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Publisher has a lot in common with Word. Both have to do with text, images, and complicated types of formatting. But consider this: You wouldn't use a hedge clipper to trim your precious baby's toenails, now, would you? So when you're creating posters, greeting cards, catalogs and brochures, or any sort of branded marketing materials, there's only one way to go: Publisher—it's made for these sorts of jobs.
So let's get right to it and call out some of the basic terms you will run across when you start working in this versatile program.
Master pages in Publisher are like slide masters in PowerPoint: When you create a new publication that has more than one page, and you want those pages to look consistent, you create a master page. The master page contains the design elements that you want to repeat on multiple pages (thereby avoiding that panicked feeling of running out of time because you have to change all 135 pages of a brochure on the whimsy of your client who decides to swap a picture that appears throughout).
When you need to change the look of your publication (or just add an element), instead of having to do that on each and every page, you can update the master page. Yes, the master page is the feature for the control freak inside all of us.
Master pages can contain a variety of design and layout elements, such as headers and footers, page dimensions, pictures, margins, and just about anything you can put on a page.
You can also create more than one master page. If you have a catalog that has the same elements on the front and back covers, but you want the pages inside to look different from the covers, you can create two masters—one for the covers and one for the inside pages.
Read about how to create, edit, or delete a master page
For some reason, page size and paper size seem to be confusing for our customers, so I'll lay it out nice and quick for you here. Page size refers to the area of your publication, while paper size refers to the size of paper used for printing. As I'm sure you can ascertain, sometimes these two do NOT match up, thereby costing you, the publication designer, much aggravation, heartache, and time.
See, you can have this beautifully designed newsletter or brochure—one that you spent hours and hours getting just right—perfectly set up on your computer, only to find that it doesn't print as you expected. You have to make sure that your page size and your paper size are the same.
A text box can hold only so much text. If you have a lot of text that you've inserted into a text box, the text that doesn't fit into that one box is called the overflow. The overflow will be hidden from you until either you re-size that text box so that it will hold all your text or a new text box is made (Publisher will handle that nicely) to handle that overflow.
When you do have more text than your text box can handle, a Publisher message pops up and asks if you want to use autoflow. If you say yes, Publisher will either find an empty text box or create a new one—one that is automatically linked to the first text box—to handle your overflow.
This feature is a great way to manage several columns of text on a page or even multiple pages. Each column is a text box, and Publisher handles all of it. You just go with the flow. (Sorry—couldn't let that one pass by.)
Publisher is one of my favorite Office programs. It's incredibly useful, and it's fun to use.
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