Planning to construct a long document
Planning to construct a long document
A little bit of work planning the layout of your document first can and will save you hours of work and frustration down the road. In this movie we are going to explore a number of considerations and steps you can take to ensure the smoothest process possible when it comes to working with a long document. Now since we will be working with content from a book by P. T. Barnum in this title, let's examine the planning process for laying out a book we might want to publish. Of course this same process using alternate options could also be used for other types of long documents.
All right, first we need to understand the important parts of a book, which we will need to include, starting with sections and breaks. Now these are important, a very important piece of any long document where you might want to use different styles and content for headers, footers and page numbering in different parts of your document. For example, you might not use any page numbering whatsoever in the first section of your book, the title pages, and then you might want to use Roman numerals that start at the number one for the next section which has the table of contents, copyright pages and so on and then you will probably use a totally different style of page numbering starting over at the number one again for the actual chapters in your document. So you won't be able to do this without sections and breaks.
Almost every book will make use of headers and footers as well, the features that display repetitive content either at the top or bottom of your pages automatically. So another example of a book like the one we will be developing, will display the book title, the chapter and the page numbering on facing pages. So we will need to be prepared to use more than one header in each section. We have three to work within Word as well as the footer. How about fields? Fields can be used in many ways in Word including a table of contents and an index. Understanding fields and their codes is going to help us automate otherwise tedious tasks.
Then there are styles. Styles will also be a very important part of long documents. Styles allow us to streamline the task of formatting our long document and they help us to remain consistent. But more importantly our table of contents uses style codes to recognize entry. So without styles we won't be able to automate the creation of our table of contents. Let's talk about the steps now. We will begin with page size and margins. Now you should have a good idea about the final output and page size of your document before you even get started. If you are going to publish your work using a publisher, they can guide you in selecting an appropriate page size and margins for your particular output.
Now for a book, we will be selecting a common size for a book to be published to PDF and hand it off to a publisher. Our book will be 6 x 9 inches and since our final output will be a printed book that will be bound, we will need to use mirrored margins. That's going to allow us to reserve space in the inside margin for binding. Mirrored margins mean we will be able to select values for inside and outside margins instead of just left and right margins. Of course we will need to use set top and bottom margins as well. These settings can also be recommended by a publisher if you plan on using one.
What about sectioning your book? Getting the big picture for your book will allow you to break it into sections that will make formatting a breeze. Just as an example, page numbering on the title page will be different from page numbering in what's called the front matter, the table of contents, acknowledgments and so on, which will also of course be different from the page numbering in the chapters of your book. There are three separate sections right there. Now you may also want to create separate sections for each chapter to help you with formatting headers that will change from chapter to chapter, something to think about.
Speaking of headers and footers, we will need to prepare for the content we want appearing in each and if you have setup you sections properly working with your headers and footers will be simplified. Remember each section can have three different headers and footers. So we might decide to have no header on the first page of the section where a chapter begins but have different headers on the left and right pages inside each chapter. Page numbering will also change from section to section. We won't see any page numbering on the cover of our book but we might want numbering for the front matter then as the chapters start up we want to restart our numbering and use a different style from the front matter. Putting our page numbering in the footer will work best for our book and using sections of course is also going to help.
Using left and right pages is another consideration. If for example we want every chapter to start on a right-sided page and end on the left-sided page, we can use sections breaks that do that for us. Another option is to remember to use manual page breaks where necessary, just to ensure we maintain the structure. Now you will need to choose one method and stick to it before you actually begin. References such as table of contents and index, footnotes or endnotes should also be contemplated ahead of time. We'll be using a table of contents, so we'll want to make room for it and generate it automatically using Word's powerful functionality. If referencing other works for example, you will also need to decide whether you will be using footnotes or endnotes and stick to one or the other for consistency. We are going to be using footnotes in our book.
Now just a quick note about master documents and sub-documents in case you are wondering. Some people prefer to stay organized by creating separate documents called sub-documents that can then be combined into a master document and it's a great idea, especially when there are multiple people working on different parts of a larger document, but Word 2007 seems to have a little bit of difficulty with properly combining sub -documents when page counts gets too high. So to avoid any grief, we will stick to working with one document that's broken up into sections and we will use some view options to help us stay focused.
This method is most popular anyway when one person is responsible for the content. In the next movie we will start creating our first long document from scratch using what we have just learned in this movie.
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