Proofing the PDF

While most people write their books in Microsoft Word (or another similar word processing program), it is always wise to create a PDF to distribute to people and to load into self-publishing systems. PDFs are the common exchange system of the web. You never know if someone you're sending to will have a copy of Word or whatever system you're using. Even if they are using Word and you're using Word, you could be using two completely different versions that are not compatible.

When you export your file to a PDF version it is always important to proof that PDF to ensure it looks right. Try reading through it yourself. Is the font easy to read? If you test print a few pages, do they print out the way you'd like?

An important test I do on every book I generate is to verify the layout. First I set the PDF to view at "full page" so I see a page at a time in my PDF viewing window. Then I do a "find" on the word Chapter. It'll bring me to chapter 1. I start hitting the "next" button, watching carefully how that chapter title lines up. Does it start at the exact same place on each page? Do the chapter numbers actually go in order? Are they always on the right hand side of the page?

Next I start from the beginning and just hit "next page" a ton of times. Are there any blank pages? Any other formatting issues? Is there a page number on every page (starting with page 2)?

Even just a five minute run-through like this can quickly spot really obvious errors!

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