Category Archives: Microsoft Publisher

Creating Event Calendars for Busy Schedules

Spring will soon be in the air, and Lent is now upon us. Preparing for holy seasons presents a challenge to our editors, who must find a way to squeeze many special events and masses into the bulletin. What is the best way to convey important dates and church happenings to parishioners within a limited amount of space?  Depending on the type and amount of information, there are several layout options to consider.

Traditional Calendar Style

Calendar layouts are ideal for displaying very basic details.  The following example worked well because only the date, time, location, and event name were needed.  One limitation of using this method within Microsoft Publisher is that the table row height expands based on the amount of content in each cell.  In other words, unless the content is the same length for each day, the calendar’s rows may vary a bit in height.

Lent events calendar design

How To:

Creating a traditional calendar in Microsoft Publisher is not a straightforward process, but it can be done.  The calendar must be created manually by inserting a table into the document, with 7 columns and 6 rows.  Resize the top row to a shorter height, as that area will contain the days of the week.  Next, number each cell based on the dates within the calendar month.  To avoid confusion, enter all dates first, then go back and type in the events for each day.  See Microsoft Publisher’s Support website, or call an LPi Tech Support Representative if assistance is needed with table formatting.

Chronological Event List

Event lists work well when there are only a few events to note, and/or if the time span for activities is shorter than a month.  Alignment, color and white space can help organize the information, as demonstrated in the below example.

upcoming eventsUsing tabs to align the dates and events balances the information and improves readability.

How To:

Refer to “Keeping Tabs on Your Content”  or “Setting Tabs in Microsoft Publisher” for tips on how to create tabs.

Chronological Table

Tables featuring a row for each weekday are useful when there are several daily activities.  This layout offers extra room for event descriptions, if needed.

chronological table calendar layout

How To:

Create two separate tables, with 3 columns and 15 rows each.  Label the left column with days of the week.  Decrease the width of the middle column, and then type in the numerical date, working vertically down the table. Event descriptions can be placed in the right column.

Cluster Parish Events

Juggling multiple events for more than one church may seem daunting, but using a list or table format makes it possible.  Event lists can be organized by abbreviating the church names, with a clearly labeled key section.  The following is an example of a tabbed event list with key.

calendar with key tri parish

Table layouts may work better if each church has many events that are not shared with the other locations.  Simply include a separate column or row for each location. See the example below.

Lenten Calendar table

In summary, there are many potential ways to organize event information in a concise, readable manner.  Note that some of the above examples may require an intermediate to advanced level of skill with Microsoft Publisher.  Feel free to contact your local LPi tech support department if you need any assistance with tables or tabs.

Have any alternative methods or tips for managing your events/activity list, besides those mentioned above?  Please comment to share your thoughts. We are always interested in new ideas and suggestions!

Are you Linked into Linking?

If you use Publisher, Quark or InDesign to create your publication, one of the options you have when placing images is to link them to your publication file. But what does that mean and why would you choose to do that?

Generally speaking images files are large and take up lots of storage in your computer. When embedded in a Publisher, Quark or InDesign publication, the file you are working on becomes larger and takes more memory and hard drive space. In most circumstances this is an acceptable practice, and while it will make the program respond slower, the average computer used today is able to process data so quickly you will not likely notice. The same can be said for the space used by larger files in that most computers have very large hard drives and expansive amounts of RAM so that the effect of these larger files is rarely a issue to the average user.

This brings us back to the question of when is linking a good idea? Linking allows all high resolution image files to remain in one centralized location such as a server. This is commonly used at companies that work with high volumes of large image files such as newspapers or magazines. The files remain on the server and are not being copied to individual workstations across the company network slowing it down. When the document is finally ready for printing, proofing or final print, the software then finds the original high resolution image file and sends it to the printer.

The drawback to linking files to a page layout program is that, if the link is ever broken the high resolution file can no longer be used when you need to print it. When this occurs you will see a warning like the one in Microsoft Publisher. It states Publisher cannot find the following linked picture. It then lists the image that is missing. Publisher then offers up three options, find the linked picture and update it, print the low-resolution picture currently displayed in your publication, or print an empty space in place of the missing picture. In that instance you will always want to find the original file as printing the low resolution image or an empty space would only possibly be useful for proofreading.

As you can see, linking images is best avoided for the average user of page layout programs since it amounts to more confusion. Simply inserting the high resolution graphic is generally the best bet. The files you will find on LPi’s Art and Media Portal are all designed to keep the file sizes compact to allow for quicker downloading while at the same time making your bulletin or newsletter look great!

A Couple of MS Publisher Quick Tips

Connecting Text Boxes

A great trick to use when creating a publication in MS Publisher is to connect text boxes. You can insert text boxes on different sides of a page, or even different pages, and allow your text to continue and “spill over” from one text box to another.

Insert as many text boxes onto the publication as you need or want to use. Click inside the text box in which you want to start. Click the “Create Text Box Link” button, which looks like two linked chains, on the “Connect Text Boxes” toolbar. Your mouse pointer will change to a pitcher icon. Click inside the second text box. The boxes are now linked and any overflowing text will continue from the first box into the second. Repeat with as many text boxes as you require.

Text in Shapes

Another great trick to use when creating a publication in MS Publisher is to combine text and shapes. To put text on a shape, right click the shape and select “Add Text.” A cursor will appear on the shape and you can begin typing directly into it. To make the text fit the shape, right click the shape and select “Format AutoShape.” Go to the “Text Box” tab and select “Shrink Text on Overflow” and the text will shrink to fit the size of the shape.

A Graphic Arts Glossary #6

This is the sixth post in a series. Watch this blog during the months to come for further installments in this ongoing series.

The purpose of the series is to define key terms used in the graphic arts industry.

The sixth term in the series is font.

Font: a complete set of upper and lower case letters, numerals, punctuation marks, and symbols of one specific typeface, size and style. Arial Bold 12-point is an example of a font.

A typeface is a set of characters which share common design features. Garamond is an example of a typeface. With the advent of digital typesetting, the two words “font” and “typeface” have come to be used interchangeably.

A font family is a set of fonts related to a basic typeface. A font family includes bold, italic, and bold-italic styles plus a range of sizes, weights and widths.

The seventh term in the series will be grain.

“SPRING CLEAN-UP” FOR PUBLISHER FILES

By: John W. Parker

Aaaah… it’s Spring (OK, it’s not, but PRETEND it is…)! People everywhere are doing all those things they put off over the winter. While it’s nobody’s favorite, Spring Cleaning is on a lot of “to-do” lists. Just as with any living space, storage spot, or work area, it’s a good time for those using Publisher to check that grey “workspace” surrounding their nice clean bulletin pages. Is it a blizzard of articles, titles, pictures, lists, forms, and “stuff” milling around in dizzying disarray, crowding, burying, even choking your page?. Just like that overgrown, sprawling forsythia forest taking over the side yard, this collection of stuff needs a regular pruning!

While these items can be quite useful as you prepare the bulletin, they also increase your file size, which:

Makes opening, saving, printing and sending the file slower;

Produces annoying “missing picture” errors when printing (caused by any graphic which was NOT downloaded & inserted);

Increases the chances of inserting old, incorrect information; and

Makes it harder to find the good item(s) you are looking for.

Take a minute to open up your template and look at your workspace. See anything there that’s no longer needed? Outdated? On its umpteenth revision? Hiding under other “stuff” (or pushed out past Pluto, four page widths away)? Most who use Publisher would likely answer “Yes” to these questions.

The easiest way to address this is to look through the items and simply delete the ones you no longer use, and drag the remaining items in closer to your page. Another option might be to start a blank document, insert “good” items into it, and save that as a file to work from when you need to retrieve something. This could be organized into subject areas, such as Finances, Mass Info, Holidays, Community, Religious Education, Humor, etc., and edited as needed. Some editors also create a folder for all the pictures, covers and other graphics they download for use in their publications.

Finally, for those with Publisher 2007 or 2010, you can store these items right in your template. In Publisher 2007, it’s called the “Content Library” and is found under “Insert” on the Menu Bar. In Publisher 2010 it’s under “Page Parts”. For example, to create an item for the Pub 2007 “Content Library,” simply select a text box (remember to use “group” to include graphics), click Insert -> Add to Content Library, name your selection and choose a category, then click OK. To insert the selection, click Insert -> Item from Content Library; the Content Library will appear to the left of your page, showing “thumbnails” of the items, their titles, and information about each one. Find your item, and either double-click on it or click on the drop arrow for more options (including “delete” when it’s time to prune THIS collection!).

Customizing Microsoft Publisher 2010

Have you upgraded to Microsoft Publisher 2010 recently? Have you been tearing your hair out searching for those features which you used over and over again in the past? We’ve got just the thing for you.

As those of you who’ve upgraded to Publisher 2010 already know, Microsoft Corp. did away with the standard pull-down menu bar and toolbars and introduced the ribbon. All the old menu bar and toolbar options were redistributed among groups on a set of tabs going across the top of the ribbon.

Did you know that you can customize the ribbon? We’ve created a custom tab named “EBS” for “Express Bulletin Service,” set up some groups (e.g., “Character,” “Paragraph,” etc.) and added those functions which we thought you would use most frequently to the appropriate groups.

A screen shot of the ribbon with the custom EBS tab installed appears below:

NOTE: Various buttons on the ribbon may appear slightly different depending on your monitor size and screen resolution.

Want to install the custom EBS tab? Click here to download a copy of the EBS customization file. Save the file to your Desktop or a folder of your choice.

To install the custom EBS tab, do the following:

  1. Launch Microsoft Publisher 2010
  2. Create a new blank publication or open an existing publication
  3. Right-click anywhere on the ribbon
  4. Click on Customize the Ribbon…
  5. Pull down on Import/Export
  6. Click on Import customization file
  7. Use the dialog box to navigate to your Desktop or the folder where you saved the customization file
  8. Click on the customization file
  9. Click the Open button
  10. Click Yes in response to the prompt “Replace all existing Ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar customizations for this program?” (NOTE: Clicking “Yes” will delete any previously-applied customizations.)
  11. Click the OK button

The custom EBS tab should now appear as the first tab on the ribbon. Most of your work can be done from the EBS tab. The other tabs are still available and may be used for functions not appearing on the EBS tab.

After installing the custom EBS tab, the customization file may be deleted or saved for use another time.

Creating Calendars in Publisher

There are many occasions where you may find yourself in need of a calendar in your publication.  There are many different ways to accomplish this, but one quick relatively simple method is to simply use a table.

The first step to accomplish this would be to create a table.  This can be done a couple ways.  In older releases of Publisher you would click on the “Table” dropdown and chose Insert ->Table.  In newer versions there is an insert table option either on the quick access toolbar or under “Insert”.  As we are creating the table it will ask us for the number of rows and columns, for this we would set the columns as 5 or 7 depending on whether or not we are including weekends, and for rows we would want 1 more than the number of weeks in the month (So for the month of May we would chose 6.)

Now we have a table!  I know it’s not quite as exciting as I make it sound, but it is a start at least.  The next trick is turning that simple table into the calendar we want.  At this point we would want to take that table and resize it to fill the space we want for the calendar.  This can be done by clicking and dragging the bubbles at the sides and corners of the table.  Once we have the table resized we would want to scale down the very top row as this will be where we will input the days of the week.  This is accomplished by clicking and dragging the line at the bottom of that row.  Now we should have something that looks like the image to the right.

It’s a calendar!  Well, almost.  We’ve still got a couple small formatting things to do before we are done.  Next we need to place the solid lines separating each day on the calendar.  If we right click on the very edge of the table and chose “Format Table” it will bring up this window.  From here we should be able to click on the third preset option and this will place solid lines everywhere we had a dotted line before.  All that is left to do from here is to fill in the content, and just like that we have a calendar!

Coloring Objects in Microsoft Publisher 2010

If you’ve upgraded to Microsoft Publisher 2010, you may have encountered a problem with Publisher not retaining specific color values. The problem occurs when you right click an object and use the “Format <object type>” dialog box to specify particular CMYK values.

The workaround is to use the appropriate feature on the ribbon, e.g. the “Recolor” button in the “Adjust” group on the “Picture Tools / Format” tab.

Use the simple techniques listed below to avoid this problem:

  • To apply color to text, highlight the text and go Home > Font Color > More Colors… > Custom > CMYK and input the CMYK values or use the color picker.

  • To apply a colored shape outline (border), select the object and go Drawing Tools / Format > Shape Outline > More Outline Colors > Custom > CMYK and input the CMYK values or use the color picker.
  • To apply a colored shape fill, select the object and go Drawing Tools / Format > Shape Fill > More Fill Colors > Custom > CMYK and input the CMYK values or use the color picker.
  • To recolor an image, select the image and go Picture Tools / Format > Recolor > More Variations… > Color > More Colors… > Custom > CMYK and input the CMYK values or use the color picker.

Another workaround is to create a custom color scheme and use the swatches in the custom color scheme to apply the desired color. Follow the steps below to create a custom color scheme:

  1. On the Page Design tab, in the Schemes group, click the More arrow in the lower right-hand corner of the color schemes gallery.
  2. Click Create new color scheme.
  3. In the Create New Color Scheme dialog box, under New, click the arrow next to each color that you want to change and then select a new color.
  4. Type a name for your custom color scheme and then click Save.

Your custom color scheme is now the default color scheme. All objects in your publication that were filled with scheme colors are now filled with the colors in your custom color scheme. The colors that you selected can now be used as the scheme colors when selecting colors throughout your publication.

One word of caution: before creating a custom color scheme, check with you LPi technical support specialist to ensure that your color scheme is compatible with LPi printing standards.

<!–[if pub]> 281 7772400 10058400 259 261 257 276 262 279 1 0“““““““““““ 5 1 0 285 282 1 False 0 0 0 0 -1 304800 243 True 128 77 255 3175 3175 70 True True True True True 278 134217728 1 1 False -9999996.000000 -9999996.000000 8 2105633 2105633 130600 0 7621176 7621176 1030351848 160 4869066 4869066 1874219464 2 11961168 11961168 145854408 0 14413812 14413812 974396872 0 8079405 8079405 1801059240 0 6826870 6826870 2013201320 0 16777215 16777215 8 0 75 Office <![endif]–><!–[if pub]> 22860000 22860000 (`@““““` 266 263 5 110185200 110185200 <![endif]–>

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Keeping Tabs on Your Content

Looking for a neat way to keep things in line within your bulletin?  Give your space bar a break and consider using Tabs, a convenient method for organizing your information in a clean, easy-to-read format.  When set up correctly, all you need to do is press Tab on your keyboard, and Microsoft Publisher will automatically position your text in the location you want.  You have the option of lining everything up to the left side, right side, center, or at the decimal points.  Search for “Tabs” in Microsoft Publisher’s Help menu for more information and detailed instructions.

Tabs are very useful for laying out your mass times and intentions, activity schedules, contact information, and many types of lists and forms.  Check out the following examples and try these quick tutorials for your bulletin or newsletter!

3-Column Weekly Activity Schedule

List activities for the week, using columns for date, event, and time.

Before

After

Steps:

  1. Create a new text box with the heading “Upcoming Events.”
  2. Enter a date, then press tab.  Enter an event name, then press tab again.  Finally, enter the event time.  Press Return or Enter to begin a new line.
  3. For example, Type Nov. 27, then hit tab.  Type Choir, then hit tab.  Type 9:00 am.  Press Enter.   Repeat this process for several lines.
  4. Highlight all of the text you inserted, and then click Format, Tabs.
  5. Click Clear All to remove any previous formatting.
  6. Click in the field under Tab stop position.  Type 1.15 as your measurement.  This will determine the placement of your tab.
  7. Select Left alignment.
  8. Click Set to apply your selections to your highlighted content.
  9. Click in the Tab stop position field again, and type 3.5.
  10. Under Alignment, click Right.
  11. Click Set.
  12. Click Ok.  You’ll notice that your lines are now reformatted.  If things are not lining up the way you want, just start at step 3 again, and adjust your tab stop measurements and alignments as needed.

Contact Information

Use tabs and leaders to organize names and phone numbers so readers can easily find the specific information they need.

Before

After

Steps:

  1. Create a new text box with the heading “Contacts.”
  2. Type a first and last name, then hit tab.  Next, type that person’s phone number or extension.  Press Return or Enter to start a new line. Repeat this process on the next several lines, until you have typed all names and phone numbers.
  3. Highlight the text you inserted, and then click Format, Tabs.
  4. Click Clear All to remove any previous formatting.
  5. Click in the field under Tab stop position.  Type 3.3 as your measurement.  This will determine the placement of your tab.
  6. Select Right alignment.
  7. Under Leader, select Dot.
  8. Click Set to apply your selections to your highlighted content.
  9. Click Ok.  You’ll notice that your lines are now reformatted, and should include dots between the names and phone numbers.  If things are not lining up the way you want, just start at step 3 again, and adjust your tab stop measurements and alignments as needed.

Weekly Collections

Use the decimal alignment tab to position collection amounts in your Stewardship area.

Before

After

Steps:

  1. Create a new text box with the heading “Church Support.”
  2. Type “Previous Balance,” then press tab.  Type your previous balance amount in this format: $x,xxx.xx.  Hit Enter or Return to begin a new line. Type “Contributions,” then press tab.  Type your parish’s contribution amount in this format: $x,xxx.xx.  Hit Enter or Return to begin a new line.  Type “Total,” then press tab.  Type your total donation amount in this format: $x,xxx.xx.
  3. Highlight all the text you inserted, and then click Format, Tabs.
  4. Click Clear All to remove any previous formatting.
  5. Click in the field under Tab stop position.  Type 3.2 as your measurement.  This will determine the placement of your tab.
  6. Select Decimal alignment.*
  7. Under Leader, select Dot.
  8. Click Set to apply your selections to your highlighted content.
  9. Click Ok.  You’ll notice that your lines are now reformatted, and all numbers should be aligned at the decimal point.  If things are not lining up the way you want, just go back to step 3, and adjust your measurements and alignments as needed.

*You can also try using the right alignment setting for this example.

Although it may seem daunting at first, with just a little practice and some determination, you can master the above techniques and use them to make your publications more attractive and helpful for your readers!  Remember that all of the above examples can be adjusted to fit your needs.  For instance, if you typically use different categories for your church support section, name them accordingly.  Or, if you’d prefer a 2-column activity list, just create one set of tab stops, instead of two.

Have you tried using Tabs in your publications?  Please comment about your experiences.  Would you recommend Tabs, or is there a different method that works better for you? Share your tips and tricks!

Microsoft Publisher and Overflow

Co-Authored by Jeff Pelletier

Overflowing text boxes in Microsoft publisher tend to be a common problem as we always have so much to say but don’t always have enough room to write it.

Here are some helpful hints to alleviate some of these complications

Overflow text in Microsoft publisher is detected when you click on a text box and a small white box with three dots followed by a capital A is displayed. This tends to happen when text is copied and pasted into a text box that is too small, or when additional information is added in to the middle of a text box.

The most direct way of solving this problem is to simply resize your text box. You can do this by clicking onto your text box, it when then reveal small squares surrounding your selected text box left click and hold one of those small squares and drag it out to your desired direction to increase the size.  If there is not enough room on the page to adjust the text box size, other options such as font size as well as line and paragraph spacing can be adjusted to bring the information back into view.

Using these tools you should be able to fit everything you would like into your publication.