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How to Design Your Advertisement in Microsoft Word

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I attended school for Graphic Design and I have used Microsoft Word for more than a decade.

This is a marketing flyer I made in Microsoft Word using an advertising template.

This is a marketing flyer I made in Microsoft Word using an advertising template.

Designing an advertisement in Microsoft Word is pretty easy. The program even provides templates with design elements built in to accommodate the less-than-savvy artistic people. Advertisements can take the shape of flyers, brochures, newsletters, calendars, pamphlets, and posters, among many other forms. Microsoft Word provides templates for many of the aforementioned. You can even save your design and send it to a printing company to have it printed on other items.

Basic Design and Advertising Guidelines

Before you get started, there are some basic design aspects you should be aware of.


The colors you choose in your design can mean the difference between somebody taking a closer look or tossing your ad aside.


Where you position the text and pictures of your advertisement can capture a consumer's eye, drawing interest to your product or service, or it can make their head pound for the brief second it takes to get it out of sight.


Your content has to be precise and to the point. Repeating the same information over and over again wastes valuable space. For example, in my previous sentence, "Your content must be precise and to the point", I could have eliminated either "precise" or "and to the point." The space I save may be used more efficiently to add something gripping or telling about my product or service.

It should also be colorful in the sense that something good in it pops out at the reader. It should state what the product or service offers the customer and these statements should be accurate and provided without fault. The best way to provide great content is to know your product and believe in what it has to offer. In-depth examples of what it offers may stand out.

Choosing Colors for Your Advertisement

Colors that feel as though they are advancing toward the observer include red, orange, and yellow. Therefore, if you want something to pop out on the page, these colors will do the trick—as long as you use a contrasting or receding color in the background. Blue, green, and violet are receding colors that feel as though they back away from the observer.

Sometimes text is difficult to read in certain colors. For example, white text is often difficult to read on a light blue background. You can play around with different combinations in the Microsoft Word application and change them as needed. The photos you choose should have some color in them that pops out, even if it means adding text or a frame in an advancing color to them.


If you use a template to design your ad, formatting for text size and position has already been administered. However, it is easy to change the size and position if you want a different look. Some of the text tools include text wrap (text wraps around an item), text color, text size, text shape, and text composition. After you have entered text in a given area, you can easily move it or change any of the above-mentioned aspects of it.


Not using more than two or three different fonts in an ad usually works best. Of course, it is still okay to resize or change colors of the font you choose in the various sections of your ad. For example, you may use Myriad pro font in 60 pt. size in black and bold for your headline, and then use the same font for the body of your ad in 12 pt. regular. You may even use it in italics and a different color. At this point, you have only used one font. It's still pretty safe to add another font and use different options for parts of your ad with that font also.

Using the Font Tools Box

Located underneath the tabs labeled INSERT PAGE LAYOUT and REVIEW are tools you can use to change the look of your font. You will see two drop-down boxes with down arrows that you can click on to see additional choices.

  • The first box contains the name of the font typed in the basic style it will appear on paper when no other tools are used with it.
  • The box next to it contains the number of the size the font will be in points.

In this paragraph, the style I used was Times New Roman and the size I used was 12 points. I clicked on the I tool before I started this sentence and it became temporarily highlighted to let me know that I activated the italic effect to my text. I disabled the italic effect in this sentence by clicking on the I tool again. I know it's disabled because the area around the italic tool is no longer highlighted.

If you want to make changes to it after you already typed it, you would place the cursor at the start of the word or words you want to change and then click and drag until you reach the point you want the effect to end. Release the mouse button and the selection should be temporarily highlighted. While it is highlighted, click on the tool to see the selection with the new effect. You can click on multiply tools to get more than one effect. Disable the effect by clicking on it again.

Scroll to Continue


If you want to permanently highlight text, click on the highlight tool. This tool has a drop-down box with different colors you can choose to highlight in. When you want to stop highlighting text, you have to choose "no color" in the drop-down box.

Tools with drop-down boxes do not have temporary highlights around them when they are in use. To get a better idea of how these effects will look, activate a few of the tools and then deactivate them one at time.


If you're making an ad for a newspaper, where the ad is placed in the paper could make a big difference on the number of people who will read it. However, for flyers, brochures, newsletters, etc. breaking blocks of text up with a photo here and there should suffice. If you're unsure about the way you have things positioned, it's usually safe to blend photos with text in the top portion, the middle portion, and the last portion. If you stand back and take a look at it, you will probably get a feel for whether or not something should be moved.

Getting Started in Microsoft Word for Ads

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Click on File.
  3. Click on New. The page with the templates appears, or you could choose Blank Page to start an ad without any preformatted boxes.
  4. Click on Flyers, or Brochures, or Newsletters. The file will download into your computer in a second or less.
  5. Click on one of the choices provided. In the example shown, Flyers and then Marketing Flyers were chosen.
  6. At this point, you can use the format provided or you could click on Change Styles, which will open a drop-down box, and then hover your mouse over Style Sets, which opens another drop-down box that contains style sets from default through Traditional. By hovering the mouse over each of these, you can see preset style sets containing a variety of different formats with different text sizes and colors.
  7. Click in areas on the page to start deleting preformatted text or photos and adding your text or uploading your photos.
  8. The buttons at the top of the screen are self-explanatory. For example, if you click on Insert, you can then click on Pictures to upload your photos. You could also click on Clip Art and then enter the name of the product you want art for in the Search box. You can also find a Hyperlink box under the Insert tab to add URLs to your ad if you want to share your ad over the internet and link it to a work order or invoice or another related website.
  9. Start playing around with different colors, sizes, shapes, etc. until you get ideas of what you like.
  10. Save your work when you're done.

Reaching Your Targeted Audience

Whether you print your ad yourself or email it to a printing company to have them print up copies for you to distribute, you still have another choice. You can send your ad to all your existing contacts or you could add new contacts to send your ad to. If you have hyperlinks in your ad, the people you email it to will be able to click on the links, which will take them to the pages you support.

Instructions on How to Email Ads You Designed

When you have the file for the ad you want to email open, click on Mailings.

Then, click on Mail Merge if you want to add additional files or add a separate note with your ad.

Otherwise, click on Select Recipients. You can either Select a new list (of recipients) or use your existing lists (contacts). Fill out the box that appears with the information requested, send, and presto, your ad has reached more people.

Email or Mail Merge your Ad with other documents to Your existing contacts or create New Contacts to Send your Ad to.

Email or Mail Merge your Ad with other documents to Your existing contacts or create New Contacts to Send your Ad to.

Getting Ads Printed on Useful Products

After designing your ad, you could have it printed on an assortment of different products that people use on a daily basis. Be careful not to break any trademark or copyright laws.

If you are a student, you could have your ad printed on your backpack if your product or service is something that other students might be interested in. As a result, everybody walking behind you will see your ad.

You could also print ads and distribute them to area stores (most larger stores have a pin it corkboard), libraries, or other businesses. In some cases, you may have to ask permission to display an ad.

Practicing ethics in advertising is not only important for the success of your business but also for common good of mankind.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: do you do freelance using Word SmartArt design?

Answer: I have never used Word's SmartArt design; however, I have done some freelance work using Adobe's Illustrator and Photoshop.

© 2013 H Lax


Hamdan on October 14, 2018:

How can I play advertising?

I need your help.

I want to earn with advertising.

mowliid Gelle on October 05, 2018:

thanx that helped a lot

Aman on August 14, 2017:

Thanks i really need it

aaryan sethi on June 12, 2017:

thanx that helped a lot

gurbani on February 19, 2015:

Great information especially for newbies.

Geraldine Tancreda from Toms River NJ on June 28, 2013:

What a great article, it gave me some good ideas.

mr-veg from Colorado United States on March 01, 2013:

Nicely Done Honey !! Great article for beginners !! You have detailed the basics and made it so creative and easy to follow... I like it !! Voted up and sharing !

MissJamieD from Minnes-O-ta on January 28, 2013:

Love this idea! Thank you:)

Ruchira from United States on January 24, 2013:

Loved this hub cause I am looking into making flyers for my Reiki practice.

Very timely hub for me, honey :)

voted up as useful and interesting

H Lax (author) on January 23, 2013:

Thanks teaches, everybody kept saying they have done this in publisher and I was beginning to wonder if I was actually in I'm really not to technically inclined but I went along with what it said and I thought my newsletter turned out alright and was a pretty easy thing for a newbie to try.

Dianna Mendez on January 23, 2013:

I have used MS Word for flyers and it does a pretty decent job. Great information and detail on how to do an excellent job for a business promotion.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on January 23, 2013:

Fabulous! I also used Microsoft Publisher instead of Words. Can't wait to try this in Word. Thanks, Honey!

Katherine Sanger from Texas on January 22, 2013:

Nice! I didn't know that Word did those things; personally, I've always used Microsoft Publisher, which has a ton of options for flyers and the like. I'm going to have to look at all Word has to offer now!

CJ Baker from Parts Unknown on January 21, 2013:

Very practical & informative hub! Definitely a creative way to help self promote as a writer.

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