When it comes to interior book design, there are two ways to format your text: one seems easy and straightforward but risks errors, the other is simple and effective.
This is the easy way. Simply highlight a section of text and set it up the way you want it to look. However, if you plan to use this formatting multiple or many times, you’ll have to repeat all the formatting steps each time, again and again.
Okay, so you’ve figured out a shortcut. Simply copy the text that has all your desired to the new location and then just change the words. Or you use the Microsoft Format Painter® to highlight the formatting of the text that you’d like to use again and “paint” it over your new text.
While these methods do work, there’s one problem. If your manuscript is lengthy, can you be sure that you did everything perfectly, that you didn’t miss one piece of text? And each time you want this formatting, you have to search back in you work to find the formatting you want to copy. This problem is common for writers who don’t know how to use Styles. And it can make an editor’s work a nightmare.
There’s a more effective way, and one which will assure you that your interior book design will not only be consistent, but can be modified throughout your work in a few simple key strokes.
In Microsoft Word, a style is a complete set of formatting instructions that you can name, save, edit, and use whenever you want to apply that particular format. Furthermore, by assigning styles in your text, you can change any style one time and all text formatted with that style will instantly show your change.
Styles can be applied to titles, headings, sub-headings, first and subsequent paragraphs, lists, bullets, and any other special formatting.
- All similar types of text will be formatted exactly the same way, because they’ve all been assigned the same style. With much less chance of formatting errors, your work will look consistent and professional.
- You can change the setup of any style (e.g., font, size, bold, italic, etc.) and every instance of that style will reflect your new formatting instantly and uniformly.
- If you’re going to publish a book electronically (eBook), going through the conversion process from Microsoft Word will be far easier. That’s because eBooks require that every piece of text has been assigned a style. If you have not assigned styles, or have assigned them inappropriately, you’ll probably have to go through the conversion process multiple times, which can get exhausting.
If you learn to create and use styles, and by “automating” the formatting process, you’ll spend more time writing your manuscript than trying to make it look right. Writing will then be a lot more enjoyable, and you’ll produce text that will look more consistent and professional.
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