How to Design a Certificate in Google Docs (5 Steps) - All Free Mockups (2023)

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If you need to design a certificate and don’thave the time or money to have one created, Google Docs is an amazing tool. Notonly is it a free alternative to Microsoft Word, it also allows you to designand create a number of projects.

How do you design a certificate in GoogleDocs? Here is how to design acertificate in Google Docs:

  1. Create & Orient a New Document
  2. Create a Border
  3. Add Text
  4. Add a Signature Line
  5. Add a Seal

To help make your life a little easier, I’ve broken these steps down to help you create your own certificate in Google Docs.

» MORE:8 Best Fonts That Look Like Signatures

5 Steps to Creating a Certificate in Google Docs

Whether you’re a teacher looking to create asimple certificate for their students or a manager needing to create acertificate for your “employee of the month”, Google Docs is the only softwareyou need to get the job done.

I created my own certificate using Google Docsand broke it down into 5 simple steps so you can see how easy it really is.

Gathering Inspiration

Before I started creating my own certificate,I did a quick google image search for generic certificates. I looked through 20pictures or so before I decided on my top 3.

Once I narrowed down what I liked, I left theimages open in a seperate tab so I could easily reference them as I beganworking. This helped me understand what I did or did not like about eachcertificate. There is a huge variety in the border options, text placement, andcolor schemes you can try.

Step 1 – Creating a New Document

To get started you are going to want to open Google Docs and start a new “blank document”. Once open, you can name your file in the upper left-hand corner.

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One of the great things about Google Docs is that it auto-saves all your work. The days of forgetting to save your work are long gone.

I wanted to change the orientation of mycertificate to landscape to give it the feel of a real certificate. You can dothis by selecting “file” and then “page setup” in the upper left-hand corner ofthe page. By selecting this, it will bring up a page to adjust your pagesettings.

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I changed the orientation from “portrait” to“landscape” and left all options the same. Feel free to play around withdifferent margins or page colors to suit your needs.

#2 – Creating a Border

While gathering inspiration for mycertificate, I noticed that the majority of other certificates had borders onthem. I decided my certificate needed a border. Unlike Microsoft Word, there isno option to add in a border in Google Docs.

Just because there is no border option, doesnot mean it’s impossible to create a border. It just means you need to getcreative in creating your own border. I discovered two different methods tocreate your border.

Using a Table

One simple way to create your own border is todo so using a table. You can add the table in by selecting “Insert” in the menubar and then “table – 1×1”.

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This will create a table in your document.From there adjust the size of the table by dragging the bottom line of thetable down to fill the whole page.

Once you have adjusted your table to yourliking you can click on it to adjust the size, color and style of it.

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Using an Image as a Border

The alternative to using a table border foryour certificate would be to find an existing border on the internet and uploadit to put on your document.

To add your image you are going to go to“Insert” in the menu bar and then select “Drawing – + New”.

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Once the draw tool has opened up, go ahead andupload your border using the image button. Select “Save and Close” onceuploaded and this will add your border to your document.

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Adjust your border to fill the page for yourcertificate.

I found my border on Clip-Art Library which has a wide selection of free clip art images for your personal use. When using an image found on the internet, please make sure you have the proper licensing to use it.

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#3 – Adding Text

Now comes the fun part, adding text to your certificate. The font you choose is going to set the tone for your certificate. You can choose to use the fonts that Google Docs provides, or you can use an “add-on” to access more fonts. For my certificate, I used the Extensis Fonts add-on for Google Docs.

There are a few ways to do this depending onif you used a table border or an image border. Let me break it down for you.

Adding Text with a Table Border – Option #1

If you choose to use a table border, you havetwo different options as to how you can add text onto your certificate. Thefirst option would be to write in the document like you would any worddocument.

I chose to format the text in the center ofthe document and just down 4 lines so my text wasn’t right at the top of thepage.

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When I was gathering information for mycertificate, I noticed that most generic certificates will use the first lineto acknowledge what the certificate is for (i.e. employee of the month,certificate of completion, etc.).

Feel free to use whatever font, color and sizeyou wish for this. I used the Algreya SC font in the size 36. When I wassearching for inspiration, one thing I liked on other certificates was whenthey would use a script style font for the “of”. To get that look, I used theAquafina Script font.

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Your next few lines of your certificate shouldstate that the certificate is being awarded or acknowledge completion of aproject or class, and who it is being awarded to. You can use phrases such as“proudly awarded to” or “acknowledging successful completion of”.

I started my certificate by jumping down 2lines from the “Certificate of Completion”, downsizing the front to 18 andchanging the color to black.

Feel free to play around with different fonts,sizes, colors and bolding to make your certificate your own.

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Adding Text with a Table Border – Option #2

The second option to adding text for yourcertificate would be to create a text box using the draw tool. One benefit tousing the draw tool rather than just typing the text in, you are able to playaround more with the format on the page.

Please note when using the draw tool, anyadd-on fonts will not be available for use.

To get started, create a new drawing just likepreviously mentioned for adding an image border. Once the draw tool is open,select the “text box” icon to create a new text box.

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Once the text box tool opens, drag the box outto fit your sizing needs. Insert your text here rather than on the documentitself . Play around with alignment, sizing, fonts and colors just like youwould if you were typing it on the document.

For my certificate, I used the EB Garamond andPinyon Script fonts.

Once you get your text to your liking, select“Save and Close”. Your text should now be inside your certificate, drag andposition to your liking.

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Adding Text with an Image Border

Adding text to an image border is similar toadding text with the draw tool with a table border. The only difference betweenthe two is when adding text to a certificate with an image border, you’ll needto modify your existing drawing you created to add your image border.

You will not be able to use add-on fonts withthis option. You will only be able to use the fonts that Google Docs provides.

To do this, you’ll need to double click onyour image border. This will re-open the draw tool with your image border.

Create a text box to fit the inside of theborder and fill with your text. Once finished select “Save and Close”. Yourtext should now be in your certificate.

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#4 – Adding a Signature Line

By now your certificate should be looking likethe real deal, only need to add a few more small things until it’s good to go.

A signature is one of the most importantaspects of a certificate. Not only does the signature acknowledge the award, italso certifies it.

How do you add a signature line in? Theprocess is very simple and involves using the draw tool.

Creating a Signature Line with a Table Border

To create your signature line, create a newdrawing. One the draw tool is open, select the line tool to create a horizontalline.

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Once you have adjusted the size of your lineto your liking, create a text box positioned underneath the line. You can usethis text box to list the title of the person signing it, or use it as aprinted version of the name.

You can choose to make a text box on top ofthe line and use a script font as your “signature” or you can leave it blankand sign once the certificate has been printed.

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Creating a Signature Line with an Image Border

If you are using an image border, it isimportant to note that you will need to edit your existing drawing just like wedid for adding a text box.

To get started, double click on your image tore-open the draw tool. Use the line tool to create a horizontal line. Once yousize the line to your liking, create a text box underneath the line for thetitle or name for the signature.

Format the signature line on the certificateand click “Save and Close”

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#5 – Adding in a Seal

The final step to creating your certificate isadding the seal of approval. This step is optional by the way, if you like theway your certificate looks without it, feel free to stop here.

Just like every other step, the process isgoing to differ if you’ve chosen to use a table border or an image border.

Adding a Seal with a Table Border

If you’re adding in a seal with a tableborder, you have two options. You can choose to pick out your seal before youadd it to your certificate, or you can choose to use Google Image Search to selectyour seal.

If you have a seal picked out or maybe acompany logo you want to use, select “Insert” in the top menu bar and select“Image – Upload From Computer”. This will prompt you to select your pre-savedimage on your computer.

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If you haven’t pre-selected an image, you canuse the “Search from web” option to find something from Google Images. Pleasemake sure you have the proper licenses and permission to use any images foundon Google Images.

For my certificate I used the “search fromweb” option and searched for “free certificate seal clip art”.

Find the option you list best and insert intoyour certificate. Adjust the positioning to your liking and you are finished.

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Adding a Seal with an Image Border

Like all previous steps with image borders,you will need to edit your existing drawing. To get started, double click onyour certificate to re-open the draw tool.

Once the draw tool re-opens, select the imagebutton in the menu bar. This will give you the option to upload yourpre-selected image or search for an image using Google Images.

Adjust your image to fit inside thecertificate, click “Save and close”, and you’re all finished.

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Once you have successfully created yourcertificate, feel free to print it on any type of paper. A thicker cardstockwill give it a more authentic feel, but printer paper works well also.

Why and How Do I Use Google Docs?

According to Google, “Google Docs brings your documents to life with smart editing and styling tools to help you easily format text and paragraphs.” Essentially, Google Docs is a free, web based version of Microsoft Word. All you need to get started is creating a free google account.

Google Docs is accessible on any web browser, and also has apps for iPhone/iPad & Android devices. Check out the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store for more info.

Other Methods of Creating a Certificate

Although we now know how easy it is to createyour own certificate in Google Docs, there are plenty of other free online toolsyou can use to create one. Keep reading to find out which one will work bestfor you.

Google Slides

Google Slides is another free software provided by Google. If Google Docs is the free version of Microsoft Word, Google Slides is the free version of Microsoft Powerpoint.

One easy way to create a certificate usingGoogle Slides, is to use an already made template. Google Slides provides ahandful of templates with a few certificate options already created for you.

Simply select the template you would like touse for your certificate and edit it using your Google account. Google makes itvery easy to customize the template to make it your own. You can change thecolor, font and text of the template to fit your needs. Or you can just swapout the text and you have a certificate ready in less than a few minutes.

Certificate Magic

Certificate Magic is a free, certificate creating website that helps you create simple certificates in minutes. They offer dozens of templates to fit all your certificate needs.

To create your certificate using CertificateMagic, select one of the four options in the design categories. The options areformal, sports, kids and fun.

Once you select the proper category,Certificate Magic will pull up a handful of templates for you to choose from.Select the template you would like and then fill in the prompts for thecertificate.

Once completed, Certificate Magic will allow for a one time download of your certificate in PDF format.

Placeit

Placeit is a graphic design platform that focuses on pre-made templates that users can customize to their needs. They have over 90,000+ templates to choose from, and it’s overall very user-friendly.

Placeit is a great tool for business owners who want professional looking graphics, that they can create themselves. They offer templates for everything from Instagram stories to business cards and resumes, and of course certificates.

Placeit is free to join, but does have premium options for you to purchase.

Pro Tip: Placeit also offers anadditional 15% off any plan with this coupon.

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