English | Help | Sign in

Please rate your experience using this page


Delighted

Satisfied

Disappointed

Thank you! We appreciate your feedback.

Click here to take our survey and give us detailed feedback. If you're having a problem and need assistance, please contact us.

Help Topics

Contact Us

Have feedback? Can't find your answer in our Help pages?

Contact Us

Build Your Book - Format a Paperback Manuscript (Word for Mac)

In this step-by-step guide, we walk you through formatting a paperback manuscript in Microsoft Word (Version 15) for Mac.

See our separate guides for formatting a paperback in Microsoft Word for Windows and Pages for Mac.




Step 1

Setting page size and margins

A few key terms before you start:

  • Trim size. Your printed book's width and height. The most common trim size for paperbacks in the US is 6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm), but you have several other options.
  • Bleed. Bleed is a printing term that refers to when printed objects on a page, such as images, background color, or graphics, extend past where the publication will be trimmed. This ensures that your printed objects reach all the way to the edge of the page. When a book is printed, all pages are trimmed to the selected trim size by cutting 0.125” (3.2 mm) from the top, bottom, and outside edges. In order for objects on your page to reach all the way to the edge of the page, those objects must extend past where the page will be trimmed by 0.125” (3.2 mm). Accounting for bleed is important because it prevents a white border from appearing at the edge of the page when the book is trimmed. The video and step-by-step instructions explain how to set page size and margins for books with and without bleed. For more information on bleed see our Print Options Help page.
  • Margins. Every page has three outside margins (top, bottom, and side) and one inside margin (also called the gutter). Margins ensure your text isn’t cut off during manufacturing. Set your page size before you set your margins. Why? Margin size depends on page count and on whether you have elements that bleed.
See this chart to find your margin size:

Page count Inside (gutter) margins Outside margins (no bleed) Outside margins (with bleed)
24 to 150 pages 0.375 in (9.6 mm) at least 0.25 in (6.4 mm) at least 0.375 in (9.6 mm)
151 to 300 pages 0.5 in (12.7 mm) at least 0.25 in (6.4 mm) at least 0.375 in (9.6 mm)
301 to 500 pages 0.625 in (15.9 mm) at least 0.25 in (6.4 mm) at least 0.375 in (9.6 mm)
501 to 700 pages 0.75 in (19.1 mm) at least 0.25 in (6.4 mm) at least 0.375 in (9.6 mm)
701 to 828 pages 0.875 in (22.3 mm) at least 0.25 in (6.4 mm) at least 0.375 in (9.6 mm)

Step-by-step instructions: Setting page size and margins (no bleed)

  1. On the Format tab, select Document. This opens a dialog box. Select Page Setup. This opens a dialog box.

  2. format menu

  3. Click Paper Size and select Manage Custom Sizes. Enter your book's trim size into the Width and Height fields. Click OK. This resizes your pages and changes your page count, which you need to know for setting your margins.
  4. On the Format tab, select Document. This opens a dialog box. In the Multiple pages list, select Mirror margins.
  5. Enter your Top, Bottom, Inside, and Outside margins based on your book's page count. Do not enter any value into the Gutter field. Click OK.
document options

Tip: If your page count changes, go back and check the inside margin because it may also need to change.


Step-by-step instructions: Setting page size and margins (bleed)

  1. On the Format tab, select Document. This opens a dialog box. Select Page Setup. This opens a dialog box.

  2. page setup options

  3. Click Paper Size and select Manage Custom Sizes. Enter Width and Height fields for your trim size with bleed added. Add 0.125" (3.2 mm) to the width and 0.25" (6.4 mm) to the height.

    For example, if your trim size is 6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm) (15.24 x 22.86 cm), set the page size to 6.125" x 9.25" (15.54 x 23.46 cm) (15.54 x 23.46 cm). Microsoft Word might round 0.125" to 0.13"; this is fine.

    Click OK

  4. manage custom sizes

  5. On the Format tab, select Document. This opens a dialog box. Under Margins, enter your Top, Bottom, Inside, and Outside margins based on your book's page count.
  6. In the Multiple pages list, select Mirror margins. Do not enter any value into the Gutter field. Click OK.

  7. mirror margins

  8. Identify your margin sizes using the chart at the end of this section. The chart provides the minimum requirements for your margin sizes, but we recommend a top and bottom margin of 1" if you're including headers and an outside margin of 0.375" (9.6 mm) to give your book a more professional appearance.

Tip: If your page count changes, go back and check the inside margin because it may also need to change.



Step 2

Modifying styles for a custom look

Using the styles function in Word can help you ensure your book's font and spacing is consistent. You can use the preset Styles in Microsoft Word or modify them for a custom look. Using styles also saves you time because you don't have to format the font and spacing for each part of your book.

Step-by-step instructions: Setting and applying styles


Modifying the Normal style for book body
The Normal style is used for your book's body text. You'll pick your font and font size as well as the alignment of each paragraph, spacing between paragraphs, and the indentation of the first line of each paragraph. These are all style choices, so choose based on your genre.

  1. On the Home tab, right-click the Normal style and select Modify. (If you do not have a right-click option, click the Styles pane in the Formatting section, find the style and click Modify Style.)

  2. modify style with mouse

    modify style with keyboard

  3. Select your Font and Font Size from the lists. (For example, set Font Size to 10 and select the Garamond font.)

  4. Garamond 10

  5. Click the Format list and select Paragraph. This opens a dialog box.
  6. In the dialog box:
    • Under General, set the Alignment to Justified.
    • Under Special, set First line indent to 0.2" (5 mm).
    • Under Spacing, set Before and After to 0 and under Line Spacing select Single.
    • Click OK.
style details

Applying the Normal style to book body
  1. Place the cursor before the first chapter title and then hold down the SHIFT + PAGE DOWN keys until the cursor moves to the end of your document.
  2. Keep everything highlighted. On the Home tab, in the Styles ribbon, click the Normal style.
applying normal style

Tip: Depending on whether the font you choose is large (example: Arial) or a small (example: Times New Roman), you should size between 9 and 12 point. Amazon recommends 9 point for a larger font and 12 point for a smaller font.

Setting the Heading 1 style
  1. On the Home tab, right-click the Heading 1 style and select Modify. This opens a dialog box. (If you do not have a right-click option, click the Styles pane in the Formatting section, find the style and click Modify Style.)

  2. modify style with mouse

    modify style with keyboard

  3. Select your Font, Font Size, and Color, and set the alignment to Center. (For example, select black, Lucida Sans, 24pt, centered.)
  4. Click the Format list and select Paragraph. This opens a dialog box.
  5. Under Special, select (none).
  6. Under Spacing, set Before and After to 60pt to move the title about a third of the way down the page and separate it from the first paragraph.
  7. Click OK on both open boxes to save changes.


Step 3

Formatting chapters (section breaks and chapter titles)

Why this step matters:

  • Section breaks. To ensure that your content begins on the correct page, use section breaks. Section breaks allow you to change the formatting of a specific section without affecting other sections. Add a section break between the front matter and book body to distinguish these parts of the book. Also, use section breaks so each chapter title page starts on its own page.
  • Chapter titles. When you format each chapter title page, apply the Heading 1 style to each chapter title. In addition to the consistent look that Heading 1 provides throughout your book, using Heading 1 tags the chapter title so that it will appear in the table of contents, which is explained in Step 9.

Step-by-step instructions: Adding section breaks

  1. Place the cursor at the end of the front matter.
  2. On the Layout tab, click the Breaks list and then select Next Page.

  3. selecting next page

  4. Repeat the previous step at the end of each chapter.

Step-by-step instructions: Formatting chapter title pages

  1. Highlight the title of the first chapter. On the Home tab, in the Styles section, click Heading 1 to apply the style to the chapter title.

  2. selecting Heading 1

  3. Repeat the previous step for each chapter title.


Step 4

Formatting front matter

Front matter are the sections that come before the first chapter. Some elements are expected and others are optional, but there is a standard order. Learn more about front matter elements.

Tip: Right-facing pages are odd numbered pages in printed books because the first piece of paper is on the right side, facing up from the open, printed book. The back of the cover is the left-facing page.

Step-by-step instructions: Formatting front matter


Adding section breaks and blank pages
  1. Use section breaks to add blank pages within the front matter as needed to ensure that pages have the proper position.
    • To insert a blank page with a section break:
      • Insert the cursor at the top of the page that will follow the new blank page.
      • On the Layout tab, click the Breaks list and then select Next Page.

  2. selecting next page

  3. To create a placeholder page for the table of contents, add a right-facing blank page immediately before Chapter 1 and name it Table of Contents.
Tip: Before you start applying styles, make sure that you've added section breaks in between pages of your front matter as described in Step 3.

Formatting front matter pages

Half title page
  1. Highlight the title text. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, select Center.
  2. In the Font group, select your Font, Font Size, and Color. (For example, select black, Lucida Sans, 32pt, centered.)

  3. formatting half title page

  4. In the Paragraph group, click the dialog box launcher (small diagonal arrow):
    • Under Special, select (none).
    • Under Spacing, set Before to 32pt and After to 16pt to move the chapter title about a third of the way down the page and separate it from the first paragraph.
  5. Click OK to save changes.

formatting half title page

Title page
  1. To format the title, repeat the steps in "Formatting the Half Title Page" with the same choices of font, size, color, alignment, and spacing.
  2. To format the subtitle:
    • Choose the same Font as your title and then select Italicized, a smaller Font Size (example: 24pt), and center alignment.
    • In the Paragraph group, under Spacing, set Before and After to 16pt.
  3. To format the author name:
    • Choose the same Font as your subtitle and then select a smaller Font Size (example: 16pt) and center alignment.
    • In the Paragraph group, under Spacing, set Before to 16pt and After to 0.

Copyright page
To format the copyright page, highlight all of the copyright content. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, select Center. If you don't have a copyright page, you can use a template like this:

Copyright © 2019 Author Name
All rights reserved.
ISBN-13:

Tip: To make the copyright symbol, hold down the CTRL + ALT + C keys. If you choose a KDP ISBN, it is your ISBN-13. If you have a 10-digit ISBN, change "ISBN-13" to "ISBN".

Dedication
  1. To format the dedication, apply Heading 1 to the dedication title.
  2. Select all of the dedication content. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, select Center.

Table of contents (TOC)
You'll add and format the TOC in Step 9.

Preface, acknowledgments, and prologue pages
  1. Apply Heading 1 to the titles of these pages.
  2. Apply the Normal style to the content of these pages.

Tip: In Step 2, you modified Heading 1 for all chapter titles. Using the Heading 1 style also pulls anything tagged Heading 1 into the Table of Contents (Step 9). Use Heading 1 for any front matter pages that you want in your TOC.



Step 5

Adding pagination

Some books have different pagination styles between the front matter (Roman numerals) and book body (Arabic numerals). If you're unsure whether to use different pagination styles (it's not typical for novels), find books with content similar to yours to get an idea of what readers expect. To achieve different pagination styles, you have to use section breaks (see Step 3).

Step-by-step instructions: Adding pagination

  1. Go to the first page of Chapter 1 and click Page Number in the toolbar. This opens a dialog box.

  2. click page number

  3. In the dialog box, set the Position and Alignment to the correct settings. Select Format. Make sure the Number format is 1, 2, 3 and set the Page numbering to Start at 1.

  4. page numbering

  5. Click OK.

Step-by-step instructions: Adding Roman numerals to front matter

  1. Go to the first page of your front matter and double-click the bottom of the page to activate the Header & Footer Tools Design tab. Click Page Number and then select Format Page Numbers.

  2. click page number

  3. In the dialog box, set the Position and Alignment to the correct settings. Select Format.
  4. Change Number format to small Roman numerals, and set the Page numbering to Continue from Previous Section.

  5. page number options

  6. Click OK.
  7. To ensure consecutive pagination, repeat this process for all front matter pages.

Step-by-step instructions: Removing page numbers

Removing page numbers from certain pages of front matter is a design choice and requires more Microsoft Word skill and time.

Unlinking footers between front matter and book body
  1. Double-click the bottom of the first page of Chapter 1 to activate the Header & Footer Tools on the Design tab.
  2. With your cursor in the footer, you'll see Link to Previous highlighted in the Navigation group. Click Link to Previous to deselect it.
link to previous

Removing page numbers from certain front matter pages
To remove page numbers from certain front matter pages (example: title page, half title page):

  1. Double-click the bottom of the page to activate the Header & Footer Tools on the Design tab.
  2. In the Options group of the Design tab, click Different First Page.
different first page

Tip: It may seem confusing to add page numbers individually and then remove some. We recommend this so that the page numbers flow consecutively whether they are displayed or not.

Fixing page numbering issues
You may notice that the pagination is restarting at 1 at the beginning of a chapter or section. To fix this:

  1. Double-click at the bottom of each page where the numbering restarts to activate the Header & Footer Tools on the Design tab. Click Page Number and then select Format Page Numbers.
  2. In the dialog box, set the Page numbering to Continue from Previous Section.
  3. Click OK.


Step 6

Adding headers (advanced)

Alternating headers between the book title and author name is common in book design. To achieve different headers for the book content and front matter, you have to set up your file using section breaks (see Step 3).

Step-by-step instructions: Adding headers


Adding headers
  1. Go to the first page of Chapter 1 and double-click the top of the page to activate the Header & Footer Tools Design tab.
  2. In the Navigation group, click Link to Previous to deselect it. (Same as previous should no longer appear in the header.)

  3. different odd and even pages

  4. On the Header & Footer Tools Design tab, in the Options group, click the check box next to Different Odd & Even Pages.
  5. Repeat this process on the second page of Chapter 1. This ensures that your headers do not appear in the front matter. If the even page numbers have been removed from your manuscript, you can add them back by double-clicking the bottom of page two of Chapter 1 to activate the Header & Footer Tools on the Design tab. Click Page Number and then select Bottom of Page and Plain number 2.
  6. Go to the first page of Chapter 1 and double-click the top of the page to activate the Header & Footer Tools Design tab.
  7. In the Header & Footer group, click Header and select Blank.

  8. blank header

  9. To add the book title to all odd pages, select the placeholder text and replace it with the book title.
  10. Highlight the book title in the header. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, and select Center Alignment.
  11. Select the header for page 2, and repeat steps 6 through 9 to add the author name to the even pages.
Removing headers and footers from chapter title pages
It's common for chapter title pages not to include headers. Here's how to remove them:
  1. Double-click the top of the chapter title page to activate the Header & Footer Tools on the Design tab.
  2. In the Options group of the Design tab, click Different First Page. The header and footer disappear.

Tip: You might find it more efficient to perform the tasks for each chapter title page (applying Heading 1, first paragraph, drop cap, and removing headers and footers) before moving on to the next chapter title page. This is covered in Step 7.



Step 7

Formatting chapter title pages (advanced)

Using a First Paragraph style and drop caps (a large capital letter typical for the first letter of the first word in a chapter) gives your chapter title page a professional look. If you want to use a drop cap, you might want to create a First Paragraph style with no indentation so that the drop cap lines up with the paragraph alignment.

Step-by-step instructions: Formatting chapter title pages

  1. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click the dialog box launcher (small diagonal arrow) to open the Styles options. Click the New Style button in the bottom left.

  2. new style

  3. Name the new style First Paragraph. For Style based on, select Normal.
  4. Click the Format button and select Paragraph. Set Indentation and Spacing. (For example, set Special to None and Spacing Before to 54pt.)

  5. format paragraph

  6. Click OK.

Step-by-step instructions: Applying drop caps

  1. Highlight the first paragraph of the chapter and apply the First Paragraph style.

  2. drop cap

  3. To add the drop cap, keep the first paragraph highlighted and go to the Insert tab. In the Text section, click the Drop Cap menu and select Dropped.
  4. To modify the drop cap, click the Drop Cap menu and select Drop Cap Options to modify the Font, Lines to drop, and Distance from text. (For example, Lucida Sans, Lines to drop: 3, Distance from left: 0.05".)

  5. drop cap settings

  6. Repeat the steps above on each chapter title page. (For example, if you have 12 chapters, you would repeat these steps 12 times.)


Step 8

Adding images (advanced)

This step shows you how to insert images for books with and without bleed. It also shows you how to positon and styles images. Before you insert images, make sure they are high resolution.

image menu

Step-by-step instructions: Sizing and positioning images (no bleed)

  1. Right-click the image and select Size and Position. (If you do not have a right-click option, select the image and then click Picture Format in the toolbar.) Click Position and select More Layout Options. This opens the Advanced Layout dialog box. Select Size.

  2. size options

  3. In the pop-up menu, confirm that the checkbox next to Lock aspect ratio is checked. Adjust the height or width as desired and click OK.

  4. aspect ratio

  5. Make sure that the image is inside all four margins. You can turn on Gridlines to show where your margins begin by going to the Layout tab, clicking Align, and selecting View Gridlines. If the image is sized so that it is close to the margins, do the math. Subtract your inside and outside margins from the trim size for width and subtract top and bottom from the trim size for height. The image size cannot be larger than:
    • Image Size Width (No Bleed) = Trim Size – Inside Margin – Outside Margin
    • Image Size Height (No Bleed) = Trim Size – Top Margin – Bottom Margin
view gridlines

Step-by-step instructions: Sizing and positioning images (bleed)

  1. To size an image for bleed, right-click the image and select Size and Position. In the pop-up menu, confirm that the checkbox next to Lock aspect ratio is checked, and then adjust the height or width as needed to make the image bleed to the edge of the page. Click OK.
  2. To have the image bleed from side to side, set the width of your image to the width of your trim size plus 0.125" (3.2 mm). (For our example book, we sized our image width to 6.125" (15.54 cm).)
  3. bleed options

    bleed example

  4. If you want your image to bleed from top to bottom, set the height of your image to .25" plus book's trim size height. (For a 6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm) book, set the height to 9.25" (23.46 cm).)
  5. Before you upload your interior file to KDP, make sure that you choose Bleed in the KDP paperback options, on the Paperback Content tab, in the Print Options section.

Step-by-step instructions: Inserting images

  1. Place the cursor just before the place where the image should appear.
  2. On the Insert tab, click Pictures and browse to find the desired image. Click Insert to add the image.
  3. Set the image positioning to have text wrap around it. This allows you to reposition the image on the page. To set text wrapping, click the image to open the Picture Tools Format tab, click Position, and then select any of the options under With text wrapping.

  4. text wrapping

  5. After applying text wrapping, you can reposition your image by dragging and dropping it.

Step-by-step instructions: Styling images

  1. Click the image to open the Picture Tools Format tab. In the Wrap Text group, click More Layout Options and select a frame to apply to the image.
  2. Under Text Wrapping select your Wrapping Style and Distance from Text.
wrapping style



Step 9

Creating a table of contents (TOC)

Not all paperbacks have a TOC. If you're unsure whether to include one, find books with content similar to yours to get an idea of what readers expect. If you also want to publish your book in digital format, creating a TOC now will save you time. Why? Because Amazon requires all Kindle eBooks to have a TOC, which allows readers to navigate between chapters easily.

Step-by-step instructions: Creating a table of contents


Adding an automated table of contents
  1. Highlight the table of contents text on the placeholder page that you created in Step 4, in the "Adding Section Breaks and Blank Pages" section. On the References tab, click Table of Contents and select Automatic Table 2 to insert a new TOC.

  2. automatic table of contents

  3. Format the Table of Contents heading by choosing font, size, and alignment. (For example, Lucida Sans, 24pt, center alignment.)
formatting table of contents

Updating the table of contents
  1. To update the table, click the TOC and go to the References tab.
  2. In the Table of Contents section, click Update Table.


Step 10

Proofing and exporting to PDF

Now that you’re done formatting, it's time to do a final check and adjust some settings to ensure your file works with the KDP website.

Step-by-step instructions: Proofing and exporting


Turning on paragraph marks

Turn on hidden formatting symbols by clicking the paragraph symbol on the Home tab. Scroll through the document looking for any spacing issues.

Embedding fonts
  1. To embed fonts, go to the File tab, click Options and select the Save icon.

  2. preferences

  3. Scroll to the Font Embedding section and check the Embed fonts in the file option. Leave other options unchecked.
embed fonts

Turning off downsampling
  1. On the Word tab, click Preferences, select the Edit icon, and then scroll to the Image Size and Quality section.
  2. Click the checkbox next to Do not compress images in file.
  3. Change the Default resolution to to 330 ppi.
  4. do not compress images

  5. Click OK to save changes.
Exporting to PDF

To export as a PDF, go to the File tab, click Export, and then click PDF under Export Formats.


do not compress images

You're now done formatting your interior file! To upload it to KDP, go to your Bookshelf.



Did this page answer your question? Yes | No

The survey is hosted by Qualtrics, so you'll visit their site to fill it out.

An unexpected error occurred. Please try again later.
Your session has expired

Please sign in to continue

Sign In
edit