Desktop publishing brochures using Word 7 is made easier by using one of the many brochure templates that come with Word. The best part is that you can change anything and everything on it to create an original brochure. For this article I decided to use the "Brochure-Trendy Eclectic design" brochure template.
The template downloaded and opened in Word. This is a three column template. The background is quite colorful with background designs, borders and graphic elements all set in place. Text blocks are placed within the columns. Within the text blocks are instructions for what to put in the text block or not. One instruction reads: "Delete box or place a tag line or quote here." Or, "When you are writing a brochure, write it so that someone who has never heard of your company can understand what you're offering as quickly as possible." Good advice.
Spots for headlines, subheads, additional text blocks for describing your business and a bulleted list that could be used to list services or products. There are also places allocated for telephone, fax, company logo, address and photographs or images that are set on the pages. Hmm, no web address or email on this template.
You are free to change the font style, color or size, bullets to numbers, move text blocks around or resize them, add your images to replace the ones on the template. It certainly makes it easy with everything set in place to be able to just jump in and start adding your business information.
Now for the cons. Well, there had to be some. Although the design is beautiful and you can make lots of changes as described above, the background design is all one image. So if you decide that you don't like the border along the bottom or any of the extra graphic elements, you can't change them without removing the whole background. You can adjust the image under Picture Tools. Select Format, then in the Adjust box you will find Brightness, Contrast, and Recolor tools. Recolor tools will let you convert the image to black and white, grayscale, or washout. Play around with these adjustments to see how they affect the background image. You can always click on Reset Picture to undo any changes you make.
Removing the background may not be a bad idea. When the brochure is printed, a blank border is left around the edges as most desktop printers do not print to the edge. There are many preprinted paper stocks available designed to be used in desktop printers. You can get preprinted brochure, stationary, invitation and greeting card stock. But that is a topic for another article!