Create a letterhead template in Microsoft Word

Give your documents a personalized look in just minutes.

If you're running a business, there's no substitute for professionally created stationery with your company's logo and other information in the letterhead. You need to communicate to your clients and customers that your organization is legitimate, and a knockoff letterhead with a generic graphic is a dead giveaway of a low-budget operation.

At the same time, you may have occasion to create a one-off letterhead for a special event or side project that doesn't require anything fancy, and that you don't want to spend a lot of time or money to generate. Microsoft Word lets you fashion such a letterhead in just a few minutes. Keep in mind that this is a quick-and-dirty way to give your documents a unique appearance, and no substitute for a stationer's wares.

The no-muss, no-fuss letterhead template
Start by opening a new blank document in Word and saving it as a template, using the .dot extension for Word 2003, or the .dotx extension for Word 2007. Give the new template a unique name, such as "quickletterhead1.dotx", and save it in your templates folder so it will be available when you create another document from a template.

In Word 2007, click Insert > Header > Blank, and in Word 2003, click View > Header and Footer. In both versions, enter your preferred letterhead text (organization name, address, phone, e-mail, etc.), and then click Insert > Picture (> From File in Word 2003). Navigate to and select the image you want to embed in the letterhead. (If you're using a large image, open and resize the picture in Paint or another image editor before you add it to your letterhead, or choose one of the appropriately sized clip-art images built into Windows.) Right-click the image and choose Format Picture.

Use the options in the Format Picture dialog box to add a drop shadow to the image, resize it, or make other changes. When the image looks the way you like it, click the Layout tab in Word 2003 and choose a wrapping style other than the default "In line with text." Click OK in Word 2003, or Close in Word 2007.

Now use your mouse to drag the image to the position you prefer in the header. You can use the controls along the image's edge to resize it manually, or drag the little green circle at the top to rotate the picture. When you're happy with the image's size and position, click Close on the Header and Footer toolbar in Word 2003, or click anywhere outside the header in Word 2007 to see how your letterhead will look.

The header of a letterhead template in Microsoft Word 2007
Create a letterhead on the fly by adding pertinent text and a generic image to the header of a new template. Microsoft

The header for a simple letterhead template in Microsoft Word 2003
The steps for creating a quick-and-dirty letterhead in Word 2003 are about the same as those for doing so in Word 2007. Microsoft

When you want to create a document using your custom letterhead, click File > New in Word 2003, or choose the Office button and click New in Word 2007. Choose "On my computer" under Templates in the New Documents pane of Word 2003, select it from the list that appears under the General tab of the Templates dialog box, and click OK. In Word 2007, select your letterhead template under Recently Used Templates, or if it's not listed there, click "New from existing" in the top-left pane, navigate to the template you just created, and click Open.

Tomorrow: troubleshoot problems with Windows Update.

About the author

    Dennis O'Reilly began writing about workplace technology as an editor for Ziff-Davis' Computer Select, back when CDs were new-fangled, and IBM's PC XT was wowing the crowds at Comdex. He spent more than seven years running PC World's award-winning Here's How section, beginning in 2000. O'Reilly has written about everything from web search to PC security to Microsoft Excel customizations. Along with designing, building, and managing several different web sites, Dennis created the Travel Reference Library, a database of travel guidebook reviews that was converted to the web in 1996 and operated through 2000.

     

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