People like to be recognized for their achievements. We all like a good pat on the back, a positive stroke, and something we can hang on the wall or put in a personnel folder. With that in mind, any time you teach a class—whether on an informal or formal basis—make sure you give your students a certificate to recognize completion of training. Don’t have the time to do it yourself nor the budget to pay for a bunch of fancy certificates? No problemo. We’ve created a sample certificate you can downloadand use . All you have to provide is the paper.

How I did it
You’ll find “award certificate” templates or wizards in various incarnations of Word and other word processing applications. However, I created our downloadable Word 97 document the old-fashioned way.

First I created a new document and changed the page orientation from portrait to landscape. Then I typed the text I wanted to use in the certificate, which looked like this:
Certificate of Completion
Robin R. Student
has successfully completed the course
Introduction to Windows 2000
this 25th day of June 1999

Then I selected the text (by pressing [Ctrl]A) and clicked the Formatting toolbar’s center button to center-justify all of the text on the page. After that, I selected the individual lines of text and used the Grow Font and Shrink Font keyboard shortcuts—[Ctrl] plus the open- and close-bracket keys, respectively—to adjust the size of each of the lines until I had the look I wanted.

To add space between lines, I pressed [Enter] to insert a blank line between two lines. Then, to fine-tune the space between each line, I selected the paragraph mark on the blank line and increased or decreased its size.

Finally, to add the fancy border around the page, I opened the Format menu, selected Borders And Shading, clicked the Page Border tab, and then selected one of the Art dropdown list and selected a border to go around the whole page.

How you should do it
After you download our certificate template , you can customize it by selecting a different page border style (Word 97 offers a dozen or so). Then, just replace Robin R. Student with the name of the first student on the list, change the name of the course, and type the appropriate date. Now print the certificates of completion for your students—and don’t forget to sign them!
If you’ve designed a cool template you think would be useful for your fellow trainers, send a copy to me . If we post your document for download, we’ll send you a TechRepublic T-shirt.