Chapter 8 Letterheads and Templates in Microsoft Word

Create a Letterhead

In this section, you'll create a letterhead and turn it into a template so that you can use it anytime you want.

What is a Letterhead?

A letterhead is some form of design for your stationary. Typically, a name and address would be included in a letterhead, along with contact details. A logo is often incorporated into a letterhead. The one you're going to be designing is this one:
A letterhead on the right of a Word document
To design a letterhead like the one above, three elements were used: AutoShapes, a Textbox and a Line.
To make a start, click the Office button (or the File tab in Word 2010) and select New > Blank Document. Press the enter key on your keyboard. Keep it held down and let go about halfway down the blank page, thus giving yourself some working space.
We'll add the pyramid logo first.
The pyramid is one of the built-in clip art pieces. To add it, select the Insert tab from the Word ribbon. Click Clip Art on the Illustrations panel. From the Search in menu on the right, select the AutoShapes item in Word 2007:
The Clip Art panel
Then click the Go button to display the AutoShapes. You should see the pyramid shape amongst them:
Select a piece of clip art
In Word 2010 select the Illustration category. The pyramid is about a third of the way down.
Click on the pyramid with your left mouse button. The shape will then be inserted onto your blank page. However, it will be a bit big. Use the sizing handles to resize it. Or click the Format tab at the top of Word. From the Size panel, enter 3 cm for the height and 4.5 cm for the width. (In inches the figures are 1.18 and 1.77.)
Hold your left mouse button down on the shape and drag it towards the middle somewhere (we'll reposition it later). Deselect your shape by clicking anywhere else on the page. You should have no sizing handles around your pyramid before continuing.

Text Boxes

We'll add the address to a text box, that way it can be moved around the page.
To add a text box to your page, make sure your Insert tab is select at the top of Word. Locate the Text panel and click the Text Box item:
The Text Box item on the Text panel in Word 2007 and Word 2010
When you click the Text item, you'll see a menu appear. This one:
The Text Box menu
Select the first item, Simple Text Box.
When you click on a text box, it should appear on the page with some default text inside it:
A default text box
Delete the default text and type an address in it:
An address added to a text box
One thing you may notice is that there is too much space between each line of text. To reduce the space, highlight all of the address. Now right click on the highlighted area. From menu that appears, select Paragraph:
The Paragraph menu
You will then see a dialogue box appear:
From the Paragraph dialogue box, select the option at the bottom "Don't add space between paragraphs of the same style":
The Paragraph dialogue box
Click OK when you have a check mark in the box. You will then find that the line space in your text box will be reduced.
With the text still selected, centre it in the normal way (from the Home menu).
Your page should now look like this:
An address centred in a text box
We now need to get rid of the lines around the text box.
Click inside of your text box to select it. If your Format menu at the top of Word is not showing, click on that to select it as well. From the Format menu locate the Text Box Styles panel (Word 2010 will say Shape Styles instead). Then click the Shape Outline item:
The Text Box Styles panel in Word 2007
From the menu that appears, click on No Outline:
The Shape Outline menu
The lines around your text box will then disappear.
(The text box itself actually has a white background. To get rid of it, or choose a different colour, you would do so from the Shape Fill menu. Select No Fill for a transparent background, or select a colour from the list.)
Click inside of your text box to select it, if it's not already selected. Now click on any of the sizing handles. Once you do that, you be able drag your text box into position below your pyramid. You can also hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard, and then press an arrow key to move your text box around.
Once your text box is in position, your page should look something like this:
The outline has been removed from the text box
To add the line, select either your pyramid or text box. The Format menu should appear again. Locate the Insert Shapes panel on the left, and the diagonal line:
Hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard. Now draw out a straight vertical line on your page. (Holding down the CTRL key constrains the line.)
A line added to the letterhead
Make your line about the same height as the text box and pyramid combined. If your line is too big or too small, hold down your left mouse button on one of the green circles at the top and bottom of the line. Keep the mouse button held down and drag to resize your line. (If you can't see the two circles on the end, click anywhere on your line to select it.)
You can also use the Size panel on the Format menu to change the height of your line. Enter a figure of 5.8 cm (2.28 inches) for the height, and leave the width on 0.
With your line still selected, use the CTRL and arrow keys to move your line closer your text box.
To change the colour of the line, use the Shape Outline menu again.
Also on the Shape Outline menu is a Weight item. Click on this to see the different line sizes you can use. In the image below we've chosen a weight of 1½ points:
Line Weight menu
When you've chosen a colour and weight for your line, your page should look something like ours below:
The final logo
At the moment, all three items are separate. So click each one to select them (hold your CTRL key down while left clicking the objects). For the text box, you need to click inside of it, then click the sizing handles. It's best if you select the text box first.
Once you've selected all three objects, group them together like you did in the last section (From the Format > Arrange menu.)

Adding columns to a page

Before moving our new letterhead logo into position, we can set up some columns at the top. That way, the logo can go in the right column and you'll be able to type in the left one. If that's not too clear, don't worry - you'll see how it works.
To add columns to just the top of your page, hold your left mouse button at the top left of your page. Keep it held down and select to about a quarter of the page, as in the image below:
A selected area at the top of the page
With the selection made, click the Page Layout tab at the top of Word. Locate thePage Setup panel and the Columns item:
The Columns item on the Page Setup panel in Word 2007 and Word 2010
When you click on Columns a menu will appear. This one:
The Columns menu
Select Two from the menu. Two columns will then be set up on your page, but just for the area you selected. To test this out, drag your new logo to the top right. Now click on the top left of your page. You should see something like this:
The logo has been dragged to the right-hand column
Note the ruler bar at the top. The white areas are your two columns. (If you can't see a ruler, click the View tab at the top of Word, then select Ruler from the Show/Hidepanel.)
If you now click halfway down the page the two columns will disappear. What this means is that you can have your logo on the right, and a send-to address on the left. Outside of the columns, you can type a letter across the full width of the page. The image below shows this in action:
A letter with the address in the left column and a logo in the right column
As you can see, our logo is on the right and an address on the left. The text of the letter stretches across the page.

Now that you have your page setup the way you want it, you can save this as a template, so that you can reuse it whenever you want. 

Saving Word documents as a template

Saving a document as a Word template is fairly straightforward in Office 2007 or 2010. So, from the round Office button in the top left of Word 2007, select Save As. You should the following options appear:
The Save As > Template menu in Word 2007
Click on Word Template from the list and you'll see the Save As dialogue box appear:
In Word 2010, click on the File tab, then the Save As item from the left menu. You'll see the same dialogue box as above. Click the Templates item in the top left of the dialogue box.

The first thing to notice is which folder we have switched to. (This dialogue box is from Windows 7, but Vista users should see more or less the same thing.) If you look in the top left of the dialogue box you will see an item for Microsoft Office Word. Underneath this is a Templates folder. The Templates folder is the one we have selected.
When you have selected the folder, you should see the area to the right change. Ours has two folders, Document Themes, and SmartArt Graphics. Word 2010 users will also see a LiveContent folder.
The second thing to notice is the File Name and Save as Type areas at the bottom of the dialogue box. The Save as Type area says "Word Template". In round brackets you can see the Type of file it is - a DOTX file. The DOTX signifies a template file. If yours says DOCX instead of DOTX then click on the Save as Typebox to see the file type menu. Select DOTX from the list:
The Save As Type menu showing the Word Template item
For the file name we have typed letterhead. But you can call it anything you like. Note that the extension is also showing - letterhead.dotx.
(If you can't see a file extension then see this tutorial on our site:
Once you have chosen a file name, click the Save button at the bottom.
To check if it worked, click the round Office button in the top left (Word 2007). Click New and a dialogue box should appear:
The New Document dialogue box in Word 2007
From the left, under Templates, click on My Templates.

In Word 2010, click the File tab then the New item on the left menu. Then click onMy Templates from the ones that appear:
My Templates in Word 2010
In both version, when you click on My Templates, you will see another dialogue box appear. This one:
The New Templates dialogue box
You should then see the template you have created, letterhead.dotx in our case. Click this item to select it, and then the OK button at the bottom of the dialogue box. You will then have a new letterhead document, complete with the logo you created.
And that's just about it for templates. You should now be able to create a template from any Word document that you create.
Before we leave the subject, however, be aware of all the inbuilt templates that you can use. If you click on Installed Templates instead of My Templates, you'll see the ones immediately available to you, ready to adapt to your own needs. There are also a lot of templates available under the heading Microsoft Office Online, Templates in Word 2010. These are ones that you download from the internet. Again, you can adapt them to your own needs.

In the next section you'll learn about Mail Merge in Microsoft Word.