How to Make a Tri-Fold Brochure in Microsoft Word

By Caprice Castano

Creating your own eye-catching brochure for your business or event can save you time and money. Using a simple method of opening up your Word program and invoking a few commands, you can be on your way to a great piece of advertising in minutes. Newer versions of Word offer options to download printable templates, but starting from scratch gives you full control, start to finish. You can have your information displayed in a professional looking tri-fold brochure in less time than you might think.

Step 1

Choose the direction you will fold your brochure. There are two choices for this format, a Z-fold, which looks like an accordion, or a barrel fold, in which the ends fold in towards the middle of the paper. The result of either of these should be a product that is the size of one third of a sheet of letter size paper when finished and folded. This will give you three panels per side for printing area, or six panels total when folded.

Step 2

Check your printer for the correct margin sizes and printable area. In your Word document, click the "Page Layout" tab. Choose your margin sizes and set the page orientation to "Landscape."

Step 3

Set up the columns in your document that display the text and images by selecting "Page Layout" and clicking the "Columns" drop-down. Choose a three-column layout. Set the spacing between the columns; this provides the space for your folds. You need to select a space that is twice that of your margins. If you chose 1/2 inch for margins choose 1 inch for spacing. If you chose 1 inch for margins, choose 2 inches, and so on. Generally spacing should not be more than 2 inches or there will not be much printed are and the brochure will look odd.

Step 4

To clarify the end and beginning of columns choose "Insert" from the tabs at the top of the page, then "Break." Select "Column Break." Your cursor should now be at the top of column number two. Repeat this step to add the break for this column. To end this column and set the document so it will advance to the next page, click "Break" again, then "Page Break." Your document should now have opened a page two, with the cursor in the first column. Repeat the steps for adding a column break for the first two columns.

Step 5

Begin adding text and images to your document in the columns. Use the "Insert" tab to add pictures from existing files or Microsoft Office clip art. Don't forget to add display text, or titles, by increasing the font and adding style to the titles and headings.

Step 6

Print a test copy of the brochure. You may have to run one or two test copies to be sure the back and front are aligned properly and determine how to put the paper in the printer correctly to print the second side. Once you have a good test copy print as many brochures as you need.