Create a Certificate of Recognition in Microsoft Word

Print a DIY certificate for any occasion

Worker receiving award in workshop.

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Use Microsoft Word to make certificates of recognition that will thrill the recipients, using professional-looking templates available for free. Here's how.

Instructions in this article apply to Microsoft Word for Office 365, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, and Word 2010.

How to Create a Certificate in Word

After opening Word, follow these steps to open a new template for your certificate:

  1. Select File > New.

  2. In the Search box, type the word certificate and press Enter.

    New Document page in Word with the search bar highlighted
  3. Choose the certificate that best suits your needs, such as Employee of the Month, Certificate of Achievement, or Certificate of Recognition for Administrative Professional.

  4. Select Create to open the template in a new Word document.

    A certificate template in Word with the Create button highlighted

Some of the text in a certificate template might not be editable, so choose one that has the most appropriate wording for your purpose.

How to Edit Text in a Certificate Template

All certificates have the same sections. From top to bottom, these sections are:

  • Title: This can be something like Award of Excellence or Certificate of Achievement.
  • Presentation Line: The presentation line usually says, "is hereby presented to" or "is awarded to."
  • Recipient Name: The name of the person, group, or organization receiving the award.
  • Organization Name: The name of the person or organization presenting the award. 
  • Description: The reason for the award, such as for outstanding salesman of the month.
  • Date: When the award was earned or when it was presented.
  • Signature Line: Where representatives of a company sign the certificate.
Screenshot of certificate template opened in Word

The text you enter into these sections should be center aligned, except for the date and signature line. These two lines are usually set to the far left and far right of the certificate.

Use a plain, easily read font.

How to Print the Certificate

When you finish creating the certificate, print a test copy and proofread it carefully. This is the time to spellcheck and tweak the placement of any text so it looks just right.

If you use pre-printed certificate paper, load it into the printer and print one more test copy to check the text placement within the borders. Adjust if necessary, then print the final certificate.

Screenshot of completed certificate in Print Preview in Word