Weirdness with Word

I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that I email my Word copy of a manuscript to my Kindle as part of the proofreading-editing-finalizing process before publishing. Lately I’ve found a problem, not with the manuscripts themselves, but with the chapter titles. I use a customized Word Style based on Heading 1, with built-in centering and a bold 14-point font (as opposed to the 12 point font for the body of the piece) for chapter headings.  The problem I’ve found is that not all chapter headings are being centered when it goes to Kindle.  It’s been very erratic; maybe the first few are centered, followed but a random few that aren’t, and then, about mid-way through, none of the chapter headings will be centered.  Mind you, on Word itself, it looks just fine, with all the chapter headings centered.

I posted the problem on the formatting forum on the KDP community. I got some suggestions that I should be using HTML rather than Word for a manuscript. That’s not going to happen.  I know enough about HTML to create italics or a bold type, but that’s not going to get me through an entire manuscript. Someone suggested that once the manuscript was uploaded to KDP, the problem would resolve itself on its own during the conversion to Mobi.  It didn’t.  Another suggestion was that I covert the file to Mobi myself. I suppose a conversion to Mobi on Calibre or whatever the program is that does that would become easy after I’d done it a few times.  But I’m not a techy and once I learned you could use Word for a KDP manuscript, I decided to stick with that.

One kind person, however, made the suggestion that I hit Enter before I start typing the chapter heading so that there is one empty line above it.  And that worked. All chapter headings have been centered since I started doing that.  (Prior to learning this trick, I simply changed them to flush on the left rather than have it look like I was, at best, inconsistent when I prepared the manuscript, or at worst, drunk.

If you find your headings coming out wonky, try the Enter trick. I hope it will work for you, too.