One of the most useful features of Microsoft Word is the ability to change the layout of the page so that you can build different-sized documents. Making index cards in Microsoft Word is easy, and if your printer is fine, they will print and read well. However, it is important to obtain blank index cards since matching the words to the lines on the index cards is virtually impossible and would result in a waste of cards.
Determine the size of the index cards you’ll be using. The standard size is a 35, but you can choose any size that you see fit. So, choose the size of index card you want and load it into your printer.
Working on a Single Index Card
Create a new Microsoft Word document. Tap the “Page Layout” menu, then the tiny arrow in the bottom-right corner of the Page Setup portion of the Ribbon.
Choose “Custom Size” from the Paper Size menu, then adjust the dimensions to fit your index card.
While the Page Setup window is still open, click the “Margin” tab and reduce the margins to at least a half-inch. On a 3-by-5-inch index card, using the default 1-inch margins won’t give you much space.
If necessary, you can change the orientation here. If you choose a width of 5 inches and a height of 3 inches, the cards will be shown in landscape mode. If you want to flip these measurements, click “Portrait.”
As you would with any Word document, type the content you want to appear on each index card. Tap the “Home” tab to adjust the style or formatting of the text. Tap the “Insert” menu to insert an image or illustration. Resize the image as required by dragging a corner, then transfer it to the desired position on the card. When you reach the end of a deck, pressing “Enter” generates a new card.
Navigate to the “Page Layout” tab. To maximize the amount of information you can fit on the index card, set the spacing in both the Before and After Paragraph menus to “0 pt.”
Select “Print” from the left menu by clicking the “File” menu. On the right, you will see a preview of the index card print job. Select the “Printer” button to choose your printer.
Working With a Sheet of Index Cards
Start Microsoft Word. In the “Search for Online Templates” text area, type “index cards.” In this tutorial, we’ll be using Microsoft Corporation’s “Pocket Reference Cards (5 per Page, 2-Sided)” template, which comes up first when you search for “index cards.”
Use a more detailed search if you need a specific form of card. For example, if you type “flashcards” into the search field, several vocabulary and math flashcard sets with pre-filled data are returned. Multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction flashcards are available.
Alternatively, you might be able to download a Word template from the website of the card stock manufacturer. If you go this path, place the template file in the “Custom Office Templates” folder, which can be found in the Windows 8.1 Documents folder. When you launch Word, pick the template by clicking “Personal” beneath the template Search field.
Change the placeholder text to meet your needs. While templates differ, the Pocket Reference Cards template used here shows two identical cards, one on the left and one on the right of the page, inside a single text box. If you change the fonts, spacing, or document type, make sure none of the text in the cards is hidden. For example, if you increase the font size in a card, the bottom line will extend beyond the visible area of the text box.
After you’ve finished editing the first two index cards, click the text box containing them. In the bottom-right corner of the text box, click the “+” button. This button duplicates the cards that have been modified. Continue pressing the “+” icon until you have a full page or the number of cards you need.
It’s worth noting that when you continue to add new cards, Word will automatically add new pages to the book. To zoom out and see several sheets at once, use the “Zoom” slider in the bottom-right corner of the frame. The total number of pages in your document is shown in the bottom-left corner of the Word window.
When you’re ready to print your index cards, go to the “File” menu and click “Print.” Select your printer and load the card stock into it. Index card stock is partially perforated, allowing you to easily remove the cards from the board. Until printing, check the packaging to ensure you have the right template. If you’re uncertain, print one page and then change the margins in your Word document if necessary.
If your printer does not allow duplex printing and you want to print double-sided cards, use the “Manually Print on Both Sides” option in the Settings section.