Wednesday, November 18, 2020

One Last Look


Do you scan through your completed PDF file before you upload it for printing each week? Here are a few reasons why you should.  

Occasionally editors miss things in the Publisher file. Looking at the PDF format with a "fresh eye" can help you to find errors that might have been overlooked. It is easier to notice things that might need to be "tweaked" after the file is converted, plus the PDF file is the one that we receive for printing, so it should be the copy that is proofed.

The most common things that we notice when reviewing and printing a hard copy of the PDF for proofing include:

  • Headers with dates that were not updated
  • Missing graphics that were in the Publisher file but disappear in the PDF
  • Text that looks like hieroglyphics
  • Pieces of text boxes or images hanging just at the edge of the page, but not on the printable area of the page. 

We highly recommend proofing your bulletin PDF file before transmitting it for print. Keep in mind that what you upload is what we will print.  Also, don't forget those JSP settings! :) 


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Sunday Readings No Longer Available on the Subscriber Resource Center

Back in April, when it became apparent that many churches in the United States would not be open for Mass any time soon, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) decided to make the texts of the Sunday scriptures available free of charge to anyone who wanted to publish them. This was intended to allow people staying at home easier access to the Sunday readings through their electronic Sunday bulletins or other means. It was a temporary measure to help with an unprecedented situation. We at J. S. Paluch decided to offer these free readings to our customers on the Subscriber Resource Center (SRC) for as long as they were available. A couple months later, the USCCB extended the free reprint permission until the end of the liturgical year. We have continued to offer these free readings on the SRC as well.

The liturgical year ends on Sunday, November 22, and the USCCB has not extended the free reprint permission beyond that date. So starting with Sunday, November 29, we will no longer be offering the Sunday scripture texts on the SRC. Summaries of the Sunday readings and the citations for the readings are still available in the Today’s Readings and Readings for the Week features that have always been available to our customers.

Parishes can provide their parishioners a link to the readings at but they can no longer reprint the texts of the readings in their bulletins without paying a fee to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

It Was Here a Minute Ago!


Have you ever tried to incorporate a file sent to you only to find that the page disappears when you make a PDF? Or has someone emailed you an image from a church event and even though you place it on a bulletin page, it disappears once you turn the file into PDF? These pictures may be too big in file size for Adobe to embed. 

The solution is an easy fix. Simply save any photo as a TIF file and then reinsert into your bulletin. This will reduce the file size of your document so when you create a PDF file for printing, Adobe will embed your images. 

Follow these instructions to save your photos to a TIF file:

Place and resize your picture in Publisher.  

Right click and choose: Save as picture.

A new window will open. Hit the down arrow on the right in the Save as type option.  

Select Tag Image File Format.  This is saving it as a TIF file. Under Resolution click on Change and choose High quality printing 300 dpi if you have this option.  

Click on OK and then Save.

Delete the original picture and click on Insert, Picture and click on Browse. Insert this new TIF file.  Now when creating a PDF file of your bulletin, the image will stay put.

Be sure to take the time to look through the pages of your PDF file before uploading it for printing just in case you find something is missing on a page. Remember, we only see and receive the PDF file, so be sure to look over and print that version of the bulletin to check for errors. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

When Copy/Paste is a No-No

The J. S. Paluch Subscriber Resource Center has numerous features designed for the convenience of the user. One of these is the “Preview” that is available for the text files that you can download. Because the text files are not in a format that is viewable in your web browser the same way that image files are, the designers of the SRC came up with the Preview as a way for you to see the content of text files before you download them. You access the Preview by clicking on (Preview) in the box that appears above the name of the text file in any search results page. The Preview is intended to give you a good idea of what is in the text file, but it is intended for viewing only.

These Previews are machine-generated text streams that are stripped of all formatting and do not undergo the proofing process that the actual downloadable text files undergo. This means that they are subject to showing errors or hidden text or characters that are not present in the formatted and proofed files that you can download from the SRC. This is especially an issue with accents and special characters that are used regularly in the Spanish files. Here is one recent example of hidden text that showed up in a Preview. This text was not present in the formatted downloadable files.

It is technically possible to copy and paste the text from these Previews, and even tempting to do so, but because of the potential for errors as seen above, this practice is discouraged. The proper way to use the text files provided on the SRC is to download the file that you want onto your computer. From there you can copy and paste the content of the file any way that you want, confident that it will be an accurate version of the text that we have prepared for you.

Direct copying and pasting from the SRC preview may be an easy shortcut, but it can also lead to mistakes and headaches. It is definitely a “no-no.”

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Hat Trick


Hockey fans know that one of the most exciting things that can happen in a game is a hat trick—three goals by one player in a single game. While this may not be the traditional hat trick definition, its close enough for us. JSP has three trainers: Rhonda Cavalier, Judy Ferrara, and Lauren Gandara. Each of the three trainers chose a resource from the SRC at and created three unique ways to use it in a bulletin layout.

First up are  the very popular “Treasures from our Tradition” articles designed by Rhonda Cavalier.  

    The sample above has two frames: header frame with white text on a blue background.                                      Text frame with gradient screen from blue to white

The second sample has a gray background with a top and bottom rule line. 
The heading is 20 point Pristina font and is centered over a two column format.

Our final sample uses a complimentary color headline (orange outline) with a light yellow shaded frame. Added white space (1.25") helps readability.  

Our next design trio is cover artwork presented by Judy Ferrara. 

Full page

Let’s begin with a full page cover.  You can use this full page in a number of different styles.  Adding a text box on the top of your page and add your church info such as church name, address etc.  Or, place a text box vertically on the left side of your page with your info and have the rest of the page with your full cover.  Remember, if you use the images that have dates you will not have to repeat this in the rest of the bulletin. Use the Picture Styles tool in Picture Tools to jazz up the cover such as giving it a border or soft edge.


Half page

The half page image can be used when you have a little bit of space between your church name and your church info but cannot use a full page cover.  The half page if resized properly can fill up a gap without looking stretched out. The half page has the same info as the full page.


This is a neat image that can be used either on the cover or inside your bulletin.  If using the corners for your cover you place a text box on top of it and type in your church info.  You get a new updated look every week.  Using the corner on the inside of your bulletin will fill up any empty page you may need to fill.

Our final trio of layouts is brought to you by Lauren Gandara. 

There are various ways to make your bulletin stand out. A creative design layout is one way. Here are three different ways in which you can creatively display the Readings for the Week in your bulletin. 


Fonts make a big difference in the way your bulletin looks. Here I’ve used GoudyOlSt BT font in bold and italicize and changed the caps to Small caps for the title. I also used Times New Roman for the readings and italicized the days for a more elegant effect.

Adding in decorative elements can also make your text stand out. I added a line in Drawing tools and then added diamond shaped arrows to make it look more decorative.

Color is another way to make your Readings for the week stand out. For this example, I selected a shade of red and then added a Gradient effect to it in Drawing Tools. After that, I selected a darker shade of red to make the text stand out from the background color. I used Arial Rounded MT in Bold to make my text easier to read against the colored background.

Text effects

Text effects is another element that can be used. You can find text effects by going to Text Box tools in your Menu bar. You’ll see Text fill, Text Outline and then Text Effects. When you click on Text Effects, a menu will open giving you different options such as Shadow, Reflection, Glow, and Bevel.Shadow will create a drop shadow. Reflection will give you a mirrored reflection of your text. Glow will add a glow effect around the letters of your text. Bevel will give it an chiseled effect.

For this example, I used Shadow and Reflection effects for the title and Shadow effect for the days of the week. I also used the Shadow effect on the text box shape by going to Drawing Tools > Shape Effects and selecting Shadow.

Could one or more of these design elements help spruce up your bulletin layout? 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Subscriber Resource Center Tools: Favorites and Image Preview


The J. S. Paluch Subscriber Resource Center has tools built right into it to make your work easier and more efficient. One of those tools is Favorites. This feature allows you to collect all the images and text files that you want to use and then download them all at once—certainly more efficient than downloading large numbers of files one at a time!

Favorites is a holding area where you can collect all the files that you want to download, similar to the "Lightbox" found on some stock photo sites. To use the Favorites feature, click on the checkbox of each image or text file that you wish to save, then click on Add to Favorites at the top of the page. Forgot to click on an image? No problem! Just go click on that checkbox, too, then Add to Favorites, and it will join the other files waiting for you to download.

When you are finished collecting the files that you want, click on the Favorites link at the top right of the page, and you will be taken to the Favorites holding area. 

Here you can select any or all of the files that you have collected for download, and they will be compressed into a Zip file and downloaded to the folder that you designate on your computer, using the download tools of your browser. From there you can extract the files from the and use them as you need.

Because Favorites remembers all the files that you put into it from one session to the next, it’s a good idea when you are done to do a little housekeeping by checking the files that you don’t need any more and clicking on Remove from Favorites.

Image Preview

Another handy tool is Image Preview. This feature, activated by default, allows you to see an enlarged version of an image’s thumbnail as you hover your mouse over it. Sometimes, though, the popup images can get in the way of what you are trying to do. You can disable this tool by going to the top of the page and clicking on Image Preview: Turn Off

This setting will apply to all the SRC pages that you go to during the current session, but reverts to its default “on” setting whenever you log off and log back on. You can also restore the feature any time by clicking on Image Preview: Turn On.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Bulletin Potpourri

Paint Me a Picture

Having pictures in your bulletin keeps your readers entertained as well as updated on the latest activities in your parish. It’s always nice to document special occasions and have these archived in your bulletins so you and your parishioners can look back with fond memories throughout the years. 

Getting the right contrast, brightness, or special effect for your image has never been easier. Here are a few tips and the tools you may want to use to change the look of your pictures.

You may notice that when working in Publisher it will add a new tab on the top toolbar depending on what you are working in at the time. For instance, when you insert a picture, a new tab will appear on top that says Picture Tools. If you click on format, a new toolbar will appear that will allow you to manipulate the look of your picture. You will see options to add a border to your picture or change the style such as giving your picture a soft edge. You will also see a great tool called Corrections that will improve the brightness or contrast of the picture. You can also use Corrections to make your picture into a watermark to place behind a text box.

Do you use the cropping tool?
 Sometimes we have too much white space or need to cut something out of a picture. On the toolbar you will see an option that says Crop. When you click on this tool you will see little black lines around your picture. When you place your cursor on one of these lines your cursor will become a cropping tool that looks like an upside-down thumbtack. Hold down your left mouse button and drag the picture in until you have cropped off that area. The cropping tool acts like a pair of scissors and will cut off anything you want out of your picture.

Did you know that when you insert a picture into your bulletin you will see little white circles all around it? Use the 4 outside circles to resize your picture in its proper dimension. If you use the inner circles this will stretch out the image to make it look disproportionate.

Take the time to get familiar with the different sections that are on the toolbar and take advantage of all the tools available. Have fun with them!


Have you ever noticed when you hover over an image in the Subscriber Resource Center you see a little gray area that tells you a little something about that image?

You will see the word Keywords: the date and the cycle for the year such as year A, B, C and also what the image is about so you can match this with the scripture for the week.

You will also see the format of the image such as full page, half page, corner, and so on.

Using Keywords will help you decide which image is best for your weekly bulletin.

Text Fit

Do you know what the red circles mean around a text box? When you click in a text box do you see white circles or red circles?

Well, you should always see white circles around a text box. The red circles mean you have hidden text in the text box. This could be anything from real text to just plain hard returns. If you do not fix this, your bulletin may be printed with this extra text showing. Always make sure you do not see red circles around your text boxes.

Did you know there is an option in Publisher that will expand a text box while typing? This tool is called Text Fit and you will find this in the Text Box Tools on the Ribbon. 

Create a text box, click on the Text Box Tools option and on the left you will see Text Fit. Click the down arrow and a window will open.

Click on Grow Text Box to Fit. Your text box will automatically expand as you type.  

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Subscriber Resource Center Announcements


One easy-to-overlook feature of the J. S. Paluch Subscriber Resource Center (SRC) is the Announcements panel that appears at the top of every page. This is where we can inform you about the latest information, updates, and uploads that you need to know about. Sometimes it’s the only place where we feel we can reach all of our bulletin customers.

Of course, because it’s always there, it can recede into the background and become easy to miss. But if there is something you want to know about, such as a new bishop in your diocese, or whether covers are available that address an important event, or whether the stewardship appeal information for your diocese has been posted, this is the place for you to check first.

So make a habit of checking this space at the top of the page whenever you log in to the SRC, and you’ll always be up on the latest information that you need for your bulletin.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Three-column layouts

One of the most common questions that our bulletin trainers receive revolves around easy ways to redo the bulletin layout. A favorite suggestion of ours is changing to a 3-column layout. 

To change your page grid to 3-columns in Microsoft Publisher, click on the Page Design tab and click on margins, then click custom margins. The window below will display your column guides. Change to 3-columns to get started on your new layout. In the examples below, you will see how we use this 3-column format to create a foundation for building a new design. 

The first example shows a two-page spread with simple frames aligned to complement the layout of the opposing page. Color blocks and simple borders break the information for easy reading while creating an appealing design. 

The thinner column on the right page is used for repetitive information such as staff names, Sacraments and phone numbers. An added benefit of placing this information on an inside page is that it frees up space on the cover that could be used for timely information like Scripture readings, special observances, or a beautiful image from the Subscriber Resource Center at 


Our next sample, seen below, is an example of overlapping frames. The page is visually interesting and considered a more modern look with the gradient screen and sans-serif headings.

The Fall Festival Raffle frame has a different color green than the rest of the page and it overlaps into the Deacon letter. Both of these elements, along with the over-sized graphic, help make it attention-grabbing to the reader.

The use of white space on this page is also a key design element. It allows for the frames to overlap but doesn’t make the page look “crowded.”


There are many simple elements that you can pull into your layout to freshen up your design. Will a three-column layout work for your bulletin? 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Build a Parish Message Board

As we all know too well, one of the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic has been to create major dislocations in the lives of just about everyone. Orders to shelter in place and limit the size of gatherings have greatly diminished the amount of social interaction that we encounter every day. Parish communities have been affected by these restrictions as well. Even with churches cautiously reopening, many parishioners are staying away from public worship out of concern for their own health as well as the safety of others. While many parishes have been able to provide online streaming of their Masses, these are not a substitute for the direct personal experience of gathering with the other members of your community on a regular basis. In response to this situation, parish communities have had to be creative in finding ways to rebuild that missing sense of community.

One parish has come up with the idea of using the parish bulletin as a kind of parish message board. They admit that the idea was inspired by the message board at a local bar, where a patron can buy a beer for someone who isn’t there at the time and leave that person’s name on the board. When that other lucky patron arrives, they can check the message board, go to the bar, and enjoy the beer purchased for them perhaps days earlier. The parish staff reasoned that blank space going to waste in the parish bulletin could be used in a similar way to supply the missing sense of community because of the pandemic.

Here’s how the idea can work. Your agreement with J. S. Paluch is for a set number of pages in the weekly Sunday bulletin. With parish activities greatly diminished, there is the possibility of bulletin space going unused every week. This parish message board idea would use that space to allow parishioners to send messages to each other, or to the parish at large, as a way of making up for the lacking daily, Sunday morning, and weeknight interactions. The message could be a simple “We miss the cheerful greeting of Doris who sat behind us in the fourth pew at the 10 a.m. Mass.” Or maybe “How is Mr. Johnson doing after his surgery? Contact us at 555-1212.” Maybe it’s the announcement of a birth or a special birthday. Or just saying how much you miss Deacon Larry’s homilies. The possibilities are endless.

It might take a while to set up. A volunteer or someone on the parish staff could be designated to moderate the submissions for privacy issues and to keep the content appropriate. Announcements promoting the project could be made in the bulletin and during the streaming Masses. Maybe a special email address could be created just for the message board, or parishioners could phone in their messages to voicemail. Some parishioners could volunteer to send the first messages to get the ball rolling. Each parish can develop its own approach and refine it over time. The result will be that parishioners can read messages from their neighbors in printed or online versions of their parish bulletin, and get at least a little sense of life in their parish home.

During these difficult times, human contact with our fellow parishioners is priceless. Why not give something like this a try in your parish? And when you can finally gather again, you’ll be able to continue building on the sense of community you’ve maintained during the long absence by means of this simple parish message board.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Not All PDFs Are Created Equal

Information for your weekly bulletin can come from various organizations and groups in your parish. Very often, this information is arriving in PDF format. However, not all PDFs are created equal. Luckily, it is only a few steps to incorporate those outside PDFs into your document seamlessly. 

J.S. Paluch Co. has done extensive research and testing to determine the optimal settings for our pre-press system. The combination of Adobe® Acrobat® and JSP settings ensure that we can produce the highest quality printed bulletin for your parish.

PDF files produced in an application other than Adobe® Acrobat® with JSP settings can halt the production of your weekly bulletin. Does that mean everyone contributing to your bulletin needs the Adobe® Acrobat® program? No, it does not. As the bulletin editor, you have the capability to use the Adobe® Acrobat® program to save PDF files sent to you in different formats.

These simple instructions illustrate how to take a PDF file not created with the JSP settings and convert it into JPG for use with your bulletin file. 

1. Open the PDF file sent to you.


3. Select the directory and filename for this image, click Save

4. Open your bulletin document and go to the page where the new JPEG is to be inserted

5. Draw a new picture frame, or use INSERT > PICTURE > FROM FILE

6. Locate the JPEG image you converted from the PDF file. Click INSERT

Now the image is inserted right into your Publisher document and you can convert the entire file to PDF using the JSP settings. Please note, if the original PDF file sent to you has multiple pages, each page will be saved as its own JPEG file. For example, when converting a two-page PDF into an image, you will automatically make two separate JPEG files (page 1 and page 2).

To insert the entire file into your bulletin, you must repeat the steps for each JPEG image. Once you have inserted the JPEG images into your Publisher document, you can now create the PDF file as usual making sure to double-check that the JSP settings are listed as the default settings.

The added benefit of converting an outside PDF into a JPEG and then inserting into your Publisher document is that you have control over the margins when you insert the JPEG and can keep everything within the 1/2" margins necessary for printing.