WordArt: what is it good for?

I’ve been seeing lots of those lovely quote posters around the web lately and wondering how I might make one. Turns out, WordArt is useful after all! It doesn’t have to be all hideous rainbow-words-in-a-circle kind of stuff, believe it or not. And it’s not too tricky to do, either. Check this out:


Try these steps:

  1. Find a quote you like
  2. Open Word, and paste or type your quote so you’ve got it handy – delete this at the end, OK?
  3. Choose Insert | WordArt, and select the first – very plain – option.
  4. Type the first words of your quote, just as much as you’d like to see on your first line, choose a font and set the font size (I used Franklin Gothic Book and the first line is 36pt), then click OK.
  5. Stretch or shrink the WordArt box so that it fits the width of your document.
  6. Play with text effects (colour, spacing, shadows) until it looks the way you want. I gave mine a drop-shadow.
  7. Copy and paste the first WordArt box into a new paragraph – you will now have two identical boxes.
  8. Edit the new box with the text for your next line. If you have more or less words than your first line you should reduce or increase your font size before you hit OK  (you can fine-tune it later).
  9. Size the new WordArt box to be the same width as the first. You can alter the height of the box later if you like – but not so much that the font looks weird!
  10. Repeat steps 7-9 for the remaining lines of your quote and the name attribution. This could take a bit of trial and error until you get the text into chunks that “work” nicely (trust me!)
  11. Add a background by inserting an image, or a shape filled with colour, and send it to the back, behind your words.
  1. #1 by Maxine on June 19, 2011 - 8:48 PM

    Great idea Miriam, the possibilities are endless and your easy to follow instructions make it simple for anyone to do.
    Great to see you and Bridget in collaboration and sharing some of the treasures you’ve found on the web.

  2. #2 by Jayne Downes on June 19, 2011 - 9:27 PM

    Thank you for sharing these fantastic ideas. Miriam and Bridget you are inspirations!

  3. #3 by Bookbrainz on June 20, 2011 - 3:49 AM

    This is so great, thank you – my poster skills are abysmal – i instantly printed this out and am about to find some coloured A3 paper to print it on. It helps explain why my desk is untidy with piles of books, the fish tank is green and the shelves are quite dusty!

  4. #4 by Wendy Ballard on June 20, 2011 - 8:07 AM

    Huge thanks Miriam & Bridget – these postings look great – please keep them coming!!

  5. #5 by Carole Gardiner on June 22, 2011 - 9:18 PM

    Thanks Miriam, I can’t wait to try this out. It looks fantastic! I think I may even have to make some with the names of my kids’ soccer heroes to go up in their rooms.

  6. #6 by william on August 31, 2011 - 9:49 PM

    Hi Miriam, I can’t for the life of me figure out how to stretch a single dimension (height/width) of a wordart. Adjusting the size of the shape doesn’t change the text of the Wordart itself, and it seems the only way to change the size of the text is by changing the font size, which is vastly inferior to the old version of Word, where you could make tall & skinny or short & wide text to fit a particular distance (like you seem to have done). What am I missing?
    Thanks, William.

  7. #7 by william on August 31, 2011 - 10:06 PM

    I figured it out. First you have to transform the shape (even clicking on the first one in the array, which doesn’t actually transform it in any way) and it will convert it into the format of the old style of Wordart 🙂

    • #8 by Miriam Tuohy on September 1, 2011 - 4:50 AM

      @William, I’m glad you got it to work for you. Honestly, it was very much trial and error for me! I found that if I first selected a font size that was reasonable given the line width, I could tweak it to get the look I wanted by transforming each separate WordArt object in some way i.e. shift-click + corner-stretch sometimes, and other lines by just stretching them or compressing slightly. The only tiny issue I have with myself for doing this is that it doesn’t maintain the integrity of the font (yeah, I guess that’s a bit geeky) but if it still looked nice and clean I went with it anyway 🙂

      Would love to see what you’ve created, if you feel like sharing? 🙂

  8. #9 by william on September 1, 2011 - 8:40 AM

    I’m addicted to being able to manipulate fonts in this way, so it was a major breakthrough to get this function back on Word 2011. I can’t post the result (new logo) here it seems but it will probably go up soon on my website http://www.verticalblue.net
    Cheers, W.

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