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From Microsoft Word to Print
Building on the experience of formatting a book using Microsoft Word, Jim Hamilton instructs prospective authors on how to unleash the power of their own home computer. Readers learn how to format an 8.5 x 11 soft-cover book, complete with illustrations. This book also provides information on working with a printing company to cost-effectively create a small quantity of attractive books.

Update, December 2003: Now available as a free download! (See below...)
In December of 2001, I completed a version of this book but I never had it printed. There are a couple of reasons for that. First, the version I completed is written and illustrated using old software and operating system versions (Microsoft Word 97 and Windows 95). Second, I realized that trying to do this on one's own, unless they have some background in design or printing, is asking a lot. I didn't want to give the impression that it was easy, and while a dedicated person could take the information and run with it, a lot of people were likely to get in over their heads. And then a new version of Word came out (more on that below).

That being said, I still think that there is an unbelievable amount of useful information in this book and it doesn't have to be in print to be useful. Therefore I am posting it here for anyone to access. Please keep in mind that this material is copyrighted. If you want to review this material for your own personal use, be my guest. However you may not reproduce or post it elsewhere on the web without my permission. If you want to use this material in a class or workshop, please contact me first.

Here is the entire file:
From Microsoft Word to Print This is the full PDF with linked TOC and bookmarks
It's about 1.5 MB, so it will take a little time to download using a dial-up connection.

I divided it into parts for those of you with less bandwidth or for those who may only want to look at pieces of this.
Part 1: Introductory Matter and Table of Contents Pages 1 to 14
Part 2: Editorial Tasks Pages 15 to 38
Part 3: Design Tasks Pages 39 to 66
Part 4: Art Tasks Pages 67 to 92
Part 5: Production Tasks Pages 93 to 112
Part 6: Printing and Binding Tasks Pages 113 to 122
Part 7: Publishing Tasks Pages 123 to 134
Part 8: Closing Matter and Index Pages 135 to 140
Parts 2, 3, and 4 are a little larger than the others because they have so many illustrations (Part 2 is about 400 KB, Part 3 is about 200 KB, and Part 4 is about 800 KB). All of the other segments are under 100 K.

If you would like to contact me about this book, please send an e-mail to me at From Microsoft Word to Print.

Important Tip
Those of you who are working with more recent versions of Microsoft Word and the Windows operating system may find that "more recent" does not necessarily mean "improved." Microsoft now hides many menu options so that you have to expand menus to see items that used to be plainly visible. Also, Microsoft made some terrible decisions in regard to Styles and Formatting when it released the 2002 version of Word. Suffice it to say, that what used to be relatively clear is now totally muddled. I have one important recommendation for anyone using Styles in Word. Make sure that you display only Styles rather than Styles and Formatting. You can do this by showing the Styles and Formatting menu under Format, and then choose to show only Available Styles.

Microsoft had a marvelous opportunity to guide people toward a new way of writing that was outline-based and therefore structured, but it missed the boat...

Reader Feedback
I have given copies of this document to some folks who expressed interest in it. Here are some of their comments:

  • You have managed to set it all down on paper for the lay person, with great attention to clear detailed information and instructions
  • I also noted and appreciated the idea that you consistently offered the reader more than one way to "skin the cat"
  • Your book practices what it preaches. It tells and shows…
  • I learned TONS about the process of producing a book
  • …nice job of describing features of MSWord that would be of interest to someone who wishes to produce a book
  • Your instructions are clear and readable
  • You did a nice job of anticipating the reader’s questions
  • You may remember that we had an unusual publishing situation…we were responsible for editing and formatting. We used the information in your book to format our book. Our book is doing so well that our publisher has decideed to invest in having it typeset. The typesetter was quite impressed with how the book looked…We learned most of what we know through your book.
  • I used your book as a reference…when I had a question, I went to your index or table of contents and found the topic I was looking for…[both] were easy to use.
  • …it really helped us to do our best job on our book project

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