Create a Certificate of Recognition in Microsoft Word

Print a DIY certificate for any occasion

Worker receiving award in workshop.

Jetta Productions Inc / Getty Images


If you have Microsoft Word, you can use it to make certificates of recognition that will thrill the recipients, using professional-looking templates available for free. We'll show you how.

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

How to Create a Certificate in Word

  1. Select File > New.

  2. Type the word "certificate" into the search box and press Enter.

    Screenshot of certificate templates in MS Word
  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.

    Screenshot depicting an Employee of the Month certificate template in Word 365

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

Editing Text in a Certificate Template

All certificates pretty much have the same sections. From top to bottom, they 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's Name: The name of the person, group, or organization receiving the award.
  • Organization's 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. They are usually set to the far left and far right of the certificate. 

Use a plain, easily read font.

Printing the Certificate

When you finish creating your certificate, print out 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're using pre-printed certificate paper, load it into the printer and print one more test copy to check the text's placement within the borders. Adjust if necessary, then print the final certificate.

Screenshot of completed certificate in Print Preview in Word