Build new holiday business with Publisher gift certificates

Savvy business owners use gift certificates as an integral part of their holiday promotions, because they are easy to prepare, they bring in happy customers, and they can introduce your business to new customers.

Consider building your business with gift certificates in these ways:

  • Send gift certificates to your best customers before the holidays, thanking them for their patronage while encouraging them to buy from you.
  • Give out special holiday Get Acquainted gift certificates that offer an introductory service to prospective new customers.
  • Send your customers holiday gift certificates with a Bring a Friend, 2 for 1 offer that makes it easy for them to refer your business to their friends.
  • Consultants can offer free introductory sessions.
In this article


Picture of holiday gift certificate

Choose a predesigned publication and layout

Microsoft Office Publisher makes it easy to design thoughtful gift certificates.

To create a gift certificate

  1. Start Publisher. In the Publication Types list, click Gift Certificates.
  2. In the Gift Certificates catalog, click the design that you want.

The Bars gift certificate template is the starting point for the gift certificate that is shown in this article.

  1. Under Customize, you can change many design elements before you open the publication. Do any of the following:
    • Click the color scheme and font scheme that you want.
    • Click the business information set that you want, or create a new one.

 Note   For more information about publication options such as font schemes and business information sets, see Create and change font schemes for a professional look and Create, change, or remove business information data.

  1. Click Create.

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Customize the gift certificate

After you create a predesigned gift certificate, you are ready to customize the certificate. Do any of the following tasks:

Make design changes

When you see your gift certificate publication at full scale, you might want to make some changes. For example, you might want to try other color or font schemes, change the page size, or insert your business information if you didn't do it at the start. You can make such changes at any time, but it is best to make them before you work with the text and pictures.

Do any of the following:

  • To try a different color scheme, click Color Schemes in the Format Publication task pane, and then click the color scheme that you want.

For the gift certificate in this article, we applied the Teal color scheme.

  • To try a different font scheme, click Font Schemes in the Format Publication task pane, and then click the font scheme that you want.

For the gift certificate shown in this article, we applied the Median font scheme, and we changed the title font color to PANTONE 199 C.

For more information about applying font schemes, see Apply a font scheme.

  • To change the page size, click Change Page Size in the Format Publication task pane, and then in the Page Setup dialog box under Page enter the new width and height dimensions.

For more information, see Change page size, paper size, or orientation.

  • To insert business information, on the Insert menu, click Business Information, and then drag the item that you want from the Business Information task pane onto your publication page.

To change the business information, click Change Business Information in the Business Information task pane.

Work with pictures

For more information about working with pictures, see Tips for working with images.

For the gift certificate shown in this article, we added a photo from the Microsoft Clip Organizer to replace the colored rectangles in the Bars gift certificate template.

Add a picture

  1. On the Insert menu, point to Picture, choose the source of the new picture (Clip Art, From File, or From Scanner or Camera), and then locate the picture.
  2. Do any of the following:
    • To reposition the picture, drag it.
    • To resize the picture, position the mouse pointer over one of the corner handles, and then drag.
    • To change the picture colors, right-click the picture, click Format Picture, click the Picture tab, and then click Recolor.

 Tip   If you already created a business information set that includes a logo, you can quickly add your logo to the gift certificate. On the Insert menu, point to Business Information, and then double-click Logo in the Business Information task pane.

Work with the text

For more information about working with text, see Get text on the page in Publisher.

Replace the placeholder text with your own message

If you already created a business information set, your business contact information and logo will automatically replace some of the placeholder text.

 Note   Business information does not automatically replace the placeholder text in templates that you download from Microsoft Office Online. To replace placeholder names, addresses, and logos with your business information, click the smart tag button Button image for a business information item, such as the company name or address, and then click Update from Business Information Set. (The smart tag button appears when you click text or a logo.)

  1. Select the placeholder text, and then type.
  2. Adjust the text size. Do one of the following:
    • To prevent the text from resizing automatically to fit in a text box that is not connected to other text boxes, click the text box, point to AutoFit Text on the Format menu, and then click Do Not AutoFit.
    • To change the font size manually, select the text, and then choose a new font size from the Font Size list on the Formatting toolbar.

For more information about fitting text in text boxes, see Turn on and off automatic copyfitting.

Add new text

For the gift certificate shown in this article, we inserted a new text box for the greeting over the photo, and moved the text boxes that contain the business information to be adjacent to the business logo.

  1. On the Insert menu, click Text Box.
  2. In your gift certificate, point to where you want one corner of the text to appear, and then drag diagonally until you have a box that is the size that you want. Click inside the box and type your text.

Personalize your gift certificate

You can further customize your gift certificate by using mail merge to personalize the gift certificate for each recipient. You can add the recipient's name and a personal greeting that makes each certificate unique. If your list of recipients includes mailing addresses, you can use the recipient list to create mailing labels or print mailing addresses on envelopes.

You can also use mail merge to add a different tracking number for each gift certificate.

For more information about using mail merge to personalize your publication, see Tips for personalizing your publication. For mail merge basics, see Create a mail merge. For more information about adding a different tracking number to each certificate, see Add tracking numbers to gift certificates or coupons.

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Print and finish the gift certificate

Gift certificates in Publisher are set up to be printed on letter-size paper. Depending on the size of the gift certificate, you can print one or more on a single sheet of paper. You can print gift certificates on your desktop printer, or take them to a copy shop or commercial printer for larger quantities.

To print gift certificates

  1. In Publisher, open the gift certificate publication that you want to print.
  2. On the File menu, click Print, and then click the Publication and Paper Settings tab.
  3. In the Printer name list, click the printer that you want to use to print your gift certificates.
  4. Under Printing options, choose to print One page per sheet or Multiple copies per sheet. If you select the multiple copies option, by default the gift certificate publication prints three identical copies per sheet.

 Note   If you use mail merge to print, you can select Multiple pages per sheet to print three different personalized gift certificates on each sheet.

  1. Under Page range, click All pages, and then click OK.

Print dialog box for holiday gift certificates

 Tip    If you are taking your gift certificates to a commercial printer for quantity duplication, consider printing them on three-part carbonless copy paper for easy use. When you fill out a certificate for the purchaser, you are automatically making three copies: the top copy for the recipient, one copy for you, and a final copy for herself.

Create matching envelopes

Matching envelopes are the finishing touch for gift certificate distribution. Gift givers need an envelope to protect the gift certificate and make an elegant presentation to the recipient.

To create an envelope

  1. Start Publisher. In the Publication Types list, click Envelopes.
  2. Click the envelope design that you want.
  3. In the task pane, do any of the following:
    • Under Customize, click the color scheme and font scheme that you want.
    • Choose whether to include business information.
    • Under Options choose an envelope size.
  4. Click Create.
  5. Type the name and address of the recipient, or use mail merge to automatically address the envelope to multiple recipients.

For more information about mail merge, see Create a mail merge.

  1. Make design changes, as you did with the gift certificate publication. When the envelope looks the way that you want, save the file.

 Tip   Consider adding an announcement to the outside of the envelope, such as "Gift Certificate Inside!" or "Contains special money-saving offer!"

Envelopes can be printed on your desktop printer or taken to a copy shop or commercial printer for larger quantities.

To print envelopes

  1. Load your printer with envelopes.
  2. In Publisher, open the envelope publication that you want to print.
  3. On the File menu, click Print.
  4. In the Print dialog box, choose the printer that you want to use to print your envelopes.
  5. Under Print range, click All, and then click OK.

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Applies to:
Publisher 2007