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Microsoft Word is renowned for its word processing capabilities. It is a mainstay in the business world for creating everything from memos and simple flyers, to business reports and forms. Unfortunately, it has limited interactive features and no direct export for EPUB or an eBook app. Digital Publishing was not at the top of the list of features for this otherwise powerful publishing tool. So how did it get included in this title? I included it simply because of the sheer quantity of content being created using Microsoft Word.
If PDF is your publication choice, newer versions of Word have a Save As PDF feature. You can simply go to the File menu, choose Save As then under the Format dropdown, choose PDF. If however you're using an older version, this is not an option. There are many plugins and third- party software options that will convert your documents to PDF. One such option is Adobe's Acrobat Pro.
With it, you get a set of plug-ins for Microsoft Word to make short work of creating PDFs. You also get the Premier PDF Editing Tool that will allow you to add interactive features that Word cannot. Converting your Word documents to EPUB can be challenging. Fortunately, there are online services that can handle the conversion for you. If you would rather keep things in-house, you will have to do a little more work. While it's more time consuming and requires an understanding of HTML and CSS, you do have the ultimate control over the construction of your EPUB.
There are also online services that will convert Word documents to one of several eBook formats. Kindle Direct Publishing, or KDP, also lists several companies who specialize in converting various document types, including word, to the Kindle format. This can save a lot of time and frustration for those who are not technically adept at document conversion. Microsoft Word is certainly prevalent in the business world, but it is perhaps not the best choice for digital publishing.
Its lack of interactive features and limited export options make it less than desirable to the digital publisher. However, due to the sheer volume of Microsoft Word users in the world, digital publishers are bound to come across content in this format. Converting Word documents to an eBook may prove challenging for some. Fortunately there are online services and third-party applications available that can handle those needs. So while it might not be the digital publisher's first choice, Microsoft Word does have its place in digital publishing.
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