Formatting Headers for Manuscripts

Hi everyone!!

The New Year is here!! I hope everyone is having a great 2015 so far!!

Like I said in my last post, after working on my project for months and months and months, I am finally ready to query! So naturally, I wanted my manuscript to be in its correct format, ready to send if any agent so desired.

I use Scrivener (which is an awesome tool for writing and I highly suggest it!) to draft and revise. But this comes to be a problem when I want to put my manuscript in the correct format. There is a “compile” button on Scrivener, but I found that when I use it, the formatting comes out a little wonky (i.e. weird chapter break, multiple chapter titles, etc)–definitely not the way I want it. Of course, this is probably because of some weird default setting, but after messing around with it a bunch, I finally decided to give up and manually format my document into the correct manuscript format.

Unfortunately, this turned out to be a lot harder than I had anticipated. I use Word 2011 for Mac. I confess, I don’t like Word that much. I find it to be pretty frustrating when I want to do anything fancier than some of the basic settings. That said, I had a hard time trying to figure out how to get the page numbers in the right places, how to get the first page header to be different from the rest, how to start numbering on the second page, and so on and so forth. It was incredibly frustrating. Every time I added something or tried to fix something, it seemed like everything that I had before went crazy.

So, to save everyone trying to format a manuscript some time, I thought I’d post how I formatted the headers for my manuscript. Please keep in mind that this is the method I used and I found most helpful. It may not be the easiest option for everyone! 🙂

To start off, these two links are the ones I used as references as to how to format a manuscript! They are wonderfully helpful and I have them bookmarked on my computer for easy access!!

Now onto headers!! Headers were definitely the trickiest part of the entire process and I probably spent an hour and a half trying to figure it out. Luckily, with the help of Google, I was finally able to get it to work. Here is what I did! (Click to enlarge).

1. Open Word doc.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.08.34 PM

2. Make the cover page without the headers.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.11.05 PM

3. Make a Section Break for Next Page (Insert–> Break–> Section Break (Next Page)).

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.13.26 PM

4. Making a Section Break should automatically send you to the next page. From here, I like double-click the top of the document to insert a header, although you could also use Document Elements–> Header–> Basic (All Pages). But if you’re going to use this method, just know that you’ll have to delete the little “[Text]” brackets that come up (not a big deal, but it can be annoying).

Method 1– Double-click at the top to insert header.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.20.38 PM

Method 2–Document Elements–> Header–> Basic (All Pages)

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.22.49 PM

5. Once you’ve inserted a header, type in your last name and the title of your book, making sure to keep it aligned in the right. Format should be LAST NAME/TITLE (I think you can keep your name is lowercase, but make sure to keep the title in all caps).

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.31.43 PM

6. Next we’re going to add in the page numbers. Remember, the cover page is not numbered! Numbering should begin on the second page where your story starts! I personally like to have my page numbers in the top right corner with my name and title, but bottom right corner is also acceptable (all you would have to do is go to the footer and do the exact same thing).

To insert page numbers, go to Insert–> Page Numbers

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.34.55 PM

7. Click Format

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.35.35 PM

8. Click the bubble with Start at: and type in the number one.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.36.12 PM

9. The page number should come looking something like this. It will overlap with your name and title, but that’s okay!

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.36.33 PM

10. From here, I move my name and title back to the center so that I can see the page number.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.45.55 PM

11. Click on the page number and move it a notch to the right.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.48.24 PM

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.48.54 PM

12. Align your name and title back to the right.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.49.17 PM

13. Click the page number again and move it a notch back to the left. (I have no idea why it works this way??)

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.49.34 PM

14. You should now have something that looks something like this.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.49.52 PM

15. Because I always want to make sure everything is working all right, I usually make another page break (Insert–> Break–> Page Break) just to see if the consecutive pages are being numbered correctly (and it is!).

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 7.57.08 PM

16. Now, we’re going to go back to the cover page (Make sure to actually click onto the cover page or else it’ll still be formatting the second page.) Then, go to Format–> Document and check the box that says Different First Page and press Okay.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 8.00.29 PM

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 8.01.21 PM

17. Now you can go ahead and double-click to insert header (or Document Elements–> Header–> Basic). Enter your contact information in the left corner (Name, Address, Number, Email). Then, align the cursor to the right and enter in your word count (you can also put this in the left with your contact information, but I like to keep them separate).

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 8.10.08 PM

18. And now, yay!! Your headers should be all set to go!

After formatting my headers, I then copied and pasted each of my chapters from Scrivener into Word. Sure, it’s probably not the most efficient way, but I really wanted to be sure that my formatting would be correct and this turned out to be the easiest way for me. Computer dummy that I am, it is very likely that there is a much easier way and I just didn’t know!

And also keep in mind that everyone formats their manuscript a little bit different, so don’t get too caught up on whether the page number should be at the top or bottom, or whether to capitalize your name or not, or how many spaces there should be. As long as it’s correct format, little things like that won’t matter too much! 🙂

Anyway, I hope this was helpful! Of course, if there is a simpler way to format headers in a Word for a manuscript, by all means, I would love to know! This was just the method I ended up using!

Thanks!! If anyone has a question, I would be more than happy to try and answer (although I can’t guarantee that I will be able to :D)!


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