Special Formatting for Nonfiction Books in Microsoft Word

by | Dec 9, 2019

By Tracy R. Atkins

In a recent three part post I discussed how to prepare your manuscript for publication when using a Book Design Template.

Part 1 covered how to:

  • transfer your content
  • insert more chapters
  • chapter headings

Part 2 instructed how to format:

  • drop caps
  • headers and footers for print templates
  • section breaks

Part 3 explained how to format:

  • the table of contents
  • chapter name headers and page numbers for print books
  • chapters to be continguous

Today, I would like to show you how to deal with special formatting concerns specific to nonfiction books including subheads, quotations, bullet points and numbered lists.


Subheads are utilized in nonfiction books for a variety of reasons including breaking a complex chapter into organized sections and to start or highlight a new idea.

There are two levels of subheadings included in the template file for ease of organization. Subheads are also visible on the Table of Contents as an indented line and page number, organized below the chapter titles in the table. This makes subheads a great way to help your readers find what they need in your nonfiction book.

How to Format Subheads

  1. Highlight the subheading text that you wish to format as a subhead.

  2. Select the Subhead (Level 1) Style from the Style menu.

  3. For a second level subheading, Choose the B Subhead (Level 2) style from the Style Menu.

Tip: Typically, only Subhead A will appear in the TOC, though some templates, like Poetry templates, will show all the subheads in the TOC.

Quotations (Nonfiction)

Quotations, Extracts and Pull Quotes are utilized to highlight a section of text or an idea from a passage of text. The nonfiction templates comes with three styles to choose from to property format these sections of text.

Quotation (Extract No Indent) – The first line of the extract will not have an indention. This style of quotation will indent the entire paragraph and center it on the page.

Quotation (Extract Indented) – The first line of the extract will have an indention. This style of quotation will indent the entire paragraph and center it on the page.

Quotation (Pull Quote) – Pull quotes will format with a left side indention, be italicized, and may have shading behind the text to set it apart.

How to Format Quotations

  1. Separate the text you wish to format as a quotation into its own paragraph.

  2. Highlight the text that you want to format as a quotation style.

  3. Click the quotation style that you would like to apply from the style menu to format the paragraph.

Bullet Points and Numbered Lists

Bullet Points and Numbered Lists are frequently used tools to summarize ideas or to get your main points across to your readers. There are two custom styles for formatting both bullet points and numbered lists in the template, formatted to match the layout of the book.

Note: These styles are applied from the Multilevel List menu, instead of the Styles gallery.

How to Format Bullet Points and Numbered Lists

  1. Create your bullet points or numbered list by placing each point or item as a new line of text.
    Then highlight the lines.

  2. Click Multilevel List drop down from the Paragraph section of the Home tab.

  3. Click the Bullet Point or Numbered List style you wish in the List Styles section.

  4. Click the Increase Indent or Decrease Indent buttons to align each item on the list to its proper level.

Step-by-step Video

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

Next time I will explain how to format an index and nonfiction footnotes.

Got questions? Please leave them in the comments below.

Photo: BigStockPhoto

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