Using MS Publisher to Add Callouts

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Once you've located a sample image from a FamilySearch Historical Records article that you are able to translate, follow the instructions below to add callouts of the genealogical data in English.

  1. Open Publisher and select a blank document (this is typically the first/default choice when opening Publisher). Select Portrait or Landscape orientation depending on the orientation of the image you will edit.

  2. Go to PAGE DESIGN and change the size to "Tabloid (11" x 17")"; this larger page size will help retain most of the image's quality and visibility.

    Note: Changing the margins to .25” will allow more space to work with.

  3. Go to INSERT and click "Pictures." Find the image on your computer and click "Insert."

  4. Save the file type as a “Publisher file” using the same file name as the image you saved to your computer. At the end of this tutorial, you should have two files for this one image: the image file (.jpeg/.jpg) and the Publisher file (.pub). Saving this Publisher file allows you to come back later to make any other changes or edits to the callouts.

  5. Resize and align the image to allow space on the page for the callouts and image to fit within the margins.

  6. Once the image is set on the page, you are ready to insert callouts. Click the INSERT tab on Publisher’s top toolbar and find the “Shapes” tool.

    Under the “Callouts” section, we want to choose the “rounded rectangular callout.” Which is the second one from the left.

  7. Once selected, you can click and drag anywhere on the page to create the shape.

    Hint: If you create one and format the text, size, margins, color, and outline weight, you can copy and paste to create more without having to reformat the shape each time you create one.

Guidelines for callouts:

  • The outline weight (thickness) must be at least 1.5 pt and not greater than 2.25 pt (=”Shape Outline” in Publisher; see image to the right)
  • The outline must be black (=”Shape Outline” in Publisher)
  • Set the background color to white (=”Shape Fill” in Publisher)
  • Use black text

8. There are three ways to get to the formatting options for callouts: A. Select the callout and click on FORMAT under the “Drawing Tools” heading at the top B. Select the callout, right-click on it, and select from the options it gives, or C. Select the callout, right-click on it, and select “Format AutoShape”


Note: As you place callouts, try to keep them off of the text of the record as much as possible. You may use the blank spaces of the record to place callouts.

9. Start typing inside the newly inserted callouts. You may keep the text simple by merely typing "Birth name," "Mother's name," "Place of death," etc.

10. Resize the callouts if necessary by using your cursor to adjust the small bubbles that appear around the callout.

11. When you’re finished adding all of the callouts necessary, save the file.

12. Now save the file as an image file (.jpeg/.jpg) by doing the following:

  • Click FILE and select “Save As"
  • Select the same folder location where you saved the image from the FamilySearch article
  • Use the same file name
  • In the drop-down menu next to “Save as type:”, select "JPEG File Interchange Format"
  • When a dialog box appears asking if you want to replace the existing file of the same file name, select "Yes"

13. Email the Publisher file (.pub) and image file (.jpeg/.jpg) to

Thank you for your help!