Formatting 101 in Microsoft Word 2016

A few years back, we posted on formatting guidelines in Microsoft Word 2010. The latest version is Microsoft Word 2016. Not much has changed, but those few changes are worth noting. Here is a Formatting 101 guide for Microsoft Word 2016, complete with picture snapshots to guide you through each step.

STEP 1: MARGINS

We always suggest a minimum of 0.5” for margins, and using a mirror margin to set a gutter edge of 0.25”. A margin is the blank space on the top, bottom, left and right side of the page. If you want an image to go right to the edge of the page, you will need to set a bleed, which is not something you can do in Word. The gutter is an additional bit of space that is added in so that the small amount of space that is lost to the bind is not noticeable. Setting up mirror margins sets the gutter so that it always falls at the centre of the page.

Set your margins by following these steps:

STEP 2: HEADERS

Though sometimes confused with titles, headers are actually the type that is at the very top of the page, often justified to the left or right, depending on which side the page falls on. You can easily set headers in Microsoft Word 2016, and you can even have different odd and even headers.

Set your headers by following these steps:

STEP 3: PAGE NUMBERS

You can easily set page numbers in Microsoft Word 2016, and you can have a different first page, and odd and even pages with page numbers as well. You can choose to have your numbers start at different points and you can choose to have Roman Numerals for your preface (pages before the first page of your story).

Set your page numbers by following these steps:

STEP 4: INSERT PICTURES

The saying goes that a picture paints a thousand words. Pictures and images can add a lot of aesthetic value to your book.

Insert pictures by following these steps:

STEP 5: SAVE TO PDF

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format used to present and exchange documents reliably, independent of software, hardware, or operating system. It captures all the elements of a printed document as an electronic image that you can view, navigate, print, or forward to someone else. PDF files are created using Adobe Acrobat , or similar products. The benefits of using PDF are that everything your print provider (that’s us) needs is there and embedded fonts mean fewer issues. Save to PDF when you’re finished in Word. If you need to make changes, do so in Word, then save to PDF again.

Save to PDF by following these steps:

And that’s that. Here endeth the (formatting) lesson. We hope it helped. Proper formatting can seem tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be formatting like a pro in no time.


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