How to Make Your Own Missing Persons Poster

Written by filonia lechat
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Get the word out quickly about a missing person in your community by making a missing persons poster. Instead of waiting for a graphics shop to create something, you can be ready to paper your neighbourhood in minutes with just a few quick clicks through one of a number of different computer programs. You can make posters to catch the eye of people in your neighbourhood and those driving by to alert them to keep their eyes open for the person who is missing.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Microsoft Word
  • Digital photo of missing person
  • Windows Paint
  • Microsoft Publisher

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Open Word and a standard page of 8.5-inch by 11-inch paper defaults open onto the screen. Change the page size to your preferred poster dimensions by pulling down the “File” menu and clicking “Page Setup.” Click the “Paper” tab and scroll the “Paper size” menu to custom, then type in your dimensions, such as 18 inches by 24 inches and click the “OK” button. The Word workspace adjusts.

  2. 2

    Pull down the “Insert” menu, click “Picture,” and select “From File.” Browse to the missing person’s photo and double-click the file name, which opens the picture on the poster.

  3. 3

    Click your cursor under the photo and type the word “MISSING.” Highlight the text and use the text toolbar to increase the word size, make it bold, and centre it under the picture.

  4. 4

    Press the “Enter” key to get to a new line and type the person’s name, age, physical description, last-seen details, and any vital information such as “Jessica is a diabetic” or “Needs wheelchair to get around.” Add contact information people should use to report tips or a spotting of the missing person.

  5. 5

    Pull down the “File” menu, click “Save As,” name the file and save it to your computer.

  1. 1

    Open Paint, pull down the “File” menu and click “Open.” Browse to the missing person’s photo and double-click the file name, which opens the image in Paint. Click the “Select” tool, which looks like a box made of dotted lines. Draw an outline around the photo and press the “Ctrl” and “C” keys to copy it.

  2. 2

    Pull down the “File” menu again and click “New.” Pull down the “Image” menu, click “Attributes” and set your poster dimensions, such as 24 inches by 36 inches, and click “OK.”

  3. 3

    Press the “Ctrl” and “V” keys to paste in the picture of the missing person; drag it into place with your cursor. Click the “Text” tool, which looks like an “A” and position your cursor above the photo. Type the word “MISSING” above the photo.

  4. 4

    Move your cursor below the photo, click the cursor and type the missing person’s details, such as name, height and weight, identifying marks such as scars and tattoos, age, and the last known whereabouts. Move your cursor to the bottom of the poster and type contact details, a tip line number, website, or information from the local police department.

  5. 5

    Click the “File” menu, choose “Save As,” give the poster a name and set a location to save it to on your computer.

  1. 1

    Open Publisher and select “Blank Publications.” Choose the “Poster” option, which opens a blank, white 18-inch by 24-inch poster page on the screen. To change the size, pull down the “File” menu, click “Page Setup” and type your new dimensions.

  2. 2

    Pull down the “Insert” menu, click “Picture,” and select “From File.” Browse to the missing person’s photo on the computer, double-click the file to open it on the poster, and drag it into place.

  3. 3

    Click the “Text Box” tool, which looks like an “A” on an index card on the right side of the screen and draw a text box above the photo. Type “MISSING,” highlight the word, and use the text toolbar to increase the font, change its colour, and make it bold.

  4. 4

    Add another text box below the photo and type information about the person, such as the clothes he may have been wearing, places he is known to frequent, a physical description, and last seen date. Create a new text box with contact information for the family, police department, or search team.

  5. 5

    Click “File,” select “Save As,” name the poster, and save it to the computer.

Tips and warnings

  • Most basic home printers can’t handle printing a poster and can’t work with non-paper poster materials such as vinyl and foam core. To see your banner come to life after creating it, you’ll have to save your files on a disk or flash drive and take them in to the print shop. Some printers will let you e-mail your files over, which will save you a trip in the car.

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