Prepare your manuscript for importing

If you already have a manuscript written on your own computer – finished or still a work in progress – you can import it into our Book Editor. This saves you from starting from scratch in the Editor. 

This is by far the preferred way of bringing text into the Editor. You can also copy/paste text directly into the Editor, but this may cause unintended formatting errors and other surprises later. 

However, you must prepare the manuscript before importing it into the Book Editor. This is to make sure the Book Editor is able to interpret your Word document correctly, divides the manuscript into chapters exactly the way you have planned it, and keeps your pre-made formatting looking exactly the way you want it.

Preparing the manuscript may seem daunting at first, but it's actually very simple. What the preparation entails is basically these two things:
  1. all unnecessary or incorrect formatting is removed from your manuscript, and
  2. all the pre-made formatting you already have in the manuscript is unified.
The following instructions help you do exactly that!
Steps to prepare your manuscript for importing:
Phase 1:
Open your manuscript in Word.

Phase 2: Prepare your paragraph indents

Most of the paragraphs in your manuscript should be indented. You save a whole heap of time and effort by formatting your entire text into indented paragraphs, first off.

  • Select your entire text. It's easiest if you use the quick command Ctrl+A (or Cmd+A on a Mac).
  • From the Styles panel in the top menu, do either of these things:
    • PC: Find the arrow in the bottom right corner to fold out a list of styles. Then click Options. On the Select styles to show drop down menu choose "All styles". On the Select how list is sorted drop down menu choose "Alphabetical". Then click OK.
    • Mac: Find the button to the right of the Styles panel with a paragraph sign to fold out a list of styles. In the drop down menu at the bottom, choose "All styles" instead of "Recommended".
  • To make all text indented, find and choose "Body Text First Indent".

This will transform all of your paragraphs into indented paragraphs. 

Later on, you can go through the manuscript and remove indent from the few paragraphs you don't want an indent for,  by selecting "Body Text" from the list.  If you want your book to look like a classically typeset book, you will want to remove the indents from the first paragraph after each chapter title and sub-heading. 

Phase 3: Divide your manuscript into chapters

This is easy! Format every chapter title into a "Heading 1"

This way the Book Editor knows to divide your manuscript into separate chapters automatically.

If you have sub-headings inside a chapter, format those into a "Heading 2" style.

Phase 4: Check and remove unnecessary styling and formatting

  • If you have made a title page, half-title, or a copyright page for your manuscript already, please remove those. The Book Editor will create them automatically for you.
  • The Book Editor will keep all bold and cursive text as is. The same goes for any page breaks you have added.
  • However, if you have made page breaks to precede every new chapter, please note that these are unnecessary. The Book Editor will automatically start every new chapter on a new page.
  • If your text contains bulleted or numbered lists, or poems that require special typography, please format those into "normal" or "body text" for now. You should style them properly only once the manuscript is in the Book Editor.

Phase 5: Save your document and import it into the Book Editor

  • Save your document as a .docx file. This is important! The Book Editor will not know how to read another type of file correctly.
  • Log in to your Type & Tell account. 
  • Import the manuscript from your Dashboard, in the section "Import a Word document".

Final tips:

  • Don't worry about which font you are using. Just as long as it's a regular Word font, you are fine.
  • To ensure the best outcome, please use Word as your word processor. Other similar software such as Pages, Wordpad, or Google Docs, might not work the way you want.
  • It's also worth making sure that your version of Word is not extremely old. If you have Word 2007 or a more recent version, you should be fine.
  • If you get unlucky, and something does go wrong in the formatting process, and even after all this trouble, parts of your text look weird after importing... Don't worry! You can always re-do any of your styling and formatting choices within the actual Book Editor. That's what the Book Editor is for, after all!

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