Use Publisher to Create a Class Newsletter

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Applies to

Microsoft® Office Publisher 2003

Microsoft Publisher 2002

Creating a newsletter gives students an opportunity to work together while practicing research and writing skills. When they are finished, their work can be distributed or displayed proudly. This article discusses creating a newsletter about the human body, but the newsletter format can be adapted to a variety of subjects.


Create stories for your newsletter

You may want to begin the project by having students propose and vote on a name for their newsletter.

Next, you'll need to divide the class into groups and assign a story to each group. Here are a few topic ideas to get you started:

  • Editorial about the importance of nutrition.

  • "Interviews" with key organs or systems about their function in the body.

  • Tips for maintaining a healthy body.

  • A review of medical news stories.

  • A quiz or riddles that test the reader's knowledge of the human body.

Your newsletter will need an editor. You may want to have the students edit each other's work, or you may want to serve as the editor. Either way, once the students have corrected their stories, it's time to compile and publish the newsletter.

Create your newsletter

Before students add their stories to the newsletter, give some thought to how you want the newsletter to appear. Publisher makes it easy to design and produce an attractive newsletter. While you can create newsletters (or any other publication) from scratch in Publisher, this article focuses on creating a newsletter using one of the Newsletter Wizard designs available in Publisher.

Tip:  If you plan to use Publisher to automatically convert your newsletter into a Web site, you must initially create your newsletter using one of the Newsletter Wizard designs.

To create a newsletter

  1. Start Publisher. In the New Publication task pane, click Publications for Print, and then click Newsletters.

    Note: If you are using Publisher 2002, click Newsletters in the New Publication task pane.

  2. In the Newsletter Options task pane:

    • Under One- or two-sided printing, click 1 or 2 depending on how your newsletter will be printed.

    • Under Customer address, click None.

    • Click Page Content to choose the number of columns and the types of information you want on each page. On the inside pages of a two-sided newsletter, the Select a page to modify box appears. Select Left inside page or Right inside page, and then, for each page, choose one of the following formats: 3 stories, Calendar, Order form, Response form, or Sign-up form.

    • Click Publication Designs if you want to choose a different design.

    • Click Color Schemes to choose the color scheme you want.

    • Click Font Schemes to choose the typeface designs you want.

  3. Replace placeholder text with your own text:

    • Click the placeholder text, and then type your own text.

    • To insert text from another file, right-click to select the placeholder text, point to Change Text, click Text File, choose your file, and then click OK.


    • The placeholder text provides an estimate of the number of words an article should contain to fit in the newsletter. You can use this information when making assignments.

    • In most cases, such as article headlines, the text resizes automatically to fit within the text box.

    • If you have already created a personal information set, your contact information and logo will replace some of the placeholder text automatically.

  4. Replace placeholder pictures with your own pictures:

    • Right-click the placeholder picture, and then point to Change Picture. (If you don't see Change Picture when you right-click, click the placeholder picture once until you see the white circles surrounding the picture's frame. Click the picture again until you see gray circles with x's in them surrounding the picture itself, and then right-click the picture.)

    • Choose the source of the new picture, choose the file, and then click Insert.

  5. When your newsletter looks the way you want it to, click Save on the File menu.

Print your newsletter

You can print your newsletter on your desktop printer. First, print a limited number of copies for proofreading and have students check that the newsletter is just as they want it. When the newsletter is ready, print copies for the students to take home or to share with other classes.

To print a newsletter on your desktop printer

  1. In Publisher, open the newsletter publication that you want to print.

  2. On the File menu, click Print Preview to review your work, and then click Close.

  3. On the File menu, click Print, and then choose the printer that you want your newsletter to print to.

  4. Under Copies, select the number of copies you want to print.

  5. Under Print range, click All, and then click OK.

Create your own newsletter template

Your students may have so much fun with this project that you'll want to repeat it again next year. Or you may want to use the newsletter format to explore other topic areas. Once you have completed your first newsletter, you can save it as a template to use over and over again.

A template maintains consistency in your newsletter by remembering all of your previous formatting decisions. The template file can be opened and edited, but the new publication must be saved under a different file name to avoid inadvertently changing your original newsletter template.

To create a newsletter template from an existing publication

  1. In Publisher, open the newsletter publication you want to use as the basis for a template.

  2. On the File menu, click Save As.

  3. In the Save As dialog box, from the Save as type list, select Publisher Template (*.pub).

  4. In the File name box, type a recognizable file name (such as 4-page Newsletter Template), and then click OK.

To create the next issue of your newsletter

  1. In the New Publication task pane, click Templates, and then click your newsletter template on the right.

    Note: If you are using Publisher 2002, click From template in the New Publication task pane, select the previously saved template (for example, 4-page Newsletter Template), and then click Create New.

  2. Incorporate new content, as in step 3 of the procedure To create a newsletter earlier in this article.

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