MS words ‘styles’ or ‘headings’ is an extremely useful tool. Your chapter title should be Heading 1 (you select the text and go and click Heading 1 in ‘Styles’ in the MS Word Home tab). The main chapter sections are Heading 2, subsection of that is Heading 3 and so on. It is important to be consistent in your Headings from one chapter to the other, otherwise you will end up with confusion with you amalgamate the chapters to form one comprehensive print ready document.
- What this does is that it allows you to organize and map your chapter clearly and navigate the digital document with ease. If you have these headings in place and select ‘document map’ in the View tab in MS Word, a task pane will appear on the left hand side of the document that gives you your ‘document tree’. You can increase or decrease the levels of Headings that are visible by clicking on the ‘+’ or ‘-‘ signs.
- The other huge advantage of this is that you can automatically generate a ‘Table of Contents’ (in the References tab in MS Word click on ‘Table of Contents’. You can specify how many levels of Headings you want to show in the TOC). Since this is automated, when you make changes that alters the pagination of the document, you simply need to right click on the TOC and click update. The program gives you the option of either updating the entire table (useful if you’ve made changes to the headings) or only the page numbers.
- I usually copied and pasted the bullets from my brief chapter outline to a new document and converted the bullets into headings.
- As a general rule, Heading level 6 is probably the maximum you should go to; otherwise you risk irritating your reader with too many headings.