Notes: These instructions were made for Microsoft Word for Mac, 2011 Edition. Instructions for the PC are similar, but, of course, not the same. Instructions for PC-based Word (2007 and later are in [brackets]) next to the corresponding Mac-based ones below. For specific operating system and MS Word version, please see Microsoft’s documentation.
Of all the tips I share about DIY invitations, one of my favorites is to cut your paper or card stock to the finished invitation size before you print. Printing one invitation per page – instead of printing multiple invitations on a page and cutting each invitation from the printed pages – ultimately saves a ton of time, guesswork, and waste from the DIY invitation experience. You don’t have to guess where the cut lines are and hope your cuts are not too close or too far from the margin. You don’t need to create printed borders that interfere with the design. If your printer loads the paper wonky or starts streaking, you only lose one invite instead of multiples on larger page.
Using pre-cut card stock often requires that you create a custom page size in MS Word since Word’s default size is 8.5″ x 11″ (in the US). It’s really easy to do and once you set it up, you won’t have to do it again.
From the FILE menu, go to PAGE SETUP. [PC USERS: Select PAGE SETUP… from the FILE menu.]
A dialogue box will appear. Click the PAPER SIZE drop-down box and a list of available custom page sizes will appear. Scroll down and click MANAGE CUSTOM SIZES. [PC USERS: When the Page Setup dialog box appears, click on the Paper tab.]
Another dialogue box will appear with the custom page sizes (if any) you’ve already created. See the little + and – signs under the list of page sizes? They allow you to add or delete custom page sizes. Click the + sign to add a new one. [PC USERS: Under PAPER SIZE… select CUSTOM]
When you click the + button, a new page size “Untitled” will appear with the MS Word default measurements of 8.5 in width x 11 in height and margins of .25 in left, .25 in right, .25 in top, and .56 in on the bottom. Double-click on “Untitled” to change the name to whatever you want. I usually use the page dimensions so I can find them easily. You may want to use Invitation or RSVP card or STD or whatevah makes you happy.
For this example, we’re setting up a 5″ x 5″ invitation so I’ve labeled the page size 5×5. Clever!
The next step is to insert the intended paper size, in this case: 5 in by 5 in. I generally leave the margin sizes at the default and then manually manipulate them during the layout process. I use a lot of TEXT BOXES in my invite layouts so setting margins at this stage isn’t too important. If you know you want or need specific margins because your printer requires them, do set them now. Click ok and, voila!, you’ve just created a custom page size. You rule.[PC USERS: Your dimensions will appear in the Width and Height selection boxes. Specify the dimensions by highlighting the entries in the boxes and typing the sizes in inches or by using the arrows to change the size using Word’s predetermined increments. Click the OK button at the bottom of the dialog box.VOILA! You, too, rule.]
Now, to use the page size, go back to FILE –> PAGE SETUP and click PAPER SIZE. Your new page size will appear in the drop-down box. Click it.
Your snazzy new paper size will appear. Go forth and be creative, young grasshoppers!