The familiar Microsoft Word simplifies the process of document formatting for Kindle. As every book is intended to convey information, the following important points need to be checked so that the e-book is properly rendered on Kindle and readers can easily follow through the content.
- File format
- Page breaks
- Image placeholders
- Grammar and spellcheck
File formatting for Kindle
In file format, it is best to save the document in the earlier DOC format with the .doc extension. Document file formats such as RTF (rich text file) and DOCX (the latest format used in MS Office 2007 and 2010) have compatibility issues when ported to the Kindle platform.
In terms of layouts, e-book writers are allowed to use indentations and headings. These layout guides when used properly can improve the overall readability of the text. In addition, italicized text formatting for Kindle is also supported as well as bold characters. Nonetheless, a simple list of items using bullet points cannot be transported to the platform. Special fonts are likewise unsupported. Headers and footers are also not transferrable to the final Kindle format.
Inserting page breaks
Since the e-book once transported to the platform follows a dynamic layout depending on the preference of the reader, pages are not assigned by the e-book layout. Instead, page breaks are used whenever a whole new page is intended for the next line of text. Page breaks are particularly important when another major section or chapter is begun so that texts are prevented from running together. Pressing CTRL and Enter keys together inserts a page break. The command can also be found under the Insert Tab.
In formatting for Kindle, only the JPEG image file is allowed to be inserted. If the image file is not yet in JPEG format, then it must be converted to the said file format using image conversion software. Once the image file is inserted, it should be formatted with center alignment. Full-color images are well supported by colored versions of the Kindle. However, some versions of the e-book reader use monochromatic electronic paper display; in which case, images are converted with 16 shades of gray to achieve high contrast and preserve clarity.
Proofreading grammar and spelling
Another advantage when formatting with MS Word is the grammar and spellcheck tool of the application. Typographical errors and common violations in grammar rules are easily pointed out by the automated proofreading tool. While common errors are easily marked and corrected, manual proofreading is still recommended so as to ensure flawless content.
Final formatting for Kindle
With all the formats properly applied, an optional table of content might be added using the Active TOC tool of MS Word. Finally, the last step in formatting for Kindle will be saving the document as a webpage-filtered HTML file.