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Microsoft® Publisher® 2010 - Creating Posters and Leaflets

This brief guide to creating professional looking posters and leaflets assumes no previous experience of desktop publishing; more advanced features are not covered.

Microsoft Publisher contains templates for creating many different types of publications such as newsletters, banners, flyers and letterheads. It is not necessary to use a template - publications can be created entirely from scratch. For additional help use Microsoft’s own in build help system. To activate Help press F1 within Publisher.

Creating a poster

  1. Open Microsoft Publisher and click on More Blank Page Sizes.
  2. In the Publications Type section click on the Posters folder. Select a size.
  3. In the pane on the right of the screen select Color and Font schemes. Click on Create.

Note: To create a custom size click on More Blank Page Sizes - Create new page size.

Printing large size posters

The IT Services printers print on A4 and A3 paper. For larger sizes, either 'tile print' it and then trim and tape it together, or have it printed professionally.

Creating a leaflet

  1. Open Microsoft Publisher and click on Brochures and select a template.
  2. In the pane on the right select Color and Font schemes and any forms to be included. Click on Create.

Page navigation pane

The Page Navigation pane on the left contains a thumbnail of each page. Within this pane you can move between and reorganise the pages of your publication.

  • Add a page - right click on a page and click on Insert Page… Select the appropriate options and click on OK. Alternatively, on the Insert tab, click on Page.
  • Changing the page order - click and drag a page to a new position.
  • Delete a page - right click on the page and click on Delete.

Text boxes

As with all elements within Publisher, text boxes are manipulated and formatted individually. Some templates come with text boxes containing random text (for illustration purposes), this text should be deleted and replaced with your own. When you click in the text box two new tabs appear: Drawing Tools Format and Text Box Tools Format.

  • Create a text box - click on Insert tab - Draw Text Box. Position the cursor on the page then click and drag to create a rectangle.
  • Resize a text box - rest the cursor over one of the text box handles. When a double-headed arrow appears, click and drag to resize.
  • Move a text box - select the text box. Move the cursor to the edge of the frame, when it becomes a four-headed arrow click and drag the text box to a new position.
  • Linking text boxes - click in the text box which holds the text. On the Text Box Tools Format tab, click on Create Link. Click in an empty text box anywhere in the publication. Any overflow text from the first text box will now appear in the second.
  • Delete a text box - right click inside the text box and click on Delete Object.

Graphics and other design elements

  • Inserting a graphic from a file - click on Insert tab - Picture Placeholder. Click on the icon in the centre of the picture holder. Navigate to the file and click on Insert
    To replace the graphic right click on it, select Change Picture and Change Picture again from the submenu. Navigate to the file and click on Insert.
  • Inserting a graphic from clip art - click on Insert tab - Clip Art. On the Clip Art task pane, in the Search for: box, enter your search term and click on Go. Click on a picture to insert it. 
    To replace the clip art, select the image and click on a new image from the Clip Art pane.
  • Resizing - use the handles around the frame. Alternatively for more precise resizing, right click on the object and select Format Picture. On the Size tab enter exact dimensions to resize, rotate or scale the object. Select the Lock aspect ratio box to keep the Height and Width settings in proportion.
  • Positioning - click and drag it to a new position or rotate it freely using the green handle at the top. Alternatively for more precise positioning right click on the object and select Format… On the Layout tab, enter measurements in the Horizontal and Vertical boxes. From the From: list select the part of the page from which the Horizontal and Vertical settings are calculated. Alternatively select the object and use the keyboard arrow keys to nudge it into position.
  • Text wrapping - To wrap text around the contours of an image rather than the frame. Select the image. On the Home tab - Arrange group - click on Wrap Text -Tight. Click on Wrap Text again, and then click on Edit Wrap Points. Click and drag the small black handles along the picture outline.
  • Grouping objects - Objects which need to be kept together can be grouped so they become one unit. Select the objects to be grouped. On the Home tab - Arrange group - click on Group. To ungroup objects, select the group and click on Home tab - Ungroup.
  • Reorder objects - If your publication contains lots of design objects, text or other images can become hidden. To correct this, change their order. Select the element to be reordered. On the Drawing Tools Format tab - Arrange group -click on Bring Forwards or Send Backwards. Each of these buttons has a drop down list for more precise reordering.
  • Backgrounds - Be aware that backgrounds with a gradient or other pattern may not be accessible and may cause problems for cognitive or visually disabled people. Backgrounds fill the publication on screen; however, when printed there will be a white margin around the edge of the paper. 
    Click on Page Design - Backgrounds. Select a background from the drop down menu (the colours are based on the colour scheme in use) or click on More Backgrounds…
  • Colour schemes - The colour scheme applied to the publication can be changed at any time. On the Page Design tab - Schemes group, click on the 'More' arrow to see the gallery of available colour schemes. Click on a colour scheme to apply it or click on Create New Color Scheme…
  • Additional design elements - There are many other in-built design elements which you can add to your publication. These can found on the Insert tab in the Building Blocks section and include; tables of contents, headings, calendars and borders.