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Create Greeting Cards Quickly and Easily with InDesign

written by: cscribe2180•edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 2/18/2010

The holiday season is almost upon us, so it's time to start planning and creating this year's greeting cards. Here's an easy and economic way to create your own personalized greeting cards using basic document software, including Microsoft Word, Adobe InDesign, and Microsoft Publisher.

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    Greeting Cards Made Easy with a Template

    If the one thing you dread about the holiday season is sending all those greeting cards, know this holiday task doesn't have to be such a chore! You can easily make your own greeting cards by setting up a simple template within your own desktop publishing program or even within Microsoft Word by following these simple steps.

    First, open up your desktop publishing program and create a new document. Your greeting card document will be a simple 8.5 inch by 11 inch document with a portrait orientation. While you can adjust the margins as you please, a simple 1-inch margin on all sides works great.

    Next, it's time to section off the document into quadrants so you'll be able to create a card either by folding the printed document in half twice to create a nice homemade greeting card or by using your printer settings to print the card on one sheet of paper using the front and back.

    To section your document in a desktop publishing program such as Microsoft Publisher or Adobe InDesign, all you have to do is create guides at 4.25 inches vertically and 5.5 inches horizontally. In Microsoft Word, select "Table" from the top menu bar and click on "Draw table." Click and hold to create a box that spans the whole page within the margins. Then, continue to click and drag to draw a divider at 4.25 inches vertically and 5.5 inches horizontally.

    Now that your greeting card document is sectioned, it's time for the fun part: designing your card! All you have to keep in mind is that everything going into the top half of the document must be upside-down. To create the front of the card, place text and/or an image in the upper left quadrant. In Publisher or InDesign, select the text or art and use the rotate tool to flip the item. In Microsoft word, go to "Insert" on the main menu bar and select "Picture," then insert Word Art and/or a picture. Select the picture or word art, and on the "Drawing" toolbar, select "Rotate or Flip" to turn the item upside down.

    Then, put the message to go inside the card in the lower right quadrant - no flipping required! You can also put part of the message in the lower left quadrant for a greeting card message that spans the entire inside of the card.

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    Printing Your Custom Greeting Cards

    To print your greeting cards, simply click "File" on the main menu bar and click "Print." For each printed greeting card, fold in half away from you so the cover is now right side up. Fold the greeting card in half again. Your greeting card is now done!

    If you have a home printer or access to a printer that is able to produce a two-sided document, it's possible to create greeting cards that only have to be folded once. To do this in Microsoft publisher or Adobe InDesign, simply create a two-page document following the same quadrant format on each page, only putting the information for the top two quadrants on the first page and the information for the bottom two on the second page.