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Old 12-12-11, 00:10   #1
 
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No Icon Design & Print Your Own Christmas Cards in MS Word

For Christmas Card creating fun and a great way to use your new fonts see our Microsoft Word Christmas Card project series here.


Design and Print Your Own Christmas Cards on MS Word, Part 1







Looking for a little DIY fun this Special Season? Open up familiar tool MS Word and create simple, beautiful Christmas cards, and impress your family with your crafting skills.

This is the first part of a two part article. In this first section, we’ll tackle design in MS Word. In our second, we’ll cover supplies and proper printing methods to get a great look out of your dusty old inkjet.


Go Beyond Microsoft Clipart!









One of the common mistakes of designing in Word is looking in the “Clipart” menu for graphics. While this can sometimes work, word will allow you to use many kinds of graphics as part of your artwork.
One great resource for great images is the Flickr Creative Commons. By doing an Advanced Search, you can search through hundreds of user photos narrowed by license.









Go to the search on Flickr.com and choose the “Advanced search, or simply visit this link to go directly there.






Use any search criteria you like. “Christmas” as a search term worked wonders for me. Simply ensure you have Creative-Commons content checked in the illustrated part of the menu. Support Free Culture!









Another good resource is DoverPublications.com, a company that sells edited
collections of public domain graphics and illustrations as clipart. They have an email newsletter with free content, often appropriate for these sorts of DIY projects.












While not all of the art is useful, it is surprising how high quality some of it is. Dover books are often very cheap, and other than the annoyance of putting up with their newsletter, their clipart samplers are free.


Designing the Card in Word








The initial step is to create a Landscape- oriented document that’ll print us a Half-Fold card on a regular 8.5” x 11” piece of paper. You can do this by going to “Page Layout” and adjusting the margins, setting a large margin on your left side to accommodate a left folding card. You can either create this yourself, or simply download this How-To Geek Template and save yourself the effort.








Our First task is to add some of our photographs and clipart pics. Navigate to Insert > Picture as illustrated above.






Pick the image that suits you best. You’ll have a lot more quality images to pick from if you use high quality images from Flickr or other sources, rather than clipart.


Your image is added and automatically resized to fit your margins, but let’s add some treatments to make our card look more full and rich.


Select the image with your mouse, then navigate to the area of your ribbon called “Picture Tools.”


Picture tools should look something similar to this illustration.


You’ll see an area marked “Picture Styles.” Click the drop-down tab, and pick one that suits you and your image. “Soft Edge Rectangle,” shown here, seems a good choice for a warm, fuzzy Christmas card.


When you’re done, use your arrow keys to move your cursor to the top of your image and begin typing the message you want your card to say.


Default font Calibri is not a terribly festive typeface, so use your mouse to select your text and navigate to “Home” to change the font.


The font pictured above is Vivaldi. Use whatever fonts you have or want to take the time to install.


The greeting in the font seemed too bold and out of place compared to the rest of our card front. By shrinking the point size in the home menu, we can see it becomes less gaudy and more understated.




will create a page break to continue to the inside of your Christmas Card, or simply scroll down to the new page.


Word will use your last font by default. Keep in mind, it may not be the one you want to use!


Using various point sizes, small and large, can add emphasis to some words over others. You can edit point sizes on the “Home” menu of your ribbon.


Navigate to Insert > Picture if you care to add another image to the inside of your card.


Returning to “Picture Tools,” you can select a handsome “Picture Style” for your inside art.


The above is “Reflected Rounded Rectangle.”




Adding some simple text below the image rounds the design out simply and nicely. You may need to shrink and blow up your pictures and lines of text in order to ensure everything you want fits onto your card front and inside. It may be frustrating, but a little DIY Holiday Cheer will prove to be worth it, in the end.

Eric Goodnight

Continued with Part 2 of the MS Word Christmas Card project, where we show how to use nice paper stock and clever printing to turn your MS Word Masterpiece into a card that is sure to impress your whole family.


Image Credits: Christmas Star by brockvicky, released under Creative Commons. Christmas Time by *L*u*z*A*, released under Creative Commons. Dover Clipart assumed fair use.


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Old 12-12-11, 00:17   #2
 
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Default Design and Print Your Own Christmas Cards in MS Word

Design and Print Your Own Christmas Cards in MS Word, Part 2: How to Print








Creating greeting cards can be a lot of DIY fun around the holidays, but printing them can often be a nightmare. This simple How-To will show you how to figure out how to perfectly print your half fold card.
If you have already made your Christmas card and are struggling to get it printed right, then this simple How-To is for you.


Using Avery Pre-Made Cards









While there is no need to buy card kits, Avery makes blank half-fold cards for this specific purpose. This one in particular (note the product number 3251 in the corner) is an excellent choice because the paper is textured, complete with a handsome deckled edge that will give your cards a handmade feel.










On a side note, Avery offers templates for these products on their website for free download. These are poor, difficult templates to use. If you have not made your card yet, download the How-To Geek Greeting Card Template rather than using the Avery half-fold templates.


Printing Cards in an Inkjet








The problem with printing anything two sided is ensuring that your front and back are aligned properly or that your front and back are printed on the same side.
You’ll want to grab a blank piece of standard printer paper and draw an “A” on one of the sides, with a simulated space for the front.






Open your finished card and press

to print your first page.


You’ll want to select “Current Page” or manually input “1” under the radial selection “Pages.” This will ensure that you print only the front of your card. Click “OK.”


You may get this dialog box when you print. Hit “Yes” and ignore it to print anyway.




In order to test how your printer picks up the paper to print, insert the drawn on page into the printer in any way you choose. Illustrated here, the “A” side is inserted into the machine, with the intended “Front” side sticking out, facing upwards.




Failure! The “A” side is facing downward, and the printer has created the Front image on the back of our intended front.


We see here that the front image is clearly on the opposite side of our intended front. From this, we can learn that this particular printer flips the page to print. Your printer may operate differently, so do this test and draw your own conclusions.


Create another page, this time with a simulated inside opposite the “A” side, and a “B” side opposite the Front. For this particular printer, I insert the “A” side into the printer, with the “A” facing down, as the printer flips the page.


Success! The front image prints on the intended front.


From this lesson, I know that in order to print my inside, I have to run the “B” side (in reverse on the right of the printed front) upside down and with it facing into the printer.


Pop back into word and navigate to the inside of your card again.


With the second page selected, select the “Current Page” radial, or simply the “Pages” and input 2 to print the second page.


With side B going into the printer face down, we are ready to run our print. Remember, your printer may handle pages differently—simply use this method to figure out how it handles pages.


Success again! The inside prints on the intended inside. With this particular printer, we learn that to print our inside, we have to insert our card front into the paper tray, with the unprinted side facing down.


You can see the front and back through the thin printer paper, illustrating how you want your final image to look. Note the “B” side on the back of the card front, and the reversed “A” on the back of the card inside.


If your card or paper has a pre-scored fold, you’ll want to make sure it is inserted so that your card folds correctly. Armed with this understanding of your printer, this should not be difficult.


The pre-made card is inserted into the printer, with the front facing downwards and out of the paper tray.




The final result? A Christmas card you can send to anyone, made with simple MS Word, and printable on practically any desktop printer. Happy Christmas, and good luck printing!

.
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