Lesson 2: Producing a Publication
Before you create a publication, you should already have an idea of what you want to do with it when it’s finished. Will you print and distribute it? Will you publish it online? Knowing the answers to these questions is essential to making decisions about how your publication will look.
In this lesson, you'll learn about the things you need to consider before publishing, like layout, print supplies, and more. You'll also learn about printing your publication and converting it to a PDF.
Creating a publication
Creating a professional-looking publication takes planning. For instance, before you even begin your publication, you should know whether you plan to print your document or distribute it online. Once you know how you'll present your publication, you can start making decisions about other aspects of it, such as page layout, paper choice, and print option.
Some of the first choices you need to make about your publication involve page layout. Creating a publication from a template takes care of most of these choices for you. However, if you create a publication from scratch or decide to heavily modify a template, there are three components of page layout you’ll have to consider.
Some publications, like flyers, can be large or small. However, you probably don’t want a brochure to be giant. A standard sheet of paper is 8.5 inches wide by 11 inches tall. Larger sheets of paper can be expensive and difficult to print. Think carefully about your publication size before you commit to printing in a particular format.
A selection of publication sizes
Do you want your publication to be in landscape orientation (wider than tall) or portrait orientation (taller than wide)? Your choice will probably be influenced by standard design conventions. For instance, business cards are usually printed in landscape orientation.
Business cards with different orientations
Margins are areas of blank space that line the edges of a printed document. While professional printers can print publications where the text and images stretch out all the way to the edge of the page, most home and office printers require your publication to have margins, even if they're narrow ones.
The width of your page margins can affect the look and feel of your publication. For example, extremely wide margins, like those often found in menus for fancy restaurants, can look sophisticated. However, wide margins don't leave much room for images and text. In contrast, narrow margins give you a large amount of space to work with.
Menus with different sized margins
As you plan your publication, it might help to mock up your design on paper. You can also use an existing publication as a model.
A finished brochure and the initial mocked-up design
Producing printed publications
If you're planning on printing your publication yourself, your planning doesn't stop when you finish your layout. Before you print your publication, you'll have to make certain decisions about how you want to produce and distribute it.
Your paper must be the same size as your publication layout. Keep in mind that not all printers can handle all sizes of paper. If you don't know whether your printer can use the desired paper size, review the manual that came with your printer or create and print a test page with a few lines of text.
Paper in various sizes
Depending on the type of publication you're creating, you might want to consider using something other than standard white paper. For instance, people usually print greeting cards on a heavier type of paper called card stock. Paper choices aren't just about paper weight, though. For example, if you're printing business cards, you might consider buying perforated paper to make separating the cards easier. If you're not sure which type of paper is best for your publication, the employees at your local office supply store may be able to help.
For most publications, white or cream-colored paper is probably the best choice. However, if you're printing in grayscale or black and white, colored paper can make your publication more attention-grabbing and visually appealing.
A newsletter printed in grayscale on colored paper
You have three color options for your printed publication:
Out of these three options, color often looks the most polished and professional. However, it does have its drawbacks. Before you use color, consider these things first:
- Grayscale, which prints images and details in shades of gray
- Black and white, which prints all images and text in black ink without any shading; many photocopiers only produce black-and-white images
- Expense. Color ink cartridges are expensive, and if you're printing many copies of a color publication the ink can run out quickly. You can avoid some cost by using color sparingly.
A publication printed almost entirely with color ink
- Paper. If you're planning on using color in a double-sided publication, you'll probably want to use slightly heavier paper to prevent the color from showing through. Also, you'll want to stick with white or cream-colored paper to ensure the colors show up correctly.
Color printing on colored paper Color printing showing through the
other side of thin paper
- Printer and copier capability
Make sure your printer or copier is capable of printing your publications at the quality you want. This is especially important for professional publications. Do the text and images come out crisp and undistorted? Are the colors accurate? If you're planning on printing a double-sided publication, can your printer do that automatically? If the answer to these questions is no, consider modifying your printer or copier settings or having your publication professionally printed.
If you plan to deliver your publication via mail, consider how you're going to send it. For instance, if you're planning on mailing many copies of your publication, consult with your post office about bulk mailing price options, specifications, and restrictions. No matter how many copies of your publication you're mailing, you can choose between two ways of getting your publication ready for delivery.
- Using packaging
For publications that won't fit into a standard envelope, you'll need to use a larger envelope or another package that's better suited to your needs, like a tube if you're mailing a poster or a box if you're sending several copies of your publication to one recipient.
- Adding an address
You can send newsletters and similar publications without any envelope at all, using a sticker or staple to keep the pages from unfolding. Make sure to include a space in the publication where you can add the address. Many templates for newsletters already include this blank space on the back of the last page.
A newsletter with an address printed on it
Depending on the type of publication you’re producing, you may need to plan to put final touches on your publication just after printing. You may need to arrange time for tasks like:
- Cutting, for publications like business cards and postcards
- Folding, for brochures, newsletters, and other full-page publications
- Stapling, for multi-sheet publications like newsletters and booklets
- Assembling, for publications like name badges and banners
Assembling name badges
If you plan on producing many copies of your publication, tools like paper cutters, paper creasers, and heavy-duty staplers can help you assemble your publication more quickly and precisely. Make sure to gather the needed tools ahead of time.
Printing and publishing
Before you print your publication, take a moment to review the Publisher printing options and settings. These options give you the ability to control exactly how your publication prints. If you'd rather not print your publication, Publisher also offers a way to publish electronically.
Publisher offers a variety of print settings you can modify to suit your needs. Among these are two tools for advanced printing tasks: double-sided printing and collating.
- Double-sided printing
Double-sided printing allows you to print on both the front and back of each sheet of paper. Publisher gives you two choices for double-sided printing: You can flip, or turn, the page on the long side of the page or the short side.
If you're not sure how flipping the page on each side affects your printed publication, you can preview your double-sided printing with the transparent view slider, which is explained in the interactive below. You can also print a page of your publication and fold, staple, or otherwise prepare it as planned. If the reverse side of your page is upside down, choose the other option.
Double-sided printing options
The collated printing option lets you assemble copies of your publication with all pages in the correct order. By automatically grouping individual copies of your publication, collating can save you a lot of time and effort.
Review the interactive to learn about printing options and settings in Publisher 2010.
Underneath the print preview, you can use the viewing options to navigate between pages, switch between the front and back views of the current page, zoom in and out, and view multiple pages at once.
Click Save settings with this publication to make sure that the current publication will always print according to the settings you chose.
Click the Color Options drop-down button to choose between printing your publication in color or grayscale. Remember, you can only print in color if you have a color printer installed.
Single and Double-Sided Printing
Depending on the type of publication you've created, you may wish to use double-sided printing, which prints on both sides of each sheet of paper. When you print on both sides, you'll have the choice to flip, or turn, the pages on either their long side or short side.
Click the Paper Size drop-down button to choose the size of paper you plan to print your publication on. Only certain paper sizes will be compatible with your publication; incompatible sizes will appear grayed-out. If your printer has multiple printer trays, you may have to manually select the tray where the correct paper is stored. To do this, click Paper Source.
Pages per Sheet
Click the Pages per Sheet drop-down button to view options for splitting your publication over a number of printed sheets (also known as tiling it). This is mainly useful for printing large items, such as banners or posters.
By default, Publisher prints all of your pages. Click the Page Range drop-down button to print only a certain part of your publication. You can print a selection of your publication, print only the current page, or enter specific page numbers to print a custom range of pages.
If you have multiple printers installed, you can click the Printer drop-down button to select the printer you wish to use. In this example, there is a printer for black and white printing, as well as a color printer. In order to print in color, the color printer must be selected.
Transparent View Slider
If you're using double-sided printing, the Transparent View slider lets you "see through" the front of the current page to view the reverse side. This helps you make sure that both sides of the page are lined up correctly. Click and drag the slider to move it. The further you drag the slider to the right, the less transparent the reverse side will be.
Click the Rulers button to turn on and off the rulers that appear to the top and left of the print preview.
Page Numbers Slider
Click and drag the Page Numbers slider to the right to display page numbers on the center of each page. The further you drag the slider to the right, the less transparent the number will be. These page numbers will not show up on the printed copy.
Number of Copies
Click the arrows or type in a number to indicate the number of copies of your publication you wish to print. Remember, before you print multiple copies of your publication, you should first print one copy as a test so that you can check your publication for any errors.
The Print Button
When you're satisfied with your printing settings and are ready to print your publication, click the Print button.
Before you print
Before you print, review your print settings and print a final test copy of your publication. You should also consider running the Design Checker. The Design Checker is a tool that helps you find and fix problems in your publication that may lead to printing errors.
- To run the Design Checker, go to the Info tab in Backstage view and click the Run Design Checker button. The Design Checker pane will appear to the right of your publication.
The Design Checker
Depending on the purpose of your publication, you may decide to publish it electronically and distribute it online. Publisher offers two ways to do this. You can either:
- Publish as a PDF and attach the file to an email or upload it to a website
- Publish as HTML, which Publisher then embeds directly into an email
Although Publisher promotes the HTML option as useful, it is almost always better to convert your publication into a PDF. This is because the PDF option is better at presenting your publication the way you designed it. Publications saved as HTML can lose some of their formatting and may not include custom fonts and images.
However, PDFs aren't perfect either. Depending on the type of publication you're working with, the PDF version may not be easy to browse and read. For example, while you technically can convert a brochure to a PDF, the panels will not be lined up as they would be in a printed and folded version. If you're not sure whether or not your publication is suitable for delivery as a PDF, publish a test copy early in the design process.A brochure saved as a PDF
To publish as a PDF:
- Navigate to Backstage view, then select the Save & Send tab.
- Select Create PDF/XPS Document, then click the Create PDF/XPS button in the right pane.
The Create PDF/XPS button
- The Publish as PDF or XPS dialog box will open. Browse for and select the location where you wish to save your PDF, then type a name.
- Click Publish.
The Publish as PDF or XPS dialog box
- Your PDF will be created and opened. Make sure to double-check for any mistakes before sharing it.
The published PDF
- Make a list of the things you'd need to consider and plan before making a newsletter.
- Open an existing Publisher publication. If you want, you can use this example.
- Review the print settings. Set the publication for double-sided printing.
- Print the publication.
- Publish the publication as a PDF.