I received a very interesting question from a reader who happens to be a professional writer named Sylvia. She’s currently using Word 2013 and says, “No matter what I do, my computer will not keep a manuscript format. Is there a program that I can just install and have it keep the format?”
As a professional writer myself, I think she’s already got a pretty good program in Word. Let’s look at how to create a document with a manuscript format in Word and how to use that format again.
Click File and then choose New. Type Manuscript into the search box. You should see several results.
If one of these formats meets your needs, you can pin it, so that it is always available when you want to start a blank document. You can either hover over that template and click the pin button.
Or right-click and select Pin to list.
Now the manuscript format will be listed near the top whenever you create a new document.
Here, I’ve arranged manuscript to be next to the blank document.
You can also use any document you like as the basis for a template by choosing Save As and choose Template from the file choices. You’ll want to change the name of the document to something template to avoid confusion.
Now if what you mean is that you’re losing your format as you go along in Word, I may have a solution for you. The problem could be that you’re working with a Normal template and Word will sometimes take the small changes you make and override the format that you’re using. Try this. Click the Home tab in Word 2013, then slick the small icon down in the right corner of the Styles section.
If you’re using a manuscript template and there’s one aspect of the manuscript style that keeps losing the format such as the Body Text or the Headings, right-click on that and choose Modify. If you are using a Normal template (which could be the root of the problem) choose Normal, then right-click and select modify.
Make sure automatically update is not checked.
It’s possible to accidentally remove formatting by selecting all and pressing Ctrl + Spacebar. That shortcut will return the style to “normal” instead of any special formatting for your template. You could try pressing Ctrl + Q to reset to the underlying Style.
Let me know if any of this helps.