How to Design a Flip Book in Publisher

By Buffy Naillon

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Sketchbook

  • Computer

  • Microsoft Publisher

  • Printer

  • Stapler

i Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images

Flip books represent some of the simplest forms of animation and provide an excellent introduction to the animation process. Creating a flip book allows the aspiring animator to see first-hand how animation works. Using Microsoft Publisher offers the would-be animator the advantage of pre-set page borders and easy-to-use page creation settings. It also gives the animator a set page size--an important consideration when creating flip book animation.

Designing a Flip Book in Publisher

Open up Microsoft Publisher.

Select “Blank Publications” from the left-hand side of the pop up menu. Then go to “Postcard” and select that. You’ll notice that a border surrounds the page. You want to keep that.

Go to the top ruler until your cursor changes to look like two tiny parallel brackets. This type of cursor will allow you to make a ruler line. Effective animation relies in part to the placement of the image on the page. This keeps the image in place.

Pull one ruler line down to the horizontal one inch mark. Pull another line from the left-hand side and bring it all the way to the three-inch mark. This line must lie a little further over, because you’ll bound the left-hand side of the book.

Go to the “Autoshapes” icon on the left—it has the heart, triangle and square. Click on that.

Find the icon that looks like an angry storm cloud on the very left-hand side. Position your mouse in the corner where the two ruler lines meet and drag. This draws a jagged cloud.

Go back to the “Autoshapes” and select “Basic Shapes.” Choose the thunderbolt.

Create a small thunderbolt just like you did with the thunder cloud, positioning it in the center of the storm cloud.

Hold down the “Control” key and then click on both the cloud and the thunderbolt. They both should have highlighted points surrounding them.

Right-click on the image until the pop-up menu appears. Click on “Copy.”

Go to “Insert” and then “Page.” Add nine pages after the first one.

Find “Edit” in the top left corner and click “Paste.” Your graphic should appear on page 2 of your flip book.

Adjust the thunderbolt so that it’s just a fraction longer that it was the first time. Do this by clicking on the pointed tip and pulling on it with your cursor ever so slightly.

Click on “Control” and then the two objects just as you did in step 9.

Right-click on the image, clicking on “Copy” when the pop-up appears, then go to page 3.

Paste the image into your book. Alter the thunderbolt and copy the image again as you did before. You’ll repeat this process until you fill all 10 pages.

Print out the postcards and bound the left-hand side with two staples.

Flip through your book. The image should appear to move.


This exercise shows you the basics of creating animations in Publisher. When you get confident with your ability to animate and know the program better, you can create more complicated moving pictures.


You want to make sure all your printed pages are the same size. Otherwise your animations will look distorted.