Customizing Body Text

In this article, we’re going to explore a few of the features that can be used to format the text inside your chapters. 

Sometimes you might want to add special formatting to a section of your book that doesn’t apply to the overall theme, and is more complex than simply bolding, italicizing or underlining your text. 

The Writing Toolbar

You can now add additional formatting options to selected sections of text using this dropdown menu. You can see your options include:

  • Monospace
  • Smallcaps
  • San serif
  • Subscript
  • Superscript
  • And Strikethrough

I’m going to show you what each of these options look like, and give you a few examples of why you might want to use them inside a chapter of your book. 

To apply one of these formatting options, simply highlight a section of text in your chapter, hover over the arrow in the toolbar menu, and click on the option you’d like to apply. 

Let’s start with Monospace. 

Monospaced Text

Monospaced text is also known as fixed-width text because it uses the same amount of space for every letter, number or special character. For example, the letter a will take up the same amount of space as the letter l. 

Monospaced fonts might be used in a book or novel to help a section of text stand out as separate from the main body content. Because of the spacing, it will align more consistently and is useful for labeling or perhaps to signify an announcement or memo. It will also take up more space than a sentence or paragraph of the same length. 

Monospaced fonts are considered harder to read than either serif or san serif fonts, so try to use sparingly and strategically.

Small Caps

Next we have Small caps.

Small caps will convert all your highlighted text into capital letters, however, any content that is written in lower case will be presented as a capital letter that is approximately the same size as a lower case letter. Smaller than any text that was written in uppercase, as you can see here.

They’re generally used to place emphasis on a word or section of text that is slightly less aggressive than writing in all caps for long stretches of text.

It’s also a great way to show writing on a sign or notice, if that applies to your story. 

Sans Serif Fonts

You can also apply Sans Serif font to a section of text.

Serif fonts have small decorative lines or tails attached to each letter. Sans serif fonts do not. 

Serif fonts are thought to be more readable, especially in small font sizes, and are most commonly used for books. However, if you want to call attention to a specific section of text, changing to a sans serif font can create a visual separation.

Many book designers will use sans serif fonts for titles and subtitles, but they can be more useful still. Many mobile devices display sans serif fonts, so if you are trying to show a text message sent by a character, for example, this will not only call attention to the message, but also immediately create a temporary mobile experience for readers. 

Style a Text Message

For example, if we wanted to convert this exchange of conversation to appear as a text message between the two instead, by changing the text to sans serif, you separate it from the main body content, show readers it looks like a mobile response, but don’t take them completely out of the story like an inserted image might disrupt the flow of writing. 

If you wanted to further separate the text, you could also apply Block Quote formatting to the messages. Play around with the settings to see what works best for your manuscript.

Subscript, Superscript, and Strikethrough

Subscripts and Superscripts are generally used to add endnotes, footnotes, or special characters such as the degrees sign or chemical formulas.

Strikethrough is a visual way to show edited or crossed out text. If you’re writing a book that has a journal entry, or a note to another character, this might come in handy. 

Design Your Book with Atticus – Next In Series

Those are just a few suggestions for how you can use these new in chapter formatting options to add design elements to the text in your book. 

In Part 5 of this series, you’ll learn how to add images to the body content of your manuscript for even more style and unique design. 

Last Updated: 10/20/2022

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