Book Formatting + Problem Shooting = Fun!

Yesterday, a friend who had already self-published a book in print got a comment back from a reader that some of the bottom margins of his book were a little… off. Here is one of the more extreme examples:

Bottom Margin

I volunteered to help, thinking it had to do with his edition of Word (2000). It didn’t autofix itself in 2010. Of course not. *sighs*

Searching: “How do I stop Word from auto-breaking pages at the Paragraph instead of line level??”

… Netted me nothing relevant on Bing. Come on, Microsoft, read my mind on dealing with your own products! ANYWAY, Half a dozen searches later, I stumbled on an overview of page and section breaks, an article specifically on which defaults make the paragraph level break, and an explanation of what the default settings do for Paragraphs in Word.

Here is the 20-second breakdown of how to fix this particular issue if you just want it taken care of:

Step 1) Highlight all text. Go to Home -> Paragraph, then the “Line and Page Breaks” tab. This is what it looks like in 2010:


In pre-ribbon versions, go to Format -> Paragraph, as described in this article:

Step 2) Unclick “Widows and Orphans” – that is what stops single lines from overflowing onto the next page, keeping the “Orphan” with the rest of the paragraph… even if it means the entire paragraph decamps to the next page, making uneven bottom margins; then unclick “Keep with Next” – this can keep separate paragraphs together; finally unclick “Keep lines together” – this is what officially keeps all the lines of a paragraph together. Like this:


And ta-da! It’s fixed!!
Bottom Margin2

So… that was the quick-and-dirty method, assuming all other parts of the book are 100% perfectly formatted, and you aren’t using Styles. But you use Styles, right? No??

Heehee, so I ended up having a little more fun with this book than just the minimum. In the next installment I’ll show how to take a book from the ground to eBook and print book formatting.

Thank you so much R.R. Virdi for letting me play with your novel!! I re-read it in the process (fourth time), and DANG it’s a great story!

And, oh yah. Since the last time I posted on here (FOREVER AGO), I … um, became a publisher. For realz. I started the small press Writers Colony Press, and we put out our first book! I will be dedicating a little more blog space to this endeavor and making a website for the company soon. And writing. And editing. And messing around on Facebook *lol* Wish me luck!


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