How to Make High School Diplomas

Written by sinea pies
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How to Make High School Diplomas
Diplomas are proof of high school graduation. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

High school diplomas are legal proof that a student has satisfactorily completed the requirements to graduate from high school. With the advent of desktop publishing and laser printers, professional quality high school diplomas can be produced in-house. Create and print all of the diplomas for a graduating class using professional certificate templates available with your word processing software.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Computer
  • Word processing software
  • Laser printer
  • 40.8kg. paper or cover stock
  • List of graduates' names

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  1. 1

    Select a template from your word processing software's menu. Certificate templates or diploma templates are suitable. If your computer comes with publishing software, you may wish to use that instead.

    How to Make High School Diplomas
    Word processing software offers templates to choose from. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)
  2. 2

    Insert the school's name. Most often the school name is written across the top of the certificate. It can be written in a straight line or slightly curved like a dome. Use an elegant font for the school name and a more readable style for the remaining parts of the certificate.

    How to Make High School Diplomas
    The school's name needs to be located at the top of the diploma. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)
  3. 3

    Personalise each certificate with the graduate's name. Have the graduates print their name for you on a separate piece of paper, just as they want it to appear on their diploma. If the student has elected to use a nickname, discuss the matter with them. Explain that the diploma is an official document they may need to use many times throughout their life. It should display their legal name, and not a pseudonym, as does a birth certificate, passport or driver's license.

    How to Make High School Diplomas
    Like a driver's license, diplomas are official documents, (Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)
  4. 4

    Print the date of graduation, day, month and year on the certificate and include lines for the principal's signature and that of another official, such as the superintendent. In the process of organising a graduation ceremony, signatures can be overlooked. Set up an appointment with these officials to obtain their signatures well in advance of commencement day.

    How to Make High School Diplomas
    Be sure to set up appointments with school officials well in advance of commencement. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)
  5. 5

    Save each student's diploma on the computer, separately, using the "save as" function. It is important to do this so that you have quick access to each diploma in case something happens to the first copy. By saving it, you will be able to print another without having to recreate it.

  6. 6

    Proofread every diploma before printing. Check the most minute detail such as the spelling of the school's name, graduation dates, the officials' names and titles and the graduate. Be certain that all is correct before printing and inserting the final copies in their diploma covers.

  7. 7

    Save space for the school's official seal. Insert the seal maker at the bottom of each diploma, leaving an imprinted raised seal. The official seal and principal's signature are proof of authenticity. Gold embossed seals can also be used, in place of the raised seal.

    How to Make High School Diplomas
    Be sure to leave space for the school's official seal. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)
  8. 8

    Print each diploma on a laser printer using 40.8kg. paper or cover stock. Ink jet printers are not advisable to use for this task. The type from an ink jet printer may run when exposed to moisture.

    How to Make High School Diplomas
    Print the diplomas on a laser printer using 40.8kg. paper or cover stock. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Tips and warnings

  • Public high schools may prepare fake copies and distribute them at the graduation ceremony in lieu of the official copy. This will give schools with large graduating classes time to verify that each student has successfully qualified for graduation. The official diploma will be mailed to the graduate in the near future.
  • Purchase diploma covers online. Companies who offer this product often can imprint the cover with your school's logo or seal. (See Resources)
  • Home-schools and private schools may elect to produce their own diplomas using an official school seal. In this instance, following state education department regulations is essential. Be certain that your "official" copy will be accepted as an authentic document by colleges and in the workplace.

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