Once you have selected and downloaded a newsletter template, such as one of the templates listed in the first part of this series, you can begin to customize it. You can use any newsletter template for Word that you please, but for this tutorial we will work with the Microsoft Family Christmas newsletter template, which is compatible with Word 2003, 2007 or 2010.
If you have downloaded a template but do not have it open, double-click the file to open it. You can also start Microsoft Word, press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+O, find the file and open it. Your template will open as a new Word document.
Before you begin to make a church newsletter, you should decide what news you want to communicate. You may wish to jot down ideas on a pad of paper and then look at your template to decide where each piece should go when you create your church newsletters in Word.
A list of upcoming events or a current calendar is a great way to remind members about what is going on and perhaps encourage non-members to attend. A scripture in the sidebar or near the title of your newsletter is a wonderful way to set the tone of the publication and provide a word of encouragement or motivation to your readers. If your church is currently studying a specific book of the Bible, selecting a verse from that book will tie things together nicely.
Another element to consider including any time you make a church newsletter is various contact names and methods. Along with the church office hours, address and phone number, you may wish to include contact information for certain pastors, a prayer line or small group contacts.
Once you have an idea of the content you wish to include in your church newsletters in Word, you can begin customizing your newsletter template.
Working with Text
Customizing the text in a template when making church newsletters in Word is relatively simple. Simply click inside of the text box containing the text you wish to change. Select the sample text by holding down the left mouse button and dragging the mouse over it, or use the Ctrl+A keyboard shortcut to select the text. All you need to do then is type over the highlighted sample text. In the screen shot, you can see that we typed over Our Family Newsletter with the name of the church.
As you can also see, our custom text was longer than the sample text, which causes some of the custom text to be hidden. You can remedy this problem by once again selecting the text and changing its size from the Formatting toolbar in Word 2003 or the Font group of the Home tab in Word 2007 or 2010. Start by selecting the next smaller size and work your way down until you find the font size that fits.
Customize all of the sample text boxes in this manner. Once you have done so, you can continue to make a church newsletter by adding your own choice of graphics.
Working with Graphics
Most Word newsletter templates include sample images. If the pictures provided are suitable, you can opt to leave them as they are. However, you can add a personal touch to your church newsletter by adding Microsoft clip art or your own digital images.
To replace a sample picture, click to select it. In Word 2003, go to the Insert menu and point to Picture. Choose From File to use your own digital photo or other image on your computer. Choose Clip Art to select an image from the Microsoft clip art gallery. If you are using Word 2007 or 2010, click on the sample image to select it. Go to the Insert tab and click Picture in the Illustrations group to use your own digital photo or other image on your computer, or Clip Art to search the clip art gallery.
As you can see by this screen shot, some images may not fit exactly right. You can resize an image in Word by dragging its borders or by right-clicking the image, selecting Format Picture and using the settings on the Size tab.
Be sure to save your changes as you go. When you are finished, save the newsletter once more and then print or email your custom church newsletters.
This post is part of the series: Microsoft Word Church Newsletters
Need to know how to make a church newsletter? This series will show you where to find free newsletter templates and then walk you through the steps of creating a church newsletter in Microsoft Word.