It’s all about first impressions. But how much care do you put into dressing up your documents?
Is it all title, headings, subheadings, bullets and paragraphs, or do you put some more thought into the documents you create in Microsoft Word?
There are a lot of things that go into a professional Microsoft Word documentHow to Create Professional Reports and Documents in Microsoft WordHow to Create Professional Reports and Documents in Microsoft WordThis guide examines the elements of a professional report and reviews the structuring, styling, and finalizing of your document in Microsoft Word.Read More. But we are talking about first impressions here. So, let’s take on the first thing our eyes fall on – the cover page.
The cover page is the very first page of your document. Its purpose right at the beginning is to give the reader the “Big Idea” about the document. The why and wherefore is communicated through a specific title, the author name, date, a one-liner on the subject and any other bit of important information that you think is important for the reader.
What Does a Vanilla Cover Page Look Like?
You might have spotted monochromatic and simple cover pages on research documents and school essays. They are dictated by style guides like the Chicago Manual of Style. The title page takes a minimalist approach to cover page design. For instance, the title or topic of the study is centered one-third of the way down the page.
For an academic assignment, do check with your instructor before using a cover page.
But what if you want to give your document a cooler cover page when not dictated by a style guide but realize that you don’t have the design chops for it? Design your own.
Insert an Attractive Cover Page
Microsoft Word makes it painless to create a professional cover page.
The Office suite comes with a few well-designed cover pages that you can re-purpose for your document. There’s a good variety to choose from.
Open a new Word document. Click on the Insert menu on the ribbon. The dropdown for Cover Page is the first feature you will spot on the menu (under Pages). Click on tiny arrow next to it and open the inbuilt gallery of templates. Pick one from the 16 pre-formatted templates and three more on Office.com.
Select the one you like and click on it. The cover page appears at the beginning of the document by default. But to place it in any other location, right click on the cover page thumbnail in the gallery and select from the options given. Though, am not sure why you would want to!
Customize Individual Fields
Click on each pre-formatted field (the square brackets) and the whole thing gets highlighted with a blue field label on top. Type in your version for the given field. The author name might appear by default if the Office installation is in your name. Place the common information in Quick Parts and you don’t have to bother with typing them again and again.
Change the date fields with the drop-down arrow and select a date from a calendar. You can format all fields just like normal text.
You can easily edit graphical cover page elements like any other image. Just click on the graphic to display the Drawing Tools and Picture Tools menus on the Ribbon.
Change the Design on the Fly
Customizing a pre-formatted cover page is a piece of cake. The templates consist of formatted controls and graphic boxes that come in different color themes. So, you can change any part of the template on the fly.
Notice a picture on the cover page template? Maybe, you would like to swap it out with a logo or another more appropriate image. Just right click on the picture and click Change Picture in the context menu.
Changed your mind about the entire cover page? While working on one cover page, you can change it for another cover page by selecting a new template from the drop-down. The new template retains the field entries.
Note: To replace a cover page created in an older version of Word, you must delete the first cover page manually, and then add a new design from the cover page gallery.
Click on Save to finalize the cover page as a document.
If you would like to save the cover page for later use in another document, select the entire cover page. Click on Insert > Cover Page > Save Selection to Cover Page Gallery. You can use the same menu to remove a selected cover page from the gallery.
Design Your Own Cover Page
Microsoft Word templates are a time-saving solution, but they don’t allow your personality to shine through. To add a personal touch, you should put in a bit more effort and make a thoughtfully designed cover page from scratch.
You have all the image editing tools in Microsoft Word at your disposal. When you can design your own logo in Microsoft Word, a cover page is less of a chore. Borrow or steal ideas from the process.
The screenshot below displays a cover page I created in Microsoft Word from scratch. I used a few basic Shapes to create the design and formatted them with color.
Save Your Custom Template
Complete your design on a fresh Microsoft Word document. Save this document as a Microsoft Word template (File > Save As > Microsoft Word Template) in a location of your choice.
Now, the next steps are about adding your own cover page to the default choices under the Insert menu. Follow these steps:
Press CTRL + A to select the entire page.
Add these selections to the Quick Parts gallery. Go to Ribbon > Insert > Quick Parts (the Text Group). Select Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery… from the drop-down.
Enter the details in the dialog for a new Building Block. Building blocks are reusable Microsoft Word elements that you can add to any of the galleries available in Word. This is what the dialog box looks like:
- Name: Give the cover page a Name.
- Gallery: Choose “Cover Pages” from the dropdown.
- Category: Choose a category. For better organization, make a new category.
- Save in: Save it in your template or in the building block. When saved as a building block, you can use it in any Word document without opening the template.
Click OK and close the Building Block dialog box. Go to the Insert menu and check your new cover page template.
Add Some Style with a Cover Page
A cover page is one of the best ways to stylize your document. But is it one of the more underused features of Microsoft Word7 Underused Microsoft Word Features and How to Use Them7 Underused Microsoft Word Features and How to Use ThemAre you overlooking some of Microsoft Word's most useful features? This application features a surprising number of underused tools and options. We have unearthed seven and will show you how to use them.Read More? A Word document is often bland. So, do consider the merits…
- A cover page gives the reader a quick visual of the content inside.
- Save and re-use a generic company-wide cover page in the gallery.
- Convert a document with a cover page to PDF with one button and send to any device.
Most of us don’t commonly employ a cover page with a document. Or do you? Let us know the benefits you find in inserting a well-designed cover page.
Image Credit: faisalsk007 via Wikimedia Commons
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If you want to add something extra to your report or essay, then an attractive cover page can help. Not only can it bring flair to your document but it is useful at the same time. A cover page introduces the paper to your audience with a title, author, date, and brief summary.
As we’ve previously explainedHow to Easily Make an Attractive Cover Page in Microsoft WordHow to Easily Make an Attractive Cover Page in Microsoft WordDo you believe in first impressions? The cover page is the first thing people will see of your word document. We show you how you can make that first impression a great one.Read More, this is the first impression your readers get and provides the big picture of what the document contains. So, if you are ready to complete your business or educational paper with a cover page, here are several terrific Microsoft Word templates.
Templates for Business Reports and Texts
1. Business Cover Page Median Theme
This nice Median themed template from Microsoft Word not only gives you an eye-catching cover page, but helps you start your report too. The cover page includes a spot for a photo, for example of your business location, a product or service, or your company logo. Then, just add the date and an optional subtitle along with a summary of the contents.
The second page of the template provides headings, subheadings, paragraphs, and a quote section. For a cover page template that goes a little further to assist you with your documentHow to Create Professional Reports and Documents in Microsoft WordHow to Create Professional Reports and Documents in Microsoft WordThis guide examines the elements of a professional report and reviews the structuring, styling, and finalizing of your document in Microsoft Word.Read More, this option from Microsoft Office is a great choice.
2. Business Cover Page Essential Design
Also from Microsoft Office, this similar one gives you a cover page and report template in one. The cover page has a much larger photograph area. So, if your business can benefit from a bigger visual, such as a design, marketing, or graphics company, this is a terrific template. You can pop in the report title, subtitle, and abstract like the other template.
The template’s next page carries over the same black, white, and red color scheme and offers a sidebar for highlighting key points. And, you have your headings, subheadings, and paragraphs for a complete package.
3. Formal Cover Page Blue Vertical Design
Maybe you would prefer to stay away from a cover page that includes a photo. If so, this basic option from Hloom might be more your style. With a simple blue vertical line design, the cover page also has spots for the title, subtitle or abstract, date, and the author’s name.
4. Report Cover Page Dark Blue Weaves
Hloom has another good option in a darker blue. This one really highlights the title of your report with large font right in the center. Other great features of this page are the additional text areas. You can include a subtitle, date, or your company motto at the top. Then, at the bottom is a place for the report’s author or your summary.
Templates for Educational Essays and Term Papers
5. Student Paper Cover Page
For students who have the flexibility to format their cover page as they like, this Microsoft Office template is an excellent option. You can pop in a photo or other image and then add the report title, student name, course name, instructor name, and date. And, of course, it is easy to remove those areas that you do not need.
Like the business cover letter templates from Microsoft Office, this one includes a second page for help with the report. Headings, subheadings, and a bulleted list are there for convenience. But, if you are required to submit your paper in a specific format like MLA or APA, you can just use the cover page.
6. Student Report With Cover Page
For a more compact cover page option that also includes that helpful second page, Microsoft Office gives you this nice template. Like the other cover page for students, you can use a photo or image that enhances your report topic. Insert your title and subtitle and then your name, course name, and date.
The second page has headings and subheadings with a bulleted list to assist you in starting your report, research paper, term paper, or essay.
7-9. APA-Style Cover Pages
When your instructor requires an APA cover page to match your paper, Hloom has a few templates. Each of these options provides the correct line spacing, font size, and margins as well as Times New Roman for the font style and a running head.
The first template is intended for a paper with just one author. It is plain and simple with places for your title, name, and affiliation or institution name.
These two are both suitable for a two-author paper. You will notice that the only difference is the affiliation. One is for authors within the same institution and the other is for authors with different affiliations.
10. Collaborative Cover Page
If you have a paper with more than one author, but are not restricted to the APA format, check out this template. From Microsoft Office, you can enter an image or photo, add your title and abstract, and then include more than one author. You can also fill out the areas for class, semester, instructor name, and date.
And take advantage of the second page to start your paper off right with the convenient formatting. For additional student templates, take a look at these helpful tools15 Checklist, Schedule, and Planner Templates for Students15 Checklist, Schedule, and Planner Templates for StudentsOur planning templates will help you keep track of classes and homework. Whether you're a student or parent, preparing for the school year will be a breeze.Read More.
Creative Cover Page Templates
11. Book Background Cover Page
When you want to go all out and a book theme is the right way to do it, take a look at this Hloom template. The cover page has an old-fashioned look with the yellowed paper. You can add your title and a nice-sized summary.
12. Purple Lined Cover Page
Do you like the larger area for the abstract and creative design, but not necessarily the book theme? This purple vertical lined cover page from Hloom is stylish and simple at the same time. Add your title and summary with a bit of colored pizzazz.
If none of these templates fit your needs exactly as you like, maybe an all-purpose template10 Templates to Save Time at the Office10 Templates to Save Time at the OfficeAre there documents that you write over and over again? Whether it's meeting agendas, invoices, or status reports, templates could make your work easier. We have compiled 10 template ideas to save you time.Read More is for you. You can use these cover pages for business or educational documents. And, remember, you can remove any text blocks that you do not need.
13. Abstract Design Cover Page
From Template.net, this is a handsome and professional option. The abstract-designed blocks at the bottom include a spot for the year which is selectable once you enable the template for editing. You can complete the title, subtitle, author, and company areas as they apply.
14. Text Background Cover Page
For an educational cover page, this template is also from Template.net. Enter the title, subtitle, date, and author. You can enter the date easily from the drop-down calendar when you click on the area. What makes this one cool is that the background is editable text. So, you can enter your own words or letters for a unique look or remove it completely.
15. Basic Cover Page
When basic is best for your report or paper, Template.net has this neat and clean option. There are no fancy images or photo spots; just a splash of color in the line separating the title and subtitle, which can be removed if you choose. Locations for the company name, author, and summary are centered and evenly spaced.
Did You Find the Perfect Cover Page?
Hopefully one or more of these cover page templates are just what you needed, for business or education. If what you really need is tips for templates on your MacHow to Create Impressive Pages Documents and Templates on MacHow to Create Impressive Pages Documents and Templates on MacThe price isn’t the only reason to give Pages a spin — it's packed with ready-to-use templates that will make your work look fantastic.Read More or those that help your meetings run smoother5 PowerPoint Templates for Efficient Meetings5 PowerPoint Templates for Efficient MeetingsDo you also spend too much time in meetings? Use these PowerPoint templates to ease your preparation and make your meetings more efficient. You can customize all slides to your needs.Read More, we have you covered.
If we helped you find the exact cover page template you needed or if you can recommend additional resources, let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: morning-light/Depositphotos
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