Working on birthday "book" for my wife and having layout/editing trouble

Dec 3, 2020
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I'm working on a meaningful personal project. My wife and I had a 7-year correspondence long ago and I've edited our letters down into a 400-page book I'll have bound for her birthday.

After distilling the text down to the interesting bits, designing the artwork, etc, my last barrier, unexpectedly, is MS Word! I've realized that I know way less about Word than I suspected.

I have to deliver this to the bookbinder soon and am worried I won't make my wife's birthday. If anyone could kindly assist with the following issues, I'd be immensely grateful. Hell, I'll send you $30 if you can successfully help me with these issues; not kidding! (I mean, I'm already paying the binder a pretty penny, so what's a few more bucks to make it to the finish line?).

I'm hitting google anyway, but the clock is running out and I'm worried. Here are my current issues:

How do I make the spacing changes of one page not push down the content of other pages or sections?

The book is divided into lots of little 2-5 page "sections" (i.e., letters), but I'll be doing lots of last-minute edits and spacing changes all over. My nightmare is that if I delete paragraphs, alter spacing, etc, in one area, it's going to move the text all over the damn book every time, and I'll have to hunt for the ramifications across hundreds of pages every time. How can I "contain" the ripple effect of my edits to just stay within a particular section?

2. How do I get the page count to start (and end) within a specific range, and not on the actual first and last pages?

3. You know those header titles atop either side of book pages, usually with the name of the book and the chapter you're in? What's the best way to do this in Word? More importantly, how do I permanently associate a section of text to its corresponding page heading so that no matter where I move it, it'll stay in the same "chapter heading" section?

4. This is secondary, but I'd appreciate any guidance on great fonts to use. It feels as though the commonplace, everyday fonts like Arial and Times New Roman wouldn't necessarily work best for something like this. The binder suggested I stay away from sans serif, but other than that, I'm a bit adrift.

5. Just in case, if anyone knows of layouts or templates I can perhaps use, I'd appreciate that as well. I'm fishing around and the web and there's lots of folks who offer typesetting services, but I just don't have that much time left and think I'm just going to tackle it myself.

For reference, I use Word from Office 365 (version 2010) on a Windows 10 64-bit PC. Thanks so much, I'd appreciate any input at all.

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