My Microsoft Word manuscript template for authors (#IWSG Blog Hop)

My Microsoft Word manuscript template for authors

A few chapters into my first book, I got fed up with all the scrolling. Many authors use apps such as Scrivener to more easily move between chapters and scenes. Scrivener has many other functions, but I prefer working in Microsoft Word. I decided to take advantage of Word’s table, linking, and formula functions, and the result is a template, that after much tinkering, does everything I need it to do. It allows me to:

  1. Have a legend at the top of my document in which chapters/scenes link to where My Microsoft Word manuscript template for authorsthey are in the manuscript.
  2. Compare manuscript/chapter/scene actual word counts to target word counts.
  3. Retrieve my daily word count totals.

Feel free to download the template here.

I wrote this post for the monthly Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop. To continue hopping or to join the hop, clickΒ here. (There are more than 200 of us, and it’s fun!)

Which word processors or other apps or combination thereof do you use when writing books? Are you happy with the process, or are there shortcomings? Tell me all about it in the comments.

Thank you to Freepik for the image I used in this post.

79 thoughts on “My Microsoft Word manuscript template for authors (#IWSG Blog Hop)

  1. Happy New Year!
    Lady, you are tops! I have Scrivener but to be honest, I don’t use it much because I love to use Microsoft Word. So, guess what I’m going to do? I am going to download your program right now. This has made my day.
    Wishing you all the best for 2019 and that you have a prosperous year.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy New Year Raimey. I used to use word but got frustrated with scrolling and the ability to work between my phone, Ipad and computer. The scrolling got me on my phone too. I very much enjoy Scrivener. Thank you for sharing your template πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The template is incredible, Raimey! I use Scrivener for novels, but it doesn’t work as well for me for short stories. (My shorts tend to run long.) I bet your template would be a perfect fit. I’ll definitely give it a try and let you know. Thanks for sharing! Cheers to 2019!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy IWSG Day and thanks for stopping by my blog.
    I usually love trying out new software and or templates, but every time I’ve tried to use anything other than WORD for writing, it’s been a mess. I’m really excited to try out your template.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve never even tried Scrivener; Word does what I want it to so I live with that. These days I often just use Google Docs or Wordpad for typing the drafts and just save Word for final formatting. I’m not fancy. I have been using your trick for awhile of using the Navigation pane to jump between chapters and scenes. It saves a lot of scrolling and makes things easier to find.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Have you ever heard of GoogleDocs messing up a document? It happened to a friend of mine…shouldn’t be a problem though if you’re occasionally saving your GoogleDoc docs as backups.


  6. I’ve never used Scivener. People either love it or hate it, I’ve heard! I just use Word and pen and paper. KM Wieland’s Outlining Your Novel is the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for the free download! So far, I’ve been happy with Word, but I’m giving Scrivener a try for this next project, since my critique partners rave about it. To navigate scenes in Word, I just label them (in red, on drafts), then use the Find feature to jump to that scene. I also have a binder full of Lisa Cron’s scene cards which I write on in pencil, since they change. I’m hoping to streamline this bulky process.
    Wishing you happy, productive, organized writing in 2019.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I”m a Scrivener fan – but I love the template you created! Making those up is so much fun!! You’re very generous to share it so freely! Hope 2019 brings you all kinds o joy! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I use Microsoft Word, too, Raimey. I’ll need to give this template a try. Thanks so much for all you do to assist your fellow writers. All best to you in 2019!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Have downloaded, it looks good I use a mixture of Scrivener n word. But more word now I am editting strangely enough…. But then again I wrote it in word and then transferred to Scrivener so a pretty much jumbled up way of doing it! Happy New Year X

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a great idea! I also work in Word – tried Scrivener and it just didn’t take. I’m looking forward to trying out this new tool. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh wow. I had no idea Word even did that. I usually just use the navigation pane so I can click back and forth between the chapters. I’m a Word or Google Doc user (when on my Chromebook) so thank you for this. Happy new year.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I use Word, in part because during my first several years I accessed my manuscript on so many different computers I needed a word processor common to all of them. I use to walk around with a memory stick in my pocket containing all my chapters, so all I had to do was find a computer with Word on it and I was ready to go.

    Have a great 2019!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks for the template. The writing apps I use are Grammarly and the Hemingway Editor. One for type-o’s the other for sentence structure. Great for English, but not when I try to add slag to a character’s dialogue. Nothing replaces a trusted reader for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m a fan of MS Word too, Raimey, and I use Styles to keep track of chapters and scenes, but not with quite the functionality as you’ve built in. I also keep an Excel workbook to track details related to plot and characters. I love how all of us find what works for us. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Raimey!
    I use the word doc. I’ve never used Scrivener and have no idea what it’s all about.
    Thank you for the template!! Such a generous gesture. I’ll definitely check it out later.
    By the way, my blog is up and running and I managed to sneak in the monthly post, amidst much trauma and drama 😱

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Same, I’m still working on a rather decrepit laptop with a small screen, and my chapter numbers are only increasing. Since I got a free student copy of Word I think I’ll go with your template for my next draft πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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