You’ve designed a new logo, identity, and business papers for a good client. It looks great. They are happy. Then a simple request derails everything:

“Can I get a copy of my new letterhead to use in Microsoft Word?”

That seemingly innocent question has driven more than one designer to distraction. While this week’s creative tip won’t win people over to designing in Microsoft Word full-time, we can help make this client request a little easier to accomplish.

The key to designing a letterhead template that maintains the look of your printed business papers is to use Microsoft Word’s absolute position option when placing images.

Here is a quick four step tutorial.

Step 1: In a Microsoft Word document, choose Insert > Picture > From File…

Place the images for your logo one at a time. Prepare them beforehand at the size and resolution you need, and save them as PNG files (read Save logos in PNG format for use in PowerPoint.)

Tip: Keep the Word document file size smaller by using several individual images instead of one large one. In the case of our example, the logo itself is a 300ppi color PNG, while the address type is a black and white 600ppi graphic for greater detail when printing.

Step 2: Control-click on the placed image and choose Format Picture from the pop-up menu.


Step 3: Select a wrapping style of “Behind text” and click Advanced.


Step 4: In Advanced Layout, set an Absolute position for your graphic.


This Advanced Layout dialog box allows you to position your placed graphics in relationship to the page itself. In our case, the main logo is placed 6.625 inches to the right of the page (Word rounds up to 6.63).

Tip: Switch back to the graphic program that was used to create the original letterhead to check these measurements.

Congratulations. Once you’ve placed all your graphics, test printing your resulting files from a couple different computers (email it to a PC-savvy friend if you don’t have Word for Windows). Once you’ve tested the results, save the resulting document as a Microsoft Word template and send it on to your client to enjoy.

Bonus: Place your graphics into the document’s header to prevent meddling.

If you don’t want your clients accidentally repositioning or changing your placed graphics, an easy technique is to place the graphics into the document header (choose View > Header and Footer).

Even though the header is at the top of the page, our use of absolute positioning allows you to place the graphics anywhere on the page they are needed.

Download our example file:

Word Template Example.doc

Source: This tip inspired by a recent phone troubleshooting session with Hammerquist & Nebeker (a Creativetechs Priority Support client).