Setting up a business is pricey enough without forking out for additional software. With a copy of the free productivity suite, however, you can reduce some of the outlay. Here, we show you how to create your own business letterhead paper.

The web can be a useful resource for setting up your business. Rather than paying a printer to produce your business stationery, you can design and order letterheads, business cards and other branded items online.

You don’t necessarily need to fork out for business software either. If you don’t already have a copy of Microsoft Office, consider one of the free alternatives before reaching for your wallet. is free to download and offers similar functions to Microsoft’s suite. It, too, offers free stationery templates you can customise to suit your business.

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Step 1. Download and install Next, head to the templates site at Browse by category or use the search function to find a specific template. Once you’ve found a template, click ‘Use It’ and choose ‘Save File’ to download it.

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Step 2. Open the template. Click the image at the top left and hit Del, or right-click it and choose Cut. Next, click the Insert menu and choose Picture. Browse to and select an image on your hard drive. Adjust the size of the picture by dragging its green handles. Use your mouse to accurately position the picture onscreen.

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Step 3. Next, replace the header text with your own contact details by highlighting and typing over it. Use the font, size and colour functions to ensure it fits into the space available and is in keeping with your company’s style. In our example, the template also features a motto. This can be replaced or deleted.

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Step 4. You’ll also need to change the text in the document footer. As before, highlight and type over the existing text. We included our telephone and email contact details here, but leave it blank if you prefer. Next, delete any text that’s in the main body of the document, allowing you a blank space for your correspondence.

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Step 5. Our template included a watermark. You can remove this by clicking on the image and hitting Del. If, on the other hand, you wish to add a watermark, follow the same procedure as you would to add an image. Once the image has been imported, select Watermark from the Picture menu. Adjust the position and size of your image.

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Step 6. Click File, Save As, then select the .ott file extension from the ‘Save as type’ drop-down menu. Give the file a relevant name, then click Save. Note, though, that .ott format files can’t be opened in Microsoft Word. If you wish to use the template in another program, save it as a .doc or .rtf file.

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