Posted on

QUICK TIP: Easily Switch between Curly Quotes to Straight Quotes in Word

Since I do a lot of technical as well as novel writing, I need both curly and straight quotes in word.

Thanks to Practical Typography, I found this extremely easy way to add “straight quotes” to text when needed.

How to override smart quotes

WORD   Type the foot or inch mark, which will come out curly, and then press [once] the key com­mand for Undo ⌘Z. The curly mark will be­come straight.

HTML   Use the ex­plicit code for the sin­gle straight quote (') and dou­ble straight quote (" or ")

 

Posted on

Word Formatting: How to Correctly Indent Paragraphs for Ebook Formatting

What is the biggest mistake self-publishing authors make when preparing their book for ebook conversion? Improper word formatting of Paragraph Indents.

Say No to Tabs and the Spacebar

Old school taught us to use the tab key to make paragraph indents. This can be a difficult habit to break—but break it you must.

NEVER use the tab key or spacebar to indent paragraphs

Now I am not saying you can’t use the spacebar, ever. But you should never EVER be using the tab key when preparing your Word (or other program) document for conversion—print or digital.

Auto Correct Improper Indents

When writing a manuscript it is best to start on the right foot. Even if you already have your MS completed and every single paragraph is indented with either a tab or the spacebar, have no fear—it can be corrected.

Removing Tabs ^t

You don’t want ANY tabs in your file.

(NOTE: the following is based on Microsoft Word; please note that some versino of Word can be buggy.)

1. Make a duplicate copy of your manuscript. Never work from your original. If you mess up the copy, then you’ll have the “master MS” to fall back on.

2. With the document open, open the Find and Replace function. (Under Edit or Cmd+F) (location depends on your version of Word or other software program)

3. Type ^t in the Find field; leave the Replace field blank.

4. Now here’s the scary part. Click “Replace All“. CAUTION: once you click Replace All, it cannot be undone. (Another reason for working from a copy of your Master file.)

All the tabs should now be removed.

Removing extra spaces

Never find and replace “one” space.” This will mess up your entire document. To remove the “extra” spaces used for indents input at least 2 blank spaces in the Find field, and keep the Replace field blank.

1. Hit the space bar twice in the Find field.

2. Keep the Replace field blank.

3. Click “Replace All“. CAUTION: once you click Replace All, it cannot be undone.

Setting the First Line Indent or how to change styles

You can set each paragraph individually, or your can modify the template used for the MS, so the change applies to ALL paragraphs.

Setting the first line paragraph indents depends on the “style” you used for your paragraphs.  If you were a good little author, you left the setting at “Normal”— the default style. But if you chose to make your own, then you can still modify the paragraphs so long as you consistently used the style for all your paragraphs.

To change styles

1. Go to Format > Style (the actual location of your style format may be in a different location)

2. Select Normal Style (or your content style) in the left column.

3. Click Modify.

4. Choose Paragraph from the Format drop down menu

5. Choose Indentation > First line.  The default is set to .5″ but you can choose whatever you wish.  I recommend not less than .25″.

6. TIP: Make sure the “Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style” is unchecked if you are adding space before and after..

7. Click OK to close the Paragraph window.

8. Click OK to close the Modify Style window.

8. Click Apply to close the Style window.

Word Formatting: Paragraph indents
Click for larger view. Will open new window.
Posted on

How Authors can Create a Basic Writing Template in Word

Excerpt from eBook Formatting & Publishing Guide 4.0

Many of you are picking up this book after you have your manuscript written and ready to publish. So you may have a little more work than others starting from scratch.

Before I get into how to clean up your manuscript, I want to share how to make a Writing Template – so you hopefully won’t have to go through this process again.

Creating a Word Template

It is very easy to make a Word Template and you can create more than one. In the following, we are creating a very basic template for most fiction books using Heading 1 and Normal styles only.

The following is based on Microsoft Word 2008 for Mac. Please refer to your manual for locations of features discussed.

  1. Open a blank Word file.
  2. Type “Chapter 1”, highlight the words and select “Heading 1” from your drop down style menu.
  3. Type basic text. Select the text and make sure “Normal” is selected from the drop down style menu.

Now, you need to modify the styles. Let’s start with the text style Normal.

  1. Place your cursor anywhere in the Normal text.
  2. Go to Format > Style
  3. Click Modify
  4. Adjust the font style, weight, and alignment. (Note: Make sure you choose “B” for bold and “I” for italic – do not choose a “bold font” such as Arial Bold – It will not convert as “bold” to an ebook – Always use a “regular” font and “apply” the styling.)
  5. For your Normal text you need to decide if you want indented or block paragraphs. Choose the “Format” button in the lower left and select Paragraph.
  6. Choose the First Line Indent if you want indented paragraph layout. Or choose spacing before or after each paragraph for block layout. Only set the Line Spacing to Single, 1.5 or double: DO NOT use At least, Exactly or Multiple.
  7. Click OK to close the paragraph box.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Click Apply

Now, you need to modify the Chapter Heading

  1. Place your cursor in your Chapter heading
  2. Go to Format > Style
  3. Click Modify
  4. Adjust the font style, weight, and alignment to your desires. (Note: Make sure you choose “B” for bold and “I” for italic – do not choose a “bold font” such as Arial Bold – It will not convert as “bold” to an ebook – Always use a “regular” font and “apply” the styling.)
  5. You do not want a first line indent for your Chapter headings. So to make sure it is removed: Choose the “Format” button in the lower left and select Paragraph.
  6. Make sure Indentation is set to NONE.
  7. Click OK to close the paragraph window.
  8. Click OK.

Before you click “Apply” we want to apply these styles to your Default.

  1. Click Organizer…

    On the left are the new document styles you just created in your open document. On the right are the default styles for Word (Normal.dotm).

  2. Choose the Heading 1 and Normal styles on the left and Copy – -> them to the Normal.dotm (right).
  3. A Popup box will display: “Do you wish to override existing style entry “XXX”?” Select Yes.
  4. Click Close.
  5. Click Apply.

Your new Template is almost ready.

  1. Select File > Save As from your Menu.
  2. In the Format dropdown menu, choose .dot or .dotx.
  3. The Save window will take you to a folder called “My Templates”. This is the default area for all the Word Templates you create.
  4. Pick a name that you will remember for the Template, such as Fiction-indent.dot.
  5. Save.

See our Pre-styled Word, InDesign, Photoshop and eBook Templates

Posted on

Self-Publishing eBook, print Book, and Book Cover Design Templates

Ready-to-go Self-Publishing Design Book and eBook Templates

Not only have we made the process of formatting your ebook easier, we’ve included an entire package to help you create your eBook, print Book, and Book Cover – all pre-designed and ready-to-go.

Each Design Package includes:

  • Pre-styled and formatted Word Template (.dot) (or Open Office file)
  • Pre-styled and formatted 5″ x 8″ (standard paperback) InDesign CS4 file
  • Pre-styled and formatted EPUB file with CSS and Embedded Fonts* (if applicable)
  • Pre-designed eBook Cover Template
  • Pre-designed Book Cover Template (based on a 5″ x 8″, 200 page book)
  • Step-by-Step Tutorial

*Included fonts are chosen from FontSquirrel.com, and include documentation on usage in eBooks.


TRY A SAMPLE FOR FREE

The official launch of our Self-Publishing Design Templates is JULY 1, 2013
but we’d like to give you a free taste of what is to come:
With purchase of of $4.99 or more:

Apply CODE: DTFREE on Checkout and get
our Basic Fiction Word Template FREE

Discount valid June 10th –  June 12th, 2013.


The Template Package

Most fiction manuscripts only require a few style elements: Chapter (Heading 1), Body (Normal), and Section breaks (Spacer) The problem, however, is writers trying to “design” their book in Word.

Break the “making a PDF” mentality and use Word as it was created – a word processing program. Period.


Use programs the way they were meant to be used.


The Word Template

Microsoft Word is a word processing program, and it should be used as such. While it does have some great features for designing your page, it is NOT a page layout program. And for the sake of creating an Ebook, the less you do the better.

In addition, the cleaner you set your styles the better. If you set your styles and formatting correctly in Word, then importing into InDesign for print or Sigil for Epub is nearly flawless.

With our templates, we have done the work for you. Setting up templates (2004 compatible) for a variety of looks and layouts from typical indented paragraphs (fiction) to block paragraphs (non-fiction).

The Epub Template

Each Word template has a compatible Epub template – created using the same layout and styles. We have pre-set up the CSS (style sheet) and even embedded the font for you. All you need to do is import converted Word to HTML file and you are ready to go.

The InDesign Template

Included in the package is a template created for InDesign programs CS4+. It has the stylesheet preset up according to the original Word styles. In addition, we’ve included a “fake” copyright page (fiction) and a preset and styled table of contents. (Template created for Create Space Standards for a 200 page, 5″ x 8″ book. If your book is larger or smaller, then adjust the margins prior to your manuscript placement.)

The Book Cover Template

Finally we have included a template for the front eBook cover (5″x8″, 300 dpi) as well as the Full Color Cover for print (front, spine, back) (Cover template created for Create Space Standards for a 200 page, 5″ x 8″ book. If your book is larger or smaller, then use CS book cover layout templates and adjust the spine area accordingly.)

Posted on

Linkable Table of Contents

Below is the coding for a linkable table of contents.

 OPTION ONE: LINKS TO PAGES IN YOUR eBOOK

If you split your chapters into individual HTML pages, then your TOC would appear like this:

 

<p><a id=”toc”/></p>

<p>Table of Contents</p>

<p><a href=”../Text/content.xhtml”>Chapter 1</a></p>

<p><a href=”../Text/chapter2.xhtml”>Chapter 2</a></p>

<p><a href=”../Text/chapter3.xhtml”>Chapter 3</a></p>

<p><a href=”../Text/ack.xhtml”>Acknowledgements</a></p>

<p><a href=”../Text/author.xhtml”>About the Author</a></p>

 

OPTION TWO: LINKS ANCHOR LOCATIONS ON THE SAME PAGE (ONE HTML PAGE)

If you are working from one long HTML “Page” and need to create a TOC that links to the sections, then you need to create anchors and your TOC would appear like this:

Where the anchor name is preceded by a hash tag (#) such as #chapter1.

 

<p><a id=”toc”/></p>

<p>Table of Contents</p>

<p><a href=”#chapter1″>Chapter 1</a></p>

<p><a href=”#chapter3″>Chapter 2</a></p>

<p><a href=”#chapter4″>Chapter 3</a></p>

<p><a href=”#ack”>Acknowledgements</a></p>

<p><a href=”#author”>About the Author</a></p>

 

ANCHORS:

You would need to create anchors for each chapter/section. This would appear like this:

<h1 id=”chapter1″>Chapter1</h1>

where “id” is the anchor name. Anchors and links must match.

 

Back to TOC

It isn’t necessary to create a back to TOC as most e-readers have the option built-in, however if you wish to add it, then you would create

<a href=”#toc>Back to TOC</a>

and place this where you need for every chapter/section, so long as you have the “id” for the toc AS “toc”

 

VIDEOS FOR CREATING TOC WITH ANCHORS

 

Posted on

CSS: Center Text Vertically

CSS level 2 does not have a property for centering things vertically. There will probably be one in CSS level 3. However, you can center block vertically in CSS2 by combining a few properties. The trick is to specify the outer block as a table cell, because table cell contents can be centered vertically.

Note: Not all e-reader devices may display these CSS properties.

The following example centers a paragraph inside a block with a certain height.

Here is an example:

CSS

div.container {
   min-height: 10em;
   display: table-cell;
   vertical-align: middle;
}

HTML

<div class="container">
<p>This small paragraph...
</div>
Posted on

CSS: Center Images Using Display:Block and Margin

Centering images can add a special design appeal to your ebook formatting. This can be applied book-wide (to all images) or applied individually. The easiest way to center images is to make the image a block of its own and set the margins to ‘auto’.

Here is an example:

CSS

img.individual {
    display: block;
    margin-left: auto;
    margin-right: auto;
}

HTML

<IMG class="individual" src="..." alt="...">
Castle Rock, John Day Area, Oregon
Castle Rock, John Day Area, Oregon

CSS for all images to be centered

img {
    display: block;
    margin-left: auto;
    margin-right: auto;
}

HTML

<IMG src="..." alt="...">
Posted on

CSS: Center Text Blocks using margin and fixed-width

Calling attention to a block of text

At times, in both nonfiction and fiction ebook formatting, you may want to set off an area of text from the rest of the content. The easiest way to center text blocks is to set the margins to ‘auto’ along with a fixed width. Without the fixed width, the block would simply fill the available width of the screen.

Here is an example:

CSS

p.blocktext {
    margin-left: auto;
    margin-right: auto;
    width: 6em
}

HTML

<p class=”blocktext”> This is a very narrow block of text that is centered….

centering text blocks using CSS

Modify the width to the exact measurement desired. You can also use a percentage value if desired.

Posted on

CSS: Center Text Blocks using margin and fixed-width

Calling attention to a block of text

At times, in both nonfiction and fiction ebook formatting, you may want to set off an area of text from the rest of the content. The easiest way to center text blocks is to set the margins to ‘auto’ along with a fixed width. Without the fixed width, the block would simply fill the available width of the screen.

Here is an example:

CSS

p.blocktext {
    margin-left: auto;
    margin-right: auto;
    width: 6em
}

HTML

<p class=”blocktext”> This is a very narrow block of text that is centered….

centering text blocks using CSS

Modify the width to the exact measurement desired. You can also use a percentage value if desired.

Posted on

background-color: CSS Style Tip

Highlight eBook Text using background-color

Add background color to ebooks using HTML / CSS code

The CSS code can be added to your external or internal stylesheet. Works with iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook Color; does not display on older Kindles (1,2,3).

background-color: Define the color. See HTML Colors from W3Schools.com

padding: Adding padding adds a space between the text and the edge of the color background. I am using 1em, but you can increase or decrease to your design tastes.

margin-top and margin-bottom: This adds space between the background color and the text above and below.

CSS Code

div.background {

background-color:#ffff00;

padding: 1em 1em 1em 1em;

margin-top:1em;

margin-bottom:1em;

}

HTML Application

<div class=”background”>
<p>Text you want in color</p>
</div>