Tag Archive for: desktop publishing

Desktop Publishing in the Cloud

As more and more of our work moves to “the cloud” and away from locally installed software, desktop publishing is one area which lacked a suitable online replacement. The desktop publishing standard, Microsoft Publisher, has long provided flexibility when it comes to layout so you can place images and text wherever you desire. Contrast this to word processing software which imposes strict rules around positioning text and images on the page.

Now with a simple modification of online presentation software, Google Slides, users can experience a parallel free-form layout environment for creative endeavors. The key is to change the page setup dimension from the traditional 4:3 or 16:9 ratio to A4 dimensions – 8.5:11 (portrait) or 11:8.5 (landscape). Watch this 1 minute video to learn how:


The work of church and school is greatly enhanced by excellent communication. From bulletins to event flyers to study materials to newsletters, called workers, church office personnel and volunteers alike will appreciate having this flexible design/layout tool in their digital toolbox. And moving this work to the cloud “ups the ante” on ease of sharing and collaboration during the development stage.

This sample 8.5 x 11 newsletter was created in Google Slides. It includes several different layouts for text as well as images and mailing space. Once the design work was complete, the files was downloaded in PDF format for printing.

Related resources

Try out different Slides themes, including the built in themes (Help) and those available from SlidesCarnival.com, to enhance design work.

Visit the Learning in Hand blog for a step-by-step tutorial on using Google Slides to print custom Post-It notes.

Also, Canva.com offers an alternative cloud-based design option. They have tons of professionally-designed layouts which can easily be customized. Much of their content is free, but some of the most desirable images do come with a price tag. Still, the cost is low (typically $1 per image) for superb design.

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Avery Design & Print

Let’s face it – ministry isn’t always glamorous! At times it even requires us to roll up our sleeves and get dirty in the church and school office. Eeek!!

Even though that introduction is intended to make you smile, it is true that many ministry initiatives include a component which starts in the church or school office with design and printing of resources such as bulletin and newsletter inserts, and decorations for special services, events, or celebrations. Often it is the desire to print multiple copies of a design on the same page. The most common need which comes to mind is mailing labels. While labels are often creating in Word processing software, those mail merge features can be intimidating and time consuming.

That’s why I like to use the Avery Design & Print Online site for mailing labels and much more. The creation tools are very easy to master, and there are advanced features as well, such as the ability to …

  • control font selection, size and color
  • add curved text
  • import files for mail merge
  • add a generated QR code
  • upload your own graphics

Don’t feel you’ll be limited simply to “grandma’s” old mailing labels, however! Avery has label templates of all shapes and sizes. Design one item in the desired dimensions, and it is automatically replicated on the entire page. Want to customize each one? Switch from the “Edit all” mode to the “Edit one” mode, and customize to your heart’s desire.


This tool would be helpful to anyone tasked with creating print resources for a church or school. You may use it with or without the actual label sheets selected. Avery doesn’t know whether those labels are in your printer when you print your work at the end of the process. Printing on plain paper is just file. You may even download your final design in PDF format, and skip printing all together.

To get started, visit Avery Design & Print Online. When prompted create a free account and save your credentials for use each time you visit the site. An added benefit of setting up an account is you may save your creations to your Avery account for free.

Related resources

If browser-based software is not your pleasure, check out these additional software options for Avery Print & Design.

In addition, Avery offers to professionally print your designs for you with their WePrint service. To encourage you to try it out, they’ll give you $10 off your first order with coupon code Print10.

This overview video will get you up-to-speed with Avery Design & Print Online in under 3 minutes!

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