How to Create a Book in Microsoft Word

633309 How to Create a Book in Microsoft Word


Microsoft Word is a versatile program that allows you to create a wide variety of documents, including books. With the right formatting and layout tools, you can use Word to publish a book that looks professional, whether you intend to print it yourself or have it commercially published. This article will walk you through the entire process of creating a book in Word, from setting up the document to exporting it for printing or ebook creation.

Set Up the Document

When you first open Word to create your book, you’ll want to set up the document layout so it’s optimized for a book format.

Page Size and Margins

  • Go to the “Layout” tab and click “Size.” Select a standard book size like 5″ x 8″ or 6″ x 9″.
  • Set inside margins to at least 0.75-1 inch and outside margins to at least 0.5 inches. This will leave enough room for binding while maximizing print space.

Headers, Footers, and Page Numbers

  • Add headers and footers to include information like the book title/author on each page.
  • Make sure to insert page numbers in the footer so readers can reference pages.

Establish Styles

One key to professional book formatting is using paragraph and character styles for consistent formatting.

Paragraph Styles

  • Create a “Body Text” style for the main paragraphs. Apply first-line indenting and spacing between paragraphs.
  • Make a “Chapter Title” style (larger font, maybe bold/italic)

Character Styles

  • Have a character style for main scene breaks, like three asterisks (***) centered on a line
  • Create one for inner thoughts/emphasis (italics)

Create the Front and Back Matter

The front and back matter are the sections surrounding the main book content or “body.”

Front Matter

  • Title Page: Include book title, author name
  • Copyright Page: © year, author name
  • Dedication: Short dedication text
  • Table of Contents: Auto-generated from chapter headings

Back Matter

  • About the Author: Short bio
  • Glossary: Define key terms (if applicable)
  • References/Bibliography: Cite sources used in research (for nonfiction)

Add Chapters and Content

Now it’s time for the fun part – writing! Apply your “Body Text” paragraph style as you write or paste in your manuscript text. Use the “Chapter Title” style for all main chapter headings.

Export the Book File

When your book is complete, you’ll want to export the Word document to a PDF file for printing or uploading for ebook distribution platforms.

  • Go to “File” then select “Export” and choose “Create PDF/XPS Document.”
  • Select print quality options and save. The PDF can now be used for printing or ebook creation.

Design Tips

Here are some additional tips for making your Word document look clean and professional:

  • Use a simple, easy-to-read font like Times New Roman 12pt for body text
  • Break up walls of text with images, text boxes, or subheadings
  • Make sure chapter titles are larger (14-16pt), bold, and left aligned
  • Only use one or two font families maximum
  • Enable automatic hyphenation to prevent awkward spaces


Formatting a book in Word takes some setup, but once your template is complete, you’ll have a system to churn out book projects quickly and efficiently. Taking the time to establish styles, assemble front and back matter, and fine-tune the layout will result in a clean, print-ready interior file. Pair it with a professionally designed cover, and you’ll produce a quality book that stands up next to anything on the shelves.

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