Create a cover page using Microsoft Word

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Thinking back to when I began working I remember spending countless hours creating a cover page using Word. I would spend time creating the perfect heading, adjusting its alignment and location on the page. I would include a subtitle, author details, an image and a nice page border. It was time-consuming.

Are you still doing this? Let me save you a considerable amount of time and show you how to utilise the Cover Page feature in Microsoft Word. You will be creating professional looking cover pages with your own customised text in under 60 seconds.

The cover page designs are pre-defined templates, displayed in a gallery, which provide areas for text, dates and images that you can customise to suit your own needs. You can also download more designs from Office.com as well as create your own custom design and save it for use in any future documents.

Click the Cover Page button to view the design options

Let’s get started

To create a cover page, follow these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Word (I’m using Word 2016)
  2. Open a document you wish to add a cover page to or begin this exercise with a blank document
  3. Select the Insert tab from the Ribbon
  4. Now click the Cover Page button within the Pages group

Click the Insert tab and choose Cover Page

  1. The Cover Page gallery will be displayed
  2. Use the scroll bar to scroll down and view all available designs
  3. Once you have identified the one you like, click it once with the left mouse button
  4. The cover page will be added to your document
  5. You will now see prompts for where you can add text or content

The cover page is now added

  1. Simply click into a text prompt and enter the information you wish to display
  2. When you click within a prompt for [Date], you will be displayed with a calendar, simply click any date within the year you wish to display

Select a date using the drop down

  1. You may see that Microsoft Word will fill in some information for you, based on the information you entered when you installed Microsoft Word. You can change this information if you need by clicking on the text area

Our cover page is beginning to take shape

  1. If the cover page design you have chosen includes an image and you would like to use your own, select the image
  2. Click the Picture Tools > Format tab which should now be visible
  3. Select the Change Picture button from the Adjust group

Click the Change Picture button

  1. You can now navigate your computer files and select an image to use instead, click Insert once you have selected the new image
  2. The image will now be replaced
  3. You have now created a professional looking cover page all with a few clicks of the mouse

Delete a cover page

If you have created a cover page and decide later that you wish to remove it, you do not have to delete the elements individually.

  1. Click Insert > Cover Page from the Ribbon
  2. From the Cover Page drop-down menu select Remove Current Cover Page
  3. The cover page will automatically be removed leaving the rest of your document untouched

Date formats

A common issue I see when using cover pages is that the automatic date fields are formatted in US formats. Because I am located in Australia and for my readers who also prefer UK formatting I thought I would show you how to change this setting so that you can choose the format the date is displayed. You can even change it from 30/08/2018 to 30-Aug-2018 if preferred.

Date formats default to US

  1. Place your cursor in the date field to select it
  2. Select the Developer tab from the Ribbon
  3. If you do not have the Developer tab available go to File > Options then select the Customize Ribbon option

Place a tick in the box for Developer and click OK

  1. In the right-hand pane place a tick in the option to display Developer then click OK
  2. From the Developer tab click the Properties button within the Controls group

Click the Properties button

  1. The Content Control Properties dialog box will appear:

Change the format in the Content Control Properties box

  1. Go to the Date Picker Properties and from the list select the date format you wish to use
  2. Click OK
  3. The date should now be changed to the format you have chosen

Now you date is formatted for Australia

I hope you have enjoyed creating a fast and professional looking cover page using Microsoft Word. Be sure to check out my favourite keyboard shortcuts for Word along with great tips such as how to create perfect shapes, and resize your pictures.

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