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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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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), platinum-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.

Note: 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? We're playing it forward, no strings attached! If you can't pay, we still want you to play!

Please support us with whatever you can:

If things start looking up, you can come back later to support our work; you can even re-purchase something you bought before, and pay more the second time. And if you don't, that's okay! We want everyone to enjoy this game we love so much.

For more information on the #KeepPlayingItForward initiative, and for links to other participating products, visit keepplaying.carrd.co. Happy adventuring!


 
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Reviews (22)
Discussions (28)
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!).
Customer avatar
james H November 09, 2020 4:53 am UTC
PURCHASER
Does this work with open office?
Customer avatar
Laura H November 12, 2020 8:08 pm UTC
CREATOR
It does not, only Word. The System Requirements section lists which versions of Microsoft Word it will work with.
Customer avatar
Raymond R November 06, 2020 11:37 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi,
I am getting a bar that runs along one column above the text near the end of the document. I can't get rid of it even with reveal codes. If I copy a section from a different part of the document that does not have a bar along the top, that bar still shows up in that location. Any thoughts on how to remove?
Customer avatar
Laura H November 12, 2020 8:07 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Raymond, I haven't heard of this issue coming up from anyone else - can you email me (the sidebar on credits page has my address) and include a copy of the word doc that's giving problems and/or a screenshot of it? Thanks!
Customer avatar
Matthew R September 26, 2020 12:34 am UTC
PURCHASER
Unless I'm missing something major, this doesn't seem to play nicely with LibreOffice. Almost all of the text in the Blank Letter sample is gibberish heavy in diacritics. When I attempt to replace said text with my own, at least some of the diacritic mess seems to remain. I'm still doing some trouble-shooting to see if it's an error on my end, though.

I certainly hope I can get it to work, though, because I can tell the work you've done here is phenomenal!
Customer avatar
Matthew R September 26, 2020 12:36 am UTC
PURCHASER
And, I just saw your note in the description. That's clearly my mistake!

Though, I would suggest putting that disclaimer either above the system requirements sections, or repeating it in both the Windows & Mac headings. Even had I read the whole description, I likely would've missed it as I don't use Mac and at a glance it looks like part of that section.

Still, I appreciate the groundwork you've done here; I can probably rebuild a template from it with some work, so I'll consider the $5 worth the head start and the gentle reminder to read product descriptions thoroughly!
Customer avatar
Matthew R September 26, 2020 2:12 am UTC
PURCHASER
Interesting note from my troubleshooting & rebuilding:
The font, "Source Sans Pro" seems garbled when set to "Regular." It's like the keymap is out of order for it, for some reason, and the kerning seems also affected. This problem isn't shared by Bold, Italic, or Bold Italic. It's also not shared by Source Serif Pro's sundry variations, which seem to have installed themselves alongside Source Sans.

I'm honestly not sure what's up, here, but it might be a faulty install on my end.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/lf7bwrvm5x24zrz/Source%20Code%20Error.jpg?dl=0

Here's a dropbox link to an example. All characters are separated by three spaces, and are in the same order; they're also using the non-bold, non-italic versions. The first is "Source Code Pro," then "Source Sans Pro," and finally "Source Serif Pro."

Since your template makes pretty extensive use of the middle one, that seems to be why things are garbling...See more
Customer avatar
Laura H November 12, 2020 8:06 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Matthew, is the issue you're experiencing in your third comment still in LibreOffice? Or is it happening when you use my template in the current version of Word?
Customer avatar
Devin P September 05, 2020 5:32 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thank you for this product, Laura! One question, which I didn't find a direct reference to in the documentation provided, and I hope I'm communicating clearly: While I can replace the image on the front cover without difficulty, I haven't been able to do the same for the back cover without completely replacing the left-hand side black strip as well. Is there a way to replace the background image on the right side while keeping the black jagged-edged text strip on the left side?
Customer avatar
Laura H November 12, 2020 8:05 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Devin, sorry for the delayed response! The background picture is a separate image from the black jagged strip - you can send the black strip to back, then select the picture, then replace it with a picture of your choice, then send it to back.

If you have any other questions, feel free to email me for a (hopefully) quicker response :)
Customer avatar
August 29, 2020 5:08 am UTC
PURCHASER
First of all, thank you for putting this together. I just downloaded the template, but it doesn't look like I have the parchment background in any of the Word templates. They're just a plain, white background. And I'm not talking about when I try to print them to PDF. I mean they're not in the Word templates. Any thoughts?
Customer avatar
Laura H August 29, 2020 9:39 pm UTC
CREATOR
Sorry to hear you're having issues with this! Run Windows Update following the instructions in the PDF to ensure you have the latest version of Word, then restart your computer. This has resolved this issue for everyone else that's had this problem with the background not appearing, so I expect it'll do the same for you. If not, however, feel free to shoot me an email (listed on the credits page) and I'll be glad to give some other suggestions. :)
Customer avatar
Bryan C August 14, 2020 2:40 pm UTC
PURCHASER
What credits do I have to include to use these templates for commercial use??
Customer avatar
Laura H August 29, 2020 9:37 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Bryan, there are no requirements as far as giving credit to me (though I do appreciate it if you credit & link to my template). As long as you aren't reselling the Word document itself, and are just using it to produce PDFs, you can use it without any credit.
Customer avatar
Grant R August 05, 2020 1:01 pm UTC
Does anybody know how this compares to the free templates available on here? I'd be willing to purchase this if it were easier to use and more detailed than the free offerings.
Customer avatar
Laura H August 05, 2020 3:17 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Grant, you can see exactly how the finished product looks by clicking on the full preview button while on desktop, or by clicking the eye icon on mobile.

The text styles in it are significantly closer to an official book's style and there are many more detailed options. I've heard from dozens of folks that switched from the free templates to using this and say they'll never go back. :)
Customer avatar
Grant R August 11, 2020 2:53 pm UTC
Awesome, thank you for the response! I'll likely be purchasing soon :)
Customer avatar
Robert D September 28, 2020 12:30 am UTC
PURCHASER
For future users: the difference between the free templates and Laura's template here are night and day in terms of usability and thoroughness. Most of the other templates are *functional*, but mostly limited to some surface-level formatting of MS Word Styles and not much else. This product is well and truly a professional-grade boilerplate document that's about as close to an ACTUAL WoTC template as you're going to get. What's more, it's comprehensive in coverage: there's formatting for pretty much every document feature you could expect from a DnD product (stat blocks, tables, read-aloud boxes, etc) - I haven't seen any other template on DMsGuild that has EVERY style as done here.

It is well and above worth the $5 cost.
Customer avatar
Azzael U July 11, 2020 6:58 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Once i save as a pdf, following all the steps and using all the styles, the saved file text cant be copied or pasted, why is that?
Customer avatar
Laura H July 13, 2020 6:01 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Andres, I haven't run into that problem with any other users following the steps in the doc.

Are you *saving* to PDF using File - Save As - PDF (*.pdf), or are you using File - Print - selecting a PDF printer? The latter will cause the problem you're experiencing, which is why the instructions tell you to do the former.

Let me know which method you're using. If it's the former and the problem is still occurring, please try creating a blank Word document (without my template), type something in it, then export to PDF the same way. Does that one let you copy & paste the text in it? (in other words, do you have the same problem with all documents, not just my template)
Customer avatar
Azzael U July 13, 2020 6:21 pm UTC
PURCHASER
i am following word by word the instructions, if i save the example file, i CAN save and then copypaste the text, but on the document i edited using the example as template, i can copypaste only certain texts, i think the core font is the problem :/
On other documents i have the same problem with the font
Customer avatar
Laura H July 13, 2020 6:41 pm UTC
CREATOR
So it doesn't just happen with my template, but anything using a particular font? Which font?

Also, if you're willing, can you email me both your Word document and the PDF you've saved and are having problems with? I'd like to take a look. (my email is in the template instructions)
Customer avatar
David C July 04, 2020 7:01 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I really like the layouts and design of the templates, but I'm struggling to make use of this even with the provided materials. Any suggestions?
Customer avatar
Laura H July 04, 2020 9:46 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi David, can you give a bit more info what you're struggling with and might need suggestions about? What's your comfort level with Microsoft Word? Are you understanding the instructions, or not familiar with how to do what they're saying? etc.
Customer avatar
Kathleen H June 20, 2020 7:46 am UTC
PURCHASER
This has made things so much simpler for me in my first formatting effort! Thanks, Laura, for a great product!
Customer avatar
Laura H June 20, 2020 3:47 pm UTC
CREATOR
I'm so glad to hear that, thank you :) if you'd like, you can also leave this feedback in the review section (rather than just the general discussion section) and it helps others hear about your experience.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you create!
Customer avatar
Kathleen H June 23, 2020 5:39 am UTC
PURCHASER
Will do!
Customer avatar
Will C June 12, 2020 12:52 am UTC
Will this work with Microsoft Word the online/browser version?
Customer avatar
Laura H June 13, 2020 6:33 pm UTC
CREATOR
no, it doesn't, sorry!
Customer avatar
Leah D June 09, 2020 3:48 am UTC
PURCHASER
I would like to come back and pay for this once I get paid but every time I add it to my cart it still says $0
Customer avatar
Laura H June 09, 2020 4:08 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hmm, interesting. What happens if you use a different browser (or clear your cookies & cache)?
Customer avatar
Duy M June 02, 2020 8:16 pm UTC
PURCHASER
This is fantastic. Thank you for the great work. Really easy to use and a helpful guide.

I'd love to have a version for free tools like OpenOffice or LibreOffice since my Office subscription is about to run out.

That said I'll be making the best of my remaining time. Thank you again.
Customer avatar
Roy S May 29, 2020 11:14 pm UTC
PURCHASER
So far so good. My only issue is with copying and pasting tables. The formatting (borders and shading) do not copy - only the text (with its formatting) copies. Is there a way to copy-and-paste one of the tables in the template so that it preserves the table, borders, and shading? Thanks!
Customer avatar
Roy S May 29, 2020 11:19 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Nevermind... for those with the same issue, ALT-H V E. (ALT-H V starts the pasting process, E pastes the "entire cell")
Customer avatar
Laura H May 30, 2020 12:21 am UTC
CREATOR
glad to hear you got it working! holler if you have any other issues :)
Customer avatar
Roy S May 30, 2020 11:17 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Actually, one more question. Is there a way to get that single-column creature statistic block to break across columns? I am assuming no because it is embedded in a "drawing," but it's worth a try to ask.
Customer avatar
Laura H May 31, 2020 5:45 am UTC
CREATOR
Sorry, not quite following what you want it to do. It sounds like you're wanting to do a double-column stat block, but if so, I'm not sure why you're asking about the single-column one. Can you clarify?
Customer avatar
Roy S May 31, 2020 11:01 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi, Laura. Thank you for responding. My project is two-column throughout; however, there is a stat block which is longer than a single column. Is it possible to have the single-column stat block break into two separate columns? That is, the stat block starts in the left column of the page, then (because there is not enough page to hold the entire stat block) breaks at, say, the Attacks section to the second column of the page and continues. Is this feasible, or should I just use the "two-column" stat block?
Customer avatar
Laura H May 31, 2020 6:39 pm UTC
CREATOR
If I'm understanding you properly, the simplest way to do that would be to use two separate single-column stat blocks, and manually split the content between them - so if you know you need Attacks to start on the next column, just create a new stat block there and start it with Attacks at the top.

You can also set up Word to auto-flow text between two text boxes (that's how the double-column stat block is set up), if you want to try and tackle that. This video has instructions that might help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4KWjGWBMMc
Customer avatar
Roy S May 31, 2020 6:48 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thank you!
Customer avatar
Sleeping D May 26, 2020 7:02 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I was able to use this as a baseline for my most recent title: Greatness From Small Beginnings. I just wanted to say thank you for creating this template. I found it easy to modify and the directions found within were very helpful. Keep up the good work!
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Product Information
Platinum 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.