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Creating a Book in Microsoft Publisher

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Creating a Book Cover in Microsoft Publisher

Creating a book cover in Microsoft Publisher, is that possible? I mean don't you have to use expensive and complicated software programs to create a book cover? Well, now that you're here you probably realise the answer is no.

The above tutorial video will show you how to create a book cover in Microsoft Publisher.

First thing to do, when opening Microsoft Publisher, is to select A4 landscape layout..

Create a book cover in microsoft publisher

Once you are presented with your new page you will want to set up your units of measurement. I'm going to use centimetres.

File - Options

Now click Advanced and note where it says show measurement units you can select centimetres.

Publisher Book Cover how to change units of measurement to centimetres.

Then click on OK.

Creating a Bleed Area in Publisher

Bleed is an area that is overprinted in publishing. We'll add a 3mm bleed to the document to ensure edge to edge printing.

Page Design - Click on the Page drop down menu and click Set-up and enter your page size. This will be the entire length of the document cover to cover as indicated below:

You would enter the values in the following box:

Width and Height boxes in page setup for Publisher Tutorial

Let's keep this simple and not change the size of the cover, leave the document size as A4. However, we'll enter 0.3cm for the bleed.

Bleed values for printing edge to edge in Publisher

(Just a note, that when you speak to most printers they will usually be talking the language of millimetres. So when you are talking about a bleed with a professional printing company they will usually refer to the measurement as 3mm.)

Find the Central Point

You need to know where the central point of the book, this is the central point of the spine of the book. This is so that we can get the book cover the correct size so that it fits properly.

To work out the centre point you can use the following calculation: Width / 2.

OK, now that we know that we can apply that calculation to our A4 landscape document. The calculation would be:

29.7 / 2 = 14.85

So the now we can drag a guide from the vertical ruler onto the publication and enter the value of the guide to 14.85

Now, you can click on the Guides drop-down menu from the Page Set-up tab and then click ruler guides.

In the ruler guides box click vertical to enter a number for a vertical guide.

In the ruler guide box enter 14.85, then click Set.

Set vertical ruler guide position for publisher

Calculating width of the spine in a book

Once you've worked out where the central point in the book is, you'll need to find out how thick you want your spine to be. To do this you will need the help of a spine calculation website.

https://www.gutenberg.com.mt/spine-width-calculator

Using the above site you can enter the paper weight and number of pages. You will then see how wide you need to make the spine. Take a look at the example below:

Spine Width Calculator

As you can see from above with 80g paper, 250 sheets would mean that my book spine would have to 10mm or 1cm.

Add two more vertical guides at the following positions:

Spine Width Guides - Publisher book cover tutorial

Once you have set all the guides, click OK.

Adding a Text box to the Book Cover

Let's add a text box to the cover to show the title of the book. To add a text box:

  1. Click, Insert - Draw Text Box.
    Draw Text box Publisher
  2. After that draw a text box on right-hand side of the page.
    Draw text box - Create a book cover in publisher
  3. Type the title of the book: "The Stranger".
  4. Drag to select the text, then change the font type to Arial Black.
    Change font type - create a book cover MS Publisher
  5. In the font size box, to the right of the font type drop-down list, type 52.
    (This makes the font size 52pt or 52 points. Understand more about the origin of point sizes.)
    Adjust font size - publisher book cover tutorial
  6. Now move the text box down a little by dragging the border of the text box.
    (It's important that you drag the text box at a place on the border where there isn't a resize handle).
    Drag to move - Publisher book cover tutorial
    Now we want to enter the name of the author, which we will place in the bottom right corner.
  7. Drag to create a text box roughly in the bottom right corner, enter your name in the text box.
    Draw text box - Create a book cover in publisher tutorial
    What we want to do next is to copy the formatting, or the look, from the title of the book. Then apply that same formatting to the author. We will use the format painter to do this.
  8. First, highlight the text "The Stranger", which is the title of the book.
  9. Then Click on Format painter. (This is on the home tab).
  10. Finally, select the author text.
    Use format painter in Microsoft Publisher
    You can see that the formatting of the book title text has been copied to the author text. Of course in copying the text, the size has also been copied. This means that the text of the author is took big to fit in the text box. In fact, if you closely, this is shown by the resize handles of the text box being red. Let's sort this.
  11. With the author text still selected change the font size to 20pt.
    (Now your text should be completed visible in the text box).
    Text box in Microsoft Publisher
  12. Next, we need to ensure that the text is in the centre of the text box. Ensure that the text in the text box is selected. Then click on the centre align button at the top.
    Center align text in a text box in Microsoft Publisher
  13. Now, centre align the text in the title text box.

Add a Background Picture

The next thing we need to do is to add in a background picture that will cover the entire page spread. The trick here is to ensure that the picture fits. For that we are going to use the crop tool in Microsoft Publisher.

  1. Click Insert - Pictures.
    Insert Picture - Create Book Cover in Publisher Tutorial
  2. Locate the Mystery Man.jpg image.
    (Download the mystery man.jpg image here.)
  3. Next, adjust the image so that it overlays the entire page spread. Use the corner re-size handles and ensure that you hold the shift key down as you do this so that the dimensions of the image aren't distorted.
    (The page spread is the two pages of the document. In this case it's the front cover, back cover and the spine.)
    (You may want to use the Zoom in and Zoom out keyboard short cut to help you see the edge of the page. To do this hold the Ctrl key down and use the wheel on your mouse.)
    Zoom in and out shortcut in Microsoft Publisher
  4. Next, we need to crop the image so that it fits on the pages. Click to select the picture, and then click the Picture Format tab that has appeared at the top.
    Microsoft Publisher picture format tab
  5. After that, click on the crop button.
    (See that the resize handles are now crop handles.)
    Microsoft Publisher cropping a picture
  6. Use the left and right crop handles so that the picture fits on the page.
    Microsoft Publisher cropping an image for a book cover
  7. Now, with the crop button still selected, click and drag the picture to the left so that the none of the hood, in the image, appears on the spine.
    Move image within crop boundaries - MS Publisher book cover tutorial
    (You may need to zoom in closely to ensure that the image and the edges of the page line up precisely).
  8. Now, with the picture selected click the Send Backward drop-down arrow and choose Send to back.
    Send image to back in Microsoft Publisher
    After doing that you will see that the colour of the text, being black, isn't the best. So we now need to change the text colour.
  9. Highlight the text in the title text box and change the font colour to white.
    Change font colour in Microsoft Publisher
  10. Do the same to the author text.

Microsoft Publisher tutorial - Computer Tutoring



How to Rotate text in Microsoft Publisher

Your Microsoft Publisher book cover is looking good. The next task is to create the text that will appear on the spine of the book. To do this we will copy the title text box, rotate it and place it so that it fits along the spine.

  1. Click once on the border of the title text box.
  2. Now right click and click Copy, then right click and click paste.
    Copy and paste image - Microsoft Publisher
  3. Drag the newly copied text box, using the border, to the middle of the page.
  4. Use the rotation handle to rotate the text 90 degrees to the left.
    Rotate text in Microsoft Publisher

    Should look like the following picture when done:
    Microsoft Publisher tutorial rotating text boxes
    Now, we need to ensure that the text on the spine of the book actually lines up with the spine. For that we're going to use a neat little trick. That is to make the picture semi-transparent.
  5. Right click on the picture and choose Format Picture.
    Format Picture selection in Microsoft Publisher
  6. Drag the transparency slider to 50%. Then click OK.
    Format Picture transparency slider in Microsoft Publisher
  7. Now drag the previously rotated text so that it's centered on the spine of the book cover. Change the font size to 26pt.
    Fit text to book spine in Microsoft Publisher
    If you have difficulty getting the text exactly lined up you can move the text box using the cursor, also know as arrow, keys on the keyboard. Just make sure that you have the border of the text box selected first.

Adding Text to the Back Page

No book cover would be complete without any back page introduction text, also know as back page blurb. This is the text that will, hopefully, get people to actually open the book and read it. What we're going to do is something a little special. We're going to add a transparent graphic between the text and the image so that it really makes the text pop.

  1. Insert a text box on the left side of the spread.
    Drawing a text box on the left of the spread in Publisher
  2. Open "The Stranger Back Page Blurb.docx" word file and copy the text.
    (Highlight the text then, Ctrl & C)
    .
    (Download Blurb text here.)
  3. Click inside the newly created text box and paste the text you copied from the word file by holding Ctrl on the keyboard and pressing V.
    Book cover back page blurb - Publisher tutorial
  4. Change the font type to Times New Roman and the font size to 14pt.
  5. Click before the word One, at the beginning of the sentence that says: "One thing Hannah realised..." then press enter to add a new paragraph.
  6. Change the transparency of the picture back to 0%.
    Make text clearer when place on picture in Microsoft Publisher
    As you can see the black text isn't clear against the dark picture. So what we'll do is place a semi-transparent rectangle between the picture and the text. By doing this it will make the text easier to read.
  7. Click Insert - Shapes from the ribbon and select the rectangle shape.
    Insert semi transparent shape in Microsoft Publisher
  8. Drag to draw a rectangle across the text on the left, or the back page, of the spread.
  9. From the Shape Format tab, click the Shape Fill drop down menu and choose More fill colours.
    More fill colours in Microsoft Publisher
  10. Use the brightness slider on the right to change the fill colour to white.
    Colour brightness slider in Microsoft Publisher
  11. Change the Transparency to 50%. Then click OK.
    Change shape transparency to 50% in Microsoft Publisher
  12. Click the Shape Outline drop down list and choose No Outline.
    Remove an outline from a shape in Microsoft Publisher
  13. Now, click the send backward drop down menu and choose Send Backward.
    Place transparent shape between picture and text in Microsoft Publisher
  14. Align the text and the transparent rectangle by selecting them both with the shift key, then choose align centre from the align drop down menu.
    Aligning shapes in Microsoft Publisher

Almost, there. You may want to adjust position of the text box and the transparent rectangle so that it looks a little better. Also, if the text on the spine looks like some of it is being cut of you may want to increase the size of the text box.

Anyway, here is how my book cover looks at the moment.

Creating a book cover in Microsoft Publisher end

One more thing that you might want to do is to create a drop caps in Publisher. This is the effect that the first letter of a word in the sentence is enlarged. Be sure to check out other Publisher tutorials.

Removing the Hyphens

Maybe the absolute last thing that you would want to do is to remove the hyphens in the text box on the last page. Most people don't like hyphens in documents. It generally makes the page harder to read.

  1. Highlight the text.
  2. Under Text box tools click Format then Hyphenation
  3. Untick Automatically hyphenate this story.
    How to get rid of hypens in Microsoft Publisher
  4. Click OK.

Now you can see that the hyphens have disappeared. Woohoo!

So that's how you can create a book cover in Microsoft Publisher. Hopefully this tutorial has given you what you need to know to create a good looking book cover for your magnum opus. Or even if you want to create a cover for a brochure or booklet.

We have many other Microsoft Publisher tutorials available so make sure that you check them out.

Other Tutorials