Microsoft Word 2010 has always been far more than a word processor. We outline how to use it to produce a PDF newsletter for online and email distribution.

Although Microsoft Word 2010 is a word processor, it has always done far more than simply allow you to type in words, format a letter or rattle off your CV for a job application. It can be used for producing and formatting lengthy documents, such as detailed reports, or even for writing entire books.

But it’s not just vast numbers of pages that are supported by Word. Microsoft’s word processor allows for a great deal of control over page layout and design; it’s also useful as a text editor for creating blogs and web pages.

Key to its usefulness here is Microsoft’s inclusion of templates. These can be used for designing flyers, newsletters and so on. Earlier versions of Word handled such projects rather clumsily, but Word 2010 is a viable tool for lightweight desktop-publishing tasks.

Photos and graphics can be embedded in documents; you can also anchor elements and embed hyperlinks. Support for these features, plus the ability to jump to parts of a document based on the assigned formatting, provide a degree of interactivity.

The Template gallery contains plenty of useful documents to start you off. The preview is of a sufficiently high resolution to make browsing worthwhile, and you can quickly toggle between colour schemes and font options.

Publishing View is much improved too, making editing document content easier than ever. Completed documents can be printed or exported to a variety of formats, including PDF, which is ideal for sharing documents across platforms.

Create a PDF newsletter in Microsoft Word 2010

Step 1: Choose a template. Go to File, ‘New from Template’, Gallery. Templates are listed in the left pane – note that additional ‘Online Templates’ are installed with Microsoft Office 2010. Use the box at the top right to search for terms such as ‘newsletter’ and narrow down the options presented.

Word 2010 step 1

Step 2: Review the options. Two drop-down menus below the preview allow you to trial different colour schemes and fonts. The preview updates with each change; use the arrow buttons to flip through the preview pages. Click ‘Choose’ to apply an option and begin editing the document in the word processor.

Word 2010 step 2