How to Create a Certificate Template

by Rachel Colorado

Presenting someone with a personalized certificate is a meaningful way to acknowledge success. Fortunately, creating and printing your own certificate is fairly easy. By using Microsoft Word, you can create a custom certificate template that can be accessed and used many times. To create a certificate from scratch, follow these steps.

Step 1

Open Microsoft Word. Go to "Page Layout" and click on "Orientation." Since most certificates are printed landscape, it's recommended that you select "Landscape." For Word 2003 users, click on "File," then "Page Setup;" then click on the "Margins" tab and select the "Landscape" icon.

Step 2

Go back to Page Layout. Click on "Page Borders." This will give you options on ways to border your certificate. Under the "Art" function, you will find fun borders like stars and hearts, as well as classic line borders. From here, you can also change colors and size of the border. For Word 2003 users, go to "Format," then "Borders and Shading," then "Page Border."

Step 3

Enter the title of the certificate on the top. Examples: Certificate of Achievement, Certificate of Participation, Certificate of Completion, etc. Use a large font size, between 50 and 70. Choose a font that fits the type of certificate that is being awarded.

Step 4

Press enter a couple of times for spacing. Then, in smaller font (around 30-point size), type "Awarded to," or "Presented to."

Step 5

Move down a couple of rows. Make a line for the individual's name to be handwritten on after the certificate is printed. Leave plenty of room.

Step 6

If applicable, include a subtitle. It should say "For the successful completion of" then enter the appropriate phrase. This should be in the same font as the "Award to" line.

Step 7

Create space for signatures. Near the bottom, place a line (or lines if you want to have more than one signature); then, underneath the line(s), place the title of the person who will be signing.

Finally, click on "Save As." In that window, next to "Save as type," scroll down to "Word Template." Then, hit "Save."


  • Certificates are typically formatted with all text centered. If you are going for a professional, authentic-feeling certificate, you may want to shop for some heavier stock paper. If you are short on time, there are templates available to make the job a bit easier. For Microsoft Office users, a great resource is the Microsoft Office templates page (see Resources). In addition, Microsoft Publisher has ready-to-use templates. If you have access to Publisher, you can simply open the program, click on the "Award Certificates" link on the left-hand side, and get to work personalizing. Once you have chosen a template for your certificate, simply add the individual's name and the date, as well as any other relevant information. Finally, print the certificate.


About the Author

Rachel Colorado is a freelance writer, author and English instructor. In order to pursue her passion for literature, she attended the University of Northern Colorado and graduated with a degree in English. She is currently working on her second novel.

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