Do Desktop Publishing with Microsoft Word

While Microsoft Word is still first and foremost a word processor, it is frequently used to create publications normally created by page layout programs. For some users, it may be the only desktop publishing tool they need. Designers may cringe at the thought of designing in a word processor, but within reason it is possible.

Designed primarily for text-focused documents, Word and other word processors can still be used for combining text and graphics into fliers, brochures, newsletters, or business cards.

Today many businesses require that their everyday forms such as letterhead, fax sheets, internal and external forms be in the Word .doc format.

If you or a client requires .doc compatible digital files, don't dispair. Work within the program's capabilities to use Word for some desktop publishing. However, be aware of the limitations as well — especially when it comes to full-color or high-volume commercial printing.

  • Use Microsoft Word for creating documents for printing to a desktop or network printer.
  • Do not use Microsoft Word, WordArt, or other components of Microsoft Office for creating logos.
  • If the document must be created in Word and must be commercially-printed, work with a service that specializes in printing Word documents, learn the limitations of the format, and learn how to prepare digital files for commercial printing and the proper use of TIFF and EPS graphics.

Need to move beyond the word processor?

Find the best software for desktop publishing.

Pick Your Path to Desktop Publishing
Get Started:Basic Guidelines and Requirements for Desktop Publishing
Choose Software:Desktop Publishing and Design Software
Tips & Tutorials:How to Do Desktop Publishing
Training, Education, Jobs:Careers in Desktop Publishing
In the Classroom:Back to School With Desktop Publishing
Make Something:Things to Make Using Desktop Publishing
Use Templates:Templates for Print and Web Publishing