Thursday, March 9, 2017

how to make an invitation using microsoft powerpoint



With all of the wedding events I've been a part of lately, learning how to create an invitation was a necessity for me. Using Microsoft Publisher was my first thought but I realized the Microsoft Office package I have on my MacBook doesn't include Publisher!

One night, I was looking for images to save in my Google Drive so that I could use Publisher on a school computer the next day and thought about seeing what I could do in PowerPoint. I knew I didn't want to use Word at all because it has no flexibility for moving things and really limits creativity. It turns out PowerPoint is perfect because it provides a blank screen and you can place text boxes and images anywhere!

When you first open PowerPoint, you'll want to click "Blank Presentation" so that you're given a white screen and can do any designs you want without any of their presets. Be sure to go ahead and delete the title and subtitle text boxes by clicking the border so the box is selected and backspacing.


A super important trick for creating an invitation in PowerPoint that you might not have already known is changing the page orientation so that your invitation can be in either portrait or landscape layout. 

You just have to go to the design tab and go over to the right side where I have the menu pulled down. It will say Slide Size and if you click it, you can open a menu in "Page Setup..." and adjust from there.


Once you have the Page Setup menu box open, you'll want to click on either of the pictures under Page Orientation beside Slides depending on if you want portrait or landscape. You don't have to worry about the orientation of notes, handouts, & outlines for this. You can also go into the drop down menu for "slide sized for" and make adjustments in the size of your design for printing or set your own measurements in width and height below that.



Some fonts I like to use in PowerPoint include Lucida Bright, Superclarendon, Georgia, and Gill Sans. I also use Phosphate for a bold, dramatic look. The best way to create an attractive look is to use about three different fonts and mix them throughout lines, but stay consistent by using them in at least two different sections of the invitation.

You can see in this picture that the text in red boxes use Lucida Bright, the text in blue boxes use Phosphate, and the text in green boxes use Gill Sans. 



When adding a text box, something to consider is the spacing between letters. It can make a big difference in the visual appeal of your invitation. I like to choose loose character spacing in the home tab and font section pictured below. Very loose is also an option you can consider for shorter words and phrases that you want to emphasize.



Hopefully you have a theme in mind for your party that will help you with the design process of the invitation. I recommend working on images and colors after you've put in all the necessary words so that you know how much free space you have left to work with. 

When you're ready to put in images, I recommend searching Google for a free image of the thing you want. In my case, I searched "free flamingo clipart" because I knew I wanted a flamingo that looked drawn and not an actual picture of a flamingo. You can also find sets of graphic designs for different themes on Etsy for decent prices if you're interested or unable to find free images you like.

Once I found a good free flamingo that had the look I was going for, I felt like the color was a little brighter than I had wanted. No worries, it's a quick fix! Click on the photo in PowerPoint so that it opens up the Format Picture sidebar. Go into the last option which includes Picture Corrections and go down to Picture Transparency. Increase transparency until you've reached your desired color.

Because I emailed my invites with this design, I'm not entirely sure how the adjusted transparency shows up when printed but it looks excellent if you're saving the PowerPoint as an image.


A trick that I used on the palm trees so that I could use them on both sides of the invitation was opening up the picture format tab on the top menu bar and going to the tiny gray triangles to the right of "Align" and clicking for the drop-down menu under that. I clicked flip horizontal after inserting the second set of palm trees and placed them on the other side of the slide.


Remember that for a simple image, like the sun in my invitation, you can go into the Insert tab and choose insert shape for lots of basic shapes! Using the format picture sidebar that we used before, you can go to the paint bucket, which is the first option in the sidebar, to change the color fill and outline to the color of your choice.

If you have some of your words in the same space as one of your images, you can click the "Send Backward" option on the top Picture Format menu (pictured above) and click "Send to Back" so that your image is completely behind any words. 

I'm sure you've noticed by now that most of my images are partially off the page in the gray area that won't be printed or seen. This is intentional and a good trick for making the image look exactly how you want it. Cropping the images can take more time and effort so just placing them on the white background how you want them is an easy fix for adjusting your image.

When you're completely happy with your invitation, you can go into slideshow mode and click play from current slide so that your invitation is fully on your screen and the parts that we left out on the gray area are no longer visible. 


Once you enter slideshow view, be careful about moving your mouse because a navigation window may open up at the bottom and we don't want that right now. As long as the arrows aren't showing up on your image, go ahead and take a screenshot using the selective mode so that you don't get any additional black screen, just your invitation. If the arrows do show up, escape from slideshow mode and enter it again.

This is the full screen screenshot I took of my slideshow view so that you can get an idea of what your screen should look like.


This is a great way to save your invitation as an image and once it's a screenshot on a Mac you can open that image and go to File - Save As PDF and have a PDF version for emailing and printing.

If you're printing as a PDF on a Mac, be sure to change Scale to "Scale to Fit" and select "Print Entire Image." 

Another way I like to print these invitations is sending the PowerPoint file to my local OfficeMax and asking print services to do the amount of 5x7 invitations I want on cardstock. They'll want you to send the PowerPoint file instead of the screenshot because it reduces their print quality if sent as a JPG and you should definitely explain to them what your expectations are before they print the set.

I hope this tutorial gave you some insight on how you can make high quality designs for invitations and inspired you to make your own creative invites! If you have any questions, let me know in the comments or feel free to send me an email or message on the social media links listed in my sidebar!