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StarFleet style message template

For LCARS fonts, you can also use Helvetica Ultra Condensed (also mentioned by Memory Alpha within the page @Shran provided a link to). You could also use Arial and Arial Narrow (or Liberation Sans / Liberation Sans Narrow, if you want to use OpenSource fonts) that make up good Trek fonts (and are easy to read).

LCARS normally uses majuscules only. Depending on the language you are writing in (there are some that do use majuscules more extensively than english, for example) you might find it easier to use the full set of letters.

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I have fonts. I am looking for a suitable template. My telegram templates look like yellowed or pink paper weathered with appropriate headers.

I am looking for something to pass as an “official Starfleet message”. I am a paper and pencil gamer, hence my need to have something I can print.

For my games, I made a template from an image of a Padd. I’m not sure I can share it due to image licensing, but I think I used this image:

A few paint skills are required. It’s very thematic to hand Padds to players, even if they are just paper glued on cardboard.

Edit: The image is from the internet, I did not create it. I just used it as a template.

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Now that looks gorgeous :+1:

I did try to come up with something similar ‘A few paint skills are required’ thing did me in.

Now I am reverting back to old things that worked in the past. It may not be 100% Trek’ish, but it is within my grasp.

I’m going to run a series of one-shot games with players on a Archer class ship on the fringe of explored space. I’ll justify the message communication format by adding in high levels of background interference making conventional communication problematic. It will also add to the sense of isolation and self reliance if they cannot easily call out.

I have a message format I can use which s a modification of another format I got from someone last year. I wish I could remember who, perhaps they will recognize parts of it. Anyway, it started as a set of assignment orders for a PC to report to their ship. But I had modified it based on real world naval orders. From there I created a general message template. I need to dress it up a bit to be more Trek’ish.

When I have something complete I’ll post it to the resource section for anyone interested.

I was just hoping someone had already gone down this road.

I’m minded of the Tricorder accessory for FASA STRPG.

Just to be clear, the image is from the internet. I did not create it. I just blacked out the screen and added my own text. That is the original image before my alterations.

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I prepared templates that are a bit similar to the STA corporate design (two columns, ‘normal’ Arial script and not just majuscules, some, but few LCARS-ish bars). I am a pen&paper guy, too.

You can have it very Trek-ish with very simple means: Clear and easy, technical fonts (like the ones I mentioned), some bars and buttons, some random or not-so-random numbers by the sides or above/below the text (I included character and wordcount of the document for “random” numbers, a stardate etc.). Add a Starfleet/Starfleet Command/UFP symbol, and Trek you go.

Don’t get me wrong, the PADD is very nice – but will use a lot of ink, printed.

On the other hand, I am thinking about having a web-template running on a local server on my laptop-PC. So I could distribute those messages via the WLAN. I am also thinking about having a wiki as (LCARS)-Database for the crew. But this is a different story, alltogether.

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I feel that technological methods of handling resources and hand-outs work really well in sci-fi games, and it can be a great way to take advantage of the technology that players have access to (in an old modern game I ran years ago, I would sent in-character text messages to my players, written up in advance and sent out on a timer). And, at times, even the physical prop of having a tablet computer at the table can be useful in Star Trek to represent a PADD - I’ve put up handouts on a tablet and handed it around the table.

Electronic handouts are the sci-fi gaming equivalent of tea-staining a map you’ve made to make it look “old and weathered”, and I’m all for them.

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I have finished a personnel order rough. I plan trying it as black text on regular paper and white text on color stock to see what is better. I am also trying it with and without seals. I need to see if they work.

When I finish my routine and priority message templates I’ll see if they are worth sharing.

It’s nice, but I have never been able to find or make a LCARS layout that has an open easily edited text/image area. And my personal skills in that area are not up to the task.

My basic handout (which I have only used a couple of times and do need to change the font) is just a word document.

Write it, PDF it and open it a phone / tablet. Captures the right feel for me.

My Template:!AjcrYYR6LwEcgq9UHRCvclqxfxqUFg?e=XDwxFu


Thank you Steven for the template. I’ll make good use of that.


This actually works very very well for making what I wanted to.

I used your background to make up a few templates (black background and white background for printing on colored paper).

I also have some examples of some fully formatted messages.

If you are OK with it (it is your pic), I will post them here.

Go for it, sharing is caring. :grinning:


I made 8 templates for Word. I used your pic as a fill texture which places it in the background as a single sheet rather than tiled. Your original version for black background and I did a transparent fill. Basically one ink hog and one that can be printed on colored paper/stock. It is easy to use any font you may have and change text color to reflect paper color.

I also included one completed set of orders as a sample of what I intend for my game.

I am using dropbox.

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Hey, that looks awesome! But the text looks a bit… sparse to me. So, if I may suggest something: Do two templates per sheet of paper (if you’re outside the US: A5 instead of A4. Sorry, I have no clue about the US measuring system.). That way, the message-sheet will present itself ‘fuller’. It would also be closer to the format of a standard PADD. :slight_smile:

I would also recommend to use normal instead of bold font weight. But that’s just my inner typo-nerd. :slight_smile:

There are no protections on any of them. Essentially they are just a standard Word doc with a texture and one pic for the seal. This was on purpose so people could easily adjust for preference. Just change the layout to paper size and save. The same with font and style.

I find bold is easier for me to read on a black background, but others may prefer not bold.

All in all, I tried to leave it as open as possible. For me the hardest part was getting a background that looked right and command seals. My artist ability is nil. But adding them to Word was easy.

And yes, all the “art” is not mine and I could not tell you where they came from originally. I had a folder that has old and new pics gathered over the years since the days of LUG Trek.

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US Standards are

  • Letter (a little wider and shorter than A4, at 8.5x11 inch),
  • Statement (half letter 5.5x8.5),
  • 11x17 (double letter; it has a name but I don’t recall it),
  • Legal (8.5x14),
  • half-legal (8.5x7), commonly used for church bulletins
  • pamphlet (8.5x3.3, usually done by two folds of letter sheet),
  • index card (4x6 or 3x5)
  • business card (3.5x2).

Most printshops I’ve asked do keep some A4 on hand, and can get A2-A5 and B2-B5 with some advanced notice.

Typical statement is really close to the display area of a 10" tablet… and rather close to PADD size, and it’s comparable to A5.

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My last sounds a little snippy to me after going back and reading it again.
I was trying to convey that I have very little artistic ability felt that if I just placed the background and seals but left everything else to personal preference using Word it would be easier.

Thanks for actually answering the question MisterX asked.

I’ve been doing most of my forum reading/replying on my phone lately and I can safely say that between the tiny screens, my fat fingers and everyone’s favorite auto-correct my reply’s can sometimes not be what I intended…

Used your template for the Personnel File for an Andorian Commander I’m about to play in my first STA campaign. Loved it! Thanks!

Also, I found that duplicating the final document, changing the Background Color to eliminate the black “screen” background & changing the text color, too, means I have a copy more suitable for printing!

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