How to Format an eBook in Word.

How to Format an eBook in Word: A 9-Step Guide.

format an eBook in word

What does it Mean to Format an eBook?

Each step in the process of creating an eBook is crucial. Of all the steps involved, formatting an eBook is highly demanding and tough for both authors and publishers.

eBook formatting can seem like a tough task, but it is significant to self-publish. It is the writer’s dream to publish their book for the world to read. It is also their responsibility to ensure the eBook is entirely ready for publication.

Why Format an eBook?

It is a fact that formatting is crucial in creating an eBook. Writers need to put in enough effort and time while formatting their eBook or seeking professionals to do it. Let us look at why you need to invest ample time to format your eBook.

  • eBook readability is dependent on the formatting. Only a well-formatted eBook can ensure an enjoyable reading experience.
  • An eBook has to be rid of any minor errors. You should pay attention to all the major and minor aspects. For instance, paragraph styles, margins, font, style, title page, copyright page, and many more aspects must be taken care of.
  • Like a traditional print book, cover design and interior book design is immensely significant. It increases the reader’s curiosity, appeals to them, and enhances the reading experience.
  • The design of an ePUB file also makes sure eBooks can be read on all possible devices and platforms.

Several online tools help you with formatting an eBook. You can also hire a professional to make the task easier and less stressful.

Important Formatting Tips

Before you get the manuscript ready for formatting, it is always better to go through the original document again. Follow certain formatting rules to make your manuscript ready for conversion process. Here are a few tips for beginning with:


Proofread your manuscript again to ensure the content is error-free. Read and check thoroughly for grammar, proper spelling, and syntax. It is better to be prepared now than find some minor mistakes later.

Standard Fonts:

Use standard fonts. Don’t think of fancy fonts while publishing an eBook. It hinders seamless reading, and it is crucial to note that eReaders and apps support not all fonts. Make sure you use standard font sizes like 12 pt. for text and 14 to 18 pt. for chapter headings.

Mind the Spaces:

Usually, paragraphs and whole text might get justified in the Word processing program. The paragraphs in the eBook are intended accordingly, and the manuscript ends up having unwanted spaces in between. Ensure that the document doesn’t have unnecessary spaces and gaps.

Get the Manuscript Ready:

it is important to get the whole manuscript ready, including the front and back matter. Review your Word documents again to make sure you have the parts ready and in order.

Which Software is Used for eBook Formatting?

If you are planning to self-publish an eBook, you need to be aware of the formatting process and software. eBook formatting software helps you set the eBook for digital publication. There are many apps and online software that help you with formatting an eBook. Here is a list of  formatting software that will help you make a choice.


It is a tool exclusively available in Mac for book creation. It helps Mac users to format their eBook professionally. The book styles and formatting options are professional and visually appealing. It is slightly expensive than other software available.


It is one of the software that’s hugely popular among writers. It has efficient organizational functions which allow writers to organize the notes, research, and structure. It also has formatting options that help to meet the writer’s needs. The software is mainly designed to help with creating an eBook. So, if you are looking for exclusive formatting software, Scrivener might not be the best choice.


It is software launched by Adobe that has beautiful templates and layouts for books. It helps the writer design their books and get them ready for digital publication. The option of audio, video and animation is available here. InDesign is slightly technical and expensive. So, it might be difficult for both aspiring writers and published.


Often many people use Microsoft Word while making an eBook. It is a commonly used free tool to get the text document ready. If you aren’t keen on learning or comfortable using any other formatting software, Word is the easy option. Minimal formatting of text can be done here. Still, it is advisable to use other formatting software to design and format your eBook.

How do you Format an eBook in Word?

Any published writer will tell you formatting an eBook is no simple task. The endeavor requires ample time and tireless effort. There are hundreds of online tools and apps that help you with the task of formatting. Still, it doesn’t make the process stress-free.

It is a fact that only a well-formatted eBook will give the reader an enjoyable reading experience. You can have good content and a brilliant cover. Still, if your book is not formatted properly, it hinders the reading experience.

Many writers use Microsoft Word to format their ebooks, and it needn’t be such a difficult task.

Steps to Format an eBook in Word

Many writers start writing their first book in Word. It is one of the widely used processors for different writing purposes. Many authors and educators use Word to edit and format their books since it offers numerous formatting options.

Let us look at the various steps involved in formatting eBooks in Word.

1. Review again

As an author, you would’ve paid enough and more time with your book, so there are chances you might miss minor errors in the document. It would be beneficial to go through your book again for spelling, grammar errors, and syntax. If you are starting to write the book in Word, then make sure you type it clean. Use the default setting in Word before writing.

2. Clear Formatting

It is important to have a clean manuscript. It should not have any prior formatting, no HTML codes, no bold or italics, and more. It is essential to have a clean manuscript because it might have different styles, fonts, or prior formatting spillovers. It will make your manuscript messy, and the end product is a bad eBook. No one needs that.

In Word, select the whole manuscript by (CTRL+A), and select clear formatting in the font section.

Clear Formatting

After this, the manuscript will have no above-mentioned factors.

after the manuscript

3. Mark Paragraphs

Use the Pilcrow symbol when you write to separate sections or paragraphs. It is easier to learn the way to view the document. In-Home tab, click on the Show/Hide Pilcrow option. It is the paragraph symbol used by the publishers.

Mark paragraphs

This will show you the Pilcrow symbol after each paragraph after hitting ENTER to move to a new line and spaces. It will give a better view of the manuscript.

Pilcrow symbol

4. Use Styles

In Word, Styles is the feature that gives you numerous options to style your document. Styles is the already set formatting pattern for your chapter titles, sub-headings, bullet-list, and fonts for the same. It makes formatting easier for publication.

To change the style set, you can click on the Change Styles option and move to Style Set to select the set needed.

using Styles

5. Page Break

Your manuscript has to be broken down into sections. It gives the eBook a complete look with chapters or sections rather than merely having a document that runs from page to page.

In Word, it is easy to create sections. At the end of a chapter, give a Page Break. Click on the Insert section, and click on Page Break. If you are writing your book on Word, instead of hitting ENTER several times to go to a new page or chapter, insert a page break. The book will start on the next page and will be easier for you to create sections.

Page break

6. Paragraphs

A common mistake that most writers face during eBook conversion is with paragraphs. They make errors with the indentation and formatting of the paragraphs.  It is common to hit the TAB or Space bar to intend paragraphs. But as far as creating eBooks is concerned, it is better to avoid bad eBook formatting mistakes as these.

To ensure that the paragraphs are properly intended, use the Paragraph setting. In Word, select the content, and move to the Paragraph section in the Page Layout tab. In the section, there is an option to change the indent and spacing. Here, change intends and spacing as it is required.

For instance, Kindle has specified requirements when you use Kindle Create. Under indentation, scroll to Special, and   First Line should be indented to 0.2”. Under Spacing, the Before and After should be set to 0”. Line spacing should be set to Single. Look at KDP Guidelines to know about their formatting specifications.


7. Headers & Footers

Page numbers are more often found in print books. But do not add page numbers in your manuscript manually. Make use of Headers & Footers in Word. Have the page number in the Footer and remember to select Different Odd & Even Pages option since that is also essential.

Header and Footers

8. Chapters

Use Chapter Titles and Headings in Quick Style option in Word. For instance, give Heading 1 for chapter titles, Heading 2 for sub-titles or sub-sections in the Word file.


9. Table of Contents

In Word, there is an option to create a Table of Contents. Under the References section, select Table of Contents, pick a style and insert it after formatting the chapters. You’ll have a page of contents with page numbers.

Even if you make any changes in the manuscript later, the table of contents can be updated automatically. You can do this by clicking on the Table of Contents section and select Update Table in the Word file.

Table of Contents

Once you have finished formatting your eBook in Word, it is time to convert your document into any preferred eBook formats, namely, PDF, EPUB, and MOBI. You can convert your documents into ePUB files or MOBI files according to your choice of electronic publication.

You can use GoogleDocs, KindleGen, or other conversion software like Zamzar, Hamster, or Calibre to convert your manuscript file into the preferred eBook format of your choice.

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