There are a lot of different ways to format a manuscript, and a lot of different opinions on how to do so. I've decided to share the way I do it, and then I'd like to open up the comments for others to share their preferences. Note: This is using Microsoft Word.
General Page Formatting:
- 1-inch margins all around (under File -> Page Setup).
- Double space to "exactly" 24-25 pt (under Format -> Paragraph -> Line Spacing).
Title Page and Page 1 Header:
- Different first page header (under File -> Page Setup -> Layout tab - Click "Different First Page" under "Headers and Footers." Exit).
- Add left sided header including full name, address, and contact information (under View -> Header and Footer - align left).
- Add right sided header including word count (under Format -> Tabs -> Tab Stop Position 6" aligned right, tab over to right side of page).
- Title in capital letters centered roughly halfway down (about 12 Enters).
Page 2 and On Header / Slug:
- Click on page 2 and create a left-sided header as before. Include last name / title of work.
- Tab right as before and add page numbering by clicking the # button.
- New page for each new chapter by using a page break (Ctrl / Enter OR under Insert -> Break - Page Break).
- Chapter title centered in capital letters eight Enters down.
- Text begins two enters after chapter title.
- First paragraph of each new chapter not indented.
- Times New Roman font. 12 pt.
- 1/2 inch indent (standard tab) for each paragraph.
- 2 spaces after period. Note: This is a habit of mine. I think the standard is 1 now).
- Enter down twice from text, center ** or ## symbols and Enter twice again.
I developed this standard based on Cynthea Lui's article "How to Format Your Manuscript" (she explains a lot of this better than me), Nathan Bransford's post "Formatting Your Manuscript," and my own preferences. How do you format your manuscripts? Any tips, tricks, or links you'd like to share?