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A high-quality brochure is important for any business offering funeral services, but it doesn't take a professional printing service to create a tri-fold brochure. Any computer that's loaded with the Microsoft Word program plus the appropriate text and images stored on the hard drive can create a funeral program tri-fold brochure at no cost by following some simple steps. MS Word is the simplest program for the task because it is the most common word processing program, and other programs, such as OpenOffice, don't have templates to facilitate brochure creation.
Open the Microsoft Word program and click the "Tools" button on the menu bar across the top of the page. When the pull down menu appears, choose "Options" from the list. When the options menu appears, select the "View" tab, then go down to the section labeled "Print and web layout options" and check the box with the words "Text boundaries" next to it, then click the "OK" button to save the settings.
Return to the menu bar across the top of the page and click the "View" button. When the drop down menu appears, choose the button labeled "Normal" or "Page layout." Then go to the file menu and choose the "Page Setup" option. After a window with a menu of choices appears, set all four margins -- top, bottom, left and right -- to .05 inches.
Remain in the Page Setup menu window and set the orientation to "Landscape." If an automatically generated MS Word message appears and warns that one or more margins is set outside the page's printable area, click the button within the message labeled "Fix" to increase the applicable margins. Then go to the Zoom button located on the toolbar at the top of the page. The zoom should be labeled with a number, usually "100%."
Click the Zoom tab and when a drop down menu appears, choose "Whole Page." Then click the "Format" button from the menu bar and when a new window appears, choose the three columns option under the "Presets" heading. Under the "Width and spacing" heading, set the width to 1.67 inches and the spacing to one inch. Then click the box labeled "Equal column width."
Hit the enter key three times after the column measurements have been set. Then go to the "Insert" tab at the top of the page and choose "Break" from the drop-down menu. When a new menu appears, choose the "Column break" option under the "Break types" heading. Then hit the "Ctrl" and "A" keys simultaneously. After that, hit the "Ctrl" and "End" keys simultaneously.
Hit the "Ctrl" and "V" keys simultaneously five times. At this point, three columns should appear on the page. Type within each column to add the appropriate funeral-related text to the brochure. Or if you have previously prepared text and photos, add them by clicking "Insert" on the top menu and choosing the "Auto Text" or "Picture" option. Keep in mind that the column on the far right will be the front page of the brochure once it's folded, and the far left column will be the back page.
Mark Nero has been a professional journalist since 1995 and has written for numerous publications within and outside the U.S. His work has appeared in "The Boston Globe," "San Diego Union-Tribune" and "Los Angeles Daily News" among others. Nero studied communications at San Diego State University.