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Thread: Formatting Woes

  1. #1
    Lost in Devaland venustar's Avatar
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    Formatting Woes

    I'm sure this has come up elsewhere, but I couldn't find it so...


    Does anyone know a good source for working out formatting kinks? Please keep in mind that I know ALMOST NOTHING about formatting, save for bits and pieces that I've learned throughout the years.

    I'm having a heck of a time with my WIP. I'm using Microsoft Word 2007, working in compatibility mode, and I cannot for the life of me, get certain formatting to "stick".

    I have it set to the standard; double spaced, calibri-fonted, twenty five lines per page. However, the spaces between paragraphs in sections of the document are not consistent with the rest. So, the beginning chunk looks alright, but then somewhere in the middle, there is less of a space between paragraphs, making whole chapters look like giant mega-paragraphs.

    Also, my chapter beginnings keep scooting to about halfway down the page (inconsistently throughout the whole document), though I've backspaced them and saved several times. I'll go back, and there they are...in the middle of the page...again. I'm assuming this has something to do with formatting as well??

    Now, I've tried to fix all of this by formatting the whole document, as well as attempting the formatting within the trouble areas. Nothing seems to work.

    What would you suggest? I'm about ready to copy and paste it all into wordpad.

  2. #2
    Registered User Scorpion's Avatar
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    First tip: keep each chapter in a seperate document until you're ready to put everything together. It makes printing and editing easier and you don't have to be scared that you accidentally mess up the rest of the manuscript.
    Well, that's how I work, anyway. And I find it much more convenient than working with the whole MS, which I did for a year or so before. You might want to create seperate folders for each chapter, as well, and add dates to the File names - just so everything is organized, and that way you can also keep track of your progress.

    I'm not sure what you mean with those mega-paragraphs and extra spacing. You've already tried selecting the whole document (Ctrl + A) and then going into the Paragraph Menu and applying the right values to the various options?

    I vaguely remember having that problem with Chapter Headings scooting down the page. But I think I had it in Open Office. Can't remember what I did, but have you Cleared All Formatting already? Also, do you use Page Breaks?
    Last edited by Scorpion; January 12th, 2010 at 04:30 PM.

  3. #3
    Lost in Devaland venustar's Avatar
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    Hey, Scorpion!

    I, um...followed this guide after I had written a big chunk of the story and used the same formatting guidelines for the rest:

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...rd.html?cat=38

    Then, when I finished the first draft, I ctrl-A'd the whole thing and made sure the formatting was consistent.

    I'm ah...not sure what "Clear All Formatting" and "Page Breaks" are...(blush)

  4. #4
    Lost in Devaland venustar's Avatar
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    By the way, I REALLY like your ideas with keeping things organized. I tried to do something similar in the beginning, but fell a little short with it.

  5. #5
    Registered User Scorpion's Avatar
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    Pagebreaks are actually explained in your little guide on page 3:

    Chapter headings are only a little more complicated. A new chapter always starts on the next page, so when you've reached the end of the chapter, do a hard page-break by tapping control and enter at the same time. This skips the rest of the current page, and starts you on a brand new one.
    That way, your Headings always start on a fresh page. Of course, if you already did that...

    ... and don't want to split the MS into seperate chapters at the moment ....

    ... You see the little box at the top right of the Font tab?



    Click on that and then try formatting again.

    Um, hope you get this working. I haven't had any formatting issues ever since I switched from Open Office to Word 2007...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by venustar View Post
    I have it set to the standard; double spaced, calibri-fonted, twenty five lines per page. However, the spaces between paragraphs in sections of the document are not consistent with the rest. So, the beginning chunk looks alright, but then somewhere in the middle, there is less of a space between paragraphs, making whole chapters look like giant mega-paragraphs.
    Hmmmm... the space between paragraphs should be defined on the Page Layout tab under "spacing before" and "spacing after". If you do a ctrl-A to select all the text, then change these... well, there's no (good) reason why they shouldn't be consistent.

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