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Microsoft Word Secrets for New Authors

So you want to write a book? Great! Here are a few tips (secrets) to help you out with Microsoft Word.


Set up your Paragraph Styles

As you go along writing that beautiful masterpiece of yours, you might have special text that goes on within your book. These include; text messages, letters, signs, notes, etc. Some of us like to simple italicise them - which is great. If you want to take it up a notch, set up your paragraph styles.

Some of us barely notice this, and when you do, it gets too complicated to work around it. Well, it’s simple.

  • Click on Styles Pane to open the list of styles

  • Click on one list - in this example, we selected “Heading 1”

  • Click on the drop-down arrow > modify style

  • A window will pop up and from there you can edit your styles based on your fonts, alignment, etc.

This is great for setting your Chapter and overall paragraph style (which is your entire manuscript) as well.


Notice the Paragraph Symbols

We want your manuscript to be squeaky clean, especially if you’re uploading your word document directly to your ebook reseller. When you first work with your document, it’s automatically blank, although, to be aware of the Paragraph symbols within each line, select to turn on this symbol ¶ and symbols should appear around your manuscript. This will reveal the symbols that we need to look out for to ensure a clean manuscript. Here is a list of symbols and their meanings based on this reference

Be aware of the Paragraph symbols and understand what they do. That way, when your manuscript goes through formatting and conversion, it should be squeaky clean and error-free.


Turn on AutoSave

It’s important that your files automatically get saved just in case your laptop or computer crashes, hangs, or your battery runs out. We can never be too careful even when the short cut (cmd+s / ctrl+s) isn’t enough, we’ll need to ensure that our magical masterpiece gets saved constantly. Turning on AutoSave is essential.

To turn on AutoSave

If you’re a Mac

  • On the menu bar > Word

  • Scroll down and select Preferences, and a window should pop up

  • Then select “Save”

  • From there select “Turn on AutoSave by default”

If you’re using a PC/Windows

  • Click on Tools > Options

  • Click on the “Save” tab

  • Then select “Save auto-recovery info” to turn on the autosave feature


And that concludes our tips (secrets) for now! If you have any more tips, comment down below!

BONUS TIP: If you’d prefer working on the cloud so you can work anywhere from your work computer, to your home laptop, consider using a Cloud Storage like One Drive to stick with using Word, or Google Drive to make use of Google Docs.

Once you’re familiar with using Word, Google Docs is a lot simpler and most of the controls are the same. It could get a little getting used to but it works well all the same.

Happy Writing!

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