rectangle to use as the classroom boundary. If your classroom is a different shape, you can always use lines. If you draw a rectangle, you don’t need to use the whole rectangle. You can think of it as your workspace. You can add a title above it if you like. You can even fill the shape with a color to represent carpet or a wood floor if you like. Or, you can search for a grid in the Google online image search and insert it into your workspace. The important thing is, you don’t want your workspace moving around when you are placing the other items in your online seating arrangement. In order to get the workspace boundary to stay in one place, you need to save it as a background image. To do that, you will need to go to File, then Download, and download the slide you created as a JPEG image or a PNG image.

Online classroom seating chart Saving slide as a png

The PNG image is a larger file size but the image is a bit sharper. Once the image is downloaded, create a new blank slide and upload the classroom boundary workspace as a background by going to Background, Choose Image, then Upload from your computer. If you select Add to Theme, the same background image will appear on every slide you create.

Adding Desks and Names to the Online Seating Chart

To add desks to the online seating chart, go to the top menu bar and select the shape icon. Drag the pointer finger over to the rectangle and click to select it. Draw a small rectangle anywhere on the slide.

Online classroom seating chart choosing a shape

I like to go to the fill bucket and choose a color. How do you list names on a seating chart? When I create an online seating chart, I like to just put the word “name” in a text box. It’s a good idea to keep the font size small, perhaps size 11. Create the text box by going to the textbox icon in the menu bar, click to select it, then draw a small textbox on top of the rectangle you just created. Add the word “name” or a student’s name, if you like. Click on the textbox to select it, then hold down the Shift key and click on the rectangle shape to select it, too. Right click and chose the “Group” option. To get a whole row of “desks” with names, just click ctrl+c to copy, then ctrl+v to paste. Once you have duplicated five or six desks with names, put them in a row, then drag across to select them all. Once again, press ctrl+c to copy the row, then ctrl+v to paste. Once you have the desired number of rows arranged the way you want them, go back and click on each row, then right click to ungroup.

Adding the Desks and Names to the Workspace in the Online Seating Chart

To adjust the size or the desks in the workspace of the online seating chart, click and drag to select all of the desks. Right click to group them together, then resize or drag them around in the workspace. You may need to shrink the whole group to get it to fit. This is why it’s a good idea to keep the font size small. You can also create other shapes to represent other items in your classroom, such as the teacher’s desk, tables, etc. You want to be able to move the desks around, so that’s where the next step comes in.

Arranging the Desks and Names to the Workspace in the Online Seating Chart

How do I make a seating plan once I’ve created all of the desks, names and objects? First, click on an individual desk. You will notice that the name text and the shape are both selected with a blue line.  You should be able to move the name and the desk together. Just in case something has happened and they have become separated, here’s what to do. Select both of them by performing the shift and select method noted earlier in the post. Right click when they are both selected and choose Group. Now they can be moved together to be arranged as you like. You will have to go through this process for each individual desk and name that has become separated, but once it is done, you may arrange all of the desks with the names on them. You can customize the text with names from your class at any time.

Need a Visual? Here’s a Video Tutorial

If all of this seems confusing to you, as there are so many steps, maybe this video tutorial will help. It’s about 8 minutes long and will show you the easy steps from start to finish. You can speed up the video or watch it as many times as you need.

Creating Multiple Variations of Your Online Seating Chart

Need to change your seating chart but want to keep the old one as a reference? No problem! You can just make a duplicate copy of the slide, then arrange the desks or names in a new configuration.

Which Program Can I use to Make a Seating Chart if I Don’t Use Google Slides?

How do you make a seating chart on Google Docs? You could certainly create a classroom seating chart in Google Docs. If you use the Google suite of tools, Google Slides seems to lend itself better to the design process. Can you make a seating chart in Google Classroom? Google Classroom is great, but as of now there is no option to create a seating chart for a physical classroom. How do you create a seating chart in PowerPoint? If you have access to PowerPoint, you can just use the Diagram option to create a seating chart. You would need to upload it in order to share it with others. For ease of sharing, and having access to it wherever you can access your Google Drive, the Google Slides option seems more convenient.

Ready to Try This Online Classroom Seating Chart?

There you go! Now you have all of the steps you need to create your own online classroom seating chart using Google Slides. Short on time? I’ve got a ready-made online classroom seating chart already set up for you with two different classroom background sizes. I’ve already take the time to do all of the grouping. You can have it for free. You’ll get a link to the Google Slide Online Classroom Seating Chart file, and you will be able to customize it by selecting File, then Make a copy. I hope it simplifies things for you.

Online seating charts

Get my free online classroom seating charts!

Have fun designing your own online classroom seating chart. If you would like more technology inspiration, check out the some clever Google Slides project ideas. You could also chcek out Best Zoom Tips for Teachers, the Easy WeVideo Tutorial, Learn How to Use Loom Pro, or make a virtual bingo game using Google Slides. May all of your arrangement ideas be successful!

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Lisa Mitchell is a school librarian who likes to use her job as an excuse to stay up far too late reading books and noodling around with tech tools. To get more technology tips, click on over to the Tech Tips page.

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