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Author Topic: Let's Make a Simple Sign in MS Word  (Read 165 times)

Opa George

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Let's Make a Simple Sign in MS Word
« on: January 13, 2020, 05:31:39 PM »
I noted a request for a quick tutorial on making signs at home.  While that can get pretty complicated pretty quick, a simple sign for a business name can be an easy task that just about anyone can do.

This assumes a basic familiarity with word processing software. I will use MS Word, Office 365 version, but the basics are fairly universal across most software.

Let's start by opening a new file.  Before typing anything, insert a text box. This is found on the "Insert" menu, "Shapes" submenu. You can see I have highlighted the text box, which is a square with an "A" inside, indicating we can add text inside whatever size box we draw.

Here I have drawn out a long, banner-shaped box. Don't worry too much about the size, yet.

Let's think of a business name.  How about "Hap's Hardware?"  I typed that text in all caps, not yet being concerned about the font or size of the text.  Let's just make sure we start with the business name we want.

Before we go much further, we should make sure we make our sign the correct size. I want one 2 1/2 inches wide and about 1/4 inch high.  To get an accurate size, make sure the ruler is visible.  If it is not, go to the "View" menu and put a check mark in the "Ruler" box.

Now we have a sign that will fit our building. You DID measure first, didn't you?  It is very easy to make these too large.

Here is where the fun comes in. Highlight your text and center it.

With the text still highlighted, let's start looking for a nice font.  If you have a relatively recent version of software, the font pulldown box will display a sample.  Very helpful.

You're probably better off avoiding the fancy fonts.  In general, sans-serif fonts look best. I settled on "Gill Sans Ultra Bold."

Now let's play with the size of the font. We want to fill our banner sign as fully as possible. Let's try 14.

Let's go a little larger--let's try 16.  Oops, too much. Don't worry, the text is still there, it just won't fully fit in the box.

The font size dropdown menu lists fonts in increments of 2. But you can type in anything.  Let's back it off a little, say 15.25.  Nope, Word does not like that. No need to get cranky, Word!

OK. Size 15 works well.

I like this result, but let's make one more with a different look.  So we don't have to start from scratch, simply click the box and choose "copy" or use the command CTRL + C.

CTRL + V will produce an exact copy.  For some reason it will place the copy over your first version, but it is easily moved.

Heck, you can hit CTRL +V for as many copies as you want.  But Hap doesn't have that many stores. It's just him and the missus, after all.

We've deleted the extras and moved our one copy directly below. Highlight the text again and let's change the text color.

I chose a text color of white.  It is still there, still highlighted, but because the box background color is white, it blends in.

Right click the box and choose "Fill."  Or choose "format shape" from the bottom of the list of commands that pops up. 

Choose black for the box background color, and now the white text shows up.  Neat!  This makes really nice signs to represent painted signs walls.

Here is our final result, ready for printing. I recommend a laser printer rather than inkjet, as inkjet inks are very susceptible to running if any moisture gets on them.

This is just a very simple tutorial. There are much more clever techniques that can take off from here.
Hope its helpful
--Opa George
George Nagle
Harrisburg, PA
Tiger Mountain Barge & Navigation Company


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Re: Let's Make a Simple Sign in MS Word
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2020, 08:30:55 PM »
Nicely done, George. The principles you present will also work in other programs even if the command names are different.