chapter by chapter

You might be forgiven that a standard word processor is the ideal tool for a writer. But in my experience, there’s a lot that can be improved on.

Most writers won’t need the fancy formatting options.

  • bullet points
  • drawing tools
  • tables
  • text boxes

and more could easily disappear from most word processors without fiction writers even noticing.

A short story writer could make do with notepad – if only it was able to double space and add margins.

For a novelist, struggling with 60,000+ words, things are a little different.


My favourite solution was Microsoft Office Binder. I used it for years, until they discontinued it. Binder was pretty cool – it kept all my files together and printed them out as one, but I could keep a separate file for each chapter, so if I changed my mind I could easily move it around.

When binder disappeared I went back to using one unwieldy file for the book.

But everything changed when I found chapter by chapter, a great little add on that turns my word processor into the binder of my dreams. You can drag and drop files to rearrange them, and keep notes with every chapter. You can search or replace within all the files in the book inside the chapter by chapter window. When you’ve finished work, you can combine the files into one single document. Chapter by chapter will even number the chapters for you. Chapter by chapter works with Microsoft Word documents, but you can use another word processor if you set the .doc file type to open with it.

The only thing lacking in chapter by chapter is a word count of all separate files in the book, but you can find that out by generating a book.



  1. Sam

    It will – as long as you set openoffice as the default program to open .doc files.

    Good luck and I’d be interested to hear your feedback on it.

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