A Lurker - format your document in your word processor using its paragraph format features, get rid of the tabs, extra paragraph marks etc.
I have 1,000s of documents that I've converted direct from RTF to EPUB and some MOBI with perfect results and I don't save as Formatted HTML - I never found any good reason to do that. I never think about a documents internal construction, or its conversion pipelines, how straight its building blocks are etc. I never think about the HTML, why would I do that, I want to read the content not the formatting gobbledegook.
Essentially what I see in Word's Print View is what I see in the EPUB & MOBI Viewers I use - that's all I ask for. I do every conversion (PDF->PRC->RTF->EPUB & MOBI) with the same Calibre settings; its when I don't that things start to go wrong.
My originals, mainly PDFs, a few ODT, DOCX & PPT, are sourced from orgs, govs, coms, edus, qangos, think tanks, consultants, EU, Congress, UN, WTO, Journals etc etc. The layouts vary widely, from simple A4 typed pages, through to variable width multi-column, with sidebars, embedded graphs and tables on A3 landscape wallpaper.
The trick is let your wp software do what its best at - formatting. If you're using Word 2007/10 you should learn how to use Templates and Styles, they can save you heaps of effort and avoid a lot of grief. OOo Writer and Wordperfect will have something similar.
Which is a long winded way of saying what jackie_w just said :lol:
Last edited by BetterRed; 11-25-2012 at 12:13 PM.
Reason: ack to jackie-w post