Using MS Word to Print Your Book


When you first open Microsoft Word, the first thing you see is a big sheet of paper ready to be typed on. While this is ok for most documents, it is of no use when setting up the page for typing a book. The very first thing you have to do is click on File>Page Set Up. Once you do that, the window you see below opens where you have options to set the margins, paper, and layout.

page setup

As you can see above, the preview setup is for a single page in Portrait View so we need to make all of the changes that you see below so that we can type on both sides of the sheet. Notice below to the right of multiple pages, we have set the drop down to "Book fold". This changes the orientation from Portrait to Landscape. The margin settings that you see below will work well with a Georgia Font, regular, 12px or smaller. Using a smaller the font allows more text per page but becomes increasingly harder for the end user to read. I have found Georgia to be a very good book font. You may want to experiment with the margins and font until you get the desired results you want for the type of book you are printing.

page setup

If we blow the preview up several times, you can see how the 0.8" gutter setting affects the gutter area of the page. It is desirable to have this area about 1.3" wide (inside margin 0.5" + gutter 0.8" = about 1.3") and the outside margins .3" wide. Making this setting will allow the reader to better see the text near the center of the book without having to force spread the book open wide.

gutter image

Next, click on the Paper tab and the window you see below will open. Our paper size will be 8-1/2 x 11 in. Notice that 11" is now the width because we are in landscape orientation.

paper 2 pic

When you click on Layout, you can set the Header and Footer height. The header allows you space to place the page numbers as well as the title of you book or whatever you want up there. The page numbers can also be at the bottom of the page in the footer if so desired. You may want to experiment with the header and footer settings until you get the desired results you are looking for.

page setup

Next, click on Insert>Page Numbers and the window you see below will open. As you can see, I have selected the footer with an outside alignment for the location and it is shown with the two dots in the preview.

page numbers pic

If this is your first chapter, click on the Format tab above. This will open the window you see below. Set the page number to start at page 1 as shown below. If you have 28 pages in the first chapter, your next chapter will start with page 29. It is best to end a chapter on an even number and start a new chapter with an odd number. This may require you to have a blank page at the end of the chapter. To get the blank page, just place the cursor below the last text and keep hitting enter until a new blank page displays.

page no format pic

To place text in the header, Click on View>Header and Footer and it will open the page you are working on. If you highlight the text in the header or footer, you can set the font to what ever you want. The numbers will automatically be entered as you go from page to page. You can also change the font of the numbers by highlighting the number whenever the header is open as you see below and selecting Format>Font. If you delete a number, it deletes all of the numbers on all of the pages in the current chapter and you will have to go through the procedure outlined above to set the numbers sequence again.

header pic

After you type in the text, your page will look something like the one below. This will be the first and last page of your chapter when the page is folded. No numbers or header will appear on the last page of the chapter if the page is left blank.

gutter image

Once you have completed the page setup, you are ready to begin typing your book. As you begin typing, you can use preview to see what your printed pages will look like. Word will automatically take you to your next page and place the numbers, headers and footers that you have designated. Remember to start your chapter on an odd number and end it on an even number. When you are all done with the chapter, preview it to make sure you have it the way you want and then click on print. This will bring up a window on your screen that will look something like the one below.

print pic

Before you click OK to print, make sure you have the Manual Duplex setting checked. This is the function that starts the first side printing and then allows you to print on the other side of the paper. When you click OK, another window will pop up as shown below.
printout pic

Important ! Move this pane out of the way until one side of your pages have printed. Do not click the OK button on this pane until your first side has printed out and you have placed the pages back in the printer to print the other side. This is the function that starts the reverse pages to print. When the first side has completed printing, you want to stack them in order 1-3-5-7-9 etc; with page 1 being on top as you see below....feed the paper in the direction of the arrows.

sample page

Whenever you have completed typing a chapter, you will have what is called a "signature" and it is usually made up of 4 or more sheets of paper folded in half to make 16 pages as you see below. This can of course be longer or shorter depending on how much text there is in each chapter. It is not a good idea to have more than 6 sheets or 24 pages in one signature. The reason for this is that the inner pages of the signature progressively stick out further with each additional page that is added. This is the effect that you get when the page is folded  image of signature  so if you have 30 or so chapters, it becomes all hills and valleys and requires much more sanding to smooth out the pages when using the sanding fixture.

signature page

The next step is to assemble all of these signatures in order and begin the binding process