It’s back to school for a new academic year. We are all too aware of the need to keep informed with news and updates of forthcoming events and what better way to do it than by creating your own newsletter. What’s more, it could become a classroom project so your students can learn from the experience.
To create a great newsletter easily and quickly you need some desktop publishing, drawing, photo editing & graphics software. MAGIX can offer all these tools in one single program MAGIX Photo & Graphic Designer. It is a flexible, time-saving solution for designing amazing creations. Download the free trial version and the newsletter components that we have supplied and give it a go! I’ll show you how easy it is to create a 3 page newsletter.
Firstly, unzip the components into a folder on your computer and you will see that we have provided you with a master template and some graphics. Double click on the ‘2 column 3.xar’ file and it will open the newsletter template in MAGIX Photo & Graphic Designer. This gives us the basic framework for a 3 page newsletter which we can customize. (If you buy MAGIX Photo and Graphic Designer, it will include many templates, graphics and clip art).
Firstly, we shall change the theme color. Hover over the color squares on the left of the color line at the bottom and you will see all the named theme colors – ‘Theme colors 1 and 2’, and a couple of linked colours (which means they are linked to another colour). You can drag the squares to move them into a more suitable alpha numeric order, if you wish. Right click on your mouse on the ‘Theme color 1’ then select ‘Edit Theme Color 1’ which will open the color editor. To edit the color, drag on the lower section to change the hue and drag on the top section to change the lightness of that selected colour. Click the icon top right to show the numeric values of the colors. As you change the color you will see that the other linked colors change automatically to be shades of the master Theme Color 1.I changed the color to be a medium cyan.
Now we will customize the heading. An important tool is the Selector which is at the top of the right-hand tool bar (it will have a beige background when in use). Select the pen graphic on the header by clicking on it then move it to the left by dragging it or using the keyboard cursor arrow keys. Select ‘Your logo’ and use your keyboard delete key to delete it and also delete the rectangular frame.
New select the Text tool on the left hand tool bar. Highlight the word ‘Newsletter’ and change the font type to be Palatino Linotype, 48pt, italic. Highlight only the ‘letter’ and click on the ‘Link color 1a’ on the color line to set this part of the text to be a pale shade.
We will now add some new text in the same font but change the size to be 24pt. Place the text cursor in an empty area of the top header and type ‘Kemptown Grammar School’ – don’t worry about the accuracy of its position at this point in time. Select only the word ‘Kemptown’ and click on the white color on the color line. Now select only the Grammar School and select 16pt and not italic. Go back to the selector tool. Select the new ‘Kemptown Grammar School’ text and move it into position.
Finally we’ll make the dark blue sub header bar slighter taller, so select it and then drag down on the lower centre handle point. With the text tool selected change the text to read – Issue 1 September, 2012 and center it on the sub header. That’s it – the heading is finished and it should look like this.
We’re going to replace the top photo, so select it using the Selector Tool, and delete it. We will create our own graphic for the top of the left column. But first, we need to create a space for it. Use the text tool and click on the text to select it. Notice the red dotted line that shows the text box area. Drag down the top right square to move the start of the text column down. (Note that the column is set to automatically flow onto the next column so the text will adjust when you reduce or increase the size of the text box.)
Now you can unleash your creative talents as we create a montage of objects. Drag one of the graphics that we supplied from your your computer onto the page, select it and then use the corner handles to reduce or enlarge it. Click again just inside the square corner handles and you can rotate the graphic. Repeat this to add other objects. This is my montage.
We will add some text to our graphic. Using the text tool, type ‘BACK’ (I used the Arial Black font). Select it and click inside the corner handle to rotate it slightly. Repeat this for the words ‘to’ and ‘School’ so they are three separate text objects of a different size and angle as shown below.. Position them. It’s best to have the small objects and the text as one graphic for ease of moving it around so we’ll group them. With the selector tool selected click-drag from top left to bottom right around the objects you want to select (this is called lasso selection) ensuring that you have sufficient margin to capture them all. Then press CTRL G to group them. Now they can be selected and moved around the page as one object.
We will now work on the body text. Using the text tool click on the text, then click CTRL+A to select it all – change the font to be Palatino Linotype, 10pt. Customize the text with your own and change the colors as required for the headings, etc. I have added a heading for Autumn Term Events and some events.
Tip – You will see that we have used dummy ‘pseudo Latin’ text which you can generate by using CTRL+SHFT+L.
We will add some horizontal line dividers in the text as embedded graphics so that when the text moves as you add or delete some then the dividers will stay in position relative to the text. It’s easier to create the divider off the page and then copy it into position. Select the Drawing tool > straight line tool (2nd on the flyout menu).
Drag out a horizontal straight line to be less than the width of the text columns. If you hold Ctrl while dragging you can constrain the angle to be exactly horizontal. Now select it and click on the ‘Theme Color 1’ on the color bar to change its color. With it still selected press CTRL+C to copy it, then with the text tool selected, position your cursor in the desired position within the text, press Enter a few times to create 2 or three blanks lines, and use CTRL+V to paste the graphic into the text. Now center it using the justification controls on the Text Tool infobar. Repeat this (you just need to paste it again and again) for all the places where you want a rule-off divider like this.
The last change to this page is to replace the page number graphic with a more interesting one from the Design Gallery. Select and delete the graphic and number, then go to the Designs Gallery and just above the school pencil graphics you will see one called ‘Page’. Drag it onto our newsletter and select ‘Match’ to match our theme colors. Position it in the bottom right then with the text tool selected change the number to 1 in Palatino Linotype, 20pt, bold, italic.
Now scroll down to edit page 2. Customize the heading as before by moving the pen graphic to the left, add a page title and the school name heading. Also customize the page number with the same Page graphic as on page 1. Replace the picture on the page by dragging one of your own photos from your computer and dropping it on the picture.
I will show you how to flow text around a graphic by adding an ‘Award’ graphic. Drag the ‘special_award’ graphic that we supplied, from your computer and onto the page. Select to ‘Match’ the color theme. Most of the graphics in MAGIX Photo & Graphic Designer are set to repel text around them like this, so, as you move the graphic around the page, the text instantly adjusts to flow around it. (To achieve this action on images and graphics, right click on the photo or graphic and then select ‘Repel text under’). In my example I’ve enlarged the graphic (using the selector tool as usual) and dragged it between the two columns so that the text flows around either side.
Tip: You can adjust the margin around the repelling object by right clicking on it, then select ‘Repelling & Anchoring (you need to be in the Selector tool when you right-click)
You will notice that the text currently flows off the end of page 3 because we moved the text start position down on the first page. So we’ll reduce the size of the right-hand panel column of text, then create a new text box on the right into which we will extend the excess of our left hand text.
Highlight some of the text in the right hand column and delete it. Then click on the bottom right corner of the text box and drag the text box area up to shorten it. Now go to the selector tool, select the blue rectangular background and drag it up using the lower center marker until it is just below the text. We will move the panel of text down to the bottom of the right hand column, so we need to group the text and background together. Use the selector too and lasso select around all of the components and then CTRL+G to group it. Now move it into position at the bottom of the page.
We will now add a new text column on the right side and set the text that has gone off the page to overflow into it. Select the text tool and create a text box area by using your mouse to drag the boundary from the top left of the column, across the width of the column and then down to just above the panelled text. Now put the cursor in the left column, and you’ll see a red ‘down arrow’ on the bottom of the text box. Just drag on this arrow and drop it over the new empty text box, which will cause all the excess text to overflow into the new text column. Replace the text on the page with your own and perhaps include a few subheadings and dividers.
Adding and Removing Pages
To add another page in the same design, it’s probably easier to duplicate an existing page rather than create a blank empty page, because then all the heading and footer graphics are in place, and you can just replace the old text with new. To do this click on the background of the page you want to duplicate, select the menu Edit -> Pages > Duplicate page.
To delete a page, first make sure nothing is selected (press Esc or click the background) and select the Page & Layer Gallery on a vertical tab on the right and it will fly out to reveal all the pages in the newsletter. Select the page you want to delete and select the Delete button on the top of the gallery, or just press the Delete key. You can change the order of the pages by dragging a page in the gallery into its new position.
Finally, we need to save the newsletter as a PDF document to send it to students, teachers and parents. Ensure that nothing is selected then go to File, then Export and from the ‘Save as type:’ choose pdf format and select Export. You’ll be given a choice of PDF quality settings depending on whether you want to send email or higher quality for print purposes (the higher the quality the larger the PDF file).
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