Book Design Tip: Removing Index Entries in Microsoft Word

Unfortunately, Word does not offer an easy way to remove index entries. In order to delete an index entry in Microsoft Word, you need to delete the index entry code that is added to the word in the document itself. Deleting the word from just the index in the back will not work.

Below is a screenshot of the index markup code in some sample text.


In this case “dreamed” and “mocking” are marked up to be included in the index. If you no longer want “dreamed” to appear in the index you have to remove the { XE “dreamed” } code that follows the word. You can select it and delete like normal text. After removing the code, you can update the Index and that word will no longer appear. If the index entry appears on multiple pages, you have to remove this code on each page, not just once.

If you are not seeing the { XE “”} fields in your document, you need to turn on the “show hidden fields” option in Word. Click on File > Options then Display the check “Hidden text” as shown below.


Book Design Tip: One space, or two? That is the question.

The one space or two space dilemma. How many spaces should you put between sentences?

In short, one space.

The habit of placing two spaces between sentences came about in the days of manual typewriters. They used mono-spaced typefaces that made it difficult to see the space between sentences. To compensate, typists started using two spaces and that become the norm. However, with today’s modern word processors and technology, two spaces is now a big no-no in the book publishing world.

Word processors, new typefaces, and page layout software, now correctly place the right amount of space between sentences and adding an extra one actually throws everything off and causes issues in the layout.

So… just one space please.

Did you just read this and realize that you wrote your entire manuscript using two spaces? You can quickly fix it by doing a find/replace in Microsoft Word by searching for two spaces (just hit the space bar twice), with one space.


Book Design Tip: Blank Pages & Section Breaks

Blank pages in a book should be completely blank. That means no page numbers and no running heads! Blank pages often appear on the left hand side before a new chapter or section in a book.

Section breaks are used in Microsoft Word to correctly control needed blank pages (as well as chapters, page numbers, and running heads). A Section Break: Next Page will tell Microsoft Word to start the next section (chapter) on the next page in a book. A Section Break: Odd Page tells Word to start the next section on the next right hand page in the book. If needed, Word will automatically insert a completely blank left hand page to make sure the next section starts on a right hand side. This often confuses people as Word will not show you that blank page until you print or create a PDF and it makes it appear that Word skipped a page or that it is not starting the chapter on a right hand side, when it actually is.

Hint: odd numbered pages are always right hand pages.



The Book Design Wizard will automatically setup the section breaks for you in your book.


Book Design Tip: Font types

Serif fonts should be used for your main chapter text. Do not use sans serif fonts.

Sans serif fonts can be used for chapter titles, page numbers, running heads, but never for the main body of text.

And, please, never use Comic Sans!