Helpful Hints – Microsoft Word

If you’re writing a manual or booklet, chances are you will be laying down your content in Microsoft Word.   It’s also likely you will have photos that you’ll be embedding into your document.   To help you – and help us – we’ve put together Helpful Hints – Microsoft Word

We produce many books and manuals and have put together this insight into what we do with your Word file/s once they are complete.   We will touch on the steps – some of which you may be unaware of, that happen after you send your content to us.   

Some people are surprised to learn we don’t simply print from a client’s Word file.   Understanding what we do next will make your job easier and quicker… and ours too!

Email us your PDF files
Adobe Indesign icon
Email us your PDF files

From Word.docx to finished book

On receiving your completed Microsoft Word file, we only look at the text within and the positioning of images (photos).   This is what we do next…

  • We make a PDF file of the Word file received ‘as is’ – this is our content input file.
  • We then import this PDF into Adobe InDesign, a publishing program used by printers to create and perfect the layout that we eventually put to paper.

Photos

  • The photos you embedded in your Microsoft Word document were OK for you to lay out your work.  But they won’t be a good enough quality (resolution) to professionally print.
  • We’ll ask you to email the original JPG or PNG image files of your photographs, at the highest possible resolution.
      • Size does matters and bigger is better!   When taking photos with a phone or tablet, always send them to yourself at the highest possible resolution, or largest possible size.
      • Put simply, the larger the file size of a photo, the clearer the final printed product.   As a ballpark guide, for an A4 printed manual or workbook, an image that will print at circa 75mmx75mm, should be around 1MB in size (or greater)
      • We will place links to the original image files on top of the embedded photos.

Layout

  • We recreate any footers (page numbering, version control, etc.) in Indesign, for absolute uniformity.
      • We will have already discussed how you want your printed book or manual to be bound.   This will influence what adjustments we need to make to the final layout.
      • For a portrait wire, coil or ring bound publication, we typically shift odd numbered pages a few mm the right.  Then the even numbered pages go a few mm to the left, to allow for the drilling margin.   This makes the publication pleasing to the eye when viewing printed pages side by side.
      • For a saddle stitched booklet, depending on the thickness, subtle adjustments may be required to all pages to prevent ‘page creep’
  • Finally we will produce a PDF of the draft laid up document for you to check and sign off for printing.
  • Any edits/corrections to text are generally quick and easy, as we simply generate a new content PDF. 

Microsoft Word Tips & Tricks

  • When creating long Microsoft Word documents, the ‘Page Break’ function is your best friend.
      • Often we receive files without a single page break – where the ‘enter’ key has been used to space down to the next page.
      • However, when something is added or deleted, the whole document goes wrong, with headings dropping down to or coming up from subsequent pages.
  • When inserting tables, keep them within the same margins that your text flows with.
      • We often have to adjust tables that are too wide, to avoid them ‘crashing’ binding margins.
      • Adjusting a table can leave the content taking up more lines, so it’s best to get it good from the start.
  • Plan your font discipline early in the project and limit the number of fonts used.   The best looking documents use one single font in normal, bold and italicised flavours.
      • Make sure we know what fonts you are using, so we can acquire them if not already on our network.   One of the greatest evils of Word is ‘font substitution’

Hopefully you’ve found some useful tips within Helpful Hints – Microsoft Word.   Please leave your comments/feedback.

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