Microsoft’s Word can be considered as the best tool for writing and formatting a textbook. The application has the capacity to handle up to 10,000 pages in one file. It has many features that seem intentionally designed and created to facilitate how textbooks are formatted. That is why many authors prefer to use it.
MS Word has many versions since its Word 97. Each may have varying features, but the usefulness can be applied in all versions. It will be ideal to use the program from the start of writing the book until the manuscript is completed and layouted for publishing. Familiarity with the application will not be a problem because it is currently one of the basic programs that are downloaded and used in modern PCs.
Formatting chapters
Textbook authors generally draft a chapter at one time. Thus, every chapter is a separate entity from the rest. Many authors find it a bit tricky to sequentially number pages, create the table of contents, and use cross-references. MS Word has a Master Document feature, which helps combine chapters more easily. However, some people do not recommend its use because it may possibly corrupt the document.
It is still best to simply combine different chapters into a single document file and then consistently format it. Combining the content will be easy. Features like Sections, Styles, and Templates will be helpful. Section breaks in between chapters can effectively separate them from each other within a file. Styles and Templates, on the other hand, can help apply consistency and at the same time minimize tediousness of the task.
Using Styles and Templates
The Styles feature of MS Word regulates structure. There are two facets covering how textbooks are formatted: the manuscript and the formatting phases. Writing and compiling text is involved in the manuscript phase. Deciding how the book will look like is the main thrust of the formatting phase. An author can easily adjust and customize the styles and format with just a click of the mouse. He must be familiar with the program’s features.
The Templates feature imposes style definitions, making it crucial as well in the process of how textbooks are formatted. It is the feature that implements layout instructions like margin size and page number locations. After formatting text according to required structure, the template can be easily modified. The author can even use different font and sizes for Print Template and Web Template.