Under the "File" menu at the top of the
screen, select "Page Set-up." In order to maximize the space on the sheet
of paper where the faux postage will be "built", it is necessary to do
two things. The first of these is to set the margins to provide the
greatest working space. The second is to create columns on the page so
that you may more easily create multiple copies of the original false postage
stamp you create.
Once the "Page Set-Up" screen is open, set all margins as small as
possible. With my HP5p laser printer, I am able to set my margins at .3"
for top, bottom, left, and right margins. Your printer may allow different
margins, but .3" will
be a good place to start from. If you set the margins too small, either a
message will appear on your screen indicating the margins are set incorrectly,
or a portion of your page may not print. So play around with this until
feel comfortable with the output from your printer.
Next, set the "Header" and "Footer" margins to "0"
to further allow more working space on your page. Check under the "Source,
Size And Orientation" tab to see that the page orientation is set to
"Portrait." (Once you have created a page or two of faux postage
using these directions, you may want to set the page orientation to
"Landscape" and to change the number of columns and spacing between.)
Click "OK" to close the menu.
Column formatting is a relatively painless thing to do. The number of
columns you select and the space between columns you establish will determine
the width of the individual "faux postage" stamp you create.
Open the "Format" menu at the top of
the screen and select "Columns." For your first sheet of postage, I suggest
setting the number of columns to "6" and the space between columns to ."25
inch." De-select the box indicating that you want lines separating the
columns. You will not want lines interfering with the final cut or
perforated edges of your stamps. Click "OK" to close the menu.
The 6-column / .25" selection will allow for "stamps" that are
approximately 1-1/16" in width. Another time, you may want to try 5
columns, with .4" between. This option would permit "stamps"
approximately 1-¼" in width.
Inserting Clip Art
With the columns formatted, it is time to insert a piece of clip art into the
first "stamp" area. So that you can more readily see the actual width
of the column you will be working with, I suggest you do the following.
smallest size font available (6 or 8 point size), and type, using any key,
across a line or two. Later, you may delete this type by highlighting it
and then deleting the typed letters.
Insert clip art by selecting the "Insert" menu at the top of the
screen and choosing "Clip Art." Once you have decided on a particular
piece of clip art (also referred to as "picture") to use for your
postage, select it by left clicking with the mouse to add it to your screen
page. You will need to take several more steps with this particular
picture you've chosen. You must re-size the picture to fit your postage
image concept, and you may also want to format
Formatting Clip Art
Formatting the picture will allow you to add text close to the sides of the
picture if you decide to use a rather small picture. Without this option, you
would only be able to add text above and below the picture, but not along the
sides. To use this option, you select the picture on the screen by placing
the mouse cursor over the picture and then left clicking with the mouse key.
You will then need to right click in order to access the pop-up menu. With
pop-up menu open, select "Format Picture" by left clicking it.
When the "Format Picture" menu screen opens, select "Text
Wrap", and then choose "Absolute" under the "Text Wrap"
Resizing Clip Art
Resizing clip art is fun! No kidding! It works almost like magic. To
change the size of a picture that is on your working screen, move the cursor
over the picture and left click the image. A dotted box will appear around
the image. The box will be bounded by small squares at each corner and midway
along the sides of the box. Placing the cursor directly over a square will
cause the cursor arrow to change to an arrowed box that displays the word
"Resize." To do this, move the cursor over a square (say, over the
lower right square); hold down the left mouse button and drag (pull or push) the
mouse on the mouse pad.
The image will resize proportionately if you drag from one of the corner
squares. However, if you resize from a square midway along the top,
bottom, or sides, you will be able to change the height and width proportions of
picture. Sometimes this is a desirable thing.
Once the image reaches the size you want it to
be, release the left mouse key. If you wish to replace the picture at any point,
you may double click on the left mouse key and the clip art menu will open.
Simply select another piece of
clip art and proceed as before.
The addition of text will help to turn the picture into something more closely
resembling a postage stamp. Text may be added at any point where you find
a paragraph mark (looks like a backwards double vertical line "P").
Simply begin typing, changing font size and location as desired. Remember
that your text may be right aligned, left aligned, or centered. Remember also
the options available using "Word Art." If you have not yet used this
neat little sub-program, give it a try. Lots of opportunities for
creativity here! (Look in the Help Index under "Word Processing
documents: adding Word Art.")
Copy and Paste
Once you have the "postage stamp" image exactly as you would like it
to be printed, you will want to begin to make multiple copies of your creation.
First though, add one or two "enter" strokes at the end of your text
maneuvering room to copy and paste. To copy, hold the left mouse key down
and drag the mouse over the text and clip art you want to copy. When it is
highlighted, release the left mouse key and right click to open the pop-up
menu. With the left mouse key, select the "Copy" option.
To paste the image you have just copied, move the cursor (or arrow) to the area
where you want to place your copy. Right click the mouse key to open the
pop up menu. Select "Paste" with the left mouse key. Items
previously selected should now show in both the original position as well as in
the new location.
Repeat "Pasting" (move the
cursor to the area where you want to place your copy. Right click the
mouse key to open the pop up menu. Select "Paste" with the left
mouse key.) into each new location. Soon you will have the first
column completely filled with your postage stamp image and text. If you
end up at the end of the column with not enough room for a complete postage
stamp image, simply delete incomplete portions from the end of the first column
and start again at the top of the next column.
of Your Faux Postage Page
At this point, you will need to make sure that each faux postage image is
precisely and equally spaced along your column height. You may add or
delete "enter" strokes as necessary to accomplish this.
Once you have the first column completed, highlight the entire column (as
indicated before with "Copy" instructions) and then place the cursor
at the end of the first column before the last paragraph mark (). Left
click and select
"Paste." Repeat "Pasting" at the end of each new column
until you have filled the entire page.
Now, go back and examine the entire page. Make sure that the rows are
evenly spaced along the height of the columns. (Again, you may correct this by
adding or deleting "enter" strokes, indicated as paragraph marks).
At this point you should have a complete page of evenly spaced, very
primitive-looking faux postage. Print out this page.
a Plastic Template for Masking Purposes
The next step is to add color to
your postage rectangles. This is very easily done using a template you cut
from a plastic transparency sheet. Lay a transparency sheet over your
printed faux postage sheet. "Build" a template for
two rows by tracing rectangles around the limits of your postage rectangles,
carefully maintaining 90-degree angles for all traced stamp images. Using a
craft knife carefully cut out the rectangles from the transparency film.
should leave you with a plastic grid that should cover the area between the
"stamps." Placed over the primitive faux postage sheet, this
template will allow you to sponge on color while protecting the white area
The Muse -- an online art 'zine