Optimizing Microsoft Word® to E-publish – Special Characters



When you e-publish, special characters control e-book formatting, punctuation and how words and sentences break on the e-book page.

I know about special characters and what they can do, because in the late nineties I was designing web pages. We worked with a scripting language—HTML—to add more characters that weren’t found on a standard keyboard, accented letters and formatting control. For example, to display the em dashes in the previous sentence, I put a numbered code in the HTML: — . Microsoft Word can do everything for you, because it understands HTML, too.

You should have your Master file open and paragraph marks should be set to show: Home ribbon, in the paragraph section (¶).

On the insert ribbon, click the Insert Symbol button–at the end of the ribbon; select, More Symbols. Click, the Special Characters tab.

E-book processors need to know the exact character it’s processing so it will give the correct punctuation output, on readers.

Before I formatted my e-books, I used hyphens for everything–en dash and em dash–included. I managed to break myself of that habit, by using and adding AutoCorrect entries.

Here are special characters that I use, to format my print books and e-books.



I’ll show you how to replace your edited manuscript with e-book friendlier punctuation, in a future article: Optimizing Microsoft Word to E-publish – AutoCorrect.



More Reading to help you E-publish

Optimizing Microsoft Word® to E-publish – Formatting Marks

Pre-press the Smart way

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