Writer's Support Room - Manuscript How-Tos

Cynthia A. Quill has been married over 30 years and has three terrific children, for whom she was a stay-at-home mom. While her children were at home, Cynthia took up acrylic painting and quilting. She also operated a Desktop Publishing business from her home for six years. In June, 2004, Cynthia Quill started ICL’s basic course and has made many great friends in the ICL Chat Room. She often makes them laugh, without trying—she claims—but she helps other writers whenever she can. That’s what led her to write this second of two articles stemming from an impromptu lesson in Microsoft Word she gave in a private room of the chat room. Cynthia claims to be a WYSIWYG, What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get—here is Cynthia’s companion article to her "Creating Templates for Stories, Articles, and ICL Lessons."

"Formatting Existing Manuscripts Using Word"

by Cynthia A. Quill

Last April, I authored an article explaining how to create a base document formatted in Microsoft Word® to format your stories, articles and lessons. But what do you do if you have already typed your document? Can you still insert automatic headers? Can you add the styles that you need to format an existing document? The answer is, yes. In general, all you have to do is create the needed style tags and assign them to the proper section of your document.

The detailed instructions on how to create these style tags will not be included in this article. Please check the article, "Creating Templates for Stories, Article and ICL Lessons" for details, located at this URL: http://www.institutechildrenslit.com/rx/ws04/templates.shtml. The instructions in this article assume you have manually inserted your page headers and page numbering. If you did it this way you had to remove and reinsert them each time you edited and repaginated your manuscript. That is a very tedious way of formatting.

A word of caution here, before you edit your document, make a copy of it. If you make a mistake adding the formatting tags, you have your original copy to fall back on. Each time you have to fall back on the original, make sure you use a copy.

Creating the Needed Styles

You will need to create the same style tags created in the article referred to above, posted in April 2005. In this document I will just give you the names and settings. From the menu click FORMAT then STYLES and FORMATTING. The style tags and settings needed are:

  1. Mss Body Text - Font: Times New Roman, Regular, 12 pt. Paragraph: Left Aligned, Special: First line indent is .5 inches, No Space before, Line Spacing is double-spaced.
  2. Mss Title - Font: Times New Roman, Regular, 12 pt, Effect – All Caps. Paragraph: Centered, NO first line indent, Space before is 200 (may have to be adjusted), Line Spacing is single-spaced.
  3. Mss Center Single Space - Font: Times New Roman, Regular, 12 pt. Paragraph: Centered, NO first line indent, No Space before, Line Spacing is single-spaced.
  4. 4. Mss Header - Font: Times New Roman, Regular, 12 pt. Paragraph: Left Aligned, NO first-line indent, No space before, Line-spacing is single-spaced. Tabs: One tab set at 6.5 inches is Right-Aligned.

Header - Text that appears at the top of all or selected pages. Text in a header is not counted in your word count. There is a limited number of lines available in the header which may prevent the title from being included in your header on page 1 in some cases.

Save your document, but don't save it over your good copy!

Preparing Your Pages

The first step is to set your margins and header requirements. Select FILE from the menu. Scroll down and select Page SetUp, choose the Layout tab. Select "Different first page" under the Headers and footers section. The header should be set for one inch from the edge and Vertical alignment is Top. Now select the Margins tab. All margins should be set for one inch; orientation should be portrait and it applies to the Whole document. Click OK. Your page is now ready for formatting.

Formatting Your Headers

We will start at the top of your document, the header. Highlight the header you typed on page one of your manuscript and copy that text. Click VIEW and select Header and Footer. You will see a rectangle box at the top of your page one. Click the cursor into that box and then paste the header you copied. Make sure you only have one tab between the left-aligned text and the right-aligned text. If you have more than one tab, simply delete the extra tabs. If the Styles and Formatting box is not visible to your right showing your style tags, select FORMAT from the menu bar and click "Styles and Formatting".

Highlight the text you just pasted into your header area. From the box at the right select Mss Header. Your header text will take on the attributes assigned to the Mss Header style tag. Select View from the menu bar and Click Header and Footer to exit out of the header box. Delete any header text that appears in the BODY text of page one, not the header text you just pasted into the header box.

To format the headers that will appear on the rest of the pages, scroll down to page two, Copy the header text you typed on page 2. Select VIEW from the menu bar and select Header and Footer. Paste the Header text you copied from the body text into the Header area. Insert blank lines after your last line of header text until you have four blank lines. Highlight all the text and lines in the header box and assign it the Mss Header style tag.

Inserting the page number is a simple task. Delete the page number from your header. Make sure you have only one tab between the left-aligned text and the right-aligned text, as you did for page one. Put the cursor in the spot you want your page number to appear. You will notice that when you clicked VIEW, Header and Footer, a rectangle appeared somewhere on your screen with "Insert Auto text" followed by a few icons. Move your pointer over the icons and they will tell you what they are for. You want the Insert Page Number option. It should be the first icon, looks like a piece of paper with a large pound sign in the middle.

With your cursor where you want the page number to appear, click the page number icon and the number 2 will appear in your header. It will automatically increase with each page. Your header is now complete. To exit out of the Header and Footer mode and get back into your body text, go to the Menu bar, select VIEW and then Header and Footer. Remember to delete the header information from the rest of the document body text on all pages. This text will automatically appear on each page after page one. Save your document.

Formatting Your Title

If there aren't four lines after your title, add as many as you need. Your byline may be typed on one of these lines. Highlight your title. Select Mss Title for your title. Highlight the blank lines after your title and select Mss Single Center. You may put this text in your page one header if you wish.

Formatting The Body Text

Remove any extra lines you may have added to your body text, (i.e. extra spaces between paragraphs). Beginning with page ONE, highlight all the body text. Assign the Mss Body text style tag to this. Your body text is now formatted. Save your document.

Ta Da!

If your document requires special formatting, it is a good idea to begin each name of a style tag created for your manuscripts with "Mss" so you know it is for your manuscripts. For example, if you have section headings, you might try this, Mss Section Heading - Font: Times New Roman, Bold, 12 pt. Paragraph: Left Aligned, First line indent is none, No Space before, Line Spacing is double-spaced. Just assign this style tag where appropriate.

Heading - A title that is assigned to specific sections of your document.

Your previously typed manuscript is now properly formatted. There is more than one way to do this process. This is how I do it. Just remember to make a copy of the original before you do any experimenting.

"Experimentivity" is the route to creativity!

The terms used in this article are trademarks of Microsoft®.


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