How to Create a Portfolio in Microsoft Word

By Shea Laverty

Using Microsoft Word, you can create a polished portfolio for virtually any application, including informational brochures, business proposals, artistic submissions and more. The most important thing to keep in mind is how to dynamically and efficiently present your portfolio's information. The second most important thing is to decide whether your portfolio should be print-friendly for hard copies, or a purely digital creation.

Create a Portfolio Folder

Step 1

Launch File Explorer and navigate to your Documents folder.

Step 2

Click the "Folder" icon in the upper left of File Explorer to make a new folder.

Step 3

Name the folder appropriately. For example, "Business Proposal 2014" or "Thesis."

Cover Page

Step 1

Identify an appropriate cover for the portfolio's subject and find an appropriate template. You can find a template by clicking "File," followed by "New" and then typing an appropriate subject in the search bar. Make sure the cover fits the target audience -- while a business proposal may do well with a more subdued and professional cover, creative work may benefit from a bit of flair in the cover to catch the eye.

Step 2

Enter the relevant information in the various text fields. There should be one for the project's name, the name(s) of all involved parties, and other relevant information. What fields appear will depend on the template you've chosen.

Step 3

Rearrange the text fields and edit the text as desired. The text boxes can all be moved by selecting the text and then dragging and dropping the text boxes. The text itself can be colored, formatted and sized as desired, and can make use of any fonts installed on your computer.

Step 4

Select some appropriate image(s) for the cover. Many templates feature a preset image, which you can change by right-clicking it and selecting "Change image." The best choice here depends on the situation, but often a corporate logo, image of the product being advertised or otherwise relevant picture will suffice.

Step 5

Save the document in your portfolio folder with an appropriate name, like "Cover" or "Title Sheet." Adding a numeric value denoting its place in page order may also make organization easier, like "01 Cover."

Content Pages

Step 1

Start a blank document and select an appropriate template. There are many that include prepared headers and captions that can be used to highlight important bits of information.

Step 2

Enter your information as desired. Depending on the portfolio's purpose, templates that allow only for text may be better selections than those with headlines and and captions. You can also add tables, clip art, pictures and more to give your contents meaningful illustration or an extra dash of panache. You can also add Excel spreadsheets into your document for easier representation of important data.

Step 3

Repeat as necessary for each page of regular contents.

Step 4

Save each page into the portfolio folder with an appropriate name and if desired, page number.

Adding Tables

Step 1

Place the cursor on the line upon which you want to add a table.

Step 2

Click the "Insert" tab from the Ribbon.

Step 3

Click the "Table" drop-down and select the table's cell dimensions. You can also select "Insert Table" to build a table, "Draw Table" to draw your own table cells or "Quick Tables" to select from a series of pre-built tables.

Adding Spreadsheets

Step 1

Place the cursor on the line upon which you want to add a table.

Step 2

Click the "Insert" tab from the Ribbon.

Step 3

Select "Excel Spreadsheet" to create a new spreadsheet within the document.

Adding Images

Step 1

Place the cursor where you wish to insert an image.

Step 2

Click the "Insert" tab, followed by "Pictures."

Step 3

Navigate to the desired image and select it.

Step 4

Adjust the image size to fit the needs of the page.

Hyperlinks

Step 1

Place the cursor in the desired hyperlink location.

Step 2

Click the "Insert" tab, followed by "Hyperlink."

Step 3

Type the text you wish to be displayed in the "Text to Display" field.

Step 4

Select the hyperlinked document to be displayed from your hard drive, or enter the URL address of a desired website in the "Address" text field.

Step 5

Click "OK."

Charts

Step 1

Select where you wish to insert your chart.

Step 2

Click "Insert," followed by "Charts."

Step 3

Select the type of chart, as well as the sub-type.

Step 4

Edit the chart to fit the data it represents.

Online Video Content

Step 1

Select the desired location for the video on the page.

Step 2

Click the "Insert" tab, followed by "Online Video."

Step 3

Search for the intended video on Bing or YouTube from the available search fields, or enter the HTML embed code in the provided field.

Step 4

Adjust the size and placement of the video to fit the needs of your document.

Tips & Warnings

  • The little details can make or break a good portfolio. Adding borders, dynamic text and other small visual touches can make your project pop. Just make sure not to overdo it -- an all-out assault on the eyes is just as offensive as a boring swath of plain text.
  • Once you've completed all the pages for your portfolio, you have a few options for how to present it. For hard copies, a quick print and presentation in a binder can be the way to go. For digital distribution, you can zip the folder containing the pages and send it, or create a "complete" document that features all of the pages in order as a cohesive single DOC file, as a PDF file or as an HTML document.
  • You can also paste existing Excel spreadsheets into your document by selecting and copying the target cells and pasting them into Word using the paste option "Keep Source Formatting."
  • You can also add Word Art by selecting "Word Art" from the Insert tab. This adds decorative or artistic text, which can add flair to your portfolio.
  • You can also add SmartArt, which can be used to visually convey concepts or ideas like processes and relationships. Select "SmartArt" from the Insert tab and select the type of representation you want to use.