How to Create Your Own Certificates With Word Templates

Make your own certificates quickly and easily in Microsoft Word

Learn how to use certificate templates and produce professional-looking award certificates in almost no time. Microsoft Word comes with a selection of certificate templates to make the process easy.

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

Use a Certificate Template in Word

The easiest way to make certificates in Word is to use a Word template. There are templates for many occasions, and the text can be modified for your specific award or event. Here's how to create a certificate in Word.

  1. Open Word and select New.

    Microsoft Word with the New button highlighted
  2. In the Search text box, type Certificate to filter for certificate templates.

    New Document page in Word with the search bar highlighted
  3. Choose a template, then select Create. The certificate opens as a new document.

    A certificate template in Word with the Create button highlighted
  4. To add a custom border, select the Design tab and, in the Page Background group, choose Page Borders.

    Word with the Page Borders button highlighted
  5. In the Borders and Shading dialog box, select the Page Border tab.

    Page Borders tab in Word
  6. In the Setting section, select Custom and choose a border.

    Custom Border button in Word
  7. Choose OK to apply the template border you selected.

    Borders and Shading menu in Word with the OK button highlighted
  8. To change the certificate colors, select a different theme. Go to the Design tab and, in the Document Formatting group, select Colors. Hover over a theme to preview it in the document, then select the color theme you want to use.

    Colors heading in Word
  9. Save the changes.

Personalize the Text

The text of the certificate is fully editable. Edit the text to say whatever you want, then change the font, color, and spacing of the text.

  1. In the Word document, double-click the sample text to select it.

    Screenshot of selected sample text on Home tab in Word
  2. Select the Home tab.

    The Home tab in Word
  3. In the Font group, choose a font and a font size.

    Word with the font menu highlighted
  4. Select Bold, Italic, or Underline, if desired.

    Word with the text formatting buttons highlighted
  5. Select the Font Color drop-down arrow and choose a color to apply to the text.

    Font Color menu in Word
  6. Type the custom text you want to use.

    Screenshot of custom text in Word certificate template
  7. Repeat the process with every section of text on the certificate, then save the file.

Make a Certificate Without a Template

You don't have to use a template to create a certificate. Microsoft opens to an 8.5 x 11 vertically oriented sheet by default, but most certificates are made in landscape orientation, so you'll make that change to get started.

To make a certificate from scratch:

  1. Open a new Word document.

  2. Select the Layout tab.

    Layout tab in Word
  3. In the Page Setup group, select Orientation, then choose Landscape.

    Orientation menu in Word
  4. Select the Design tab.

    Design tab in Word
  5. Choose Page Borders.

    The Page Borders button in Word
  6. On the Page Border tab, select either a Style or Art, assign a size and color, then select the Box icon. Choose OK to see the result.

    To adjust the margins, select Options, then enter new values.

    Screenshot of Borders and Shading dialog in Word
  7. Add text boxes to the document and customize the appearance of the font styles, sizes, and colors as desired. Save the changes to the custom template.

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