COMPUTER TEXT SETUP
today offer many enhancements for creating a page of text, whether a letter or a story. And they work
fine if you are simply planning to print the page on your own home
printer. However, if you are creating stories and plan to provide a printer a disk or CD for
your book, there are things you need to know in advance to make the journey easier.
And before you proceed, please review
When an author is creating the story on a computer, it is
common for him or her to experiment with formatting choices. Some of these
create problems later, so keep your file simple and uncluttered with special
attributes as you create the stories. Formatting comes later.
While writing your stories, avoid
special computer attributes such as: Widows/Orphans, Paragraph Style, Bookmarks,
First Line Indent, Headers, Footers. Know that playing around with various fonts
and line spacing as you create the stories can cause problems later.
When your writing is complete
and you are ready to "style" the pages, that is the time to use these
designing attributes. And if you plan to give the disk to a page designer, he or
she will use their publishing program to style and his program can misread these
attributes if they have already been added, and problems occur.
• Write your story using
the full computer page as it is on your screen. You or a page designer can
change it to a different size when the writing is complete. If you want to see
how the story will look in a different size page, copy the file and
create a new file to experiment with, leaving the original file intact. If you
plan to add photos to this text file, do so after you have made all text
decisions and the stories are complete and positioned where you want them to go.
• Create your
story in one computer file. Do a page break when you want to create a new page
of writing. And if you need a
particular page to begin on the "right" you may need to insert a blank
page to push this "right" page into proper position. (An opened book
has pages that "face" one another.) They are called "facing
pages." There is a page on the left and a page on the right. See an example of
• If you have
already created separate files for each chapter, when finished pull your story into one
computer file in the order represented by your printed pages manuscript. Create a new file and copy and paste the chapters into it in the order in which
• ALWAYS keep a backup disk of your material and update it regularly; the
heartache cannot be measured when your hard work is suddenly lost by a computer
• Footnotes may be
included. End Notes are more common today, placed either at the end of a chapter
or at the end of the book. Place a superscript numeric next to the
referenced item, and add the same numeric and the Note on a separate page at the
end of your book. If you expect many footnotes/endnotes, you may save yourself
time by not using the Footnote attribute until you are finished writing
and proofing and no further changes will occur. See
Note and Bibliography examples.
• You can also use what is called "in text
citation" that refers the reader to a bibliography.
"Bob Jones wrote a book of history that changed the world (Jones 1999)."
The last name and the copyright date of the book are cited. No superscript number is needed. The
reader can go to the bibliography to read more. The bibliography is in alphabetical order by last
name of the author.
Jones, Bob. Historical Events. New York: Name of Publisher, 1999.
CAUTION: If you delete or
move a Footnote numeric already placed within text, be sure to block the space before and after
the Numeric and delete or cut; otherwise, the remaining line spacing can be
adversely affected later by still embedded codes that can create line
spacing problems later.
• When indenting,
always use the Indent Key Tab found on your keyboard. Do not use the
First Line Indent attribute (First Line Indent) many computer programs offer, because it
can create problems later. And don’t use your space bar to "space"
over for the paragraph indent.
• Where you want to "center" a title or phrase, block the word or phrase beginning with
the first letter through to the last letter (not the spaces before and after)
and use the CENTERING attribute. If you have used the space bar or tab key to
position text in the center of the page, you or a designer must manually correct
• Titles of books,
newspapers, newsletters, and like material, are italicized, not underlined. This is accomplished by
highlighting only that particular word or phrase (not the blank spaces
before and after) and applying the Italic attribute.
• No photos are
contained on this story computer file if you are planning to have someone else
design the book because the designer will scan, enhance, and import the photos
where you indicate and add captions. If you or the designer plan to add photos to this text file, do so after you
have made all text decisions and the stories are complete.
• Choose one Font
to use when writing the stories. When creating the story on a computer, authors
often go from one font to another to see how it looks–such choices throughout
the story, even though discarded on the page you can view, still remain embedded
in Reveal Codes and must be removed, so that only one Font governs the entire
disk. Times New Roman, Helvetica, or Arial are good fonts to use to create your book. You or a
designer can choose other fonts when the book is complete and styling begins.
• Font point size for
text is a 12, or a 14 if you want to provide easier reading to the people who
will buy the book. The chapter names, etc, are usually in a larger point size. See
• Although in the
academic world two spaces between sentences are used, only one space is the
standard in the publishing world. If you have placed
two spaces between sentences, you can easily change this with your computer Search
attribute. "Search" for two spaces, and "replace" with
one space. This is a good Search to also find where you have inadvertently used
two or more spaces within a sentence. It takes only a few minutes.
• Your use of an
ellipsis … is applied in a consistent manner throughout the manuscript. Three
dots are common within
a sentence. If at the end of a sentence, use four dots to accommodate the
"period." These may have spaces before and after and in between. They
look better with spaces; however, if you add spaces between the dots, the
ellipsis can run from one line to another. While we would all prefer this not
happen, it often does. You may wish to use the Attribute that places an automatic
ellipsis, which will remain on one line. Find this under "Symbols"
found on your computer.
• While writing, you may use a
double-hyphen to indicate a short or long dash and it is easily changed to a
short or long dash later. Search for - - and change the hyphens to a short or long dash. If you
know how to apply a dash, do so. Be consistent in using such dashes. Don't
haphazardly go from a short dash (not a hyphen) to a long dash. See special
characters or Symbols in your computer program.
• A period,
question mark, or exclamation mark always goes "inside" the closing
quotation mark, unless you are "enclosing a quote" within the sentence
• Check all spellings and especially proper names.
Use the Search attribute to accomplish this. Open the Search Box and
enter the first few letters of a proper name. You may find instances
where the name is misspelled.
• Use the Search
attribute to also double check time/place/name spelling throughout the story.
Ready To Send section for the finishing process.
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