How to make a brochure in Microsoft Word
Can I make a brochure on Word?
When the marketing team meets to create a Marketing budget for a business, one of the items that is always at the top of the list is the creation of product brochures; brochures are a relatively cheap way of targeted marketing that gets information into the hands of a customer in a very efficient manner.
Generally the cost of creating brochures is not great, but with the current business environment, companies are looking for ways to increase the bottom line, and one great way is to produce brochures in-house. Many companies have a desktop publishing department with expensive software that can produce amazing brochures, but not many companies realize they have a tool that can do a decent job of creating brochure. Microsoft Word is a versatile program that can create brochures and even use advanced mail-merging to add addresses to the brochure for mailing.
This article will teach you how to create a brochure in word from scratch. In a recent article I described how to make cards on Microsoft Word using templates; Microsoft Word does have some decent brochure templates that can be used, but you are restricted to the look and feel of the brochure, I therefore prefer to create brochures on Microsoft Word from scratch.
General Design Process
This is a rough picture of what you expect the brochure to look like. It doesn't have to be detailed, but gives a great 'eye' overview.
Add Each Element to document
Based on your draft you can start adding each element to the document, and if required refining the draft as you go along.
Once you have the 'draft' in place, you can start amended the document to see if other designs or formats look better.
This goes hand in hand with refining the design; by adding your content (including text and pictures) you may find that the draft doesn't quite look right and can start amending the design as you go along.
Review Final Brochure
Once all content is added you should do a final review of the document - you can always refine the design or content again if you are not happy.
Create a Brochure in Word: Step by Step instructions
The following step by step instructions will take you though the process of creating a simple but effective brochure using Microsoft Word 2007:
Step 1 - create a draft brochure on paper
The first thing you need to think about before even starting Microsoft Windows is where you intend to use the brochure and what market you are aiming for. As an amateur writer, I am keen to get people to visit my websites, read my work and perhaps sign up as affiliates of mine and spread the word about my work. Therefore, the aim of my brochure would be to highlight my work, emphasize the revenue potential of writing on the web and showcase some of my successes.
With that in mind the first thing I did was to create a paper ‘template’ that shows the general format and gives me a general feel for the product. The first thing I had to decide was whether I wanted a one page brochure, a two column foldable brochure, or a three column foldable brochure.
As the brochure will be posted on notice boards etc, then I felt that a one page brochure would be the most useful for me – I will still split the brochure into columns and sections, but I want the reader to see the whole information without having to unfold the brochure.
I then had to consider the orientation; most brochures I’ve seen on notice boards tend to be portrait, therefore I will design a portrait brochure. I therefore created the mock-up that you can see on the right. At this stage it is simply for formatting purposes only and as I design the brochure things can change. The idea is to get a general feel for the brochure before the design work on Word begins.
Now that you have the draft in hand, let’s create the format in Microsoft Word. The elements I have identified from my draft are as follows:
- Picture – top left
- Text Box – top right
- Word Art – Main Heading - middle
- Content – three columns (with inserted picture in one column)
- Footer – tear of strip – table
Open Microsoft Word and let’s take these items one at a time - note I used Microsoft Word 2007 - the procedure is similar on Microsoft Word 2010:
Step 2 - Add a Picture
A picture is a great way of getting people to read your brochure. It draws the readers attention and hopefully makes them pick up the brochure. Picking the right picture is difficult; sometimes its simply a picture of your product, but at the very least it should have something to do with your content.
So how do you add a picture to a Word document?
- Using the menus: Insert -> Picture browse to the picture you want and double click
- Left click on the picture – the picture is selected and there are some boxes around the edge of it – these can be used to change the size of the picture. You are also given a new menu which gives you more advanced options.
- I am happy with the orientation and size on my picture but want to add a border. Right clicking on the picture gives you a sub-menu – I select borders and shading – I amended the border until I was happy.
Step 3 - Add a Text Box
Just having a brochure full of text can be daunting to the reader. Having a separate text box that can be highlighted and perhaps contains a quote or a snippet of information often breaks up the brochure but also can give the reader a great insight into the brochure's content. Text boxes can be manipulated and a lot easier and quicker than a block of text and are therefore far more versatile.
So how do I add a text box to a Word document?
- Using the menus: Insert -> Text Box scroll down to the text box you like and click the style once. This will add a text box; when I did this, it placed the text box below the picture; it's often hard to judge where the text box will appear but you always have the options to move and resize a text box (or any other inserted object)
- Hover over the edge of the text box - the cursor changes to cross (of arrows!) – left clicking and holding the mouse button I am now able to move the text box to the position I require.
- The text box is now in place but is the wrong size – hovering over one of the small squares, the cursor changes again to a double-arrow – left clicking and holding the mouse button allows me to change the seize of the text box.
Step 4 - Add Word Art
Unless you have a company logo creating an eye-catching heading is important. This can contain your company name or simply a description of your product. While you can simply use text and increase the size of the font, Microsoft Word has an in-built feature that allows you to add text and manipulate the look and feel of it; this feature is Word Art.
So how do I add Word Art to a Word document?
- Using the menus: Insert -> Word Art scroll down to the style you like.
- I didn’t like my style, so using the formatting menu I began to change the style – one thing to note, if you hover over a style or format, Word gives you a preview of the change on the actual document making it easier to decide what you like. There are a lot of options to play about with – I will not go through them all here, the best way to learn is to try them. I changed the style, tweaked the shape and centered the shadow.
Step 5 - Add 3 Columns
You can just have on block of text, but generally brochures try to organize text into different columns. You can use each column for different purposed giving the brochure a more professional look.
So how do I add columns to a Word document?
Before I can add columns to the document I must create a section break otherwise the columns will extend all the way to the top of the document and disrupt my picture, text box and word art. I place my cursor below the word art first.
- Using the menus: Page Layout -> Breaks -> Continuousthis creates a section break where the cursor is.
- Using the menus: Page Layout ->Columns -> 3 I insert three columns – you’ll notice that the ruler at the top of the page is now separated into three distinct columns. I can now begin typing text into the columns.
Now that I have added my columns and defined the length I will add another break and change the settings so there is only one column so that I can add my final element.
- Using the menus: Page Layout -> Breaks -> Continuousthis creates a section break where the cursor is.
- Using the menus: Page Layout ->Columns -> 1 I change the setting back to one column
Step 6 - Adding Table
Quite often you will have specification information, or comparison information that can be presented on a brochure. The best way to quickly and easily presnet this information is by using a table.
So how do I add a table on a Word document?
For my brochure. the final element is to add a ‘tear off’ portion so that customers who visit the bulletin board can visit the website, or phone me. Usually this tear off element has 10 strips, so I will create a table with 10 columns and one row.
- Using the menus: Insert -> Table drag the cursor so that you get a 1x10 table – click once you are satisfied with the result.
This is the trickiest part of the process as you are hitting the ‘edge’ of the document. I therefore amended the margins:
- Using the menus: Page Layout -> Margins I amended the bottom margin to 0” – Word will offer to fix the page so it prints depending on your printer.
- Using the menus: Page Layout -> Margins I amended the Footer to 0”
I then hovered over the bottom of the table and ‘dragged’ it down to increase the size of the table – this was tricky but I finally managed to keep the table on the same page!
I now need to align the text correctly and add my phone number.
- Click on the first cell in the table.
- Right click and select Text Direction on the sub menu
- Type in relevant text
- Highlight the text using your cursor and select Home - > Copy
- Highlight the rest of the table and select Home -> Paste -> Special –> formatted text (RTF)
Step 7 - Amend Page Color
If you look at most brochures that are not many printed on plain paper. Most use a plain background or textured backround; some even use a watermark picture. Therefore adding a background color is the final touch.
So how do I add a background color to a Word document?
The brochure is nearly complete. Now that I have the main design done, I notice it looks a little bland. So I decided to amend the background color.
- Using the menus: Page Layout -> Page Color -> Fill Effects -> Texture I chose a texture I liked.
So there’s your final template – all you have to do now is add your content. I decided not to put a picture within the second column. This example is a very simple one, but shows how quickly and easily you can use Word to create a brochure. The design took less than two hours and once I have finished my content it’ll be ready to print.
Creating a brochure on Microsoft Word is easy; the instructions in this article create a basic design, but there are many more features of Word that can easily make this brochure amazing:
- Mail Merge– you can add an address box and merge in your customers address so you can mail out the brochure.
- Diagrams– using word or excel you can create a diagram and insert it into the brochure – I often find a diagram can demonstrate a point much better than a lump of text
- Formatting – Word is a very powerful word processor and there simply isn’t enough room in this article to go into formatting – suffice to say that you can really create a rich, multimedia document using the tools available within Word.
As you can see from my final brochure I changed the formatting a little; I made the picture '3D', decided to go for a 'quote' rather than an 'About Me' in the main text Box and formatted the text. I didn't stick to the exact draft that I produced, but it really helped me when i began to design a brochure in Microsoft Word.
Other useful links:
- How to Make Cards on Microsoft Word
How to make cards, brochures and other documents using Microsoft Word templates.
- How to create a diagram in Excel using Smart Art
This article describes how to create a diagram in Excel using Smart Art. A diagram that looks professional can be a very useful tool in promoting a point within an article, or to explain a concept without...
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