Save money, paper and time – School Repro.

Saving money, paper & time… by using MS Publisher* (“shock horror”) to create smaller sized documents that use all of the paper. Ask me!

I have been in the print industry for more than 30 years. I have lived scalpels, pixels, lick & stick, copy & paste, raster & vector… and I’ve experienced numerous graphics-for-print software platforms. While Adobe Creative Suite and the like are still the print craftsperson‘s go-to tool, I now surprise myself by recommending a more domestic tool for easy print and copy projects.

People in industries such as education don’t necessarily have access to professional tools such as Adobe Creative Suite. Teachers and educators have better things to do with their teaching and learning time than play with toolboxes and layers. They tend to stick to Microsoft’s Word† (it’s good at word processing) and PowerPoint† (because the screen is their primary communication tool).


However, I am often sent documents with boxed items on them; to be printed multiple times, and to be trimmed out into cards or batched sets. This is fine if you want one set, but it does waste paper. If you want a dozen or more, this wastes a lot of paper… and the guillotining and sorting takes ages to avoid mixing sets up.

This uneconomical unproductivity can be easily sorted – saving money**, with zero paper wastage, more print per sheet, and easy guillotining and set sorting – and we can make it look good!

For the layman, I’m recommending more use of software like Microsoft Publisher*, yes MS Publisher can be a versatile tool for the non-professional user when planning for multiple batch printing. Or for simply printing economically. Your Word or PowerPoint creations can usually be transferred to Publisher, but I suggest using it as a default tool for print-based projects.

Revision Flash Cards, Study Aids, Card Sorts etc.

Let’s say you want ~20 different small cards. 

What you could ask for is 20 A7 cards. (A7 is 8 to a sheet of A4. You could have any size card, as long as it multiples into an A4 page)

So, we set one Publisher page at the desired size, see below,

Duplicate a master, and create our ~20 different pages.

With Publisher we can then print this on A4 as a stack of sets that can be easily electronically guillotined and banded. 

It’s versatile, can look great, and it saves time and paper**.

You end up with multiple batches (quantity per sheet) of the set of ~20.

Don’t fret – send me the content, and given time I can create the .Pub doc for you. Just don’t spend your time in Word†, or heaven forbid Powerpoint†, trying to make it look nice.

If you need them – there are few Publisher “cards” and “label” template documents for you to download here:

*Horror, Yes, Publisher! When I first was prompted to use publisher, because the situation didn’t warrant the cost of the more professional options, I was horrified. For starters, its Microsoft, but my preconceptions about MS turned out to be a tad misplaced. Secondly, it initially looks like you’re using a child’s toy. But get over it! It’s a very versatile tool for simple multiple-page publishing needs. Projects can even look qood, if you use design elements created in Photoshop and Illustrator etc.

†Word is a word processing program. PowerPoint is for creating screen presentations. 

**I the long-term, planning economically and productively can save an institution £1000s

By julesprichards

Anchoring in the shire, with family, friends, coffee and cheese… always looking…

2 replies on “Save money, paper and time – School Repro.”

Thanks for the tip. I am involved in education and find MS Word too clunky for this type of thing. Publisher as you say is versatile and you can squeeze a lot into it once you understand how (which took me a while of tinkering). I will use it for the flash cards option now that I can set up a template 👍🏻

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