How to make a free tri-fold brochure

Written by kathy adams
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How to make a free tri-fold brochure
Fold a sheet of paper into thirds to help determine column order. (paper image by musk from

Making a tri-fold brochure is not difficult to do using programs commonly found on a PC. Microsoft Word, Open Office or any similar document-creation program will do the job. Once you create one such brochure, you will have a pre-made layout already in place for the next time you decide to make one.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Microsoft Word, Open Office or comparable document software
  • Printer

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  1. 1

    Fold a piece of paper into thirds to determine your brochure layout. Fold it into a "Z" shape, or letter style by folding one end up toward the centre, then the other down toward the centre, over the first flap. Number the sections of paper to determine which panel will correspond to each page of the brochure.

  2. 2

    Open Microsoft Word, Open Office, or your favourite other document-creation program. Click "File" and then "Page Setup." In Open Office, click "Format" and then "Page." Select "Landscape" from the "Portrait" or "Landscape" options.

  3. 3

    Click the "Columns" tab under the page format section and select "three." If using Open Office, check the "Auto width" box.

  4. 4

    Type your desired text into each column, using your folded paper as a layout reference. Continue onto a second three-column page for the back side of your brochure paper, again referencing the folded paper for column order.

  5. 5

    Print a test page once you have one page of three columns complete. Adjust margins and layout as desired.

Tips and warnings

  • Play around with the margin settings until you get a setting that works for your needs. Type a few lines of random text on each of the three columns, then print it to see how the margins appear on actual paper.
  • For ease of printing, you can make two three-panel documents and print one on each side of the paper to make your brochure.
  • If you only need a few brochures, you can print them on your own printer, folding them neatly with sharp creases. Otherwise, office supply stores often have several paper and colour options for bulk printing.
  • Check margins carefully when printing the test page to ensure all columns print the way you prefer.

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