Creating a Template for Your Newsletter
The initial layout of your
newsletter always involves a great deal of work. The choices can seem
endless. How may columns? Which typefaces to us? One color or more? How to
find the right printer?
But once you’ve put
together your first issue, most of these decisions will be set. You are now
able to save yourself valuable time each issue by using a template. A
template is a file you can use as a starting point each time you need to get
out a newsletter. What does a template look like? Well, it actually is quite
empty. The real meat of a template is in the settings “behind the scenes,”
so to speak.
To create a template, you
can begin with an unformatted, empty document. But it is easier to use a
newsletter you’ve already laid out. Remove all text that will not be
repeated in each issue. What will remain? These are
some of the elements of your newsletter that should be in your template:
Next you’ll want to make
sure that your template’s settings are all correct. Items to check include:
margin settings, tabs, number of columns and spacing between columns, and
all paragraph styles, including article text and all headings and subheads.
Using Dummy Text
You have two options when finalizing your template with respect to the
content of your newsletter. You can choose to leave empty spaces where your
articles will go, or you can insert “dummy”
text. This filler text will be
replaced by the real content as you work on each specific issue. If you do
choose to use “dummy” text, each time you need to insert an article, you
will need to highlight all the "dummy" text, delete it, and insert the real
Saving Your Template
Once your template is created, all that is left is to save it for use
each time you create your newsletter. Many page layout programs have an
option under the Save File menu to save as a template. All this really means
is that it is treated as a read only file. Once it is opened, you will need
to immediately save it under a different name (and not as a template). Once
this is done, you will be able to customize it for that specific issue.
If your page layout program
does not offer this option, simply save it as normal, choosing a name for
your template that will indicate what it is (for example, tribune_template).
To use your template, open it as usual and immediately save it, renaming it
for that specific issue. You must do this before you make any change to the
template or you will face having a template that is not original anymore.
Share Your Ideas!
Do you have any ideas to make your newsletter production easier? Please
share them with us and we will include them in a future edition of
Newslettering, our monthly e-newsletter! Just email us at info@NewsletterFillers.com
with your great tips and ideas!