Easiest Way to Convert Word doc to ePub on the Mac

The easiest way I’ve found to make an ePub from a Word .doc is to use Pages on the iMac. Here are a few tips that help me get the best output possible:

1. Make sure all the styles are consistent within your Word .doc. All body text in one style, for example. All Chapter Headings in another style, etc. ***

2. Use Heading 2 (you can modify it to look how you want) for your chapter headings. When your .doc is converted to ePub in Pages, this heading will be used to make the NCX/Table of Contents. It also creates a page break in the ebook. I use Heading 2, for Heading 1 seems to add an extra empty page at the end of each chapter. Each of your Heading 2 headers will show up in the Table of Contents (TOC).

3. Save your Word document as a .doc file. (Not .docx)

4. Open Pages, and then open your Word .doc file. Take note of any warnings that come up, but I generally ignore them.

5. Go to View, then click on Show Inspector. This will show the styles in your document. Ignore the grayed out ones. They don’t matter. Make sure there is only a checkmark beside Heading 2, and not beside any of the others.

6. Go to File, Export, and choose ePub. Save it where you’d like it saved.

7. If you’ll proof your ePub on an iPad, connect your iPad to the computer and open it to iBooks.

8. Open Book Proofer

9. Find your ePub file via Finder and drag and drop it into Book Proofer.

10. Click the box in Book Proofer so it will sync with the iPad

11. Check the ePub in the iPad. Check the TOC, and make sure it looks how you want. Make sure the links work. Scroll through the entire document (sometimes it helps to look at it in different sized fonts) and make sure everything is as you’d like it to be. If not, go back to Word, make the changes, and open it again in Pages, etc. (Or make the changes in Pages, if you’re familiar with that software.) Repeat as necessary.

12. Once I’m happy with the look of the ePub file I also check the file on the different platforms to which I plan to upload it. For KDP, I upload it, then download the preview file and proof it via the Kindle Previewer, which I’ve downloaded to my PC. I also check it on Kindle for PC (can be accessed via “View” in the Kindle Previewer). If I plan to upload it to NookPress for Barnes & Noble, I open the ePub in Nook for PC, and check the file there. This will often show up errors that aren’t seen elsewhere. (NOTE: I have not downloaded the Kindle Previewer or Nook to my iMac, but I’m sure the software is available, and would work the same.)

And that’s it!

*** If your ePub output looks awful, you’ll need to go through and carefully reformat your Word .doc so it will look right in the ebook format. I’ll put a shameless plug in here for my short ebook, How to Format an eBook for Kindle, Nook and Smashwords. NOTE: This book does NOT have instructions for the Mac! Not yet, anyway. However, the general principles for ebook formatting still apply. Smashwords’ Style Guide (which is free) is also an excellent reference.

Software needed:
Microsoft Word (for .doc file)
Pages for the Mac
Book Proofer
an iPad, if possible

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Book Formatting Commands for Microsoft Word 2011 for Mac

I’ve had a number of people email me who own Mac computers, and who own Microsoft Word 2011 for the Mac. They would like to use the formatting information in Book Formatting for Self-Publishers, but have found that the instructions for finding commands and dialogue boxes in Microsoft Word 2010 for the PC are different on the Mac.

Unfortunately, I do not have a Mac, however, I did research the internet, trying to find the corresponding Word 2011 commands for the Mac. I hope the following information will be of help to Mac users as they follow the instructions in Book Formatting for Self-Publishers to format their books.

Print Preview
Go to Print tab, as in Microsoft Word 2010 for Windows

Display Print or Normal View:
Go to View tab, select “Print Layout” or “Draft”

Display Formatting Marks:
To Display Special Characters:
Go to Word tab, and then Preferences; select “View”. In resulting dialogue box, under “nonprinting characters” check the box next to “All”
Another method:
Go to View tab, select Reveal Formatting
More on these topics can be found at the following website:

Book Trim Size and Margins
Page Layout Size in Mac Word 2011:
Go to Layout tab, and then Page Setup; select “Size”
Go to Layout tab, and then Margins

Find and Replace:
From the Edit menu, select “Find”
or Press [Command] + [F]

Section Breaks
Go to Layout tab, and then Breaks

Formatting Paragraphs
Go to Format tab, and then Paragraph
This will provice access to setting first line indents, justifying text, eliminating widows and orphans, etc. It corresponds to”Set Up Body Text Format Style” in the book.

Formatting Text:
Go to Home tab, and then Paragraph

Insert Images:
Go to the Home tab, and then Insert; select the “Picture” button

Headers and Footers
Go to Layout tab, and then Header and Footer

Styles and Formatting
Go to Home tab, and then Styles
In the following website, choose “Explore the Styles tab in the Toolbox”

Insert Table of Contents
Go to Document Elements, and then Table of Contents
In the following website, choose “Insert a table of contents:

Excellent site for further help:
Microsoft Office for Mac

Online tutorials and videos for Microsoft Office 2011 for the Mac:

Hope this helps. If you discover more information or links that would be of help to fellow Mac users, please add a comment to this blog post, or send an email to Diamond Press via the Contact page, above. The information will then be added to this page. It would be so much appreciated! Thank you!

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New Lightning Source Cover Templates

Lightning Source has now changed the look of their cover templates. They now look similar to CreateSpace templates.

Here’s an example of a new Lightning Source Template:

Simply follow LSI’s instructions on the template, and keep your important text and images within the pink areas. As recommended in Book Formatting for Self-Publishers, place guides on the template, so that you can see where these safety zones are when you cover the template with your cover image. Place guides as indicated in the following image:

If you would like to mark the fold lines with guides as well, see the following example:

New Lightning Source Cover Template Fold Marks

All backgrounds should extend through both the pink and blue areas of the template. But again, important text, images (such as your publisher logo on the spine), and the ISBN bar code must be placed within the safe pink areas of the template.

Here is an example of a cover correctly placed on the template:

Template Cover Positioned Correctly

The next image is zoomed in on the bottom left corner of the cover image. Notice how the cover extends to, but does not overlap the blue border of the template. No images cross into the white area of the template.

Corner of LSI Template

For more information, see LSI’s File Creation Guide:


By the way, Version 2 of Book Formatting for Self-Publishers includes information on LSI’s new templates. It is now available in ebook format. The new print version should be available by the end of September, depending upon the number of original, version one copies already in distribution partners’ warehouse inventory.

Also available, if you are primarily interested in learning how to format book cover files, is the following ebook, available on Amazon Kindle:

How to Format Book Covers for Print Publication in 8 Simple Steps
(Format a Book (Volume 3 of 3))

How to Format Book Covers

Available at Amazon $2.99

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Old Lightning Source Cover Template

Lightning Source recently changed the look of their cover templates. If you are still working with their old template design, here’s help. Visit the following link for an informational excerpt from Version 1 of Book Formatting for Self-Publishers:


Also available, if you are primarily interested in learning how to format book cover files, is the following ebook, available On Amazon Kindle (this ebook contains the newest Lightning Source cover templates):

How to Format Book Covers for Print Publication in 8 Simple Steps
(Format a Book (Volume 3 of 3))

How to Format Book Covers

Buy at Amazon $2.99

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New Standard Color Printing Option at Lightning Source

Lightning Source now offers Standard Color printing for POD, which utilizes new inkjet technology. LSI continues to offer Premium Color, as well. Standard Color costs about half as much per page, compared to Premium Color.

For additional information, visit:


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How to Remove or Delete Indents in Kindle eBooks

Those Kindle Indents!

Anyone who has uploaded an ebook to Amazon’s KDP program (in Microsoft Word .doc format) knows what I am talking about. Indents are added to every single paragraph in the entire book! If you are a perfectionist, like myself, formatting a book for Kindle can sometimes be a frustrating experience. Never fear, however, for this article will explain how self publishers can easily learn how to format a book for Kindle, and make it look nice, too.

Now, if you’re self publishing a fiction novel, that little nuisance may not bother you. Most paragraphs in your book will be indented, anyway. Perhaps you’d rather your copyright page not have indented paragraphs, but that is a small enough matter to ignore.

However, if you’re self publishing ebooks with flush left paragraphs (or flush left chapter headings, etc.), the indents that Kindle adds can make your ebook(s) look unprofessional. I recently published Book Formatting for Self-Publishers, A Comprehensive How-To Guide on Kindle, and became aware of just how ugly all of those automatic indents could look. I had spent quite a bit of time formatting the book to look exactly as I’d like it to in my Word .doc, and was not happy that Kindle reformatted my file. Originally, chapter headings were flush left, the first paragraph of each section was flush left, “tips” and “notes” were formatted into block paragraphs, and so on.

When I uploaded the book to Kindle, all of my careful book formatting disappeared! Chapter headings were indented about a quarter inch. All paragraphs were indented. My “tips” and “notes” block paragraphs were indented on the first line–it looked terrible. What to do?

To make a long story short, I discovered that although the KDP platform does automatically add indents to Microsoft Word .docs (the file recommended for upload by KDP), it does not add indents to uploaded .ePub files.

Here’s how I made an .ePub out of my Microsoft Word .doc:

1) Upload the Microsoft Word .doc to the KDP Platform
2) Download the .mobi file that KDP produces to your computer (the .mobi file contains a great NCX file)
3) Upload that .mobi file to Calibre (Calibre is a free ebook management software program, available for download here: http://calibre-ebook.com/)
4) Convert the .mobi to .ePub format in Calibre
5) Using Windows Explorer, convert the ePUB file to a zip file. (Change the file extension from .epub to .zip) **If you’re not sure how to do this, see the end of this article for instructions.
6) Extract the zip file into a folder–let’s name it EPUBFolder. (This folder cannot be located in the ePUB zip file. )
7) For tips on adjusting the cover image, please see the previous post, Downsampled Images in eBooks for PubIt!
8 ) ***Make adjustments to the CSS file (the rest of this post will show you how).
9) Make a new, empty zip file. Copy the mimetype file from the EPUBFolder first, and paste it into your new zip file. Then copy all of the remaining files from your EPUBFolder (except the mimetype file) and paste them into your new zip. Change the .zip extension to .epub.
10) Upload your new .ePub to Kindle and take a look at it. (You can also view it in the Kindle Enhanced Previewer, or even the NOOK for PC viewer.)
11) You’re finished! 🙂

Those may seem like a lot of steps, but each of them is exceptionally easy to do. For the remainder of this post, I will explain how to change the CSS in your .ePub file to eliminate the indented paragraphs in your Kindle file. While this may sound complicated, it is not.

The best was to make these changes is to use an html editor, such as Microsoft Expression Web, Adobe Dreamweaver, or another html editor. It is also possible to use Notepad, although it may be more difficult to use Notepad, as you will only see the code, and not the end result in WYSIWYG format. One free html editor available online is KompoZer. Although I have never used it (and therefore cannot officially recommend it), it is recommended by a site that also provides information on editing .ePub files. See this article to learn more about it.

***STEP EIGHT: Change the CSS file to eliminate indents in your file

In your html editor, navigate to the EPUBFolder. All of your files have been extracted into this folder. Open the following files:


(You will not work on all of these dummy_split files. You will just use a few of them. I like to adjust the copyright page, the beginning of the book, and perhaps the Table of Contents (especially if it is generated by Microsoft Word).)

In Microsoft Expression Web I am able to see both the code and the text as it will look in an ereader. Here is an example (looking at the same piece of text in both code and design layout):

Page Before Indents Adjusted:

Before Kindle Indents Deleted

Now we’ll get down to the nitty gritty. You will notice that code has been underlined in the top portion of the image. The CSS style code p class=”calibre5″ affects “PART,” which is also underlined. The ereader WYSIWYG format is below, and an arrow points to “PART.” You can see that it is indented. Similarly, p class=”calibre15″ modifies “First, a little bit of background.” And so on.

The CSS code calibre15, calibre5, and several others need to be modified in order to eliminate the different indents. We will work with calibre15, but the same steps can be applied to all other CSS codes that need to be fixed.

CSS Code Before Modified:

CSS with Kindle Indents

The arrow is pointing to text-indent: 1.5em. In order to delete the indents, change this code to read text-indent: 0 as shown in the following image. Save the CSS file.

CSS Code After Modified:

CSS without Kindle Indents

Page After Indents Adjusted:

After all of the CSS is modified, and the stylesheet.css file has been saved, the results are much better.

Kindle Indents Deleted

You’ll probably want to go through all of the pages in your document, just to make sure the indents look correct on each page. The one page where you might run into a problem is the Table of Contents page, particularly if it is specially formatted by Microsoft Word’s automatic ToC generator. It may have fancy indents that you would like to keep, and yet they may be formatted with the same CSS code (such as calibre15) that we just modified to delete the indent! What to do in this situation?

Simple enough. Make a whole new CSS style for each indent in your ToC. For example, copy the entire calibre15 code, paste it in the stylesheet.css file after calibre15, and rename it calibre1555, for example. Change the calibre1555 text-indent to 1.5em, or whatever you’d like.

Copy CSS Style for Table of Contents

Save the CSS file. Go to your dummy_split page for your ToC. Find all calibre15, and replace it with calibre1555. See if the indent is to your liking. If not, change it again.

Next, go on to Step Nine, listed above, to finish putting together your .ePub file for upload to the Kindle KDP Platform.

I hope this post on how to self publish a book on Kindle has been helpful–it certainly is long! If you have any questions, please leave a comment, and I’ll clarify anything that needs it.

Thanks for reading!

** Rename file extensions:
In order to change the file extensions from .zip to .epub, Windows Explorer must show the file extensions of each file. To turn on this feature, in Windows Explorer (Microsoft Windows 7) go to Organize (or My Computer in earlier versions). Click on “Folder and Search Options” (or Tools, then “Folder Options”), and then click the View tab. Uncheck the box next to “Hide extensions for known file types.”

Now all file extensions should be visible and editable, via the “Rename” file feature.

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Downsampled Images in eBooks for PubIt!: How to Fix the Problem

Well, I spent most of the past week converting Book Formatting for Self-Publishers into different ebook formats–specifically for Smashwords, PubIt!, and into a high quality, clickable PDF (solution not in this post). An “easy” project turned into a nightmare. Why?

In a word, images. Book Formatting for Self-Publishers has approximately 150 images in the book. For the Kindle ebook, most were 96 dpi screenshots, and for the print book, I converted them all to 300 dpi, black and white. Reinserting 150 images takes a long time, by the way. When the print version was finished, I thought the hard part was over. After all, I’d already uploaded the book to KDP and the images in the .mobi format turned out fine. Not so when I next uploaded the same Microsoft Word .doc to PubIt!

When I checked the images in the NOOK Previewer, the images were awful, to put it nicely. What happened? I checked out the images in the html file made when I converted the Microsoft Word doc into a “Web page, filtered” for Kindle. The images were downsampled. One example: One image was 320 KB when originally inserted into the MS Word 2003 doc, and when the “Web page, filtered” was made, the image was downsampled to 24 KB. Still, the pictures are clear in the .mobi format on Kindle. Why wasn’t that the case when I uploaded that same MS Word doc file to PubIt!? My guess is that PubIt! converts the images differently than KDP.

So, how does one format a book for PubIt! that will keep the same image quality for pictures as Kindle does? After much experimenting, I discovered a simple solution to the problem. I downloaded the .mobi file from KDP to my computer. Then I uploaded that same .mobi file to Calibre, and then converted it to ePUB. Then I uploaded the ePUB to PubIt! And it worked! The images looked great.

Well, there was one tiny little problem–at least it was a problem for a perfectionist, like me. I’d already included a cover image in the ebook. When you convert an ebook from one format to another in Calibre, Calibre offers the option of uploading a cover image into the ebook. Initially, I disregarded this option, since I had already included a cover image in the ebook. However, when I checked the file in the NOOK previewer, a generic Calibre title page image showed up in the ebook, just before my cover image. I did not want that. So, I went through the process again, and this time uploaded my cover image in Calibre. Now my ebook had two images–the one Calibre input for the “title page,” and the original cover that I had in the book. What was more, the Calibre cover was distorted!

Now what to do? I had the bright idea of removing the cover image from my original Microsoft Word doc, reconverting to .mobi, and then uploading to Calibre, and when converting to ePUB, I uploaded the cover image through Calibre. All good now, with only one cover image, right? Well, if you don’t mind distorted cover images, I suppose everything was just peachy. As a perfectionist, however, I could not let that go, and learned how to fix that, too. If you’re one who’s not afraid to “get under the hood” of an ePUB file and tinker with code, here is the solution:

Convert the ePUB file to a zip file. (Change the file extension from .epub to .zip)

Extract the zip file into a folder–let’s name it EPUBFolder. (This folder cannot be located in the ePUB zip file.)

Open the titlepage.xhtml file in Notepad. Find the following code snippet:

Replace it with:
preserveAspectRatio=”xMidYMid meet”

Save the file.

Now, make a new, empty zip file. Then copy the mimetype file from the EPUBFolder first, and paste it into your new zip file. Then copy all of the remaining files from your EPUBFolder (except the mimetype file) and paste them into your new zip. Rename the zip extension to .epub. Upload it to PubIt, and check it in the NOOK previewer. No more distorted cover image!

You’re done! See how easy that was?

I’m happy with how the Kindle and PubIt! versions turned out. Smashwords turned out to be a different story. Although I downsampled all of my images and reinserted all 150 into a new document just for Smashwords, the file still was almost 10 MB; Smashwords only allows 5 MB. I console myself for all that wasted time by thinking, maybe Smashwords would have downsampled the images even more… and I couldn’t have fixed that. (An Update: I’ve learned since then that Smashwords does downsample images (in the ePub version, at least).)

Look for the book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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How to Convert a Table, Chart, Graph or Text Box into an Image

Convert a Table, Chart, Graph, or Text Box into an Image

If you need to format a book that contains a table, chart, graph, etc., into an ebook, you may wish to change the table into an image. Certain platforms, such as Kindle, will convert some of these elements correctly, but other self publishing ebooks platforms do not. All self publishing distributors, however, accept images within a document. Therefore, if you’d like your graph (etc.) to look just as it does in your Microsoft Word or print document, you may want to convert it into an image.

Book Fromatting How To:

• If your table (or other graphic element) is in a Microsoft Word document, print the page to PDF. If you are unable to save one page as a PDF, save the entire document as a PDF.

• If your table is in a multiple page PDF, note which page it is on.

• Open an image software program, such as Photoshop or Gimp, that will allow you to open a PDF file. As you open the PDF file, choose the following settings, if available: 1) specify which page you would like to open, 2) the dpi you would like your final image to be, and 3) if available, choose the color space (RGB or CMYK) that you would like your final image to be.

• Using the crop tool, crop the table from the page. If needed, adjust the image resolution and resize the image. Save the table image as a JPG file.

• Insert the image into your Microsoft Word .doc.

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Introduction to Book Formatting for Self Publishers

Book Formatting for Self Publishers, a Comprehensive How to Guide
Book Formatting for Self-Publishers,
a Comprehensive How-To Guide

Easily Format Books with Microsoft Word; Format eBooks for Kindle, NOOK, Smashwords; Convert Book Covers for Lightning Source, CreateSpace

Have you written a fiction novel or a nonfiction book that you would like to publish? Would you like your book to be distributed to the major book retailers, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble? Would you like that book to become available in the popular ebook formats, such as Kindle, NOOK, and Smashwords? You can do it, and it is more simple than you could imagine.

I have spent the last several years formatting and preparing clients’ book files for Lightning Source and CreateSpace. All of my clients have been very pleased by the look of their books, and every file was accepted by Lightning Source (LSI), whose rigorous file requirements are well known.

While many people pay book designers (such as myself) to format their books, I’ll tell you a secret—it is not hard to turn an ordinary Microsoft® Word® manuscript into a professional looking book. I will show you how easy it is to do, and share the practical tips and tricks I have learned over the years to make the project go smoothly.

This book will give you simple, step-by-step instructions on how to use Microsoft Word 2003 or Microsoft Word 2010 to create a quality, professional looking book, ready for printing with Lightning Source and CreateSpace. In addition, you will learn how to take the Microsoft Word document created for a print book, and turn it into several of the most popular ebook formats. The only software required is Microsoft Word 2003 or Microsoft Word 2010, and Adobe® Acrobat® Professional (version 7 or higher).

You will also learn how to create book covers that will pass the cover standards set by LSI, as well as CreateSpace. Please note that Adobe® Photoshop® is required for LSI covers, as a few of its features are vital in order to adjust the cover images so they meet the 240% ink limits specifications required by LSI. Some publishers use the free online program Scribus for their book covers, but the use of Scribus is not covered in this book.

This formatting book includes many links and references for your convenience. As the internet is a fast-changing environment, please be aware that some links may change.

Are you ready? Open up your Microsoft Word document, and let’s format a book!

Please note: Microsoft Word is best suited for novels or general
nonfiction. If you will be publishing specialized nonfiction,
with intricate page design, you may wish to consider using a professional page layout program, such as Adobe® InDesign®. The use of Adobe InDesign is not covered in this book.

Read Excerpts
Book Formatting / How to Self Publish a Book Reviews

Buy eBook:
Kindle | Barnes & Noble

Amazon | Barnes & Noble*
*Always available for immediate shipment from Barnes & Noble.

Pages: 248 (print)
Price: $19.97 print, $9.97 eBook

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