Special Formatting for Nonfiction Books in Microsoft Word – Part 3

by | Feb 3, 2020

By Tracy R. Atkins

In recent posts I discussed to deal with special formatting concerns specific to nonfiction books including:

when using a Book Design Template.

Today, I would like to show you how to:

  • format citations
  • update a bibliography

Nonfiction Citations


The Bibliography and Citation system in Word makes adding references in both MLA (Modern Language Association) and APA (American Psychological Association) format an easy task. Simply mark an entry you wish to cite, insert a citation, and then fill out the easy form to add entries. Word goes one step further by automatically cataloging your sources in a handy list for easy use in multiple locations.

Note: Bibliography and Citation functions are not supported in .doc formatted files.

How to Format Nonfiction Citations

  1. Highlight the text you wish to add to the book’s bibliography.

  2. Click Insert Citation, found on the References tab in the Citations & Bibliography area. Choose from an existing source or Add New Source.

    Tip: You may choose MLA or APA from the Style dropdown to set the default for citation formatting.
  3. If you are adding a new source, a form will appear that will allow you to enter your source’s information. This info will be added to the bibliography when you update it.


Updating the Bibliography (Non-Fiction)


Updating the bibliography upon completion of the book is a simple task that takes only a few seconds to finish. Once you have all of your citations finalized in the body of the work, you may update the bibliography to dynamically generate entries, using the sources you have created through the citation process.

Note: Bibliography and Citation functions are not supported in .doc formatted files.

How to Update the Bibliography

  1. Navigate to the bibliography section at the end of the book.

  2. Click the text in the sample bibliography and right click to bring up the menu.

    Click Update Field.

    Tip: You may manage your sources using the Manage Sources button in the Citations & Bibliography section of the References tab.

Step-by-step Video

Check out our Complete Book Formatting How-To Guide for Word Templates video to see how a template is populated:

Got questions? Please leave them in the comments below.

Photo: BigStockPhoto

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