How to recreate the style of a document?
November 12, 2012 8:28 AM   Subscribe

Two part question regarding a template and title for a document I am working on.

I really like the look and feel of this document. The style of the document is neat and varied across pages, which I think will help highlight the different types of details and accomplishments in an accomplishments document that I am looking to put together.

I would like to create a document that has a similar layout and formatting. What is the best way to go about creating the template? Is this doable at all in Word? If Word is not an option, I probably don't have the skills to make this layout. Who can I look to provide the service of creating this layout, so that I could enter the text, details and photos?

The other part of this question is concerning the title. Is there a better title that I can use that does not involve accomplishments, reflections, or a "look back"?

Thank you for your help!
posted by alice ayres to Grab Bag (2 answers total)
According to its metadata, that particular document was created with Adobe InDesign, pretty much the industry standard for desktop publishing. However, there doesn't appear to be anything in that document that you couldn't replicate with Word (although it might be difficult to match the typesetting).
posted by RichardP at 8:59 AM on November 12, 2012

Yes, it can be done in Word. You'll need to know (or know someone who knows) how to use table of contents, headers/footers, columns, sections, style sheets, tables and importing graphics. In other words, you need somewhat advanced skills in Word to accomplish it, but it can be done.

Start by setting up the basic document -- set your margins and the two-column layout for the body text only, leaving room for anything in the header/footer. Then create the arrow graphic as a header. (There is a block arrow drawing in Word very similar to these in which type can be set.) You'll need to set a new section for each time the emphasis "moves" to a new arrow, so you can change the header -- one section for each arrow. That might be easiest after you have the body in place in the base document, but can also be done by building the empty template sections first.

Insert two pages without headers at the front of the document for the cover and ToC pages. These will be separate sections, as well. Tables and photos in the body can be inserted as you build the document. Make your life easier by setting text styles for your body, heads, subheads, etc. Those will become the building blocks for your automatically generated (and updated) ToC.

As for who could help ... that's tougher. Most graphic designers would find this template a snap with their usual tools (like InDesign), but aren't familiar enough with Word to pull it off. But if you're comfortable using Word's Help file, you can definitely figure it out. Be prepared for some frustration, as Word sometimes behaves in unexpected ways, automatically moving things you don't want moved. You'll want to become familiar with the difference between relative and absolute page positions for text boxes, etc. Soldier through and you can lick it.

For the title -- what's the most important takeaway for the reader(s)? Your wide skill set? Your demonstrated readiness to tackle a new level of experience? Build the title around that takeaway.
posted by peakcomm at 9:13 AM on November 12, 2012

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