Creating Proper Blank Pages in A Book Layout
Your book format will likely include a few blank left hand pages. These blank pages are used so that new chapters as well as front matter sections such as the table of contents, dedication, foreword, etc., start on a right hand page in a book.
These blank pages should be completely blank. They should not have headers, footers or page numbers on them.
A common mistake when working in Microsoft Word to format your book is to insert normal page breaks or enter a string of paragraph breaks to create blank pages. However, this would create a “blank” page that has the headers, footers and page numbering like a normal chapter page which is not what you want.
Instead, you should insert a Section Break: Odd Page before each chapter or section. That tells Word to start the next section on a right hand page (which will be an odd numbered page) and if needed insert a (completely) blank page as the preceding left hand page. If your previous chapter falls on a right hand page that is followed by a Section Break: Odd Page, Word will place a blank left hand page then the new chapter. If the previous chapter falls on a left hand page Word will not place a blank page as one is not needed. If your content reflows Word will adjust the blank pages as needed automatically.
In the normal viewing modes Word will not display these blank pages. This can confuse people as it will show the chapters seemingly starting on the next page without a blank left hand page before it. They assume something is wrong and insert a page break or another section break so that a blank page is visible. When they then go to print there are too many blank pages.
Check the page numbering to see if the chapter is starting on an odd numbered page and that a page number is missing between the last page of the previous chapter. If so then that blank page is actually there. If you do a print preview or create a PDF the blank pages will be shown.
Inserting a Section Break: New Page will tell Word that it should start the next section on the next immediate page and not to place any blank pages between them. Learning to use Section breaks properly will also allow you to have better control over headers, footers and page numbering.
If you use our Book Design Wizard to help you format your book in Word it will insert all of the proper section breaks in your book layout for you.
Author: Kimberly Martin
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