Transform Templates into Professional Publications

Who says you have to be a professional designer to create a MagCloud-ready PDF? The MagCloud team has been exploring a variety of word processing and basic design applications that make creating a magazine super simple.

First up was Microsoft Word.  There are a large number of Word templates available that are almost perfectly designed for creating MagCloud magazines.

Whether you are visiting Microsoft’s Website, or the program’s built-in project gallery (available on a Mac), you can find great templates to get you started on creating your brochure, catalog, calendar or just about any other document you can imagine.

I’ll be using the “Brochure” template here as a pilot, but we’ll explore other templates in the future.

The original Microsoft version is available Download original Microsoft Template and my MagCloud-ready version is available Download MagCloud Ready Template.

To get started, you’ll want to start by finding and opening your template.

In this case I found mine in the “Project Gallery” within the Microsoft Word application. Because the template is designed for a US Letter sized paper (8.5” x 11”) it will be really simple to modify for my own use.

Because MagCloud trims its documents to 8.25” x 10.75” we are going to lose 0.125” inches off the top and bottom, and 0.25” off the outside edge. This means in order for our template to be centered on the printed page, we are going to have to adjust the margins. Doing this consistently on every page can be tough, so I use a little trick with the document margin settings and offset them by 0.25.” This way, when the pages are trimmed that 0.25” off the outside edges, the content of the page still looks centered.

To access these settings, you will go to Format>>Document. Using the settings in the screen shot below, you can adjust the margins on the page, and then proceed to adjust the content so it fits within the guides. *Be sure to select “Mirror margins” to see the inside and outside margin options. In this example the document had a 0.5” margin all the way around, so I adjusted the margin by -0.25” on the inside, and +0.25” on the outside.

Adjusting the individual elements on each page can be tricky, so I recommend selecting one item on the page, using “ctrl + A”(PC) or “cmnd + A” (Mac) to select all, then right-clicking (or in some cases ctrl+click) on the mouse and selecting the option “Grouping>Group” to group the objects together. This allows you to move all of the page’s contents at once, so you don’t lose the integrity of your design. Be sure to reverse the process by right-clicking after the move and select “Grouping>Ungroup”, so you can once again modify the elements individually.

Microsoft does some pretty awesome things with their Word templates by establishing color and font palettes, for the more novice user, this means you can keep your fonts and colors consistent through the document, and for those feeling a bit more daring, you can actually customize the palettes to make the document more your own. Each template comes in a set of colors, and fonts, but you can mix and match these to suit your needs.

Below you will see the same template with a different color schema and font collection.


Microsoft Word 2003: To export your Word 2003 document as a MagCloud PDF on a PC, first go into Tools > Options and select the Save tab. Ensure that the box next to Embed TrueType Fonts is checked, but the boxes next to its subcategories (“Embed characters in use only” and “Do not embed common system fonts”) are unchecked.

Then, in the “Save to PDF” dialog box, click the “Options” button and check the “ISO 19005-1 compliant” box, which should also automatically put a check in the “Bitmap text when fonts may not be embedded” box.

Click Okay, then go to File > Save As and select PDF from the file type drop-down menu to save your PDF.

Microsoft Word 2007 (PC): To export your Word 2007 document on a PC, click on the Microsoft Office Button in the upper left hand corner and choose “Word Options”. Select the Save tab on the left and make sure that the box for “Embed fonts in this file” is checked, but uncheck the boxes below it (“Embed only the characters used in the document” and “Do not embed common system fonts”).

Then, in the “Save to PDF (or XPS)” dialog box, click the “Options” button and check the “ISO 19005-1 compliant” box, which should automatically put a check in the “Bitmap text when fonts may not be embedded” box.

Microsoft Word (Mac): When exporting your PDF on a Mac, there is no option to embed fonts, so simply select File > Save As and choose PDF from the Format drop-down menu.

*This usually is only an issue if you have empty, hidden or transparent text frames in your document, or when a single character within a block of text uses a different font than the rest of the paragraph. If you have problems, you will either need to eliminate these, or embed the fonts in a different program before uploading to MagCloud. (see the help section)


1. Establish a style/color palette before you start inputting your content.
2. Save versions of your document as you play with the design, colors and fonts–this way you can open them up and compare your options side by side.
3. Use the styles panel to make changes in Paragraph and Character styles rather than adjusting selections on the page… this way you keep your styling consistent throughout your document.


Microsoft Office Word Template Site

Mactopia (for Mac Word Help/How-to’s)