How to Design a Book in Word

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Microsoft Word may be one of the easiest word processing programs on the market, but its simple design controls can be frustrating when you are trying to design a book. You won't be the first person to notice this, or the last, as evidenced by the huge assortment of templates and programs for Word book design. You can use one of these templates to design your book or try to use some of Word's formatting options.

  • Use Word's built-in book templates as the basis for your design. Word includes a few basic templates and connects to the Internet to download others. Click on the "Office" button in the top-right of word and choose "New." Word lists all of the available templates on the left-hand side. Click "Books" to see the categories available. Of the five categories listed as of April 2011, only one contains a book in the traditional sense: a manuscript outline. The other books options are for yearbooks or bookmarks. Click "Other books" and then "Book Manuscript" to download and use this template.

  • Change the information on the template to fit your project. This document is designed with headers, and changing the information in one header will change the relevant information throughout the document. With this template you need to change your name, the title of the book and give an approximate page count for the title page.

  • Double-click in the header area on the second page to change the information in the header. Enter your last name and the title of your book, if desired. The page numbers update automatically throughout the document.

  • Copy and paste your book from another document, if you've already created most of the text. If not, begin typing your book into this template. Press "CTRL" and "Enter" when you finish a chapter to start a new page, and then copy the chapter heading style from the previous one.

  • Format your book to different print layouts after you've added all of your text. This template is for a manuscript, so the pages are standard printer pages. Most books aren't printed on 8.5 by 11-in. paper. If you are just printing your manuscript, you can leave the document as is, but if you are using an online book publishing service you'll need to adjust the pages to match the output you've selected.

  • Find out the page size that your printer uses and then click the "Page Layout" tab in Word. Click "Size" and scroll through the list to find the specified paper size, or click "More Paper Sizes" to enter the dimensions manually. After you've changed the page size, you can add colors and effects under "Themes."

  • Check over your document to make sure that your headers haven't been disrupted by your new page size and that the spacing and indentation look good. It's easier to change the document as a whole, once the text is all in place, than to format as you go. Press "CTRL" and "A" to highlight everything, then make your changes to indentation and paragraphing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Press "CTRL" and "Enter" anywhere in your document to insert a new page. If you're designing the cover, too, it's best to design it in another program that handles graphics better -- even Microsoft Publisher -- and then insert it as the first page of your book. As your publisher for specifics if you don't know how something with print.

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