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

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. Continue reading Word Formatting: How to Correctly Indent Paragraphs for Ebook Formatting

Posted on

eBook Formatting Checklist: Preparing for ebook conversion

To create an e-book requires converting your manuscript into an HTML format. And to make the process as painless as possible, there are certain Do’s and Don’ts you should be aware of when preparing your manuscript.

NOTICE: In the following, I refer to Microsoft Word, but you can use any word processing program you prefer, such as Open Office.

DOWNLOAD EBOOK FORMATTING CHECKLIST (PDF)

Preparation is Key

FIRST: You are not concerned about the appearance of the book at this point. You are only preparing the page with the proper styles so it can be easily converted to HTML. I will modify the look and design when I import your manuscript.

Need to DO:

FIRST: Before you do any of the following, make a backup copy of your manuscript.

SECOND: Turn on the ‘pilcrow’ or ¶ in the top menu. This will display all the hidden characters such as paragraphs and spaces. The spaces are indicated with miniscule dots, so you may have to enlarge the page view to determine how many there are at the beginning of a sentence.

What is addressed:

  • Chapter Headings
  • Subheadings
  • Manual Line Breaks or Soft Breaks
  • Indents
  • Spaces

Need to Know:

^p = paragraph
^t = tab
^l = soft return Continue reading eBook Formatting Checklist: Preparing for ebook conversion

Posted on

eBook Formatting Checklist: Preparing for ebook conversion

To create an e-book requires converting your manuscript into an HTML format. And to make the process as painless as possible, there are certain Do’s and Don’ts you should be aware of when preparing your manuscript.

NOTICE: In the following, I refer to Microsoft Word, but you can use any word processing program you prefer, such as Open Office.

DOWNLOAD EBOOK FORMATTING CHECKLIST (PDF)

Preparation is Key

FIRST: You are not concerned about the appearance of the book at this point. You are only preparing the page with the proper styles so it can be easily converted to HTML. I will modify the look and design when I import your manuscript.

Need to DO:

FIRST: Before you do any of the following, make a backup copy of your manuscript.

SECOND: Turn on the ‘pilcrow’ or ¶ in the top menu. This will display all the hidden characters such as paragraphs and spaces. The spaces are indicated with miniscule dots, so you may have to enlarge the page view to determine how many there are at the beginning of a sentence.

What is addressed:

  • Chapter Headings
  • Subheadings
  • Manual Line Breaks or Soft Breaks
  • Indents
  • Spaces

Need to Know:

^p = paragraph
^t = tab
^l = soft return Continue reading eBook Formatting Checklist: Preparing for ebook conversion