Word Paragraph Styles
A considerable amount of production time can be saved by
designer if the imported Word manuscript has had styles assigned to
headings, sub-heads, bullets, indented text, etc. This time-saving
function applies particularly to books that have several heading levels
and many body text categories. Novels generally have very few different
paragraph styles (chapter title, first paragraph, normal), whereas
self-help books and manuals may have many.
Text attributes define the look of text (font style,
alignment, bold, italics, underline, etc.) MS Word allows you to
assign text attributes two ways:
- Direct character formatting, and
- Formatting using styles
Direct Character Formatting
Word provides several ways for you to produce a unique
look to various
text elements. For example, to format headings, you can select the
text, apply bold formatting, and then apply a slightly larger font size
than the size that you use for the body text. But wait.
formatting in this manner is known as direct
process of applying direct formatting can be tedious. It's easy to make
mistakes, and you might not get a good looking document. You must
repeat the direct formatting process for each heading, and you must be
careful to select the same font size every time. (Headings, sub-heads
and any other bit of text with a paragraph return after it is
considered to be a paragraph)
If you want subheadings, you must decide how to
subheadings from the headings (smaller size? italicize?) and repeat the
direct formatting process for each subheading. If you don't have
expertise in design or typography, it may take some time before you
create a look that you like.
If you have quotes or special blocks of text that should
look different from the main body of text, you may want it italicized
and indented left and right.
Furthermore, paragraphs that are formatted by direct
difficult to update. If you want to change the look of the document,
you must select each element and apply the new formatting choices.
Most importantly, your book designer will have to
undo all the direct formatting in your manuscript before applying
his/her own styles for your book.
So, do not assign direct character attributes to whole
will stand alone as a style, and that will be found throughout the
document (e.g. chapter number, chapter heading, sub-heading,
sub-sub-heading, and any other paragraphs that will have a look of
their own that is different from normal body text). These paragraphs
will be assigned a Paragraph Style (explained below).
If you did assign
direct character attributes to these paragraphs, they would all have to
undone by the designer in order to assign those that will become part
of the final book design. Although it does take some extra time for the
designer, it's not a big job, so don't worry about it. It's no big deal
if you send your manuscript with direct character attributes.
Acceptable Direct Character Formatting
The exceptions are the assignment of bold and italic to
those bits of
normal body text that you want to emphasize (e.g. italics for the name
of a movie mentioned in a sentence; bold for a word or words that you
particularly want emphasized). Underlining is another exception, but
one which is seldom used.
By contrast, when you use styles to format your
document, you can
quickly and easily apply a set of formatting choices consistently
throughout your document.
A style is a set of formatting characteristics (attributes), such as
size, color, paragraph alignment and spacing. Some styles even include
borders and shading.
For example, instead of taking three separate steps to
heading as 16-point, bold, Times New Roman, you can achieve the same
result in one step by applying the built-in Heading 1 style. You do not
need to remember the characteristics of the Heading 1 style. For each
heading in your document, you just click in the heading (you don't even
need to select all the text), and then click Heading 1 in the gallery
It is not important what
attributes are assigned to Heading 1 in your Word document, or if the
Heading 1 paragraph doesn't look the way you would like it in the
finished book; what is important is that the Heading 1 style is
applied consistently. Your book designer will assign attributes to the
See below for instructions on how to
Most book design applications (like InDesign) have the
recognize style tags in imported Word manuscripts. For example, if
chapter titles were assigned "Heading 1" in Word, InDesign will see
them the same way. The designer will then be able to make changes to
the style attributes to suit the book design (font, size, tracking,
spacing, etc) and see those changes take place throughout the book, to
every occurrence of a chapter title that was assigned the style
You can see how this can save time (and $$). It is
important that the
style assignment in Word be consistent. It is not important for you to
assign all the style attributes as you think they should be in the
final book; that will be done by the designer. Assignment of style
attributes may, however, also be useful for you so you can easily see
that your headings, sub-heads, lists, etc are properly assigned.
Word provides several pre-assigned styles (Heading 1,
Heading 2, etc)
which can be used just as they are. You also have the ability to
change the name given to the style and the style attributes by right-clicking on the style name and selecting Modify.
example, Heading 1 could be saved as "Chapter Title" with whatever new
attributes you have assigned to it. Or you may want to identify all
your styles with a prefix ("Sue-Heading 1") Designers usually have
system of style naming, so it may be a good idea to discuss this in
order to further make the job easier.
How to Apply Word Paragraph Styles
1. Select the paragraph
To apply a paragraph style to one paragraph, click
your cursor in the paragraph (you don't need to highlight the text,
just drop the cursor into the paragraph).
To apply a paragraph style to more than one paragraph, select and highlight all the paragraphs you want to apply the style to.
2. Apply the style using Word's styles
The supplied Word files (Heading1, etc) will work
well with most books. As mentioned earlier, don't worry about the way
the style looks. It will be changed. The important thing now is to be
consistant in assigning style throughout the book.
3. Modifying and adding styles
For more information on MS Word styles, do a web search for "MS Word styles".