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Typesetting Process

1: File preparation in Word


First things first: it’s important to make sure that your manuscript is as finalised as possible. Corrections are much more streamlined when made in the early stages, so make sure you have carefully edited and proofread the entire text before sending it to us. If there are people who you would like to view your file before submission, now is the time to do so.


When submitting your manuscript, sending it in one large file will help ensure that parts of the text do not get lost or the structure confused. Since typesetting doesn’t start until the entire manuscript is ready, sending it in one file keeps everything together once we’re ready to begin. The exception to this rule is creating an index. Please contact us if you intend to have an index in your book.


Using consistent paragraphs styles throughout the text will help us identify chapter titles and recurring elements much quicker, resulting in a smoother process. The following video explains how to use paragraph styles in Microsoft Word.

For a book that includes images, please visit this link for instructions on how to prepare your text correctly.

2: Typesetting


Now that your file has successfully been submitted for typesetting, we’ll start off by creating some sample pages of your book for approval. We use the latest software tools and often build custom scripts to make the process more accurate and efficient. Below is an example of a script that we built to automate the layout of a complex bible.

Once the sample has been approved, we get to work! We will professionally typeset your entire manuscript and return it to you in PDF format. This PDF has been specially enabled for you to make corrections using the free Adobe Reader software.

Images or illustrations included in the book may only be integrated at a later stage. The same is true for the prelimns, which is the material in the book that comes before page 1.


We encourage you to discuss this process with us in advance so that we can be partners together in creating your book. 

Download Adobe Reader

It is very important that corrections are made following our PDF Guidelines very carefully. Following these instructions will save us a lot of time and effort. Please read the post as well as watch the video on how to do so efficiently. 

We also highly recommend reading this post on the proofreading process before undertaking that task.

And here is useful proof-reading check list.

3: Final proofread


Once you receive the first draft of the PDF, it is your job to do the final proofread. This is about finding mistakes that the editor or typesetter missed. Mark up the PDF using the tools in Adobe Reader and send back for implementing into the InDesign file. Click [here] for detailed instructions.


The latest version of InDesign is able to import your changes and corrections that you have marked up in the PDF so it’s important to be accurate. For example, if a word gets deleted but the following space was not highlighted, the manuscript will have two spaces where there should only be one. Similarly, if a word was inserted without a subsequent space, then there will be two words joined each other. Therefore, please follow the video carefully to make this process as smooth as possible.


As a general rule, files are usually sent back and forth three times. Once all the mistakes have been found and corrected, we do the final stage, called balancing. This process makes sure that the rectos (right-hand pages) and versos (left-hand pages) are the same length. Once balancing (see below video) is complete we are ready to send to press!

If the manuscript is going to have a manual index created, at this point the finalised draft can be sent to the indexer. If the index was created by Word, then it will be generated on each draft. 


NOTE: Sometimes, if the editorial process has not been done thoroughly, the proofreader will find many additional mistakes on a page. If there are an average of more than 3 mistakes a page for more than 10 pages, please advise the proofreader to stop and be in touch with us immediately. 

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