Publisher 2010 Page Parts

Publisher 2010 offers many methods for designing pages quickly and easily. Obviously, you can start with one of the hundreds of templates provided with the program, or downloadable from Office.com, but if you prefer to start with a blank page, you can still speed up and supplement your design with Page Parts.

Page Parts are pre-designed page elements, which can be added to a document by simply clicking on them from the drop-down menu in the Building Blocks group of the Insert ribbon. They can then be treated like any other group of Publisher objects, which is exactly what they are.

Page Parts are organised into types: headings, pull quotes, sidebars and stories and also by theme. The different themes are given names, which appear as pop-ups when you move your mouse over the Page Parts in the menu. If you choose elements from the same style set, they coordinate on the page, though you can deliberately pick from different styles, if you want a more off-the-wall look. When you click on any of the thumbnails, the Page Part is added to the page and you can then resize and reposition it, as with any other Publisher element.

Bear in mind that Page Parts are groups of shapes, text boxes and photo placeholders, which move around as single items. If you resize a Page Part by dragging one of the group handles, you may change the proportions of the elements within it. So, for example, to change the length of a text box within a Page Part, it's best to first ungroup the elements it consists of and drag just the ones you want to adjust. You can always regroup them after adjustment, if you need to reposition them together.

Text and photos can be added to a page in exactly the same way they would be added to page elements created from scratch. Text can be typed directly from the keyboard, and text or photos cut and pasted from other applications or imported from files. Text placeholders in Page Parts can be overtyped, as with elements in full-page templates. With the text and photos available, a new page can be created in a few minutes, with a completely free hand over the layout, but using professionally designed elements.

Simple elements aren't the only Page Parts you can add to a Publisher page. In the same Building Blocks group are Calendars, Borders & Accents and Advertisements. Complete calendars for current and next month can be added to a page with a couple of clicks and are kept up to date automatically. Borders & Accents include frames, bars and emphasis and Advertisements provide various balloons and coupons, ideal for enlivening sales fliers. Using all these Page Parts reduces the design time for all sorts of pages, enabling new layouts to be created quickly, while maintaining professional, good-looking designs.