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Readers Respond: How To Do Desktop Publishing With Microsoft Word

Responses: 11


Microsoft Word is word processing software, not desktop publishing or page layout software. But in addition to business letters, school reports, office memos, and resumes many people use Word to design and print other types of documents that were once primarily created by graphic designers using desktop publishing software. Sometimes it's by choice. For others, it's what the job or client requires. Do you do newsletters, brochures, calendars, business cards, business forms, fliers, or certificates in Word? Tell us about those projects. Share tips on how to get the most from the design features in Word. Give advice on getting your Word documents printed commericially.
Responses that contribute little more than "don't use Word" will not be published. Responses that ridicule those using Word for tasks beyond word processing will not be published. This form is only for the discussion of ways that readers are using Word for more than word processing. The shortcomings of Microsoft Word used for desktop publishing is covered elsewhere on this site. Thank you.
Tell Us How You Do It

word in need is a word indeed

I have always used Ms-word for preparing my project work documents. As a journalist, i have to type many articles and for that i prefer Ms-Word
—Guest Anish

Using Word

I make brochures, cards and web content for NGOs and only use word. I can use Text boxes, graphics have a picture as water mark in the background - it is just perfect. in India we do not upgrade the software so often and make do with older versions. I have Word 2007, but can save the work in older formats for those with older software. I have publisher also , but most of my clients do not have it so they cannot see my work. Hence Word is just right.

Everything in Word

Perhaps surprisingly, I find that Word has everything I need (and a lot more than I need). And if every typographical and design feature is used I can see no point in software such as In Design. In fact, I doubt that there is much point in buying any DTP packages unless you want to fancy things like bending a line of text. And even that kind of thing can look very amateurish if you are not a professional graphic designer. Three steps then: set everything up in Word, convert continuous text to a single PDF, and send to printer. [Guide Note: This was submitted under "Your Graphics Software" but I'm cross-posting it here because of its relevance to doing desktop publishing with Word.]
—Guest peter

Club Newsletter

I use both Publisher and Word. I have found it difficult to manipulate photos and other graphics in Word, so I type my text in Word and copy it to a Publisher text box. I can control and position objects like text boxes and photos better in Publisher.

Word used for Desktop Publishing

As a Word user since the 80s, I love it - for it's purpose - word processing. Having been in desktop publishing since that time and having used Quark Express, PageMaker and MSPublisher, I hate Word for anything except word processing. I think it depends on expertise, imagination and experience. BUT, if it's all one has, one goes with the flow - it's certainly cheaper! But, hey, I'm all for learning new things everyday.

MSWord is Best Choice

I work for a small accounting firm and their best choice, moneywise, is Word. I've worked in Word from version 5.0 to 2010 and have a great grasp of what I can do in it. We do everything from 50 - 60 page full color proposals to everyday financial statements in it. We've found it to be reliable and About.com is very handy to have as a resource.
—Guest Vicki


I'm working on the 22nd issue of a newsletter I started in 2009 as an amateur volunteer. At the time I had Word 2003 and now Word 2010. I used Word because I already had it (I had Publisher too but it isn't as flexible). Though I'm an amateur I have a good eye for layout and am constantly learning (about.com is great) and we have great content. The issues are 12-14 pages long, with 5" margins all sides and a full-length text box 2.6" wide alternating left and right sides and containing small articles and classifieds or graphics/white space to go with the main articles, which are single column. Text boxes are a great invention. I put a photo and its caption in a text box, then I can move it wherever I want and make it in-line with the text or have text flow around it. Word 2010 also a built in PDF converter.

DTP with Word

For the most part I have used Word for the majority of my career. I have created legal and financia documents, newsletters, flyers, memory books, etc.. These documents have included pictures, charts, tables, text and been one, two, and three columns. Word can do a LOT of things. The key is learning what it can do. 2007-10 has some awesome new features.
—Guest Faith

Desktop publishing with MS Word

I use MS Word for most everything I do by choice. I do not like templates, as they do not allow me to be creative. I make letterheads, newsletters, booklets, calendars and format books for various organizations on a volunteer basis.
—Guest Karen M

Always used Word

I have used Word for years and years. I believe I am a better than average user. I use templates a great deal and styles. I create most of my reports nowdays in a three column format with the left one jsut for sidebars and then two balanced columns for text (Calibri 9pt mostly). I also use Word to create a very informative game roster for our boys high school soccer team. I've not seen one nearly as informative. If a hammer is the only tool in your toolbox, you need to get very creative.
—Guest Lynn Eaton


A former employee created a msword template that closely matched our graphic designed letterhead and we used it in our office for routine correspondence instead of printing letters on the letterhead. A new manager discovered this and really liked it and now we are phasing out the printed letterhead for most things. Im recently tasked with updating the template and making some improvements and teaching others in the company(its not a big co.) how to use the msword template correctly. New manager thinks it will save a lot of money.
—Guest Theresa

Tell Us How You Do It

How To Do Desktop Publishing With Microsoft Word

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