Donald Orr
United States
California
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Hello everyone!

With my recent foray into game design, I've been a real consumer of the collected wisdom here. So I thought I would give a little back with a quick desktop publishing tutorial for the rapid prototyping of cards. For brevity, I'll assume that you know how to do each of the following steps, it's just that maybe it hasn't occurred to you to combine them in quite this way! If you don't know how to do any of the following, they are easily Googled.

The advantage of this method is that when you make changes to the Excel file, the merged Publisher file will update itself. Publisher is an odd program, and not nearly as good as something like Illustrator or In Design, but it does mail merges very easily and is fine for simple graphics like those on a prototype. And... many of us likely have access to it on our work computers (an advantage all its own) or free from our university.



How to Use MS Excel and Publisher to Rapidly Prototype Cards

1) Make an Excel table with the card data.


2) Make a Publisher file, with a card template for master page (View > Master Page).


3) Mail Merge your Excel file on top of the master page (Mailings > Select Recipients / Insert Merge Field).


4) Print the resulting, merged file with crop marks (Print > Printer Select Dropdown > Advanced Output Settings).


And finally, cut your cards!

I hope you found this helpful and informative. You can obviously also use this process to produce other components.
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