Scrapbook Layout: Stretch Your Text

I’m in love with how this page turned out!!  Love!!

This page stumped me for a while and I decided to try something BOLD.  I kept the picture part simple and focused on this stretched-text design.

If you aren’t familiar with the Bay to Breakers, it’s an annual 7.5-mile crazy footrace in San Francisco.  It starts by the Bay in the Financial District and ends all the way out at the Pacific Ocean (you guessed it, the Breakers).  The stretched text shows the names of all the streets on the course.

How to Stretch Text

No matter what program you use, there is one key: make sure the aspect ratio is unlocked.  The aspect ratio is a control that keeps an object proportional, so if you increase the width of a picture it increases in height proportionally so it doesn’t look wacky.  Unlocking the aspect ratio allows you to stretch something without increasing its height.

The following instructions show how I did this using Microsoft Word.  The screenshots are from the newest version of Word.  If you have an older version, I’ve noted differences below.

First, insert a text box and type your text with whatever font you want to use.  Get the font right – you won’t be able to change it later without doing it over.  The size doesn’t really matter.  I used the font Calibri (it’s a Microsoft font, no free download, sorry).

Make sure the text box fits snugly around the text.

Select the text box, copy it, and then hit Paste Special.  In the newest version of Word, hit the down arrow underneath Paste.  In the old version, it’s under the Edit menu.

Microsoft Word Scrapbook Screenshot

A box should pop up.  Select “Picture (JPEG)” and click OK.

Microsoft Word Scrapbook Screenshot

Your text box will be pasted as a picture.  Delete the text box.  You can tell which is the picture because the text is not editable in the jpeg.

Microsoft Word Scrapbook Screenshot

Here is the most important part.  In the new version of Word, double-click the picture then click the tiny arrow in the bottom right corner of the Size box.  In the old version of Word, double-click the picture, and click Size.

Uncheck the box that says “Lock Aspect Ratio.”  Click OK.

Microsoft Word Scrapbook Screenshot

Now you are free to stretch the picture!

Microsoft Word Scrapbook Screenshot

When I worked on this layout, I measured the space above and below the photos and calculated that I would need 8 blocks of text measuring 9.5 inches wide by 0.62 inches tall.  After doing the steps above, I re-sized each piece of text to fit these measurements.

I printed everything and transferred it to the page using my makeshift carbon paper method.

And my hand almost fell off.  Seriously.

Bay to Breakers Scrapbook Page

I colored everything in and it is definitely bold.  Mission accomplished.  I love love love it!

Bay to Breakers Scrapbook PageI hope my friends in San Francisco get a kick out of this.

If you have questions about how to stretch text, leave me a comment below and I’ll send you an email.

Check out my other scrapbook layouts here!

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6 thoughts on “Scrapbook Layout: Stretch Your Text

    • I wouldn’t call what I did in that race “running.” :) It is a really fun event though! It’s been a few years since I last did it and I really want to go back and try running it. The hill is a killer!

  1. I do know Bay to Breakers because I grew up in Spokane where we have a competing 7.5 mile road race called Bloomsday. Our race was always compared to the one in San Francisco. I love everything about your page! I’m still learning my way around the new Word so this is a great tutorial too. I still have some Bloomsday layouts to do and some other 5Ks that I’ve never scrapbooked. Love the idea of adding the street names!

    • Interesting! I wonder how it compares to today’s version of Bay to Breakers. It’s tamed down a bit due to neighborhood complaints (you can’t push floats anymore).

      Yes, working with the new Word can be frustrating because you know it’s capable of doing something but can’t find exactly where they’ve hidden the function you want! I had to be adept at both because my work and home computers each had a different version.

  2. Hi Nat! I’ve had this post starred in my google reader and just came by it again… I really love this layout, you did a great job and thanks for the wonderful tutorial!

    • Thanks Ginger! This was really fun to do and I hope you get to try it sometime! Well, it was fun except for coloring in all the letters. That took forever.

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