Useful Book Formatting Basics for Every Writer

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April 14, 2016

3 Basic MS Word Formatting Basics You May Have Forgotten

Writing is a smooth process for most people. Once you get an idea running in your head, the immediate impulse is to get a pen and paper to write it down. The current generation usually gets  phones and writes notes. However, unlike random thoughts and musings, writing a book usually follows a strict format.

Book formatting and layouting are important. Following an organized book writing format will result to a consistency that is important for a fast book layout design implementation. Most authors take these for granted not knowing how beneficial they are in the long term. Whether you’re going for paperback or for e-book, you should always consider formatting your books. To help you with that, here are a few tips on how to initially format your manuscript.


Opt for presets

Today’s generation is so blessed to have computers and softwares that allow writers to type manuscripts easily—MS Word, the modern typewriter, for example. So while you’re writing, check the Word presets. Follow a consistent pattern according to your preference. For headings, you can select the presets in Word and then modify them if you like. For example, if you choose Heading Preset 1 for Chapter 1, just click on it for the remaining chapters. There are also others presets available, mostly labeled according to purpose, so you better explore your MS Word more diligently.

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Learn to use page breaks

Whether print on demand or e-book, page breaks serve a vital purpose. Page breaks help keep your work together. A page break set on a particular page holds the contents of that page together. Using it helps your future book layout designer in formatting your book. It will be easier for him to do the layout of specific chapters without ruining the other chapters. It is also through the magical power of page breaks that your manuscript retains its original form and sequence despite being converted to different file types.


Use MS Word’s TOC and page numbering function

MS Word has everything ready, including table of contents and page numbering. You don’t have to manually set up your table of contents, and number your page. Just select the References tab and you’ll find the table of contents function, and also the page numbering. Now you have your Table of Contents with hyperlinks (for e-book) and Table of Contents with page numbers (for paperback).

Follow these tips in formatting your books from the very first day you start writing and you’ll find your life easier. Whether you choose to layout your book yourself or seek external services, it is best that you do the primary formatting yourself.  You don’t only save time and effort for yourself, but also for your future designer and publisher.




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