Paper size

Table of contents

The next thing we must do is choose a paper size. This determines the reference point in space from which absolutely everything else is measured. 

Now look to see which paper sizes your printer has loaded, and in which bins. You must know what size is in the printer's default bin. If you define a non-available paper size into a template, the printer stops and beeps for manual intervention on each document, and your co-workers will come looking for you. They may not be polite!

Let's assume that it is A4 and it is Portrait.

Go to File>Page Setup and choose a paper size of A4, a paper source of Default Tray (for both first and subsequent pages) and apply this to Whole Document. Set the Orientation to Portrait.

Click the Print Options button. Set Update Fields and Update Links to on. You want these to update every time you print. Disable A4/Letter paper resizing: in professional word-processing we manually change any dimensions that need changing ourselves thank you very much!

Turn background printing on unless you have a good reason not to, and leave PostScript over text and reverse print order off unless you need them.

Set Include with Document to Drawing Objects only and make sure the Default Tray is Use printer settings. Leave both Options for Duplex Printing blank (in some Word versions they won't even appear). It's best to set up duplexing from the network printer driver rather than from Word.

Go to the Layout tab and choose Section Start on Odd Page, Headers and Footers are Different First Page and Different Odd and Even. Your header should be 1.25 cm from the edge and so should your footer. Set Apply to Whole Document. If you have any line numbers or borders, remove them now {grin}.

We set Start on Odd Page because left-to-right text books always start their chapters on the Recto (right-hand) page. It's a convention which has been the subject of much usability research over the past few centuries. People expect to pick up a publication with their left hand and riffle the pages with their right: this means the page that is easiest to see is the right-hand page, so that's where we put the chapter beginnings.

We use a different header on the first page (we're actually just about to use None) because we will have the Book or Chapter title in the text and it looks silly if you also have a running header across the top. We want Different Odd and Even because we're printing on both sides of the page with a binding margin down one side. We want to place several pieces of information, and we want things like the page number to occur on the outside always.

We set the headers and footers 1.25 cm from the edge because that is half the available space in the margin (recall: the margin is 2.5 cm). What this actually does is tell Word to create a space 2.5 cm high at the top and bottom of the page and put the header or footer in the middle. This measurement is not so critical, because if the header or footer won't fit, Word will automatically expand the margin to make room for it.


Set Mirror Margins to ON. This automatically swaps the left and right margins on odd and even pages to allow room for the binding.

Set your top and bottom margins to 2.5 centimetres (because it looks nice).

Set your Inside margin to 3.5 centimetres and your right margin to 2.5 centimetres. This allows ten millimetres of binding margin, which is normally correct for office documents (stapled, punched) and professional publishing (perfect binding). If your ultimate output is to be a typesetter, you must ask what it needs. You cannot go any further until you have accurately set this measure.  


Note: Go into the text area of the currently-blank document and hit two page breaks (Insert>Break>Page Break, or Ctrl + Enter ).  This creates three blank pages in the template.  You need these so that you can actually see the headers and footers as you work on them.  After you have formatted your headers and footers the way you want them, remove these blank pages before putting your template into service.  When you do that, the headers and footers will not be displayed, but they remain in the template, because they are stored in the section break at the end of the template. 

In the body of the text, type the words Chapter Heading and apply Heading 1 style to the whole paragraph. We need this for the headers.

Go to View>Headers and Footers.

We need to set up the tabs in the default Header style. We'll set the style up properly later.

If you are using the dimensions I suggested, the tab positions are 7.5 cm and 15 cm. You need a centred tab at exactly half the width between the column margins, and a right-justified tab at the extreme right margin.

With your insertion point in the header, go to Format>Style and make sure the style selected is Header. Choose Modify>Format>Tabs. Specify 7.5 cm, Centred, and No leaders.

Now specify 15 cm, Right, and no Leaders.

Clear any other tabs that appear. You need to select each one and press clear.

While in the Format>Style dialog, go to Paragraph and ensure that there are no indents, left or right, on the paragraph. 

Now we set up the components of the header.

We have three headers: First Page, Even Page, and Odd Page.

First page is easy: we put nothing but a blank paragraph mark in it. You are still in the Headers and Footers view, right? Just click Show Next to get to the Even header.

On the Left, do an Insert>Field and from the Document Information group choose Title. Make sure you UN-check the Preserve Formatting during Updates box. This sounds like it is the right thing to do, but it is another of those newbie features that cause problems for professionals. We always want the formatting in the style to rule: disable this so that it can. When the document paginates, the book title will be on the left outside top, which is the conventional place to put it.

Now insert two tabs to take you to the extreme right margin of the left header. Use Insert>Picture to insert your company logo. This needs to be very small: any more than 15 millimetres high is getting excessive. You note I have used an EPS graphic. You must always use a vector graphic for logos you intend to print: bitmaps look absolutely awful when high-resolution printers attempt to scale them. Encapsulated PostScript is the industry standard for vector graphics: it's a little larger than WMF (Windows Meta-File) but it has infinite resolution. A WMF will begin to suffer jaggies if you scale it too far because it is actually composed of short straight lines. An EPS is like a font: it contains the real curves. If you are making an EPS, export the text as curves, NOT text for logos: otherwise you place the entire font in the logo and it becomes huge!

Size your logo correctly and copy it to the clipboard. Click the Show Next button to reveal the Odd Page Header. Paste the logo into the extreme left-hand position. It's conventional to have the logo on the inside (because nobody really wants to see it) and the Chapter Heading on the Right (to tell us whereabouts in the book we are).

Tab to the right hand end of the Odd Page Header and use Insert>Field>Links and References. This time choose the StyleRef field. The StyleRef field repeats the text of a nominated style: you must nominate the style. Choose Heading 1. Again, disable Preserve formatting. You want the style formatting to come through. Note: the style that will be used to format this is the Header style, not the Heading 1 style. The StyleRef field copies only the text of its source, not the formatting. The StyleRef field has various switches that change its behaviour: you do not want any of them for this purpose.

Now we format the Header style. I use only one style: Header. It's a built-in style applied automatically by Word. I used to use different styles for Odd, Even, and First headers. That's before I learned to keep it simple…

Go to Format>Style and set the style for the Header to be based on the Body Text style. This allows you to change the font of a book with one setting if you want to. You will never want to :-) 

Make up your mind now what size you are going to use for your Body Text. For now, let's say 12 points. 

Set the Header font to be one or two points smaller than your body text, say 9 points, and normal face. I prefer to use a sans-serif. People used to use italic: I have gone away from that: it's too hard to read at small point sizes. Headers and footers are only ever read when people are flipping through the book: they need to read them fast because they're looking for something. Whatever you choose, make sure the header does not draw the eye away from the body text. A book with lots of noise happening in the header is faintly annoying to the reader: it keeps drawing their eye away from where they want it.

A good way to prevent that is to put a line under the header. Go to Format>Style and choose Borders. Choose the thinnest line offered (1/4 point) and apply it as a bottom border. Go to the Advanced tab and distance it 2 points from the text at the bottom, and 0 points at the top, left, and right.

Use the Show Previous button to get to the First Page header if you are not already there. Use Format>Borders and Shading to remove the border from the first page header. There's nothing in the first page header, and it looks silly to draw a line under nothing! This is the only time in this whole operation that you should apply direct formatting!

Your running headers will now contain the title of the book on the left outside position and the title of the chapter on the right. This will happen for any document created from this template and will update automatically whenever the titles do: you never need to think about this again. You have just seen a good argument for having templates in the first place :-)


Now click the View>Header Footer>Switch button to take you to the footer. Click the Show Previous button to take you back to the First Page footer. You can have three headers in a document and only one footer, but we won't do that: we will set them up correctly.

On the first page (which will always be a right-hand page) we place the revision date on the left, the security classification in the middle, and the page number on the right (outside).

An absolute fundamental design consideration for books (or any other long document) is Keep It Simple. Your running headers and footers are going to be in the reader's face perhaps a thousand times: even the Gettysburg Address gets bloody old after you've seen it a few times. The less we have to say the better! Later, we are going to choose a discreet font to say it in:


Go to File>Properties>Custom and where it says Name, select Date Completed.


Where it says Type”, select Date.


Where it says Value”, type a date in your system date format: 5/4/2002 for the fourth of May in the USA, 4/5/2002 in the rest of the world.


Click Add.


Then go to Insert>Field, and:


If using Word 97 or 2000, select Document Information in the left pane and then DocProperty on the right; click the Options button, select Date completed from the list of available properties, and click Add and OK.


If using Word 2002+, under Categories, select Document Information; under Field Names, select DocProperty; under Field Properties; select Date completed; and click OK.

To save you the trouble of looking it up, the field code you want is:

{ DOCPROPERTY "Date completed" \@ "d-MMM-yy" }

Where the braces are not text but represent the field braces you get by pressing Ctrl+F9. Note that the Ms are in upper case: lower case means minutes. If you defined Date Completed as a date, Word enables you to express the date any way you like. If you left it as text, you can now see why you need to go back and change it.

Many people use the PrintDate field instead of the Date Completed variable in this position. I don't: the PrintDate field updates every time you print the document. For some documents, such as project reports, that's appropriate: for books it is not. CreateDate is good for letters, because it never updates, but not so good for anything else. SaveDate is similarly useless: it updates every time you save the document: use it only for working documents. For books, you need to manually set the Date Completed to a specific date (usually in the future) when the book will actually be published, for use in things such as the Copyright notice. You want it to update consistently throughout the document, but only when you say so.

Now hit a tab to get to the centre of the footer and insert the security classification. Choose Insert>Field and from the Document Information choose Keywords. Of course you could just type the classification in. If you do, most of your users will never update it. Those who do will update it differently in each of your three footers. Use a field and at least you will get consistency. And you can include a macro that forces them to fill the damn thing in if you really have to!

This is a good time to format the style. Go to Format>Style and set its Based On property to Header. In one click this does almost the entire job for you.

In Format>Style, go to Borders and switch the Bottom Border for a Top border. Use the same line style, but set its distance from text to 2 points at the top and 0 at the bottom. Remove the bottom border. Check the tabs to ensure that you do not have any extras from your normal template. You should see only 7.5 centred and 15 right.

Page numbers

Ensure that you remain in the View>Headers and Footers in the footer. There are two places you can put page numbers: in the footer, or in the document. If you put them in the document, you can never get proper control of them. This is the greatest trap there is for young page-numberers. The page number MUST be inserted into the footer! If your document already has page numbers, click on one. If it shows the square bounding box of a floating text box, it's in the document: delete it!

Tab to the outside and then click the # button to insert the page number field in the extreme outside corner. Remember that people flipping pages need to have that page number in the most visible spot, and it needs to be in the same place on each page. Useability research proves that the best place to put it is in the outside bottom corner. We can do without the word Page or any fancy separators, can't we? Remember the principle: simple design is always best. And if your readers can't figure out that a number in the bottom outside corner of every page is the page number, your most urgent problem is making certain that they never see your book: if such people read your information they may hurt themselves!

Select the page number and go to Format>Style, choose Modify>Format>Font and set it to be two points larger than you body text and bold. I wouldn't make it italic: italic text is hard to read and you want this to be read in a hurry. Similarly, I would choose a sans-serif font because it is quicker to read: the eye has to do less decoding of information. 

The page number is actually formatted outside of the footer, so we will do that after we create the other two footers.

Select the whole footer and copy it to the clipboard. Click the Show Next button to take you to the Even Page footer. Paste the footer in, then drag the page number and the publication date to the opposite ends of the line. We want the page number always on the outside corner.

Click Show Next to go to the Odd Page footer and paste. The Odd footer is usually an exact copy of the first page footer, so we don't have to do anything.

Of course, some people include all sorts of other information in their headers and footers. Before doing so: ask yourself Does the reader actually need or want this information?? If the answer is no, store the stuff electronically somewhere where you can look it up, but don't bother the reader with it. And don't crowd the page number: that's likely to be the only thing the reader actually wants. I am not fond of putting the file name in the footer: it used to be a great idea when other people could actually get the file. These days, chances are your reader is not even on the same file server, so the file name is a bit academic. If you do put it in make sure you include the \p switch to print the full path, otherwise it's useless.

Close the Headers and Footers view.

Front matter

Now we need to put the front matter in, and the title of the document. I have constructed the front page using fields. You don't have to, but if you are setting up a generic template for users that are not as expert as yourself, it's a good idea.

Consider a macro to check the length of the titles users create. It takes skill and some training to be able to create short headlines. Most users (and programmers are the worst!) cannot create a heading that runs less than two and a half lines. You need a macro to check your document for such outrages. And a baseball bat for training purposes…

I shall assume you have all your legal material and disclaimers and stuff handy. Copy it into your new template now. Select it all and choose Ctrl + P, then Ctrl + spacebar to get rid of any non-style formatting.

Format it using styles. You note that in this sample I have created three styles: Title, SubTitle and Cover SubHead. Many people choose not to define styles for this purpose: their documents regularly get trashed by users, and they live in interesting times trying to remember what the company style actually is. Don't fall for it. The rule is If there's no style for it, it's optional. And your company look and feel is not optional :-)

If it is your company, you get to exercise your creative flair. Let me repeat: Less is More… The Hot Spot is one third of the way down the page and two-thirds of the way across from the left. That's where the eye first falls on a page: that's where I put the most important thing (the Title).

Note that I have re-used our Date Completed field in the copyright notice on the second page. Just by changing the edit codes, it prints the year only. Set it once and forget it.

Section breaks

We put a lot of effort into setting up the Default Section Break. You cannot see it: it's hidden in the last paragraph mark at the bottom of the document. But it is the outer-most container for everything in the document, and as such affects absolutely everything in the document. Everything else in the document inherits characteristics from this Section Break.

We're going to need at least three more Section Breaks. Each one begins as a copy of the default, which is why we put so much effort into the first one.

On your first page, use the Insert>Break... menu to insert a section break after the front cover.  We don't care which kind because we're about to change it, but make it an Odd Page break.   In professional documentation, you rarely use anything else unless you are inserting landscape pages or multiple columns.

Immediately after your new section break, insert a blank paragraph and another Section Break. We're about to do strange things to the first one so we want to isolate the rest of the document from it.

You need to understand that a Section Break affects the text BEFORE it. Always. This is the hardest thing to remember about Section Breaks because it is counter-intuitive. Word stores all the document settings in the file header, which is part of the default Section Break at the very far end of the document. Every other Section Break copies the properties from the one following it when you insert it. Before we do anything to the Section Break after the front cover, we must ensure that there is a Section Break following it to isolate it from the rest of the document. Otherwise you trash all those headers and footers you so carefully constructed.

Click after the first Section Break and before the second one. Go to File>Page Setup and choose Section Starts on Even Page. The first break acts as a page break for the front cover. The copyright material belongs on the inside front cover. For simplicity, I am not creating a fly-leaf and title page: modern corporate books don't have them.

Go to View>Headers and Footers and into the footer after the front cover. Look for the Same as Previous button and click it so that it is NOT set. Closely examine the top of that footer: the Same as previous tag should have disappeared from it. This means that we can now change the headers and footers of the front cover without affecting the rest of the document. We try to leave Same As Previous set for as much of the document as we can, because it saves a lot of work: but this is one place we have to get rid of it.

Now go forward into the footer of the Front Cover. Check carefully to make sure it is the footer of the Front Cover (Section 1) that you are in, then delete it and the page number. We do not want a header or a footer on the front cover. Format the paragraph mark that remains as Normal style to remove the border.

That completes the front cover.

Now click in the text of the front matter, after the front cover Section Break. Go to Insert>Page Numbers. Click Show Number on First Page, then click Format. Set the numbering format to lowercase Roman and set Start At to 1. We do not actually want to insert the page number, it's already there. So on Word versions earlier than 2000 take care to click Close on the way out, not OK. If you are not careful with earlier versions you can end up with two sets of page numbers to confuse the hell out of you.

Now click on your Chapter 1 heading (make sure your insertion point is after the second Section Break. Go back into Insert>Page Numbers and this time set the format to Arabic (1, 2, 3…) and again set Start At to 1. This sets Arabic page numbering for the rest of the book.

Add a third Section Break after the chapter heading and a blank paragraph. Type Chapter 2 on the blank paragraph and click on it. Go back into the Insert>Page Numbers and this time, set Continue From Previous Section to Yes. You can now forget about the page numbers for the rest of the book.

Remember that page numbers are a Section Property or a Document property. To get control of them in a book or long document, they MUST be a section property, which is why we put them IN the footer. The Headers and Footers are stored in the Section Breaks. We had to add a third Section Break so that we could specify that after chapter 1, the page number will always continue from the section before it.

Technically, you do not need this last Section Break. However, it is rare to find a long document in which you do not have to add at least one extra Section Break some place after the front. In such a document, the page numbers will suddenly revert to 1 if you do not place this last Section Break and set its page numbering to Continue From Previous Section.

Front matter Headers
Click in the second section of the document, after the legal stuff. You can add a page break or a Section Break here. I would add a Section Break.

Click after the new Section Break and add three page breaks. This allows you to actually edit all the headers and footers. Remember: each Section Break contains three headers and three footers: you can't actually see them unless you put in three page breaks, which you remove afterwards.

Now click on the Chapter 1 title again and set all the headers and footers in its section to NOT Same as Previous. These are the master headers and footers for the book: we want to isolate them from what's going on up front.

Now click in Section 3 (the new one you are just creating) and remove all of the headers and footers. This will have removed them from Section 2 as well, which is what you want. Now, in Section 3 set ALL the headers and footers to NOT Same as Previous. Create headers with simply the word TOC in the outside corner and footers with simply the page number in the outside corner. The net effect is that the legal flummery on the inside front cover has no headers or footers, which is normal, while the TOC will have a simple header and footer.

You can now delete the three page breaks you added.

Why not to Folio by Chapter
Notice that I did not advise you to Include Chapter Number with the page number. That's because that is an old-fashioned technique that should have disappeared with typewriters and hot-metal presses. The idea was that it allowed you to make a change on just a single page of a book and have the printer make up only one new page. Given the horrendous cost of making up hot-metal pages character-by-character, there was good justification for doing this. Corporate documentation of the period was produced on a spirit duplicator. The masters had to be typed, page by page, with no mistaykes!! Paper was expensive, so manuals were produced as loose-leaf binders and the updates were sent page by page.

Of course, the updates never actually got inserted into the binders, and after a while corporations suffered horrendously expensive accidents caused by operators using out-of-date procedures. Look up Longford Disaster, Esso and Melbourne on the web and read all about how Exxon (Esso's parent company) managed to send a thousand million dollars and several of their staff up in a puff of smoke doing this.

Today, there is no excuse for putting the page number in by chapter: readers hate it because it makes the TOC and Index impossible to use. Just how many thumb-fulls down the book is page 7-28?? If I told you that in real money it's page 351, how much faster do you think readers can find it? The labour you spend producing replacement pages numbered by chapter will far exceed the cost of paper in not doing so. And users still will not insert the replacement pages into the binder.

However: There are those of us still working for bosses who have yet to discover this. So I better tell you how to do it. Just pretend you don't know if anyone ever asks, huh?

How to Folio by Chapter
The only change we must make is that we need to go to Insert>Page Numbers>Format and check the box that says Include Chapter Number. We must then tell Word which heading style we are going to use as the beginning of each chapter. It's usually Heading 1. Select it in this dialog and Close. We need to do one more thing: We need to ensure that there is an Odd Page Section Break immediately ahead of each Chapter. This Section Break is what Word uses to actually reset the page numbers. If you are not using Folio By Chapter, you do not need them.

Table of Contents

At the end of your document, insert a bunch of Heading 1's, 2's and 3's so the TOC generator has something to find. Go to Insert>Index and Tables>Table of Contents.

Specify Show Page Numbers, Right Align Page Numbers and Tab Leader as dots.

Specify the format as From Template. This is a critical step: If you choose any other format, Word overwrites the formatting with built-in formatting that you cannot alter. Set Show Levels to 3

You customise a TOC by changing the properties of the TOC 1 through TOC 9 styles. That is described further down under Styles. 


Since the Index appears at the end of the document, and you cannot generate it until after you have tagged the text, the index is not usually incorporated in a template.

You would, of course, incorporate the Index Styles. I will describe how to set those up under Styles.

Table of contents

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