How to Create a School Yearbook in Microsoft

By Buffy Naillon

School activities can be preserved in a yearbook.
i free kick iii image by Mitchell Knapton from

Creating a yearbook for a school is an activity that has both sentimental and practical advantages. On the sentimental side, the students putting together the book have a hand in helping themselves and other students remember their school years. On the practical side, the yearbook class offered by many schools allows students to get some hands-on experience making a project of this size. With the prevalence of software programs such as Microsoft Word or Publisher, even the smallest of schools or home-schoolers can create an unforgettable yearbook.

Choose a page layout program in Microsoft. Publisher and Word both have page layout capabilities; publisher has page templates.

Get a school calendar and meet with your yearbook staff. Determine the events are that coming up and assign photographers. This will help you in the planning stages of this project because you'll get a better idea of the number of school activities that need to be covered during the upcoming year.

Brainstorm for a decorative theme for your yearbook. Although your intention is to capture the activities of students and teachers, you might also want to consider a decorative theme such as art deco or Celtic-style fonts and graphic elements. For example, if your school mascot is a Celtic knight, you might choose a font that reflects that in your design elements.

Create dummy pages for each section. You need to get a count of how many people are in each class---how many sophomores, juniors and seniors---for example. Start blocking out squares to represent the photos of these people on paper so that you have some idea of how many pages you'll need. You also need pages that provide transitions from one section to the next to highlight clubs, musical groups, sports and others.

Upload photos to your computer as your photographers take photos of events such as games or school assemblies.

Gather quotes. Many yearbooks feature quotes provided by the graduating seniors. Make sure you record who said which quote and identify each photo so quotes and faces aren't mixed up.

Open your graphic design program. If you've chosen Microsoft Publisher, select a template for your book if you're not going to make your own.

Name the file and save it in a folder on your class computer. Tell the students that as they upload their information to the computer to put it in that folder. They should create subfolders within the main folder for each activity and label each folder. As the editor puts together the book, she can pull the visual information from the right folder.

Import the graphics into the pages as they come in. To do this in Microsoft programs, look for the "Insert" tab at the top of the program. You'll see "Picture" and then a drop-down menu. From there, you can select the folder from which you'd like to pull the images.

Write the accompanying text for each photo.