Casual Friday: Making eye-catching signs in Word

Most people think of Microsoft Word as an application for authoring business documents, but it can be used to send all sorts of messages – including reminders to turn off the office coffee pot when you pour the last cup of the day, ensure the new pet sitter knows to keep your indoor animals away from the front door, or warn people whose cars block your driveway that the tow truck is on its way.

Whatever the message, you normally start with a blank page. Type your message and then try it at a size of 72:

Font size

That’s the largest on the dropdown list of font sizes, but you can use whatever value you want (up to 1638). So if 72 is too big or too small, adjust the font size by manually entering a value into the box and hitting Enter until you reach the point where the message fits perfectly without breaking onto a second page:

Sign: Please Move Your Car Before It's Towed

Most signs look better centered, though you can experiment with the layout until you find the one that’s right for you. If you need to center the text vertically on the page, there's a Vertical alignment setting hidden on the Page Setup dialog (found in File, Print in Office 2010):

Page Setup

Or you can always adjust the top margin or add a blank line set to a different font size at the top to push down your text.

You may also want to try different fonts, though always make sure that the text is legible (get a second opinion if you’re not sure!). Fancy script may look pretty (and in some cases may be appropriate), but you want your message to be clear and easily readable too or it may prove less effective:

Sign: Cats should Not Go In Basement

If you want to get even fancier, you can add a nice border:

Sign: Please turn off coffee pot

Just go to the Page Layout tab and click the Page Borders button:

Page Borders button

Now select a line Style and Width, or maybe go to the Art dropdown for some fancier choices:

Borders and Shading

And if you’re planning the office Haunted House for the Halloween party later this year, you can easily make signs for that too – at least, you can if you have a nice selection of spooky fonts like this one (it’s Batik Regular):

Sign: Abandon all hope ye who enter here

Whatever your project, save your work in a folder where you can quickly find it. Otherwise, you’ll just have to make a new sign from scratch the next time someone blocks your driveway or you need to break in a new pet sitter.


Comments (1)

  1. luvRbunny3 says:

    Thank you!! This really helped me out with an assignment I had

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