The most common types of software used to format pages for printing (page layout) are Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher, Adobe InDesign, and Pages. There are other types of software as well which will work such as Microsoft Works, Google docs, and PageMaker (the precursor to Adobe InDesign). If your book is to contain only text, any word processing software will work well. If your book is to contain a large number of images (photographs, illustrations, or scanned documents), it is best to use a software which can better handle large file sizes which are a result of including high resolution images.
The best software when working with large files (over 50 megabytes) is Adobe InDesign. Adobe InDesign is widely used by professional graphic artists mainly because of the large number of features built into it. The problem with using InDesign is the steep learning curve if this is a software you are not familiar with.
When large files are anticipated, an alternative to InDesign would be Microsoft Publisher. Although Microsoft Publisher does not have all the features of InDesign, it will handle large files well, and is capable of producing professional results.
Microsoft Word / Microsoft Works
Microsoft Word is the most common software used by authors for simple text-only page layouts. If you have decided to use Microsoft Word for your page layout, and are expecting to include a large number of images (50+), we would recommend splitting your book into several files (usually one file for each chapter) to prevent the files from becoming too large and potentially unstable. Microsoft Word works well with files up to approximately 80 megabytes, but larger file sizes can cause your computer to run slowly and even crash.
If you have chosen to split your book into several files, we recommend not placing page numbers
on the pages in your files. Once your files are ready, we will combine your files into one master file, and add the page numbers to the footers
of your pages.
Saving Your File
Once your page layout is completed, we recommend saving your file (or files) in the PDF format. Both Microsoft Word and Microsoft Publisher have a built in PDF conversion tool (since the 2007 version), while InDesign has an “export to PDF” function. When saving your file in the PDF format, it is important to choose the higher quality option (Standard Publishing Online and Printing for MS Word or export to a “press quality” PDF file for Adobe InDesign). This will ensure your file will print at high resolution.