Word Formatting: How to Correctly Indent Paragraphs for Ebook Formatting

What is the biggest mistake self-publishing authors make when preparing their book for ebook conversion? Improper word formatting of Paragraph Indents.

Say No to Tabs and the Spacebar

Old school taught us to use the tab key to make paragraph indents. This can be a difficult habit to break—but break it you must.

NEVER use the tab key or spacebar to indent paragraphs

Now I am not saying you can’t use the spacebar, ever. But you should never EVER be using the tab key when preparing your Word (or other program) document for conversion—print or digital. (more…)

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eBook Formatting Checklist: Preparing for ebook conversion

To create an e-book requires converting your manuscript into an HTML format. And to make the process as painless as possible, there are certain Do’s and Don’ts you should be aware of when preparing your manuscript.

NOTICE: In the following, I refer to Microsoft Word, but you can use any word processing program you prefer, such as Open Office.


Preparation is Key

FIRST: You are not concerned about the appearance of the book at this point. You are only preparing the page with the proper styles so it can be easily converted to HTML. I will modify the look and design when I import your manuscript.

Need to DO:

FIRST: Before you do any of the following, make a backup copy of your manuscript.

SECOND: Turn on the ‘pilcrow’ or ¶ in the top menu. This will display all the hidden characters such as paragraphs and spaces. The spaces are indicated with miniscule dots, so you may have to enlarge the page view to determine how many there are at the beginning of a sentence.

What is addressed:

  • Chapter Headings
  • Subheadings
  • Manual Line Breaks or Soft Breaks
  • Indents
  • Spaces

Need to Know:

^p = paragraph
^t = tab
^l = soft return (more…)

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