How to create a free printable certificate

Written by victoria mcgrath
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How to create a free printable certificate
Create a free award certificate to celebrate your organisation and staff accomplishments. (Blank award certificate form image by Stasys Eidiejus from

A free printable certificate can be designed in Word, PowerPoint, Publisher or any similar software using a basic template or a blank page. A certificate should include a landscape page, with a decorative border and award imprint or seal image. The certificate can be personalised with the applicant's name, date of award, specific achievement and organisation.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Do a Google image search for sample certificates. Use a certificate template for text and language choices.

  2. 2

    Open a PowerPoint presentation, blank Word document or similar software page. Choose a template if available. Change the Page Set-up from Portrait to Landscape. Save the document with the certificate or award name.

  3. 3

    Choose a colour scheme, or accept the one already selected with the template. The colour scheme should correspond with your organisation's logo or the ceremonial season. For example, a police organisation might choose blue and grey shades, while a fall award ceremony might use burgundy and gold tones.

  4. 4

    Add a border to the certificate. In PowerPoint use a rectangle and expand it to the border, or use a pre-designed border. Insert a picture and clip art into the certificate. You can also cut and paste a border from a free sample certificate or personally design a border.

  5. 5

    Start designing the certificate at the top of the page. Insert a company image, agency logo or award seal. An image can be used at the top with a certificate seal at the bottom off the certificate next to the signatures.

  6. 6

    Add a title to the certificate, such as Certificate of Achievement, Community Service Award, Outstanding Citizenship, Honors Award, Star Student or Smile Certificate. Test 20 point or 24 point font. Use bold and italic options. Fit the title across the entire top with a two inch margin on each side.

  7. 7

    For the body of the text, use an traditional Old English or common Gothic font. Many free fonts are available online such as Canterbury and Cloister Black. The text lines should start under the certificate title.

  8. 8

    Leave a blank space for the recipients name, a description of the achievement, the name of the award, the date awarded, a statement about gratitude, the signatory's name and a certificate seal.

  9. 9

    Print the certificate with the recipient's name left blank. Use a colourful calligraphy pen to personalise the certificate, fill in the award date and important signatures.

Tips and warnings

  • Verify the spelling of each recipient's name before the ceremony.

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