How to Create Artwork for Print with Microsoft Word & Publisher

How to Create Artwork for Print with Microsoft Word & Publisher

Read Time: 3 Minutes


09 Feb 2021

At instantprint, we believe that anyone can design fantastic looking print, whether you’re a seasoned expert or a complete newbie. Many of our customers find their best design success using the ever-popular Microsoft programs, Word and Publisher. If you’re planning on pulling out one of these two tools, this is the guide for you – here’s how to set your artwork up for print using Microsoft Word and Publisher!


How to Create a Print Design in Word

Setting up your document

First things first, you’ll need to set up a blank document to the correct size. You can either include bleed as part of this or let us automatically add bleed area when you upload your design to our online proofing tool (we’ll just duplicate or drag out your background to fill the extra space).

To do this:

  • Open up Microsoft Word and select ‘Blank Document’
  • Under the Layout tab, go to ‘Page Setup’
  • Change the page dimensions here to match the size of the product you want to design

For multi-page documents like booklets:

  • Go to Insert > Blank Page

Once you’ve set up your canvas, it’s time to get creative! Here are a few of the different things you can do to build your print design…
Add text

You can type directly onto your document, or – to make it easier to move text around – we recommend using text boxes. To add text boxes:

  • Go to Insert > Text Box
  • Choose one of the options available or ‘Draw Text Box’ for a plain one 
  • Click and drag your mouse on your document to create the text box
  • Double click the text box to type into it


Create shapes

Similarly, you can also draw shapes to build up patterns, borders and boxes.

  • Go to Insert > Shapes
  • Choose the shape you want to add
  • Click and drag to draw the shape
  • Change the colour to suit your design using the paint bucket tool


Insert images

Adding high-quality images and your logo might be the perfect finishing touch to your design. To insert an image:

  • Go to Insert > Pictures
  • Choose an image from your computer to insert into your design
  • Drag and drop the image to place it
  • Use the corner handles to change the size of the image


Exporting your artwork as a PDF

Once you’re happy with your design, it’s time to export it for print. This makes your file into a printable document and keeps all your layers (like images and text boxes) in the right place when we open it up on our end to check. 

To do this:

  • Go to File > Export
  • Click ‘Create PDF/XPS’
  • Make sure ‘optimise for printing’ is ticked
  • Click ‘Publish’


How to Create a Print Design in Publisher

Setting up your document

Again, it’s completely up to you whether you want to add bleed area or not to your design – our online proofing tool can do this automatically for you. But if you’re using a patterned background, it’s a good idea to add an extra 6mm to the height and width of your document.
To set your document size in Publisher:

  • Open up Publisher and click on a blank template that’s the right size for the product you’re designing
  • If you need to change the size or want to add bleed, then go to Page Design > Size > Create New Page Size and change your dimensions there

If you’re setting up a multipage document, like a booklet, check out this guide for extra steps.


Inserting text

If you’re using print to communicate a message to customers, you’ll definitely need a way to add to text to your design. Here’s how.

  • Go to Insert > Draw Textbox
  • Click and drag to draw the text box
  • Type into the box to add text
  • Go to Format for more colour, font and style options for your text box


Adding images

To add high-quality images and logos to your design:

  • Go to Insert > Pictures
  • Select the image you want from your computer and click Insert
  • Position the image by clicking and dragging it
  • Resize by dragging the corner handles


Exporting your artwork as a PDF

Exporting your document as a PDF essentially locks your design in place ready for print, so this is a really useful final step – and pretty easy. To export your Publisher document as a PDF:

  • Go to File > Export > Create PDF/XPS Document > Create PDF/XPS
  • Check that the file type is set to PDF
  • Click Options and make sure that the optimise for print option is ticked
  • Name your file and ‘Publish’


Top Tips for Designing Print with Word & Publisher

No need to change colour settings

If you’ve ever printed something out on your home or office printer, you may have noticed that the colours look different on your printout compared to your computer screen. This is because printers, even big commercial ones like ours, print colours in the CMYK spectrum as opposed to screens which use RGB. 

In most versions of Word and Publisher, you won’t be able to change your colour settings, however, this is not an issue. When you send your artwork to us, our online proofing tool automatically converts your colours – so the ones you see on your final proof are the colours that will be printed.

Multi-page documents

If you’re designing a booklet, you’ll need to set your artwork up as separate pages in the same document. Here’s a guide on exactly how to do that.
For folded leaflets, you’ll need to set this up as two single pages. Here’s how to design a folded leaflet using Microsoft Word.


Artwork Help & Support

For more help and support with your artwork, feel free to check out some of the services we offer here. As well as free advice, checks and minor amends from one of our Personal Artworkers, we also offer a Graphic Design Service as well as a free design online tool where you can use our many customisable templates to create a stunning print design in only a matter of minutes.


About the Author

Hi, I’m Beth, an Artworker on the instantprint Studio team. I combine my passion for graphic design with my love of print to create useful content to help you achieve perfect print results!