Create Letterhead Templates in MS Word.

WordDesign.gif


You’ve designed a new logo, identity, and business papers for a good client. It looks great. They are happy. Then a simple request derails everything:

“Can I get a copy of my new letterhead to use in Microsoft Word?”

That seemingly innocent question has driven more than one designer to distraction. While this week’s creative tip won’t win people over to designing in Microsoft Word full-time, we can help make this client request a little easier to accomplish.


The key to designing a letterhead template that maintains the look of your printed business papers is to use Microsoft Word’s absolute position option when placing images.

Here is a quick four step tutorial.

Step 1: In a Microsoft Word document, choose Insert > Picture > From File…

Place the images for your logo one at a time. Prepare them beforehand at the size and resolution you need, and save them as PNG files (read Save logos in PNG format for use in PowerPoint.)

Tip: Keep the Word document file size smaller by using several individual images instead of one large one. In the case of our example, the logo itself is a 300ppi color PNG, while the address type is a black and white 600ppi graphic for greater detail when printing.

Step 2: Control-click on the placed image and choose Format Picture from the pop-up menu.

Word-FormatPicture.gif

Step 3: Select a wrapping style of “Behind text” and click Advanced.

Word-Layout.png

Step 4: In Advanced Layout, set an Absolute position for your graphic.

Word-Advanced.png

This Advanced Layout dialog box allows you to position your placed graphics in relationship to the page itself. In our case, the main logo is placed 6.625 inches to the right of the page (Word rounds up to 6.63).

Tip: Switch back to the graphic program that was used to create the original letterhead to check these measurements.

Congratulations. Once you’ve placed all your graphics, test printing your resulting files from a couple different computers (email it to a PC-savvy friend if you don’t have Word for Windows). Once you’ve tested the results, save the resulting document as a Microsoft Word template and send it on to your client to enjoy.

Bonus: Place your graphics into the document’s header to prevent meddling.

If you don’t want your clients accidentally repositioning or changing your placed graphics, an easy technique is to place the graphics into the document header (choose View > Header and Footer).

Even though the header is at the top of the page, our use of absolute positioning allows you to place the graphics anywhere on the page they are needed.

Download our example file:

Word Template Example.doc

Source: This tip inspired by a recent phone troubleshooting session with Hammerquist & Nebeker (a CreativeTechs Priority Support client).

Comments

  1. Sur says

    Hi..Very good answer .. But I am facing certain problems.
    1. After saving it as a template i want that the picture shall not move at all .. but i am able 2 delete it & move it by dragging it through, which I want should not happen.
    2. I have my letter head to be like .. Picture(LOGO) at the Top & adress, phone no.s etc . in the bottom .. How do i do that ? And they shall also not move while my typing text in the document.

  2. zDoePurplerdd says

    With thanks and Please keep updating your Blog. I will probably be stopping by every single time you do .

  3. Patty Meier says

    I have successfully placed the letterhead info in the header and footer. It prints beautifully. Now, I have a new question. Can the header and footer be locked down to “stay” on the document without toggling the View Header and Footer tab?

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  6. says

    For a few years now I’ve been successfully creating MS Word templates for clients, every few months, based on InDesign files I’ve first created for offset printing – essentially putting a full-pageTIF or PNG file into the header, sizing and positioning it properly (even adding a ‘second sheet’ too). It’s been working fine until today. The remote client says that from her laser printer (with all new toner cartridges) the colors look weak, almost like the always-faded onscreen MS Word template’s appearance. Yet from my inkjet, as well as from a colleague’s laser, print out is fine. :^[

  7. says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Getting letterheads to work in Word has been a huge thorn in my side. Who would have thought absolute positioning would be such a savior? Hours of wasted time cursing at the program, now averted — in this one situation, anyway:)

  8. says

    I’ve only wanted to know how to do this for… hmm… 7 years! Yay! It took me about 20 mins to go through this Tute, resulting in a very accurate letterhead for a new client (based on my Adobe InDesign CS3 original). As we say in advertising… “Love Your Work!”

    Trev ];~)>

  9. Andrea says

    Does anyone know a way of creating a one page letterhead where the body of the letter starts at a certain point on the page but then moves up as the letter gets longer?

  10. Rochelle says

    Wow – this BLOG is very helpful. Has anyone been able to supply a solution to prevent logos saved as headers from appearing shaded onscreen? Thanks

  11. E Brownlee says

    I think I followed all the steps in the tutorial (including the comments below it) and my letterhead images are only appearing on the LAST of any given page in a test document. They just jump to the last as I continue to type, leaving all the pages before it suddenly blank. Any help? Thanks so much for the advice so far!

  12. says

    I am going to make some suggestions for a few questions raised and hopefully they will be of assistance, no guarantees :-)

    Ralph: Try and change your preferences/options (sorry I’m on a Mac and can’t remember the PC menus in Word) so that it doesn’t print graphics/images. It may still print text in your header but not the image maybe?

    Heather: Similarly, check your preferences under the View options for drawing objects – not sure if that is the problem, but I’m thinking there may be a setting that is preventing the logo from showing since it prints.

    Charles: Hard to pinpoint without the document, but have you inserted a section break on page 1? If that is being pushed over the page when you type, then your page 2 header becomes a page 3 header. You only need to have the ‘different first page’ option checked in your Header/Footer and no section break and the logo will appear on page 1 and not page 2. That’s in my experience anyway, but like I said, no guarantees.

    Hope this may be of help or at least point you in the right direction. Sorry if it’s just a load of hot air!

  13. Charles Tremewen says

    Hi – We have created the letterhead making the first page of the letter head different than the second (didn’t want the logo on second page) and saved it as a template. When we go to use it we can not get the second page to function properly. When we type a full page on page one and continue to page two the rules we set for the first page special do not function and we get the logo appearing on the top of the second page. We are frustrated. Anyone got a fix to make sure we get our second page to function as it should?

  14. Heather says

    I was able to convert my InDesign letterhead into word by putting the graphics in the header. But now, when I open the .dot template on another computer the header (logo) isn’t visible. It does appear when I print it, but just not on screen. Does anyone know a solution?

    Thanks!!

  15. Mike Orrell says

    I have a logo on my club letter head how do I transfer it to my pc in to word and make a new letter head. Please help
    Kind regards Mike Orrell.

  16. Ralph says

    Is there anyway to choose whether or not Word prints the Header containing the letterhead? Whenn I use my letterhead doc, sometimes I want to turn off the header when printing on my preprinted stationary. But normally, I want it displayed when printing to plain paper or creating a PDF.

    I guess I can just delete the header containing the letterhead and then print. Then I can just make sure I ctl-z it back once finished. But that seems rather cumbersome.

  17. says

    Thanks for this tutorial, I have been trying different ways of doing this for my clients and could never get it quite right – this worked perfectly though!

  18. says

    Thanks for the great tutorial. Just a quick question – Lets say you have a horizontally placed graphic that is supposed to span from left edge of the paper to the right edge, but when you print out the created letter head the image has small equal margins on the left and right. How do you get rid of these margins and get the horizontal graphic to span all through?

  19. says

    Great Tips,
    I have the same issue as a previous poster. I want my word template to be locked from editing.

    I want my users to add text into a table (or another way) and the cells cannot move or increase in size. The print will be visible through a plastic mask with areas cut out. I want it turnkey and simple, is there a way to achieve this Word or do I need custom Word programming? If yes any referrals? Thank You.

  20. Anil says

    Hi friends,

    I am trying to make letter head using 2009, but at the footer i am unable to make it to zero, i am getting space below footer part, i made the margins to zero still i am unable to get it ..can any body suggest me in this regard.

    9885222024

  21. Ankur Tyagi says

    Hi

    I have a problem with letterhead in microsoft word, as when i insert a letterhead in ms word from other files then it come up nicely but when i save that it lose its brightness and looks colour fade.Please help me if anybody can.

  22. jennifer says

    Thanks for all the how to! I’m lost in Word but my client wants the letterhead I created in InDesign as electronic letterhead. A few issues: It’s a fairly detailed layout with fades top and bottom, b/w image running full length of left side, and a logo that need to silhouette on top of top fade. This makes importing each element a challenge and from what I can see of Word, difficult to patch together accurately. When I save the whole page as png, it imports at reduced size, so enlarging breaks down the quality. Or is that the png? Is PDF saved as TIFF better?

    Also, I’m still unclear as to how to keep the letterhead unmodifiable by anyone using it as template. I’ve set it to run behind text, but how do I set up margins for the text that don’t affect the letterhead?

    Any help will be MUCH appreciated! Thanks.

  23. LaLena Prior says

    This was absolutely wonderful! I’ve tried and failed at making a template a couple times before, so I am so greatful to have come across this tutorial. Your terrific!

  24. Saz says

    I thought as much, thanks. I think my client will end up just taking it to a printer anyway, but he wants it in word incase he needs to send a document by email. Thanks.

  25. says

    Hi Saz,

    This is an ongoing issue for many people. Unfortunately it is more due to the printer than the document. Even if you have a pdf document that shows on screen to the edges, if your printer doesn’t have borderless printing you may not be able to get around it.

    Only thing that may help is to have a pdf or InDesign document that goes all the way to the edge, have it printed through a printing business in bulk (to reduce costs) and then make templates to fit into that when printing. Of course, they could invest in a printer that has borderless printing options. I only have a little HP Officejet and it has the option, but our laser printer doesn’t so can’t help with recommendations on that front.

    If anyone else has suggestions I’d love to hear them also as I’ve had clients that want their images going to the edges.

    Good luck!

  26. Saz says

    Hi guys, back again, but I have a bit of an issue. My client wants to be able to print their letterhead off, without any margins. you see my footer is coral running along the base, and he wants it printing to the very edge of the paper. I’ve tried all sorts to get this right, but my basic knowledge of words headers/footers prevents me from getting what I want.
    Please help, much appreciated.

  27. Saz says

    This was the best tip I’ve come across in a long time! I knew it could be done but wasn’t sure how and this easy guide helped a great deal, especially the tip about making it as a header, marvellous!!

  28. Elmo says

    Carol, I’m no expert, but there are so many variables when working with print. Some of these are:
    Colour shown on
    -your screen
    -client’s screen
    -husband’s screen
    You can choose to calibrate your screen with a tool such as those made by Spyder or the like, so that your screen matches the “crimson red” that you choose in a certain program. Then you need to worry about your printer also…

    Basically, yellow will never be the same between different printers, monitors, and even sometimes the program you use will show colours differently also.

    Unfortunately there is no uniform standard here.

  29. Carol says

    Hi,

    I’ve just completed a Word template for the first time for a client adapted from CS via Illustrator as suggested by Her Geekness (Creative Pro.com) – same method as described here. All appears fine on my husband’s office printer running with a PC network but when my client prints the file out the colours are very different. Much less red in them, the fine grey print appears pale blue and the sunny yellow is a paler more acid colour.
    Does anyone know if this is likely to be directly caused by their printer or if they’re using a different version of Word? the template was put together in Word 03

  30. says

    Hello,
    Thank you for the tips! I downloaded your template and I can’t figure out how you locked the header on the right hand side. I’m trying to create a letterhead in Word that not only locks, but doesn’t have the border handles. It’s almost as if it’s appearing on a master page which is the effect I’m trying to get.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you :)

  31. says

    Hello and thanks for the great article. I am reasonably tech-savvy, but have no design skills, so I asked our designer to send me the graphics as described in the article above. She did, and I set up a template in Word. It looks great printed, but on screen, it looks bit-mappy — any thoughts on how to correct this? Many thanks!

  32. says

    Hi Kathy, Have you tried checking on the settings of the graphic to make sure that it is set to be ‘in front’ or ‘bring forward’ or even in front of text? I have had that before where everything looks great and then it disappears when I group the files or try to pdf. I’m on a Mac too, so hopefully it’s the format settings of the graphics causing you grief.

    Cheers,
    Marie

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