How to Blur Edges in Publisher

By Filonia LeChat

Leaning on Microsoft Publisher for your desktop publishing needs may help you blur the line between you and a professional printer, but you’ll have to take a different tactic when getting artistic in the program. Although Publisher gives you free reign over designing everything from business cards to fliers to bumper stickers, it doesn’t have a large collection of drawing tools. To perform something like a blurred edge effect, you’ll need to get a little bit creative with what the software includes.

Step 1

Launch Publisher and open the document with the item with the edges to blur (or open a blank document). To add a basic shape, click the “Insert” tab, click the “Shapes” button, choose a shape and drag to draw it on the Publisher page.

Step 2

Click the “Shapes” button again and choose the “Scribble” tool; it's the squiggle at the end of the Lines section.

Step 3

Position the cursor, which is now a pencil icon, at one end of the edge to blur. Press and hold down the left mouse button. Drag the cursor back and forth, creating a fuzzy line look. Don’t lift your finger off the mouse button until you’ve finished that edge. Publisher sets the blurred line look you just scribbled and opens the orange Drawing Tools tab.

Step 4

Click the blur you just drew to ensure it is selected. Click the “Shape Outline” menu on the Drawing Tools tab’s ribbon.

Step 5

Click the “Pattern” option in the drop-down menu, then click the “Pattern” tab on the Patterned Lines pop-up window.

Step 6

Click either the "Large confetti" or "Small confetti" box in the Pattern section. Leave the defaults as black and white or change them to your preferred blur color. Click “OK.” You can go back and experiment with the blur patterns until you have the look you want.

Step 7

Repeat the process with the Scribble tool for each edge required. It may be helpful to write down your chosen pattern and color to ensure everything matches.

Step 8

Resave the Publisher document with a new name to protect the original; save it with the same name to overwrite the original.

Tips & Warnings

  • These instructions are valid for Publisher 2013, 2010 and 2007. You may find several differences between the programs performing other functions, as well as in other versions of the software.