How To Create a Purchase Order in Word (And Why It's Important)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published March 17, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many businesses rely on purchase orders to record details about their transactions. Creating these documents with a uniform structure is essential to organizing a company's documents. Understanding how to create a purchase order in Word can help you improve efficiency within the workplace and better facilitate transactions. In this article, we discuss how to create a purchase order in Word and explain why it's important to create a template for these documents.

Related: Purchasing Process: Definition and Steps

What is a purchase order?

A purchase order is a document that shows all the details about a service or product a purchaser plans to buy. The seller prepares this document by including details like the product or service's type, model, quantity, name and price. Vendors commonly issue purchase orders to businesses that are purchasing large quantities of supplies or raw goods.

A business that sells to everyday consumers may also issue purchase orders to their clients, as these documents represent sales offers. It's important to note that while purchase orders detail the business' offer, they aren't invoices. A business issues invoices, which are official requests for payment, after the purchaser accepts the terms of a purchase order.

Related: Procurement vs. Purchasing: Definitions and Differences

Why is it important to create a template for your purchase orders?

It's important to create a template for your purchase orders because it establishes uniformity. When a purchaser accepts the conditions of a purchase order, this document becomes a legally binding contract. To minimize confusion and facilitate transparency, businesses can establish a specific format for all their purchase orders. Businesses can use this template to make all future documents and streamline each transaction.

How to create a purchase order in Word

Here's a list of steps on how to create a purchase order in Word:

1. Open a new Word document and select a template

You can open Microsoft Word by clicking on the program on your desktop. Navigate to "New Document" and type "Purchase Order" into the search bar. This task prompts Word to display various templates, and you can pick whichever one you prefer. Once you decide on a template you like, double-click on the icon to open it.

Related: How To Open a Word Document in Excel (With 2 Methods)

2. Pick the page size you prefer

The next step is to pick the page size you prefer. Microsoft Word's templates come with preset sizing, but you can alter it however you want. Navigate to the "Layout" icon and choose what page size you want. Most businesses choose the "Full Size" option when creating purchase orders. You can also adjust the margins by navigating to the "Margins" icon. The standard for creating margin sizes is to type in 0.25 for the bottom, top, left and right, so you can implement this option if you haven't decided on a size to use.

3. Make the gridlines visible

Purchase orders have gridlines to define different rows and columns. These gridlines may be visible automatically, but they often aren't. You can view them by clicking on the "Design" tab on the top ribbon. Then, you can navigate to the "Borders" button and select the box that reads "View Gridlines."

4. Insert your company's logo and slogan

This step can help you create a final purchase order that's unique to an organization. Customers can use these details to identify that the purchase order originates from a specific business. Begin by locating the box that reads "Your logo here," as most purchase order templates have this box. Once you click on the box, you can navigate to "Insert" and select "Picture." Locate your saved logo on your computer and click "Insert." This action replaces the logo box with the picture you select.

You may relocate the image to any position within the cell. You can also use Word's transform tools to make the image smaller or bigger if the size isn't correct. Most Word templates for purchase orders also have a spot that you can fill with a company's slogan. If the company doesn't have a slogan or you want to omit this information, you can remove the words completely by selecting the text and pressing the "Delete" key on your keyboard.

5. Adjust the title of your form

Some Word templates for purchase orders may have slight title variations like "Work Order." If you want to change the title of your purchase order, click on the title text and type in your new title. If the addition of a different title affects the placement of the text, you can adjust the text size using the font toolbar.

6. Insert the company's information

With purchase order templates, you can most often find the section for company information underneath the title. This information may include the company's name, owner, phone number, address and the main person of contact. If the company doesn't have a slogan, some people move the company's information to the slogan section to create a more cohesive look. Whichever cell you decide to use, you can adjust the text alignment by browsing the options in the "Table Properties" area after you right-click on the cell.

7. Fix the sections for the data and purchase order number

Each purchase order a company distributes has a different date and purchase order number. You can prepare the document template by finalizing the spots for the date and purchase order number. Ensure that you leave space for your team to fill in the appropriate information in the future. You can make the fonts consistent by using the "Format Painter," which you can find on the "Home" tab.

8. Update the billing and shipping sections

Some Word templates may not have the appropriate billing and shipping sections. For instance, you can change sections for "To" and "Service" to "Bill to" and "Ship to." You may choose to leave the billing and shipping sections on a single line or move them to two separate lines. Delete any text out of the corresponding cells so that you can fill in different information for multiple customers.

9. Insert the company's terms and conditions

All purchase orders have terms and conditions that customers agree to before they submit payment. Companies often have different terms and conditions that pertain to shipments, damaged goods and returns. Be sure to include all the terms and conditions and size the section appropriately so that all the relevant details fit.

10. Create columns for product information

You can adjust all the column headers to include necessary product information. For example, you may include columns like "Product Name," "Product Description," "Quantity," "Unit Price" and "Total Price." You can add or delete columns as necessary by right-clicking on an existing column and selecting "Add Column" or "Delete Column." It may also be helpful to add a "Purchase Order Total" row at the bottom of all the rows so that customers can see the total amount they'd owe if they accepted the purchase order.

Related: How To Price Your Products To Maximize Profits (With Tips)

11. Update the font color, size and style where appropriate

You may choose to keep the font color, size and style that the template originally provides. Note that it may be beneficial to alter some of these elements to make the document easier to read. For example, you can replace serif fonts with sans serif fonts. You can also choose to replace light gray text with standard black text.

12. Save your purchase order for future use

Now that you've created your purchase order form, you can save it for future use. Navigate to the "File" icon at the top left of your Word document and select "Save." You can name the file "Purchase Order Form" or whatever you want to refer to it as. You can also convert the file from a Word document into a different format that you can print or send digitally.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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