Creating Text-Based Publications in Microsoft Office Publisher 2007

  • 8/15/2007

Organizing Content

Longer publications often include several independent stories that compete for the reader’s attention. Before entering content into a newsletter or other long publication, it is wise to decide where to place each piece of content within the overall context of the publication. For example, in a newsletter, important stories should start on the first page but can continue inside the publication, most likely near the end. Some people think that stories that start on the right page of a two-page spread are more likely to be read than stories that start on the left page. In a publication that will be folded for mailing, place information that you definitely want the recipient to see on the first or last (outside) page.

Working with a Table of Contents

A longer publication can often benefit from a navigational aid such as a table of contents. When you create a publication such as a newsletter, Publisher inserts a table of contents object on the first page of the publication. You must then manually customize the object to reflect the publication’s contents.

You can insert a table of contents object anywhere in a publication from the Design Gallery. You can choose from 34 designs, each color-coordinated with the current publication font scheme. If you know the name of the design or layout template the publication is based on, you might find a coordinating table of contents object.


Each table of contents object includes graphic elements and a table containing placeholders for a header, article names, and page numbers. You must manually replace the text with your own. If you move information or add pages, Publisher will not automatically update the page number in the table of contents, so it’s a good idea to insert the information in the table of contents after you finalize the page layout.

To change the layout of a table of contents object—for example, to add or remove rows—right-click the table part of the object, click Format Table, and then format it as you would any other table.

Creating Sections

If the topics in a long publication fall logically into groups—for example, parts, subjects, or time periods—you can formally title these groups by assigning them to sections. You can then include only the sections—preceded by any front matter (such as an introduction) and followed by any back matter (such as a list of resources or a bibliography)—in the primary table of contents at the beginning of the publication, and include a list of topics in a secondary table of contents at the beginning of each section.

To create a section, select the page that you want to designate as its beginning. (If your publication has two-page spreads, begin each section on a right page—called a recto page in the publishing world; the left page is called a verso page—so that the section title falls on the front side of the leaf and faces the reader.) Then click Section on the Insert menu. In the Section dialog box, select the Begin A Section With This Page check box, and then indicate whether you want the page to display headers and footers, and whether to restart the page numbering or continue from the previous section. You can choose from a variety of page-numbering formats and designate the beginning page number.


In some types of publications, such as reports, you might want to draw attention to the starting point of each section by designing a special page called a section opener. If the last page of the previous section ends on a recto, you can insert a blank verso page to force the section opener onto a recto. If you use openers, you will want to clear the Show Headers And Footers On the First Page Of This Section check box before clicking OK to close the Section dialog box. (You will need to manually remove the header and footer from a preceding blank page.)

Moving Content

In Chapter 4, "Marketing Your Product, Service, or Organization", we briefly discussed flowing information that doesn’t fit in one text box into another; this is called continuing a story. In many types of publications, each story appears on one page, whether as a full page of text, multiple columns within a text box, or multiple text boxes organized to fit the space. In some types of publications, however, you might need to continue a story elsewhere in the publication.

For example, in a newspaper the first few paragraphs of the most important story usually appear on the front page of the main section, while the first few paragraphs of a less important story might begin on the next spread. The remainder of each article appears further back. In a magazine, the first few pages of a long article might appear in one place and the final pages might be relegated to the back of the magazine. In Publisher layout terms, the stories would flow through one or more text boxes on one page to text boxes on later pages.

During the review process of a publication containing lengthy stories, you might find that due to changes, additions, or deletions, you need to change the flow of a story. You can move the text boxes and pages containing content in the following ways:

  • To move a text box elsewhere on the same page, point to its outer border, and then when the pointer changes to a four-headed arrow, drag it to its new location.

  • To move a text box to a location on another page, do one of these two things:

    • Drag the text box into the scratch area, display the destination page, and then drag the text box to the desired location.

    • Cut the text box to the Clipboard, display the destination page, paste the text box (it appears either on the page or in the scratch area) and then drag it to the desired location.

  • To move a page to another location, drag the page icon in the page sorter. As you drag, a black arrow indicates the insertion location. Release the mouse button when the page is where you want it.

Solving Organization Problems

When you flow a story into one or more text boxes, the story might be too long or too short to conform to the allocated space. To address this type of problem, you can take one or more of the following actions:

  • Add or remove text. If you have editorial control over the content, you can add or remove a word, sentence, or paragraph to fit the available space. Removing text is not necessarily a bad thing; just remember Mark Twain’s famous quote, “If I had more time, I’d have written a shorter book.”

  • Add, remove, or resize graphics. A picture might not be worth 1000 words, but it can easily be made to occupy the space of 20, 50, or 100 words.

  • Add, remove, or link to text boxes. Continue a long story into an additional text box on the same page or on another page. If a story does not require all the linked text boxes associated with it, you must manually break the forward links from the last occupied text box to the subsequent linked text boxes in the set.

  • Resize text boxes. This isn’t quite as simple a solution as it might sound. To make one text box taller, shorter, wider, or narrower, you will probably have to resize others, either to make space, fill space, or balance the design.

    To change the height of a set of identically sized text boxes simultaneously, select the first text box, press and hold the Shift key, and select the other text boxes. (The Group button will appear.) Then drag the top or bottom handle of any one of the selected text boxes to resize them all.

  • Change the layout of text within the text box or within the story. You can change the amount of white space that appears around the text in a text box (increasing the margin decreases the text area), change the number of columns within a text box, or change the number of text boxes that contain the story. For example, changing from three narrow columns of justified paragraphs to two wider columns can be enough to shorten the content by a line or two.

  • Change the font or font size of the story. If your design uses multiple fonts or sizes, you can apply one of the other available fonts or sizes to the story in a text box. However, changing to a font or size that is not used anywhere else in the publication can be distracting and look amateurish.

In shorter publications such as flyers and tri-fold brochures, it is reasonably simple to rearrange text boxes and resize content to appropriately fill the available space. Longer publications present additional challenges: You might need to conform to a 16-page signature for an offset-printed publication, to a 4-page footprint for each leaf added to a folded publication, or to a 2-page footprint for each leaf of a loose leaf, double-sided publication. After you insert all the content you intend to use in a publication and adjust the size of each story’s text boxes to fit its content, you might find that the publication is too long or too short to fit the intended footprint. You might be able to fix the problem by adding, removing, or changing individual stories, but if that is not possible, you can also solve the problem by making global changes to the publication.

One way to manage the length of your publication is through your choice of font scheme. Different fonts have different height-to-width relationships—for example, the letter m is narrower in 12-point Calibri than it is in 12-point Verdana. The difference may be slight on a letter-by-letter basis, but it can be significant when applied to an entire publication.


The Font Scheme list, both in the Getting Started window and in the Format Publication task pane, displays three pieces of information for each font scheme: the scheme name, the primary font, and the secondary font. The primary font is used for headings and titles, and the secondary font for body text. The names of the primary and secondary fonts are displayed in those fonts, providing a means by which you can gauge the effect each scheme will have on the length of your publication.


In this exercise, you will trace the continuation of a story; move, insert, and delete pages; insert and remove Continued notices; format text in columns; and connect and disconnect text boxes.

  1. If you have a printer available, print the publication (double-sided, if possible) to make it easier to follow along with the exercise.

  2. On the View menu, select Two-Page Spread if it is not already selected. Then on the page sorter, click the Page 2 button to display pages 2 and 3.


    The publication contains five stories: Two start on page 1 and continue later in the publication, two start on page 2 and continue later in the publication, and one complete story appears on page 3.

  3. On the page sorter, do the following:

    • Click the Page 4 button to display pages 4 and 5.


      The first story beginning on page 2 continues on page 4 and ends halfway through page 5; the other half of the two-column text box on page 5 is empty.

    • Display pages 6 and 7, then 8 and 9, and then 10 and 11.

      The second story beginning on page 2 continues on page 6 and runs through to page 10, ending partway down the left text box.

      The second story beginning on page 1 continues in the right text box on page 10, runs through page 11, and ends near the top of the left text box on page 12.

    • Display pages 12 and 13, and then click anywhere in the large text box on page 13.

      On page 12, most of the left text box is empty, and the right text box is entirely empty. A sidebar relating to the story that ends at the top of the page spans the bottom of the page.

      The first story beginning on page 1 continues on page 13. The Text In Overflow icon at the bottom of the page indicates that the story includes additional content that can’t be shown in the allocated space.

    • Display page 14.

      The last page of the publication is self-contained and complete.

      You need to reorganize the publication so that the stories continue in the order in which they begin.

  4. Return to page 1. Click in the text box containing the story titled What’s New in Publisher 2007?, and then click the Go to Next Text Box button that appears below the text box.


    Go to Next Text Box

    Publisher moves to page 13. The story does not connect to additional text boxes, so you need to move only this page to follow page 3.

  5. On the View menu, click Two-Page Spread to turn off that view.

  6. On the page sorter, drag page 13 after page 3, so that it becomes page 4.

    You need to accommodate the part of the story that is not visible.

  7. Click in the text box. On the Format menu, click Text Box, and then in the Format Text Box dialog box, display the Text Box tab.

  8. Clear the Include “Continued on page...” check box. Then click the Columns button.

    The Columns dialog box opens.

  9. Change Number to 2, click OK, and then click OK in the Format Text Box dialog box.

    The text box contents flow into two columns, leaving considerable empty space at the bottom of the right column. However, the Text In Overflow icon indicates that additional text exists.

  10. In the left column, click the picture. Then drag its lower-right handle up and to the left until the right edge of the picture aligns with the right edge of the column.

    When you release the handle, additional text and a graphic appear in the right column.

  11. Repeat step 10 to resize the graphic in the right column to fit the column. Then click in the text box.

    The Text In Overflow icon still appears.

  12. On the Insert menu, click Duplicate Page to insert a new page 5 containing an empty two-column text box.

  13. Display page 4, click in the text box, and then on the Connect Text Boxes toolbar, click the Create Text Box Link button.


    Create Text Box Link

    When you move the pointer back over the publication window, it changes to a pitcher.

  14. Display page 5, and click in the text box.

    Additional content fills page 5. The Text In Overflow Icon still appears.

  15. Right-click the text box, click Format Text Box, and then click the Text Box tab. Clear the Include “Continued from page...” check box, and then click OK.

    It is unnecessary to include continuation messages when a story appears on consecutive pages.

  16. On the Insert menu, click Page, and in the Insert Newsletter Pages dialog box, click More.

    The Insert Page dialog box opens.

  17. Set the Number of new pages to 3, click the Duplicate all objects on page option, and then click OK.

    Publisher inserts four new pages (6, 7, and 8) containing empty two-column text boxes. The publication now has 18 pages.

  18. Display page 5, and click in the text box. Click the Create Text Box Link button, display page 6, and click in the text box to continue the story. Repeat the process two times to continue the story through to page 8. Then resize each graphic to the width of its column.

    The story ends partway down the left column on page 8.

  19. Click the text box, and then drag the bottom handle up to halfway through the content, releasing the mouse button when the content fills the two-column text box.

  20. Insert a copy of the text box at the bottom of the page, and size it to completely fill the available space. Using the skills you have learned, format the text box to include the “Continued from page” message when it contains text.

    You will continue the second story from page 1 in this text box.

  21. Display page 1, click in the text box containing the story titled Plan Your Web Site, and then click the Go to Next Text Box button that appears.

    Publisher moves to the second column on page 15.

  22. Return to the previous text box, and on the Connect Text Boxes toolbar, click the Break Forward Link button.


    Break Forward Link

    The Text In Overflow icon appears. On pages 15 through 17, the text boxes that previously held the continued story are now empty.

  23. Move page 16, which now contains an empty two-column text box, to become page 9. Then use the skills you have learned to continue the second story that begins on page 1 (Plan Your Web Site) in the lower text box on page 8 and then in the text box on page 9.

  24. Click the Go to Next Text Box button at the bottom of page 9.

    Publisher moves to page 17, where the only content in the text box is the indicator of the end of the story (- END -).

  25. Delete the end tag from the text box, and press the httpatomoreillycomsourcemspimages526824.jpg key to return the insertion point to the end of page 9. Then click the Break Forward Link button to end the continuation of the story.

    The remaining two story continuations are in the correct order.

  26. Use the skills you have learned to do the following:

    • End the first story from page 2 (How to convert a trial version) in an evenly filled two-column text box on page 11.

    • Continue the second story from page 2 (Prepare, publish, and maintain) into a two-column text box at the bottom of page 11, through pages 12, 13, and 14, to end on page 15.

  27. On the page sorter, right-click the Page 16 button, click Delete Page, and then in the Microsoft Office Publisher message box, click Yes to confirm the deletion of the page, including the empty text box.

    Page 16 now contains an empty two-column text box and a sidebar.

  28. Drag the sidebar into the gray scratch area to the side of the page.

  29. Delete page 16, and then display page 15. Drag the sidebar from the scratch area to the empty space in the lower-left part of the page, and then size it to fit the column width and display its contents.

  30. Display the publication in Two-Page Spread view, and change the Zoom level to Whole Page. Review the 16-page publication to see the results of your work.

  31. When you finish, update the page numbers in the table of contents on page 1 of the publication to reflect the final result.