By Mary Sauer, Microsoft MVP and creator of the Clip Art and Media Help Web site, and Connie Miller
|Microsoft Office Publisher 2003
Readers are busy and make value judgments at a glance. No matter how modest the publication, your message should be inviting, convincing, and easy to read.
The intent of this article is to give you ideas on how to use Publisher to make simply designed black-and-white publications that win your readers' attention, tell your message quickly, and print or copy cleanly.
Note This article explains how to create a simple newsletter from scratch. You can also create a newsletter in Publisher by starting with a Newsletter Wizard. To learn more, click a link in the See Also section of this article.
The seven steps to an effective newsletter include:
Throughout the article, we'll refer as an example to the four-page Charity News publication. If you want a copy of the publication that you can work with, download the mstem-charitynewsletter.zip file. Click Save, and then choose a convenient location to store the file.
Set up the publication pages
Before you create a new publication in Publisher, you have to decide how you're going to produce the final copies. For example:
- If your printer supports only letter-sized paper, set up your publication so that each page is printed on one letter-sized sheet.
- If you have a printer that supports tabloid-sized paper (11 x 17 inches or A3) and a printer or copier that supports duplex printing (printing on both sides of a sheet of paper), you can set up the publication so that pages 1 and 4 are printed on one side of a tabloid sheet and pages 2 and 3 are printed on the other side. That way, you can just fold the sheet to create a four-page, letter-sized publication.
Here's how to set up the publication:
- Start Publisher. In the New Publication task pane, under New, click Blank Print Publication.
- On the File menu, click Page Setup.
- To find out what to do next, click the link below for the paper size that you intend to print on.
If you intend to print on letter-sized paper
- Click the Printer and Paper tab. Select the printer you'll use to print the publication. Make sure Paper size is Letter and the Orientation is Portrait.
- Click the Layout tab. Under Publication type, make sure Full page is selected.
- Click OK. A one-page publication opens.
- Check the page sorter in the lower-left corner of the Publisher window. You should see one page there.
- To add more pages, on the Insert menu, click Page.
- In the Insert Page dialog box, type the number of new pages you want to add, and click After current page. If you're creating a simple newsletter similar to the Charity News example, type 3 to add three more pages to the publication. Now check the page sorter again.
Tip You can use the page sorter to go to and rearrange pages. To go to a page, click the icon in the page sorter that represents that page. To move a page, drag the icon that represents that page.
If you intend to print on tabloid-sized paper
- Click the Printer and Paper tab. Select the printer you'll use to print the publication. For Paper size, click Tabloid, 11x17, or A3. For Orientation, click Landscape.
- Click the Layout tab. Under Publication type, make sure Booklet is selected.
- Click OK. If you get a message about automatically inserting pages, click Yes.
- Check the page sorter in the lower-left corner of the Publisher window. You should see four pages there.
Tip You can use the page sorter to go to and rearrange pages. To go to a page, click the icon in the page sorter that represents that page. To move a page, drag the icon that represents that page.
Lay out the publication
Laying out the publication means setting up a grid of columns and guides that mark the starting points for text and graphics.
A simple, repetitive layout is pleasing to read. The pages should have clear, visual groups starting with the publication title, contents, and text.
For example, the Charity News publication has margin guides set to .5 inches. It also has four columns with .28 inch spacing and a center guide between them.
The center guide, which appears as a dotted pink line that runs down the center of the space between columns, is useful if you want to add design elements, such as lines, between the columns. For example, in the Charity News publication, we wanted to add a ½ point black line between the columns. The center guides showed us exactly where to position the line.
To lay out your publication, do the following:
- On the Arrange menu, click Layout Guides.
- On the Margin Guides tab, select the margin sizes you want.
Note If you set up the publication to print on tabloid paper, leave the Two-page master check box selected. Otherwise, clear the check box.
- On the Grid Guides tab, select the number of columns you want and the column spacing.
- Select the Add center guide between columns and rows check box. Click OK.
Tip On the Arrange menu, point to Snap. If To Guides does not have a check mark beside it, click To Guides to select it. This ensures that your text boxes and pictures snap to the various guides and stay in place.
It's also a good idea to add ruler guides to the pages to indicate the starting point for text. Ruler guides are nonprinting dotted green lines that are aligned to any point on the horizontal or vertical rulers.
For example, on the first page of the Charity News publication, we put a horizontal ruler guide 3.5 inches from the top of the page. This guide indicates where the text on the first page begins. A space of 3.5 inches left enough room for the masthead and table of contents.
The other three pages of the Charity News publication don't include the masthead and table of contents. The text can start higher on the page. Consequently, on those pages, we put horizontal ruler guides two inches from the top of the page.
To learn how to add ruler guides to your publication pages, click a link in the See Also section of this article.
Choose the right font
Publisher comes with a variety of font (also called type or typeface) families. The complete assembly of all the sizes and styles of a typeface forms a type family bearing the name of its typeface. For example, all the styles and sizes of Franklin Gothic form the Franklin Gothic family. A type family may contain many variations but retain a strong visual continuity because all of the variations are based on common design characteristics. This allows you to present some visual variety on a page while maintaining a strong unified appearance.
To see a list of all the fonts that are installed when you install Microsoft Office 2003, click a link in the See Also section of this article.
Most fonts fall into one of three categories:
- Serif fonts have finishing strokes on the letters (serif means "finishing stroke"). Times New Roman is an example of a serif font. Generally serif fonts are easy to read and are used for publications with large amounts of text such as newspapers and books.
- Sans serif fonts have no serifs (sans means "without" in French). In large sizes, sans serif letters are clear and eye-catching, which makes them ideal for headlines and subheadings.
- Script fonts imitate handwriting. These fonts can be very elegant. They add a special touch to invitations, certificates, and other decorative publications.
How you intend to make copies of your publication can influence the font you use. For example, if you plan to make copies by using an older copier, serif and script fonts may lose their crispness. The serif will blur; the script will lose some of its elegance. If you are using an older copier, it's probably best to stick with a sans serif font.
The following are examples of sans serif font families available in Publisher.
Publisher makes it easy to choose fonts for a publication by organizing fonts into font schemes. We chose the Industrial font scheme, which features the Franklin Gothic font family, for the Charity News publication. Franklin Gothic copies well. It is airy and easy to read. Paragraph headings are Franklin Gothic Demi, the body text is Franklin Gothic Book, and the newsletter title on the masthead contains both Franklin Gothic Heavy and Franklin Gothic Book.
Here's how to set the font styles for your entire publication:
- On the Format menu, click Font Schemes.
- In the task pane, under Apply a font scheme, click the scheme you want.
Applying a font scheme automatically applies fonts in the scheme to all types of text, such as titles and body text, in your publication. For example, we clicked the Industrial scheme, which uses the Franklin Gothic font family, to change all of the text in the publication to some form of Franklin Gothic.
Create the publication masthead
The masthead of a publication is the area, usually at the top of the first page, where the publication title appears. In Publisher, WordArt allows you to make clear, interesting mastheads that complement your publication and copy well.
In the Charity News publication, we used WordArt to create the title. Then, we added a subtitle under that title to complete the simple yet visually appealing masthead.
Create the title
It's a good idea to have some sense of how big you want the final title to be before you start creating it. If the title will not extend across the entire width of the publication, you might want to place a vertical ruler guide at the approximate location where you want the title to begin or end.
For example, we decided we wanted the title to begin about 1.25 inches from the left edge of the page and extend to the right margin.
Here's how to use WordArt to create a title:
- On the Objects toolbar, click Insert WordArt . (If you don't see the Objects toolbar, on the View menu, point to Toolbars, and then click Objects. By default, the Objects toolbar runs vertically along the the left side of the Publisher window.)
The WordArt Gallery opens.
- Select any black shape. You can modify the shape for your publication, so it doesn't matter what shape you select. Click OK.
The Edit WordArt Text dialog box opens.
- Type the text for your title.
For the Charity News publication, we wanted the title to appear in two different font styles, one heavier than the other. So we had to create two different pieces of WordArt, one for the "Charity" part of the title and one for the "News" part.
- Select the font and size. Click OK.
For the word "Charity," we chose Franklin Gothic Heavy to match the font scheme of the publication and a font size of 24 points. For the word "News," we chose Franklin Gothic Book and a font size of 24 points.
- Click the WordArt title you just created. On the WordArt toolbar that appears, click WordArt Shape . Select the shape you want the WordArt title to be.
For the Charity publication, we wanted the title to be horizontal, so we clicked the horizontal shape.
- Although we left the Charity News publication title plain, you can format a WordArt title to give it the look you want. Click the title, click the Format WordArt button on the WordArt toolbar, and then click the Colors and Lines tab.
When your title looks the way you want, drag it to its final location where you can adjust its size.
- To add a patterned fill, under Fill, click the arrow beside Color, click Fill Effects, and then click the Pattern tab.
- If you intend to produce your publication by using a copier, avoid gradients and shadows. Patterns should copy well in larger titles, especially the light lines fill effects.
- Resizing a WordArt title is easy. Just press SHIFT and then drag a handle until the title is the size you want.
- You can also specify an exact size, which is particularly important if you create a title from two different pieces of WordArt the way we did in the Charity News publication. To specify a size, click the WordArt title. On the WordArt toolbar, click Format WordArt . Click the Size tab, and then select the sizes you want. Click OK.
To learn more about the WordArt toolbar, click a link in the See Also section of this article.
Read a summary of the steps we took to create the title for the Charity News publication
To create the title, we:
- Created two separate pieces of WordArt, one for the word "Charity" and one for the word "News."
- Formatted "Charity" as Franklin Gothic Heavy and "News" as Franklin Gothic Body. We set the font size of both to 24 points.
- Specified the size for the "Charity" and "News" WordArt titles by setting the height of each title to .75 inches.
- Aligned the tops of the two title words with the top margin guide.
- Aligned the "Charity" title with the ruler guide that we set at 1.25 inches from the left edge of the page.
- Aligned the "News" title with the right margin guide.
- Pressed SHIFT and dragged the round handle on the right edge of "Charity" until it filled about two-thirds of the space between the ruler guide and the right margin.
- Pressed SHIFT and dragged the round handle on the left edge of "News" until it filled the remaining third of the space.
- Played around a little bit with the length of each title word until it looked the way we wanted.
- Clicked the "Charity" title, pressed SHIFT, and then clicked the "News" title to select both title words. On the Arrange menu, we clicked Group to group the two title words into one piece of art.
Create the subtitle
Subtitles not only add information to the title but also provide an additional design element for the masthead.
One option for a subtitle is to run it in a much smaller font directly underneath and the same length as the title.
To create a subtitle like this, you don't have to play with words and font sizes until you find the exact combination that fits. Instead, you can type the subtitle you want and then use character tracking to get the right fit.
Here's how to create a subtitle and fit it to the appropriate space:
- Click the Text box tool on the Objects toolbar, and create a text box anywhere on the page. Type the text that you want for the subtitle. If necessary, drag a text box handle until you can see all the text that you typed.
Note If you want the subtitle text to appear as all capital letters, type it that way.
- Select the text that you just typed. On the Format menu, click Font. Select the font size you want, and then click OK.
- On the Format menu, click Text Box, and then click the Text Box tab. Set the vertical alignment to Top and the margins to 0 (zero). Click OK.
- Drag the text box until it sits just under the title and snaps to the ruler or margin guide to the left of the title. Drag the round handle on the right side of the text box until it snaps to the right margin or ruler guide where the title ends.
- Select the text. On the View menu, point to Toolbars, and then click Measurement. The Measurement toolbar opens.
- Click the up arrow next to the Tracking option (the option that shows three lower-case a's and two arrows pointing to the left and right) until the subtitle text occupies its entire text box. (The numbers in your Measurement toolbar may be completely different from the numbers you see in the illustration.)
Add and connect text boxes
With the layout and guides set up and the masthead in place, you're ready to determine how text will flow on your publication pages. You do this by adding and connecting text boxes.
Text in single columns creates a smooth flow for fast, easy reading. And by keeping the bottoms of the columns ragged, you create a sense of space and prevent your publication from feeling too dense.
To find out how to create and connect text boxes, click a link in the See Also section of this article.
Here's how we set up the columns in the Charity News publication:
- We set the space between the columns at .28 inches. Because we added this column space, the text can extend to the borders of the columns without being difficult to read. That means we can leave the margins for the text boxes in the columns set to 0 (zero). If you create columns with less space between them, you might want to set the margins for your text box. To learn how, click a link under See Also.
- We also set the alignment for the text in the text boxes as Justified. Justified means that the first and last characters of each line (except the last line) are aligned to the left and right margins, and the lines are filled by adding or subtracting space between and within words. The last line of the paragraph is aligned to the left margin. You can also set alignment to Left, Right, Center, or Distributed. To learn more about text alignment, click a link in the See Also section of the article.
Here's how to create ragged bottoms on columns:
- Change the length of any text box in a column by clicking the text box, placing the mouse pointer over the round handle at the bottom of the text box, and then dragging upward until the text box is the length you want.
- It's better to set the lengths of the columns after you type the story text in them. That way, you can determine where you want the text in one column to break and begin again in the next column.
The three types of pictures you'll most likely use in your publication are photographs, clip art, and simple charts.
Readers enjoy seeing photographs of their co-workers and themselves in newsletters and other office publications. In Publisher, you can adjust the brightness and contrast of photographs. You can even change a color photo into a black-and-white photo.
Photographs are the most difficult element to reproduce on a copy machine. Some copiers can reproduce photos that look as good as the original. Do a test with the copier that you plan to use to make copies of the publication. If the photos copy well, you can place them in your publication without any problem.
You can add a photograph to your publication by inserting the photograph's file that is stored on your computer or by adding the photograph directly from your digital camera. To learn more about adding and working with photographs, click a link under See Also.
If photos don't copy well, you can use clip art. You can find a wide variety of suitable black-and-white images to illustrate your stories on the Clip Art and Media on Microsoft Office Online Web site.
Because your publication is black and white, it makes sense to limit your search for clip art to the Black & White category.
To learn about choosing clip art and how to modify clip art so that it looks original, click a link in the See Also section of this article.
You can construct simple charts by using ready-made AutoShapes. Or, you can insert a Microsoft Graph Chart.
- To use AutoShapes, click the AutoShapes button on the Objects toolbar.
Note When you click the AutoShapes button, you see a list of AutoShape types. Place the pointer over the dotted line at the top of the list. When the pointer becomes a four-headed arrow, drag to tear off the AutoShapes menu and make it float. This makes it handier to use.
- To create a chart by inserting a Microsoft Graph Chart, on the Insert menu, click Object. In the Insert Object dialog box, click Microsoft Graph Chart, and then click OK. A little data sheet opens. Click a cell to replace the sample data. If you close the data sheet and want to re-open it, double-click the chart in Publisher.
Picture size and placement
Generally, it's a good idea to arrange pictures in such a way as not to interfere with the text. Place pictures so they go with the flow. Avoid placing pictures in the middle of a column. This only blocks the reader's journey through the story. Instead, align them with tops or bottoms of text boxes.
Size pictures so they fit within the boundaries defined by the publication's columns.
To learn more about adding and sizing pictures, click a link the See also section of this article.
Produce copies of the publication
How you produce copies of your publication depends upon:
- How many copies you intend to make.
- Whether you own a copy machine or laser printer.
- What features your printer supports.
If you own a laser printer but not a copy machine and you're producing a relatively small number of copies (fewer than 100), it may be cheaper just to print copies of the publication rather than take the publication to a copy service. Print your black-and-white newsletter at 600 dots per inch (dpi).
If you're producing large numbers of copies, or your printer doesn't support duplex printing, using a copier may be your best bet.
If you set up your publication on a tabloid-sized sheet of paper
- If your printer supports duplex printing, set the printer for Landscape orientation and so it flips the paper on the short edge. This puts the pages in the right order when you fold the tabloid-sized page.
- If your printer doesn't support duplex printing, when you print, pages 1 and 4 will be on one tabloid-sized page and pages 2 and 3 will be on another page. When you copy the pages, set the copier for 1 to 2 sided so that pages 1 and 4 copy onto to one side of a tabloid-sized page and pages 2 and 3 onto the other.
If you set up your publication so that each page prints on one letter-sized sheet
- You can copy your publication (or print it, if your printer supports duplex printing) so that pages 1 and 2 are on the front and back sides of one letter-sized sheet and pages 3 and 4 are on the front and back sides of another. Then, you can simply staple the pages together.
The publication will be crisp, elegant, and easy to read. By using the tips supplied in this article, you can produce a good-looking, cost-effective publication that highlights your talent.
Note Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.
About the Authors
Mary Sauer is a Microsoft Publisher MVP who spends lots of time solving clip art problems for people in the Publisher discussion groups. She developed her Publisher expertise by creating flyers and brochures for community organizations. Get more information from her Clip Art and Media Help Web site.
Connie Miller is a writer on the Microsoft Office User Assistance team.