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Simple 5E Microsoft Word Template & Beginner's Guide
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Simple 5E Microsoft Word Template & Beginner's Guide

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$4.95

Create polished layouts in Microsoft Word!

This template for Microsoft Word allows you to easily create polished supplements without investing in expensive design software. Created by Laura Hirsbrunner (@laura_hirsb), adamantine-bestselling designer & editor. Enjoy doing (mostly) painless layout using software you already own!

Check out the Full Preview to see everything the template includes!

  • 1 letter-sized Word template (8.5 x 11 in)
  • 1 A4-sized Word template (210 × 297 mm)
  • Full-width and single-column stat blocks
  • Two text box styles
  • Table styles for classes and more
  • Dozens of paragraph & character styles to easily follow fifth edition style
  • Parchment background
  • Front and back cover templates
  • Table of Contents style
  • Valuable tips and tricks for using Word to create professional-looking layouts
  • And more!

IMPORTANT -- HOW TO INSTALL:

1) Save all files provided in the DMsGuild listing onto your computer.

2) Install the provided fonts (all use the Open Font License and are free for commercial use).

3) Then open the "READ ME" PDF (which contains instructions for use, along with an exact example of what the Word template looks like when exported to PDF).

4) Read the entire Using This Template page in the PDF before opening your Word template!

5) Once you've followed the instructions in "Using This Template," you can use the Word template. Happy layouting!

System Requirements (Windows):

You will need to install a few fonts before opening this template (provided in download). For best results, use this template on a Windows computer running the latest version of Word (2019/365) with all updates. This template DOES work well on earlier versions (Word 2013 and later); however, page elements may appear slightly different on older versions.

System Requirements (Mac):

You will need to install a few fonts before opening this template (provided in download). Most parts of this template function well on Word for Mac. However, the software has some bugs with how Word for Mac handles PDF export, and you may experience undesirable results when exporting the final PDF from Word for Mac (including no interactive bookmarks and potential distorted text in sidebars). This can be worked around by either not using bookmarks and changing the sidebar font to Arial, or by exporting your document using a Windows computer. NOTE: Some page elements may shift when opening a Word for Mac document on a Windows PC--it may require a little bit of work once moved to PC to export.

Incompatible Products:

This template does not work in OpenOffice, LibreOffice, the free version of Word Online, or Google Docs! Also, please be aware that Microsoft Word is not suitable for creating print-on-demand hardcover books. If you plan to publish POD supplements, I highly recommend using Nathanaël Roux's InDesign template or Affinity Publisher template!

Sample Pages:

Using This Template  Samples to Copy

Sample Monster  Sample Class

Spellcasting  Credits

LICENSE:

You can use the Simple 5E Microsoft Word Template for personal & commercial use as follows:

  • You CAN use the Word template, page background, page number decorator, stat blocks, and other text elements & text styles for unlimited publication of both COMMERCIAL and PERSONAL digital and print documents

  • You can NOT sublicense, sell, or lease the individual images embedded in this template for stock art or other uses.

  • The DMsGuild logo can NOT be used for ANY use outside the Dungeon Masters Guild (copyright Dungeon Masters Guild, used under license).

  • Commercial publications using other image assets within this document must adhere to the rules and restrictions of the storefront in which they are sold. The jagged red swoosh on front cover and jagged black page decorator on back cover can NOT be used for commercial use outside the Dungeon Masters Guild.

  • The fonts included with the template are licensed under the Open Font License and CAN be used in commercial work; see their individual licenses for full terms of use.

  • While not required, it's appreciated if your documents credit the template designer (Laura Hirsbrunner) and include a link to the template's product page.

Keep Playing It Forward: Community Copies

Money tight? I'm playing it forward, no strings attached! If you can't pay, I still want you to play!

Please support me with whatever you can:

If things start looking up, you can come back later to support my work (or check out my Ko-Fi). And if you don't, that's okay! I want everyone to enjoy creating for this game we love so much.

 
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Reviews (42)
Discussions (43)
Customer avatar
Craig W May 17, 2022 8:52 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Not sure where the issue lies, but I am unable to re-download this. I purchased it and downloaded it ages ago but had to redownload for my new PC. It doesn't show up in my library anymore and the links in the description don't work either. Anyone else having this issue or just me?
Customer avatar
Laura H May 18, 2022 2:20 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi Craig, I haven't heard from anyone else having this problem, but it sounds like an issue your computer is having with the DMsGuild website, not something I can fix on my end.

Have you tried clearing your browser cache, restarting your computer, and then logging back into DMsGuild? (alternatively, try using a different web browser)

(If you're not sure how to clear your cache, this site walks you through it for each browser: https://clear-my-cache.com/windows.html )
Customer avatar
Craig W May 24, 2022 4:38 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I've cleared my cache and tried another browser but it's not working aaaand it confuses me. Any chance I can get a hold of you with a confirmation of my purchase to get a copy sent or something along those lines? Really not sure what's up here. I have no issues downloading anything else in my library. :(
Customer avatar
Paul L January 22, 2022 8:39 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Laura - thanks for this great resource. Question - do you know how one would export the word doc, keeping your formatting, hyperlinks and the Table of Contents? So far I am able to export to pdf and keep hyperlinks and Table of Contents OR formatting, but not both. Thanks!
Customer avatar
Laura H January 22, 2022 4:04 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Paul, yes, you should be able to do all three. An exported document should look exactly like the READ_ME_SECOND.pdf file in the DMsGuild download - that file was exported directly from the Sample Letter-Sized docx file.

Please confirm the following:
1) have you followed all instructions on the Using This Template page? (most importantly, running system updates & Office updates to make sure you're on the latest version)
2) have you followed all instructions on the Publishing Your Finished Document page? (most importantly the Saving to PDF step)
3) if the answer to both of those questions is "yes" and you're still having problems, please email me (my email is on credits page of template). In your email, please include your operating system (eg Windows 10), what version of Office you're using (if you know), and a copy of both the Word document and exported PDF that you're having problems with.

Thanks!
Customer avatar
Paul L January 23, 2022 6:20 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Laura - thanks for your reply. I was using a Mac for the editing and that seemed to be the issue. Switched over to a PC and it seemed to resolve. https://heart-of-arcana.itch.io/the-cradle-of-fire if you're interested in checking it out. Cheers.
Customer avatar
Laura H January 24, 2022 3:58 pm UTC
CREATOR
oh great, I'm glad it worked out. And the supplement looks snazzy, congrats on the release!! :)
Customer avatar
Liam C October 18, 2021 10:52 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi. Looks like a great product. However, whenever I try to open the document I get the error message 'word has encountered a problem' and the file refuses to open. Has anyone else experienced this issue?
Customer avatar
Laura H October 19, 2021 5:08 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Liam, I haven't heard of anyone else experiencing that error. What version of Office are you using? Have you tried running OS & office updates, then rebooting your computer?
Customer avatar
NiNi B December 15, 2021 7:54 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Laura, I'm not sure if I have the same problem that Liam up here has, but it sounds similar enough. I copied & pasted the error message I received below, and I'm using Office 365/2019. There's plenty of storage space available on my laptop and I've run all OS and Office updates prior to downloading these templates.

"Word experienced an error trying to open the file.
Try these suggestions.
* Check the file permissions for the document or drive.
* Make sure there is sufficient free memory and disk space.
* Open the file with the Text Recovery converter.
(1650578-Blank_A4-size_5e_Word_Templat...)"

Thanks,
Ryan G
Customer avatar
NiNi B December 15, 2021 8:18 am UTC
PURCHASER
Addition: I'm also using a MacBook Air 2015, if that helps. I've looked around for some troubleshooting help, but most if not all of the fixes are for PC users to unblock the file permissions when getting the same error message, something I'm not able to do since Word and Office look and operate slightly differently on a Mac vs PC.
Customer avatar
Douglas R October 17, 2021 2:39 am UTC
PURCHASER
I am learning so much about how to use Word thanks to this template. It's silly, but I love being shown what can be done with this and then having to try and follow it myself. A huge thanks for showing me what I can do, and giving me new things to strive for!
Customer avatar
Evan B October 03, 2021 9:09 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hey awesome template. One question though. Is there an easy way to swap out the graphic that accompanies the page number? I found one I'd prefer to use but I can't figure out how to remove the current one, let alone replace it with another.
Customer avatar
Devin W August 14, 2021 4:29 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Laura,
Love the guide! The download I'm pulling does not seem to include the Quick Style Guide. Am I opening this incorrectly, does that page come from another download, or could I get a download that includes the Quick Style Guide? Any help is appreciated!

Thank you!
Customer avatar
Laura H August 14, 2021 5:19 pm UTC
CREATOR
The word document itself (as well as the PDF, which is a duplicate of the word document) contains all of the style guide tips for this product.

If you're referring to the official DMsGuild house style guide, it is linked in the PDF, or you can pick it up here: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/267467/DMs-Guild-Creator-Resource--Style-Guide-Resources
Customer avatar
Alan S July 23, 2021 1:05 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Laura (is there an easier way issues than here?)
I think im having the same issue as Matthew. I opened up my doc from 2 weeks ago and the pages are black but my imported stat blocks text has went white and i cant change the colour.
It's all very odd.
Thanks
Customer avatar
Laura H July 24, 2021 7:29 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Alan! If I'm understanding correctly, that sounds different than what Matthew said he's experiencing (I've heard from folks with his bug, but it always resolved itself, but I've not heard of anyone having pages turn black or stat blocks turning white).

Could you email me with a screenshot of what you're seeing when you open it, along with (if you're willing) attaching the word doc you're having problems with? My email is on the product credits page. Thanks!
Customer avatar
Alan S August 20, 2021 12:23 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Laura, I sent an email to you but i've not heard back. Maybe i got the address wrong or it went to your spam folder. It was titled "5e Word Template Help"
Customer avatar
Matthew N June 21, 2021 1:26 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hey so dumb question, but the grainy parchment texture isn't loading up for me when I open the preset file or make my own, any way to get that texture? Thanks.
Customer avatar
Laura H June 21, 2021 4:32 pm UTC
CREATOR
not a dumb question - a couple other folks have had that issue, but it always went away when they either did Windows Updates to make sure they were on latest version of Word (make sure your update settings are set to include "other products from Microsoft" so Word gets updated properly), OR when they simply rebooted the computer and reopened the document.

If it still doesn't work after you do both of those things, let me know!
Customer avatar
Jon A June 09, 2021 8:14 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Can you use this with Google Docs or is there a seperate version for that?
Customer avatar
Laura H June 21, 2021 4:33 pm UTC
CREATOR
Google Docs doesn't have the features allowing for a template like this, sorry. (As noted in the product description: "Note: This template does not work in OpenOffice, LibreOffice, the free version of Word Online, or Google Docs!")
Customer avatar
Jessey W July 05, 2021 4:39 pm UTC
PURCHASER
So while this template isn't 100% amazing in Libre office it is still semi functional. What would it take to convince you to make a version of this that is compatible with libre office or google docs for those of us who don't use word?
Customer avatar
Laura H July 06, 2021 1:23 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi Jessey! The only thing it would take to convince me to do that is the ability to clone myself, because a LibreOffice version is 100% on my wishlist of things to do one day... if I ever have time between work deadlines, heh.

Also, sending cookies might help. But only if they come with a clone.
Customer avatar
David I September 10, 2021 6:41 pm UTC
Hey, Laura!

Thank you so much for doing the good work-- using online apps for these can be a headache if you're rusty or new to coding and such. Unfortunately, I too have Libre Office, so sending good vibes for cloning technology!
Customer avatar
Alan S May 24, 2021 12:11 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hello I've been having fun using this to make some documents for my homebrew world. Perhaps this is a silly question but is there a way to make this a 'Word Template' so that when you create a new document you can select this document or a blank version with the background image and page numbering etc. I can't seem to get the page background into a new document that i copied the styles into.
Customer avatar
Laura H May 24, 2021 9:53 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Alan, glad to hear you've been enjoying it! Am I understanding properly that you're trying to make this an option for a new document that appears when you click File -> New? If so, I honestly have no idea how to do that, sorry. However, if you take the original document you downloaded from DMsGuild, then hit Ctrl-A and delete everything in it, then you can go to Save As > Browse and change the file type to "Word Template (dotx)". When you do so, it'll then create a template file that when you double-click it in the future, it'll open a COPY of that blank document instead of the original, meaning you can freely edit and save your work into the new doc without worrying about accidentally saving over your blank doc.
Customer avatar
Alan S May 25, 2021 8:26 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Laura, thanks so much for replying. Instantly feel very stupid after you providing such a simple solution. Thank you so much, that solves everything I was trying to do.
Customer avatar
Marcin W May 05, 2021 3:40 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Excellent Work!
Customer avatar
Jeff B March 25, 2021 7:38 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Well, guess I just can't make it work. Wasted an hour and $4.95 trying to make MS Word accept this. I really dislike addons that aren't turnkey. Can't get Word to find the files I downloaded. Even made copies and put them in Custom Templates folder, still nothing.
Customer avatar
Laura H March 26, 2021 7:27 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Jeff, sorry to hear it's not opening for you, I haven't heard from anyone else with that problem but I'd be happy to try to help. What version of Word are you using? You should just be able to double-click on the Blank_Letter-size_5e_Word_Template_1.1.dotx file in your downloads folder, and it'll automatically open a fresh copy in Word for you. What happens when you do that?
Customer avatar
RICHARD H February 07, 2021 1:29 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Laura, I am making my first product with your template. When saved as PDF from Word, I found that some types of boxed text appear as images in the PDF: specifically the boxes with a white background, and the tables. The sidebar boxes and monster stat blocks are fine. I wonder if you had a hint about what might be causing this?
Customer avatar
Laura H March 26, 2021 7:28 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Richard, it has something to do with how Word renders some text as images in an attempt to be "helpful" for PDF compatibility. It also does this with some fonts that it can't embed (though that shouldn't be an issue with any of the fonts I include with my doc). I haven't figured out how to eliminate the issue, but I'll holler if I do!
Customer avatar
Glen W April 13, 2022 5:14 am UTC
PURCHASER
Did you ever find a solution for this? It means that my tables aren't searchable.

Otherwise love the product!
Customer avatar
Glen W April 13, 2022 6:06 am UTC
PURCHASER
I figured this out for anyone else that comes across the problem. You have to remove the shape box from behind the tables to stop word converting it to a image when saving as a PDF.
Customer avatar
Gregory F January 03, 2021 4:07 am UTC
PURCHASER
Purchased back in November and have only just had a chance to dive into this over the past week. Wow! Thank you Laura. This is a fantastic tool! A+++
Customer avatar
Mattia F January 01, 2021 3:13 pm UTC
PURCHASER
This is a great product! I have been looking for something similar for long to create polished supplements for my group =) !

One minor issue I have been having: as soon as I update a Table of Contents, even on the very base file, the ToC stops showing Chapter Titles and shows H1s and H2s exclusively. Is there some option or setting I missed?
Customer avatar
Laura H March 26, 2021 7:30 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Mattia, my apologies for overlooking this message before! That's an odd bug - you may be able to poke around in References > Table of Contents > Custom Table of Contents, but I'm not sure offhand why it's happening. Did you ever sort it out, or still having this issue?
Customer avatar
Gregory V November 26, 2020 2:54 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Laura - I've published materials on and off over the last 15 to 20 years and I want to thank you for making this product!

To any purchasers - if you don't have layout experience or time to learn InDesign AND you have access to MS Word this product will allow you to have a very polished product (note - it won't help you with writer's block or create content...that's up to you!).
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Product Information
Mithral seller
Community Content
Author(s)
Rules Edition(s)
Pages
13
Format
Original electronic
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Last Updated:
April 29, 2020
This title was added to our catalog on April 28, 2020.