Filling out pre-printed certificates with Microsoft Word 2007

Here’s a relatively easy way to fill in pre-printed certificates or forms on your computer using Microsoft Word. (You need to have a scanner also.) If there’s already an easier way built into Word to do this, and I just don’t know about it, my apologies.

Here’s what to do:

Open a blank Word document and set the page orientation to landscape or portrait, depending on your certificate. Scan in the form. Copy and paste it into a Word document. Assuming your form is landscape, right click on the picture, select size and adjust height to 8.5 inches so form is filling the entire page. Right click again, select text wrapping, and select “behind text.” Move the form so that its top left corner aligns exactly with the upper left corner of the Word document.

Your cursor is probably in the upper left corner. Start typing the first line of text you will insert. Don’t worry about the fact that it is nowhere near the line where you want it to be. Now re-position your cursor at the beginning of the line of text you just typed and hit enter several times. The picture of the certificate will move down along with the text you just typed. Now, move your cursor away from the text you typed and click on the picture of the certificate to select it, and move it back up to the upper left corner. After that, you should be able to move your cursor back to the first line of text you typed and use the enter key without the scanned image moving around. Now you can use the enter key, space bar, tab, etc. to get your cursor to where you want the text to be in order to line up with the lines on the certificate. Enter the text you want on each line.

When you’re done entering the text (I’d save the document at this point, just in case), select the picture of the certificate you originally scanned in and delete it so all that is left showing is the text, now positioned where the lines are on the certificate. Before you print on an actual certificate, print on a blank piece of paper, hold it up to the light with the certificate in back of it to make sure it lines up. I prefer to work in Word with the non-printing paragraph marks displayed. (You can select this by clicking on the paragraph symbol under the paragraph section on the home page.) Then, if you need to finesse lines just a bit, it’s easy to select the paragraph symbol shown on the line above the text that needs adjusting, and change the font size of that blank line.

After printing the first certificate, you can go back and type over the name or whatever else you need to change and print the certificates for the rest of the group. You could also do this part with a database merge, but I find that way too complicated for the number of certificates I am normally printing.

Use your computer to complete pre-printed certificates.

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