Make Christmas cards in word

Send Christmas cheer: create greeting cards with your own personalised touch.
 
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  • Updated:25 Nov 2008
 

01 .Where to start

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You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on home publishing software to design your own greeting cards – if you keep it simple, you can get away with using a word processor and a few extras:

  • A colour inkjet printer.
  • Extra thick paper or card available from stationery and computer stores.
  • Photo editing or home publishing software if you want to combine a number of images for your card.

Finding pictures

Before you start, you'll need a suitable image in digital form. If you're using Microsoft Word, it's far easier to stick with a single image. If you want to be more creative and combine two or more pictures, use dedicated photo editing software to modify the image, then import it into Word.

To print well, the image needs to be of a reasonable quality – a resolution of about 150 dots per inch (dpi) has enough detail to make your prints look smooth.

To check the resolution of your picture

  • Click on Start, and select All Programs, then Accessories.
  • Click on Paint to open Microsoft Paint program.
  • Open the image file.
  • From the Image menu, select Attributes.
  • Check the dots per inch under Resolution.

In addition to your image, you may want add a clipart border. Word includes some artwork, but there's more for download at http://office.microsoft.com.

To view available clipart

From the Insert menu, select Picture then Clipart.

It could take some time to view the whole list, so if you're after something specific, type a keyword such as 'Christmas' into the search function.

There are also lots of photos available online - try searching the image library at www.google.com.au - but remember that most images are subject to copyright, so be sure to ask permission before using them. Many people are happy for you to use their artwork for a personal project such as a greeting card, provided you ask first.

 
 

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Once you've located some suitable images, the simplest way to put your card together is using a template. Templates make printing easier, because the boundaries are set up for you.

To use a Microsoft template, head to officeupdate.microsoft.com/templategallery. Enter keywords, such as 'Christmas', into the templates search box at the top of the page and click on either your search results or a category to see a preview, then download the template.

Once the template is downloaded, open the file in Word.

To use your own image, select the picture in the template by clicking on it, then press delete.

Now insert your own image:

  • From the Insert menu, select Picture then From File
  • Locate the image you want to use and click Insert.
    Or, if you want to add clipart
  • From the Insert menu, select Picture then Clipart
  • Locate the clipart you want to use and click Insert.

Adjusting your picture

Depending on the orientation of the template, you may need to rotate your picture:

  • From the View menu, under Toolbars select Picture.
  • Select your image - a border should appear around it
  • Click the Rotate Left button
    Rotate left
    until it's in the right position.

    Tool bar

    If your image is the wrong size, adjust it:
  • Select your image then move your mouse over the bottom right corner until you see a diagonal arrow
  • click and drag the image up and left to shrink it, or down and to the right to enlarge it.
    You may also want to alter the brightness or contrast of your picture:
  • From the View menu, under Toolbars select Picture.
  • Select your image - a border should appear around it
  • Click the increase or decrease brightness buttons

    to lighten or darken your image.
    Use the contrast buttons
    shading
    to adjust relative colour shading.

Once your image is in place, it's time to focus on your greeting. Some Microsoft templates have built-in text, but the colour, size, shape or placement may not suit your image.

To change the colour or size of text, click to select it - a border should appear. Then:

  • From the Format menu, select Font
  • Under Size, select a size from the list
  • Under Font color, use the drop down box to select a colour.

You can change the font type too.

To move your greeting, hover your mouse over the edge of the text box until a four-headed arrow appears, then click and drag it to its new location. Alter the layout of your greeting by changing the shape of your text box - drag it up, down, left or right.

If you want something a little fancier, WordArt is a block of text that follows a diagonal line, a curve or a circle, for example:

  • From the Insert menu, select Picture, then WordArt
  • Select a style, then type your text in the pop up window and select a font and size.

To change the text you’ve added, its shape or direction, use the WordArt toolbar:
Tool bar

  • From the View menu
  • Select Toolbars and choose WordArt.

Internal words

To insert text for the inside of the card, you'll need to create a separate file using the same template so that your message appears in the right spot:

  • From the File menu, choose Save as
  • Save your template under a different file name
  • Delete the image and write your greeting in a text box
  • Adjust its placement and size as needed.                            

Finally, to create your card you'll need to first print the cover image on one side of your paper, then re-insert the paper into your printer and print the second file to add the inside message. This may take a bit of fiddling to get right, so try it on ordinary paper first to save wasting quality card.
Options                            Screen shot

Hints and tips

  • If your text suddenly disappears, you may have accidentally moved it beside or under an image. To fix this, select your image, click the Text Wrapping button and ensure that your image has Behind Text selected.
  • Your only limitation when designing stationery is the version of Word you use - Word XP's handy Drawing Canvas provides more flexibility for positioning and adding images.