How to Create Your Digital Portfolio

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A digital portfolio is an electronic document that contains samples of a person’s work. Digital portfolios allow artists, photographers, writers and other creative professionals to easily share examples of their previous work experience and artistry with potential clients. Surprisingly, educators have also begun to take advantage of the convenience of digital portfolios to communicate their students’ progress with parents and other staff members. One way to create a digital portfolio is using Microsoft Office Word 2007.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Microsoft Office Word 2007
  • Digital camera
  • Flatbed scanner
  • Work samples
  • Image-editing software
  • Microsoft plug-in (optional)

Instructions

  1. Collect samples of your work. Scan paper samples to create a digital file. Use the digital camera to take photos of any three-dimensional or large-scale pieces that you cannot scan. Use your image-editing software to adjust the color and contrast on any scanned printed samples. Color correct and edit photos of artwork as well, until you are satisfied with their appearance. Save the digital files in a folder on your computer labeled portfolio so that they are easy to locate again as you continue.

  2. Launch Microsoft Office Word 2007, and open a new page if one does not automatically open when the program launches.

  3. Insert your digital files as photos onto the blank page. Click on the “Insert” tab, and then select the “Picture” icon on the tool bar. This will launch the “Insert Photo” window. Locate your portfolio folder on your hard drive, and select the pieces you want to insert into the Word document. You can choose multiple files by holding the “Ctrl” button while you select. Click “Select” to insert the files into your document.

  4. Click and drag the image files around to arrange them in the order that you want. You can resize image files by clicking on any of the corners and dragging to resize. Use the “Text Box” tool on the toolbar to create boxes for adding descriptions or other information to the images. You can also insert a “Cover Page” or “Blank Page” by clicking the icons on the “Insert” toolbar. When you have everything the way you want it, save the document.

  5. Convert your Word document into a PDF file. Click on the “Office Button” located in the upper left corner of the window. In the drop-down window, scroll down to “Save As” to open the save option sidebar. Select “PDF or XPS.” This will launch the “Save As” dialogue box. Add the name of your file, and make sure that you select “PDF” in the file drop-down box. Then, click “Publish” to save your portfolio as a PDF file.

    Note: If you do not see the "Save As PDF or XPS" option in your menu, you will need to download and install the Office 2007 Save As PDF plug-in from the Microsoft website.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can email PDF files with most standard email applications. You can also upload a PDF to a website for interested employers to download.
  • Digital portfolios aren’t just for students or creative professionals. Business people can include related samples of their work, copies of reports or awards detailing your accomplishments and letters of recommendation to submit to potential employers.
  • If you are using an earlier version of Microsoft Word, you will not have the option to save as a PDF. You can find free PDF converters online, however, which will convert your Word documents to PDF.

References

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Resources

  • Photo Credit Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images

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