So you’re looking to create your own invoice – clearly, or you wouldn’t be reading this. Well, luckily for you, that’s easy enough with modern technology. You can design invoices in Excel, Word, Google Docs, specialized invoice generators, use pre-made templates or draw your own. The possibilities are near infinite!
Unfortunately, that does mean that freelancers and business owners like you are somewhat spoiled for choice and often don’t know which way is the right one for them.
Well, you’re in luck because we’re creating a series of articles covering each approach, detailing its benefits, downsides, and best practices. And today, we’re taking a look at Word. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
How to Create a Custom Invoice Template in Microsoft Word
If you felt things weren’t quite complicated before, you’re in luck. Even after narrowing your selection down to just Word invoice templates, there are more possibilities for creating an invoice template to choose from. The 3 options include:
- Downloadable Ready-Made Templates,
- Invoice Template from the Microsoft Word Gallery,
- Creating Your Own Invoice Template.
Here’s everything you need to know about each one.
Free Professional Invoice Templates for Modern Businesses
Created and distributed by 3rd parties, downloadable invoice templates are likely the most popular way of creating invoices. First and foremost, they come in various modern designs and offer options for all countries, industries, and professions.
They’re also easily accessible, affordable (often completely free!), and incredibly simple to work with. All you need to do is download the desired invoice template, open it in Word, fill in the necessary information, and hit send!
Alternatively, Billdu also offers a free online invoice generator where you can access all our designs and start creating invoices immediately. After you’re done, you can email the invoice to your customer directly from the website or save the finished PDF.
Pre-made Word Templates from the Microsoft Design Gallery
If you prefer, you can always forego 3rd party tools and templates and stick to the ones pre-packaged with Word and other Microsoft 365 document creators. The Microsoft 365 Invoice Template Gallery offers a variety of free and premium options.
This approach comes with its own fair share of benefits, including guaranteed compatibility, reliably classic designs, and the possibility of directly opening and editing templates from the gallery’s search console.
However, the downside is that Microsoft’s Word templates have no automatic functions, which makes the invoice process slightly longer. This also limits your ability to make invoices in bulk. But speaking of the creation process, let’s see how it works.
- Find your invoice template
If you choose not to use Microsoft’s online template gallery linked above, you can search for designs from Word via the “Files > New from Template”.
This option will open a template viewer to browse pre-installed templates based on document type/use case or download new ones. Naturally, to choose, all you have to do is click on the icon and then hit “Choose”.
2. Customize your invoice
Once loaded, you can start filling in the invoice and tweak its design with the standard formatting options from the toolbar.
If the template you chose doesn’t feature images and you want to add your or the customers’ logo, you can easily do so from “Insert > Photo > Picture from File”.
3. Save the completed invoice
Finally, once you’re done, all you have to do again is save the file. You can do so from “File > Save As”.
At this point, you can set the Name, Tags, Location, and Format of your saved invoice. We recommend you keep the invoice under its number or the client’s name. It’s also best to save the document as a PDF for reasons we’ll explain soon.
At this point, you’re all ready to go. All you need to do is attach the document to an email, send it to your client, and wait for the money to come pouring in.
Creating Your Own Editable Word Invoice Template from Scratch
But let’s say none of Word’s or any 3rd party’s invoice designs fit your branding. In that case, you’ll have to put your artistry to the test and create your own. Unfortunately, the uniqueness of the invoice is the only benefit to speak of here.
Designing an invoice in Word yourself is slow, clunky, doesn’t offer any automation, and unless you know what you’re doing, not ideal for bulk invoicing. With that said, we’ll show you how to do so anyway.
1. Open a Blank Document
First, you’ll want to start by clicking File > New Blank Document.
2. Create a Header
Second, you’ll want to design a header for your invoice. This portion of the document should feature several pieces of information:
- The Word “Invoice”
- Company Name
- Contact Information (address, telephone number, email, etc.)
- Business Logo (optional)
Use the available fonts, colors, and sizes to match the invoice’s design to your company branding to reinforce recognition and strengthen positive associations.
3. Add Necessary Billing Information
Next, fill in the right side of the document with the necessary billing information to make your invoice legally binding. This section should include:
- Billing Date (when the invoice was issued)
- Due Date (by when the payment has to be fulfilled)
- Invoice Number (ex. 202301)
4. Insert Client’s Contact Information
Preface the next section with “Invoice to” or “Bill to” to clarify who’s the recipient and add your client’s information. Like before, this should include:
- Company Name
- Contact Information (address, telephone number, email, etc.)
5. Insert a List of Provided Products/Services
Next, you’ll want to include an itemized list of all the products and services you’re billing your client for. Make sure to include the following information to make your invoice valid and as professional as possible:
- Product/Service Name
- Unit Price (ex., piece, hour, kg., etc.)
- Total Product/Service Price
- Subtotal/Nett Price (price without taxes and discounts)
- Price Variables (taxes and discounts!
- Invoice Total
To make this process seamless and simple, we recommend using Word’s Table function from Insert > Table or the specific table section in the toolbar. This is also where you’ll be able to choose from a list of pre-made table/chart designs.
6. Add the Final Touches
At this point, your invoice is essentially finished. All that’s left to do is insert any additional information or design flairs to close off the document. To gain a deeper insight into invoice payment terms, explore our upcoming article. This can include:
- Payment Terms
- Order Notes
- Design Elements
7. Save the Invoice
As before, with pre-made templates, you just have to click File > Save As and specify your invoice’s name, tags, location, and format. Once again, we urge you to save the finished document as a PDF, though you can keep a .doc/.docx copy to use as a sample or template for future invoicing.
Why You Should Save Your Invoices in PDF
So, we’ve recommended that you save your final invoices in PDF format 3 times already. But why? Well, there are several reasons, and they include:
- Compatibility: DOC/DOCX formats are prone to changes by mistake or during transfer. Using PDF ensures that your invoice always opens the same for everyone on every possible device.
- Security: Due to the editable nature of DOC/DOCX, you can never be completely sure some bad actor won’t try to edit your sent invoices to try and cheat you out of your money. PDFs are not (as easily) editable, which helps deter crooks and, in the worst case, gives you a better chance in court.
- File Size: Though a minute consideration, PDFs are smaller than their DOC/DOCX counterparts, making them easier to send over email and won’t take up as much space on your hard drive or in your document management system.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Word Invoice Creation
In the previous section, we discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the various approaches to invoice creation in Word. However, we’ve yet to discuss the pros and cons of the platform itself. So, without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about making invoices in Word.
Advantages of Creating Invoices in Word
- Accessibility: Word is ubiquitous software, available and compatible with nearly all devices, including computers, tablets, and smartphones.
- Affordability: Word’s basic functions can be used for free, and its premium features come at a cheap price.
- Ease of Use: Word is intuitive and has been in the status quo for so long that nearly everyone knows how to work with it.
- Premade Templates: The Microsoft Template Gallery offers a variety of templates for various document types, use cases, and designs.
- Basic Customization: Word provides users with a solid selection of design tools for fonts, sizes, and graphical elements for basic document creation.
- Format Compatibility: Files created in Word can be saved in various formats, making it great for tweaking documents on the fly.
- MS Integrations: Word is compatible with the MS Office/MS 365 tool suite, allowing you to leverage features from Excel and other software in your invoices.
- Basic Security: Documents made in Word can be easily password-protected to eliminate the threat of prying eyes.
- Online Storage: MS 365 offers the option of online storage to access your documents anywhere and anytime you need them.
Disadvantages of Creating Invoices in Word
- Limited Automation: Word lacks the automation features found in dedicated invoicing software. You must manually input data for each invoice, which can be time-consuming, prone to errors, and less efficient for high-volume invoicing.
- Limited Reporting: Unlike specialized invoicing software, Word does not provide comprehensive reporting tools for financial analysis or generating detailed reports on your invoicing history.
- No Tracking: Word doesn’t offer built-in invoice tracking features, making it challenging to monitor the status of invoices, track payments, or send reminders for overdue payments.
- Limited Security: Word’s security features are basic, and protecting your invoices from unauthorized access may be more challenging than using specialized invoicing software with robust security features.
- No Online Payments: Word cannot process online payments directly through the invoice, which may be less convenient for clients who prefer to pay electronically.
- Inconsistent Formatting: Word documents are prone to changes during online transfer, which can cause confusion or damage to your brand.
- Complex Advanced Designs: Creating complex invoices with multiple line items, discounts, taxes, and detailed descriptions can be challenging in Word, especially if you require advanced calculations and itemized tracking.
Free Simple Word Invoice Templates
So, are you ready to start creating your own invoices and making money? If so, take a look at our wide selection of Word invoice template designs. Or, if you’re the pragmatic type, you can find your perfect invoice sample based on your profession.
Automate Your Invoicing Process with Invoice Maker from Billdu
As you’ve seen, creating invoices in Word is easy. But you know, it can always be easier. If you’re an efficiency snob or just have to make a lot of invoices regularly, you should know about Billdu’s Invoice Maker.
Our Invoice Maker is the perfect invoicing solution for businesses, both big and small, as it comes with many features a simple Word template could never provide. Some of its biggest advantages include:
- Simple Professional Invoices
- Recurring Invoices
- Estimates, Delivery Notes, and More!
- Online Payments
- Payment Reminders
- Expense Tracking
- Online Booking and many more!
And the best thing is that you can now try any of our plans for 30 days completely free!
So, what are you waiting for? The time to take your invoicing to the next level is now.
Which Way Is Best For You?
And there you have it. That’s everything you need to know about creating invoices in Word. However, we’ve still not answered the question we asked at the beginning of this article – how should you choose to design your invoices?
Well, it largely depends on your use case.
If you only invoice once in a while, you should give Billdu’s Invoice Templates a try.
If you’re a small business but take your branding very seriously, designing your template is the way to go. And finally, if you’re a high-roller and have to make a lot of invoices often…well, our Invoice Maker is right there for you.
We hope you found this article helpful, and we’ll see you in the next one. Until then, take care, and best of luck in your invoicing!
Billdu – Your Shortcut to Smarter Invoicing!
With Billdu, you can leave the hassle of manual invoice creation in Word behind. Our invoicing app streamlines the process, saving you time and ensuring professional, error-free invoices. Try Billdu today!