A Quick Formatting Trick

If you are formatting your book for Createspace or another print on demand service, this trick can save you time and aggravation. I know, not my usual type of post, but I write whatever comes to mind, and this is where my brain went this morning.

I use headers in my books. Left (even) page is the title of the book and right (odd) page is my name. I don’t want the headers to print on pages with chapter headings as it makes the page look cluttered and out of balance in MNSHO. Now, I can insert section breaks and suppress the header and all of that crap, but it can be a pain in the butt. Instead, I simply blank out the header with a graphic rectangle. In Word, go to View-Tool Bars and click on the Drawing Tool Bar.

This is what the Drawing Toolbar looks like at the bottom of the screen.

Click on the little rectangle, place the cursor where you want it, click and drag large enough to cover your header. HINT: make the rectangle big enough to cover the entire top of the page, then you can just copy and paste it wherever it is needed and you won’t have to resize it.

At this point you will notice a big black line around the rectangle, not exactly the look we were shooting for. Double click the rectangle and a dialogue box will open. The “Fill” choice is white by default, leave it that way. Under “Line Color”, click the drop down arrow and click “No Line”, then click OK. The rectangle is still there, but it is invisible when you print or convert your MSS to a pdf file. With the rectangle selected, you can hit Ctrl-C to copy and Ctrl-P to paste on whatever page has unwanted headers.

You can use this trick to block out anything in your original that you don’t want to show later when it is printed, like dedications, drawings/photos or odd notes without changing your page layout or spacing.

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  • Ju Ephraime  On January 1, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Great information. This may come in handy very soon.

  • Renee Pawlish  On January 2, 2012 at 5:09 am

    Wow, I’m going to have to try that! I’ve done the whole section thing and it’s works, but you are right, it’s a pain. Thanks so much for the info!

  • Cindy Sprigg  On January 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Thank-you, thank-you…..I would have been screwing around with this forever….lol

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