MS Word Directly to Amazon KDP: How To Apply Styles

In this article, we show you how to tag your Chapter Titles (or, in this example, "Poem Titles") with the MS Word Style,  Heading 1.

This is an essential step, and is needed for the Table of Contents for your Kindle eBook.

Please load your test file that you created in the previous tutorial.

My test file, Poems by Emily Dickinson, with the Styles list expanded, now looks like the screen shot below.

We have cleaned out the garbage and are now ready to start formatting our file.

Screen shot with Styles list expanded.

If your Styles list doesn't look like the one above, you may need to expand your Styles list.

To do that: click on the tiny Double-A icon at the top of the Styles box.

Click the tiny double-A icon just under the window to expand the Styles list.

We are working with our test file, Poems by Emily Dickinson, which we created in the previous 

If you are working with your own file, make sure you are working with a copy.

Our first step is to apply Normal Style to the entire document.

That will smooth out the text and remove clutter that may have been lurking in the original file.

To do that:
(1) Select (highlight) the entire file with CTRL-A, 
(2) Find Normal in the Styles list and Double-Click on it.

Now, scroll through the entire file to find Chapter Titles and tag them all as Heading 1.

To do that:
(1) Select (highlight) each Chapter Title in turn
(2)  Find Heading 1 in the Styles list and double-click it to apply Heading 1 to each Chapter Title.

Poems by Emily Dickinson now looks like this:

Page Break before each poem is built into Heading 1

Now, you can see the value of  MS Word Styles.

With just a few clicks, we now have nicely-formatted Titles, and each poem is on its own page.

Next, we will create a Table of Contents and prepare our file to be uploaded to Amazon KDP.

MS Word Directly to Amazon KDP: Create a Table of Contents for Kindle, Using MS Word TOC Wizard

In this article, we create a Table of Contents, using the MS Word 2010 TOC wizard.


  1. Please help. I am going mad. I used styles to centre my chapter headings, gaps between ch. heading and text, font size etc. But each time I align the body text left it changes back to centred. I've spent days and days on it and can't find how to sort it. Using Mac and Word 2011

    1. Clodagh,

      Did you go through the "Clean up MS Word" steps?

      You need to do that first, to ge rid of any garbage that can cause problems.

      Then, select your body text and apply "Clear formatting" to remove the old formatting, then apply the styles again.

      Sometimes a style oir some kind of format gets "stuck" and you have to clean it out before it will accept the new style you want to apply.

  2. CJ,

    I was hoping you might be able to offer me some advice.

    I'm using styles to create my ebook. I applied them after having already written the book in standard manuscript format. I found that they worked quite well for me, with one exception: When I went to convert my MSword file to html, filtered all of my italicized words and passages were stripped out.

    Do I need to create a style just for italicizing and apply it manually? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Patrick,

      No... if you have created your Styles correctly, you should be able to italicize words and passages as you want them and they should hold.

      But sometimes a bit of garbage or something unusual happens, and causes something such as you mention.

      Check the question just before yours... about cleaning out garbage and see if it helps you.

      If not, ask again.

    2. CJ,

      You were correct. I found out that the problem was that I had "keep track of formatting" off in the advanced editing options, as was recommended by another author who had trouble with cutting-and-pasting in text from other formats. It was either that or a random glitch!

      In any case, I thank you for your prompt reply. I have found your blog to be quite helpful. Thanks!

  3. For which WORD version are these directions given? OR, I have Office 2000 and Office 2010. Which should I use for your directions? Thank you!

    1. Please use MS Word 2010.

      If any of my directions don't seem to to fit, come back here and I'll help you get started.