This goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway. Don’t make the formatting modifications below on your original document. Instead, open your final manuscript within Microsoft Word, and create a copy of it by going to File: Save As: and then enter a new file name, such as MySmashwordsMasterpiece, and save it as a .doc file (the default in Word 2003 and earlier). In later versions, go to Save As: Word 97-2003. By making a backup, if you make any mistakes as you follow my advice you won’t screw up your original.
Word’s “Show/Hide” is of my favorite editing features in Word. It reveals your hidden formatting. Do this now, BEFORE you start formatting, otherwise you might as well blindfold your eyes. The show/hide feature is designated by the “¶” mark in the toolbar (I’ve always thought of it as the “reverse P thingy,” but for you typography purists out there, you know it as a “pilcrow.”), as shown below.
The show/hide button helps you view the guts of your formatting
When clicked, it exposes your paragraph returns, extra spaces, tabs, field codes or strange formatting. It’s a great tool to help polish your document for the cleanest possible conversions. If it’s not in your toolbar, you can usually find it in Tools: Options: View and then under Formatting Marks click All.