Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Working With Text Part 1

The following tutorial will show how I use Microsoft Word to make patterns for words and text that I want to use in my free motion quilting projects. This is useful for many different crafting and sewing purposes. Please do not think I'm a tech-y genius, since I still get confused by a lot of this computer stuff. Also keep in mind that when it comes to computer programs there's usually more than one way to do the same thing and there's usually variations in versions of the software. I'm sure some of you may have other ways to do this or better programs, but this is a basic tutorial with basic/commonly available programs.


I am using Word 2013 which comes with my Office 365 subscription. This is the cloud-based version of MS Office. This should still be easily done in other versions of Word. Part 1 will show how to use the program to get your words to look how you want them. Part 2 will attempt to show how to print out even larger versions of this process, and I may do a final part on how to take the words from paper to fabric.

First open a new Word document. Type Enter the words you want. (Can we still call it typing?) Go ahead and increase the size of the font to something easier to see (anywhere from 80-100). Don't worry about orientation, final size, or word placement at this point. Highlight the text and click on the "Text Effects and Typography" button indicated by the orange arrow.


This drops down the following choices below:


Click the 'A' indicated by the orange arrow above. If using a different version, you're looking for something with an outline and white fill. This selection will give you a blue outline. We'll change that after the next step.

Since this choice will give the text a 'shadow', you want to click Shadow, then No Shadow as indicated by the arrows below. Right above the Shadow selection, it says Outline with a line of color under it. Click there to change the outline color to black for better visibility.


Now it's time for the fun of trying out fonts. There's a ton, and they don't all look great when made into large letters. The orange arrows indicate how to change the font from the drop down list. I chose Harrington for this example, which is a bit too fiddly for most fabric projects. Imagine cutting out that g!


Now it's time to fine tune the size and this gets less exact with my method. Part 2 will deal with how to print your words onto multiple pages (posterizing or tiling pages) since I haven't figured out how (or if I can) do it in Word. This will get the letters to the size you want them and in the word grouping you want. But I use different programs to do this with, hence Part 2.

The orange arrow below shows where you can change the size of the font. You can type enter in a number or click multiple times on the A with the upwards pointing triangle just to the right to increase the size. The smaller A with the downward pointing triangle will decrease the font size. Make sure you have the entire text selected by highlighting it all (click and drag).



Now's the time to change the page orientation to landscape if desired (this is under the page layout tab) and to center the text on the page. If the phrase doesn't need to be very large, it may all fit on one sheet of paper and all is well. If you want it to be larger, without having to posterize (part 2), print out the phrase at a smaller size but spaced and centered/justified in the layout you want. This sheet will serve as a placement guide.

Then enlarge the text (maximum size for this method is one full letter per page) to the desired size. Print the letters out and proceed with your project using the letters individually and using the smaller sized sheet of text as a placement guide.

Whew! That's enough for now. You can't imagine how many screen shots I took, how many times I re-sized them and then added arrows for this tutorial. I even had to tweak the layout of the blog so I could show enough of the screen shots at a readable size.

Please ask questions in the comments below and also let me know if the blog looks good on your screens. A shop customer mentioned visiting my blog the other day and said my blog must be pretty new since there wasn't much on it. I was floored. Maybe there are compatibility issues for those using smaller devices to view the blog? I have recently bought www(dot)freemotionquiltingadventures.com and it is totally blank at this point, but she would have said it was blank if she visited there.

By the way, there are some great online shopping deals to be had right now and through this week. Check my side bar for great deals.

13 comments:

  1. Blog looks great on both my PC and tablet. Thanks.

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  2. Thank you for this - I want to put text on everything now!!

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  3. I also use microsoft word and I never knew about removing the shadowing. Thanks! And your blog looks fine to me.

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  4. Amy great tutorial. Thanks for all the tips. I have been using MS Word for 100 years it feels like, but you taught me some new features. Cool! Thanks! Now I need to know what your favorite marking technique is to get these transfered to the quilt or appliqué. I will search your blog, you've probably covered this before. Thanks again.

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    1. I'll most likely do a 3rd part to this on various ways to mark the letters. Glad you found the post helpful!

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  5. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I am having 2 new great grandchildren born this winter so will be using this for their quilts. When I centered the text, it was centered left to right with the same amt. at the top and a large amount underneath. Since I will be cutting out individual letters to sew in different blocks that should be alright. BTW, no problems seeing all your blog, but I am on a regular computer.

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    1. Glad you like it. Sometimes you've got to play around with spacing to get it just right. I've added spaces, taken some out, added an extra blank line, etc. just to get things how I want them. Like you said, if you're working with the letters individually, it doesn't make much difference.

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  6. Hi Amy! I just discovered your site from a yahoo comment. Now I have to explore - you have lots of good info. Thanks so much,.

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    1. You are quite welcome! I love to share with my quilty friends.

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  7. I'm sure this walk-thru tutorial will be a big help to many quilters and other creating enthusiasts. Most of us know enough about Word to get us by....lots of saved documents...lots of copying and pasting....personally, that's about as far as I've gone. Again, thank you Amy

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  8. What a great tutorial. I got thru it rather easily to changing to landscape, which I did. I played a little but couldn't get the word in the center of the page. Can you help me with that? It's got to be something easy I'm missing!! I didn't know letters could be made bigger than the largest number listed! That alone was worth much!! Thank you Amy!!.

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    1. You're a no-reply blogger which means I can email you directly, so I hope you get this.

      In the second image of this post, the orange arrow is pointing at "Text Effects and Typography". To the right are other buttons; see the one that is blue, above and to the left of the word 'paragraph'? That shows that the text is centered. The other buttons around it are to arrange text to the right and left. To center your text horizontally, highlight your text and click that button. It won't be blue until you do it. To center the text vertically is trickier. Sometimes you need to add another row of text in a smaller size to force the word to move up or down the page, as I did by using the letter 'T' in the fourth image of the Transferring Designs post: http://freemotionquiltingadventures.blogspot.com/2015/01/transferring-designs-to-fabric.html

      I hope this helps!

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