Monday Mailbag – Making Custom Student Worksheets

What program do you use to create your worksheets and publications?

It may shock (or horrify!) some of you better designer-types to know this, but I create almost all of my worksheets and practice incentive materials in Microsoft Word. I’ve discovered that with the use of tables, you can accomplish just about anything in Word. That said, I do use a few other programs for other related purposes.

For more graphic intensive design work I use either Fireworks or Print Shop. There are probably some much better options out there, but I started using Print Shop when I was ten years old and am so familiar with it that it has remained my go-to software for design work. It’s a low-end program, inexpensive to purchase, and very intuitive. I started using Fireworks when I got into web design and have gotten comfortable enough with it that I often use it for print design work as well.

Whenever I’m creating worksheets that use portions of a musical staff/musical examples, I create the excerpts in Finale (when I bought Finale several years ago, I did a ton of research and the best price I found for it was the academic version at – I definitely recommend getting it there!) and then export them over to Microsoft Word. It’s amazing the things you can accomplish with most programs if you spend enough time scouring the help menus, searching the forums, and learning how to trick it into doing what you want. 🙂

Remember, if you have a question you’d like to contribute to next week’s Monday Mailbag, leave it in the comments below or send me an e-mail sometime this week with Monday Mailbag in the subject line!

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