Setting Up Book Pages

Two weeks ago, I explained how to calculate page margins when typesetting a book in Microsoft Word. I neglected, however, to explain how to set up the pages themselves. So here goes.

For most books, you’ll need three different page layouts:

1. The first page of a chapter.

2. A left (verso) page.

3. A right (recto) page.

Dedicated typesetting programs allow you to set these up using “master pages” that act as page templates. Word lacks such a feature but still makes it possible to set up different kinds of pages. Here’s how:

1. Create a new Word document.

2. Click File > Page Setup. On a Macintosh, click the “Margins” button.

3. Click the Layout tab. Notice that the preview shows only one page.

4. Under “Section start,” select “Odd page” if you want every chapter to start on the traditional odd page, or “New page” if you want to let the chapters fall where they may. Yes, you can start chapters on even pages if you insist.

5. Under “Headers and footers,” put a checkmark in the boxes labeled “Different odd and even” and “Different first page.” The preview now shows two pages. Hey, this is starting to look like a page layout!

6. Go back to the Margins tab.

7. Notice that you can set margin size for top and bottom, left and right. In Word 2002 or later, under “Pages,” select “Mirror margins” from the dropdown list. In Word 97, 98, 2000, or 2001, put a checkmark in the box labeled “Mirror margins.” Notice that “Left” and “Right” have become “Inside” and “Outside.”

8. Set the margins for your pages. (You can include extra for the gutter if your printing needs require it, but I try to avoid this.) See the newsletter for January 28 for more information:

9. Click the OK button to put your decisions into effect.

Next week: Setting up headers and footers.



I had some interesting responses to last week’s feature article, “Size and Zoom.” Some readers misunderstood (or I miscommunicated). The point of the article wasn’t “Here’s how to size your Word window.” It was “Hey! Size your Word window!” Apologies to those who thought the article was too elementary.

And many thanks to Dan A. Wilson and Eric Fletcher, expert editors both, who sent the following useful messages:

Dan wrote:

I think your position is the right one: it isn’t a matter of TELLING people HOW TO ADJUST, but of REMINDING them TO REMEMBER to resize or zoom, or both. I, too, have seen countless cases of tennis-match-spectator neck syndrome caused by the use of a newly purchased monitor at full display max. Especially now that LCDs are so widely in use, it’s important that users learn to adjust window sizes.

Almost all of my programs except Word and my browsers now run in windows that show my desktop wallpaper behind them on all four sides, because running them any larger than that on a 19″ LCD is just plain silly unless you’re viewing them from across the room. In Word, I either run single document pages at 80 to 90 percent zoom, or side-by-side pages at 75 percent, and the displays of the latter are STILL larger than those of pages at maximized display and 100 percent zoom on my 17″ CRT on the other desk.

The advantage of the larger monitors today is that you can display MORE; using them to display the same old stuff LARGER is pointless for most programs, and an invitation to whiplash injuries.

Large LCD monitors have very high native resolution settings, and are optimized for those settings. Running a 17″ LCD monitor at a resolution of 800 x 600 is not only bad for the monitor but bad for the eyes: even the best image available at that resolution on such a monitor will be fuzzy.

I use a 19″ LCD with Word windows maximized but with my zoom set to 90% normally. Gives me a slightly larger-than-lifesize view of the page.

Most of the time, though, I use the taskbar right-click control to Tile Windows Vertically, so that I can have two different docs or two different views (or versions) of the same doc open side-by-side, each with its own toolbar. I set the zoom for each doc to 75% then, and the page on the screen is still about the size of an 8.5 x 11 sheet. This is great when I want to check text against the Biblio for presence and identity of entry info, for instance.

Eric Fletcher wrote:

One of my favorite techniques to pass on to friends with similarly-aging eyes is to use the mouse scroll wheel to zoom in and out. Most Microsoft applications will zoom in and out when the CTRL button is pressed while rolling the wheel. I’m not sure what the Mac equivalent is but I assume there would be one.

In “Normal” view with wrap to window on, zooming in increases the font size and wraps the text in whatever size window you have available. Zooming to a much larger size temporarily is great to be able to differentiate between accents or footnote numbers.

In “Print” view, zooming way out to 10% lets you see thumbnails of many pages at once (15×7 with my current monitor settings). You can’t read anything of course, but you can get somewhere within the document very quickly if you recognize the structure (say for chapter starts, tables of contents, tables, or graphics): just click in the page and zoom in.

The other use I’ve found for this capability recently is in conjunction with the “find all” capability for either Find or select all in the style task pane. When elements are selected–and therefore highlighted–many will be off the current screen. If you zoom out, you can see more selections at once. Of course, clicking to be able to zoom in removes the selection highlight but since both the Find dialog and task pane are modal, it is easy to reinstate the highlights to see any local to where you clicked.



Want to more about book design and page layout? Here are a couple of good places to get started:

Jacci Howard Bear’s graphic design tutorials and procedures:

John Magnik’s typography and page layout tutorials:

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