Friday, July 29, 2011

Odd Page on the Right - Creating a Book in Word 2010

Like most authors, I use Microsoft Word and rapidly discovered one of it's limitations. Word insists on starting any new document on a left hand page in a two page layout. There is nothing you can do to change this. Microsoft tell us that Word isn't a publishing program and apparently expect us to import Word documents into a program such as Publisher before printing. Now that, for us authors, is the last thing we want. We want a single program on which to create our work and format it for printing. Word can be made to do it - almost.

So this is how to set up Word 2010/2007 to produce a layout suitable for self publishing through Amazon's Create Space publishing or Lulu.

First. If you have an existing correctly formatted document then create a new document using that existing document. It will be a lot quicker.
In Word 2010 the procedure is File → New → New from Existing

If you do not have a document to copy then you'll need to create one as follows. To illustrate it, I've used examples from our book 'A Vested Interest':

  1. In Word choose File → New → Blank document

  2. Select 'Print Layout' view

  3. From the Page layout tab select in the Page setup group the 'Size' button and then at the bottom of the dropdown 'More Page Sizes'

  4. Using the 'Paper' tab, select what size pages your book will have. I use a custom size of 13.33 x 20.32 cm (5.25 x 8 inches) which is one of the standard book sizes. Your self publishing firm will tell you what standard sizes are available. I suggest you measure a few books too.

  5. Still in the 'Page Setup' window, on the 'Margins' tab select a top margin of 2 cm; bottom margin of 2.54 cm; inside margin of 1.27 cm; Outside margin of 1.0 cm; gutter of 0.96 cm; Gutter position Left (greyed out); Portrait; Multiple pages should Mirror margins; Apply to Whole document.
  6. Still in the 'Page Setup' window, on the 'Layout' tab select Section start New Page; Check in the Header and footers tab Different odd and even; Un-check Different first page; set the header and Footer to 1.25 cm from the edge; Under Page select vertical alignment Top. Then click OK.
  7. Turn on the ruler and set it as shown in the image above with no indents.
  8. Double click the page area where the header would be (i.e. above where the cursor is currently flashing)
  9. Check 'Different Odd & Even Pages'. You should now see 'Odd Page Header' at the header and 'Odd Page Footer' at the footer.
  10. Close the Header and Footer view
  11. A little down the page type in CAPITALS your book title and center it. (This is NOT your main Title Page)
  12. Insert TWO page beaks . If you are looking at the document in Print Layout view, two pages per screen your first page will appear on the left
  13. The next page will be your main title page where you put the title, the author. I also add at the bottom the location and year of writing. Format this page as you wish it.At the end of the page insert a Page break.
  14. Your next page will be a copyright page and if you have one, put your ISBN/EAN number here. Example text - customise and space appropriately:

    John and Sheila Chapman have asserted their right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the authors of this work.

    This book is a work of fiction and, except in the case of historical fact, any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

    Copyright © 2010 John & Shelia Chapman

    All rights reserved under International and Pan-American

    Copyright Conventions.

    ISBN 1-456-30018-0

    EAN-13 9781456300180

    Add a page break at the end of this.

  15. Your next page will contain any acknowledgments you wish to make or will be blank. Add a Page break then a Section Break (Odd page) at this point.
    The 'Section Break (Odd Page)' is the crucial step!

  16. You are now ready to start the text of your book, to reset the ruler, to add a page header and a footer with page number 1. If your book has contents pages add them at this point. Contents pages should always be an even number of pages so add a page break if needed then a 'Section Break (odd page)' so that Chapter 1 of your book always appears on a right hand page.
  17. At the top of the Chapter 1 page (or first contents page if you have one) double click the header area. In the Navigation section of the Header & Footer toolbar make sure 'Link to Previous' is NOT selected. make sure Different Odd & Even Pages IS checked then add the book title in Capitals. Center it.
  18. Double click the Footer area of the page (or click the Footer button on the toolbar) Use the Page Number button to add a page number either centered or at the right. Format the page numbers so that they start at '1' (Right click the number to find 'Format Page Numbers...').
  19. In the Navigation section of the Header & Footer toolbar click 'Next'.
  20. In the Navigation section of the Header & Footer toolbar again make sure 'Link to Previous' is NOT selected.
  21. In the Header add in capitals the author's name and center it. In the footer section again make sure 'Link to Previous' is NOT selected and add a centered page number at the bottom. Select and right click the number and choose Format Page Number. It should be set at 'Start at 1'. The actual page will show page 2.

You should now find that from your 'Chapter 1' the pages will be displayed on the correct side in 'Print Layout' view. If you Add the 'Print Preview Edit Mode' button to the Quick Access toolbar (22) you'll find on using it that all pages (in a two page view) are shown on the correct sides. Extra blank pages will be inserted to make sure the main title page and Chapter 1 pages are on the right hand side.

Following chapters should each start on a new page but usually it is not important that they should start on right hand pages. If you have a short book of less than 80,000 words though you might like to insert a 'Section break (odd Page)' rather than a standard 'Page Break' to force this.

If this post has proved useful to you would you do me a favour in return? Download a FREE copy of the book I co-author - a romantic technothriller called 'A Vested Interest'. Even if you don't read it it will help our ratings. You can get it at and if you want to read it, you can use a phone, a tablet, a computer or even a Kindle.


Anonymous said...

Holy c---. Why is it so hard??
Thanks for the detailed instructions.

Anuja said...

Too good. Thanks for detailed instructions. Found it very helpful in formatting paperback book of my ebook. Thanks again.

Anuja said... are nice to be followed on twitter :)

John Chapman said...

Way back in 1981, when I first got my hands on a word processing program, One of the first things it asked was if you wanted to start on a left or right facing page. We've gone backwards ever since!

Scott G Trenorden said...

This is awesome, thanks so much for putting all of this together!

Midnight Blue said...

While this is a wonderful comprehensive guide on how to format a Word doc for self-publishing, it's really excessive as an answer to the simple issue referenced in the title of your post. All people really need to know in order to place odd pages on the right is to insert an Odd Page section break (which you explain) and how to then add the Print Preview Edit Mode button to the Quick Access Toolbar (which you suggest but don't explain). Simple instructions for the latter process can be found here:

Unknown said...

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Jowher said...

Gratitude. Comprehensive and systematic.
Equally I appreciate Midnight Blue's crisp suggestion.