HOW TO CREATE A MANUSCRIPT TEMPLATE IN MICROSOFT WORD
FOR VERSIONS PRIOR TO WORD 2007

To see a correctly formatted manuscript, click HERE. This is how your manuscript pages will look EACH TIME you use your template, without having to stop to set up the margins, font, lines per page, header and footer, page numbers, etc.  It will be ready at the click of your mouse!

When formatted correctly, you’ll have a professional looking manuscript every time. Using a template makes it a breeze.  Simply follow the instructions below to create the template you'll use each time you start a new chapter file (if you separate each chapter into its own file) or new manuscipt.

These instructions can be printed, images included.  Text Only step-by-step instructions are also available.

 

Standard industry formatting is shown. The Header (with title and your name) is in the upper left corner of each page.  Page numbers are in the upper right corner.  On the first page of each new chapter file (if using one (1) file per chapter), you’ll drop down about seven (7) spaces and type your chapter heading as CHAPTER ONE, CHAPTER TWO, CHAPTER THREE, etc.  (These will appear as double-spaced pages, using 25 lines per page.) The chapter titles should be in BOLD. If all chapters will be in one continuous file, use INSERT > PAGE > PAGE BREAK, then drop down to the eighth (8th) line to begin each new chapter.

Hit the ENTER key twice to drop down two more double spaces and begin your manuscript.

 

 

 

Note the 1" or more margins on the top, bottom, and both sides, excluding the header at the top which resides within that 1" space at about 1/2".

 

 

 

Let's begin...

Steps 1-4

 

STEPS 1 - 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 5

 

 

STEP 5

 

 

 

 

Step 6

 

 

STEP 6

Now let's start setting up the formatting, beginning with the page margins.

Under FILE in the Word menu at the top, select PAGE SETUP as you usually do to set up a new page.

 

*Please note that because of differences in printer settings, these particular margin numbers may not be correct for your printer. When you've finished setting up the template, print a test page, complete with sample text. If the margins aren't correct, you can easily adjust and change the template.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP 7: Setting up your font

The photo is shown selecting Courier New 12 point, which is the most common. Some writers prefer Times New Roman 12 point, others use a different font.

If the publisher you're submitting to states a preference in its guidelines, use that font. Some publishing companies have now gone to counting words by computer word count, instead of using what has been Industry Standard--250 words per page, 25 lines per page, Courier New 12 point.

Don't try to squeeze more words on a page by using a smaller font!

Keep in mind that editors read hundreds and hundreds of manuscript pages each day, and their eyes tire easily. Pick a font that won't wear them out. Once published, you might ask your editor which font she prefers, then use whatever is best for her.

(Remember, you can write your story using any font that suits you, but to make an editor, you can change to her/his preference.)

Step 7

STEPS 8 & 9

This will ensure that each page of your manuscript will have exactly 25 lines per page.

 

Step 8

 

This is where the difference in printer settings will show. If your test page doesn't print with 25 lines on each page, DO NOT change these settings. Refer back to STEP 6 where MARGINS are set.

 

 

 

 

STEP 10

 

Now let's set up the Header, where the title of your manuscript will later appear with your name.

Step 10

 

 

STEP 11: ADDING PAGE NUMBERS

Adding page numbers using this feature makes it simple to insert the correct page number when using sepaprate files for each chapter, instead of one long file for the entire manuscript. (NOTE: Many publishers that ask for a copy on disk of the completed manuscript after a sale will request that it is one file. Some authors use one file for each book, while others break them up into one file for each chapter. If that's the method you choose, it's simple to copy and paste each chapter into a new main document prepared using the template you're now creating.)

 

Step 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 12

 

ADD YOUR CHAPTER HEADING BEFORE THE FINAL STEP—SAVING YOUR TEMPLATE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP 12: THE FINAL STEP

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONGRATULATIONS!! YOU HAVE NOW CREATED A TEMPLATE FOR YOUR MANUSCRIPTS!

Create a template for other things you use throughout your writing or for anything else you use often with Word.

A synopsis template is a time saver, too. There are tricks that can be used for a synopsis that can't be used in a manuscript. Look for those from WARA soon.

And there's more...

 

 

There's another nifty trick hidden in Word that can be helpful when it comes to manuscripts and their files.

Nifty Trick