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Old 03-09-2013, 09:49 AM   #1
Nigelinspain
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Is there a known problem with Smashwords and OpenOffice

I have tried at least a dozen times to upload an OpenOffice file saved as a Word doc to Smashwords.

It keeps telling me there is a problem with the paragraph formatting. I want to use block paragraph formatting and have been through my document time after time checking that there are no first line indents. And there are not any.

I can highlight the whole book and there are no first line indents showing.

I have made sure there are no extra hard returns.

I have even done a Nuclear Method of formatting and then when I uploaded that I got the very same message saying there was a problem with the paragraph formatting.

Does anyone know if there is a known problem with OpenOffice and Smashwords because this is driving me crazy.

It is such a shame that Smashwords do not have their own community page or forum to discuss this sort of problem with. There only advice is to pay someone to do it for you, but I am not knew to this sort of thing so don´t want to pay someone else to do something that I should be able to do myself.

Anyone else had this sort of problem?
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:22 AM   #2
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It is hard to help you without examining the document, but I do not think OpenOffice is the culprit.

Did you have a look on their rtf Style Guide (http://www.smashwords.com/books/down...le-guide.rtf)? On page 8 there is a "Five Common Formatting Mistakes to Avoid:..." section: you can check to see if it can solve your problem.

If it does not help, I would rip all formatting, just keeping the text (italic and bold also of course) and redo its format following the guidelines provided in their Style Guide. Of course if your text is very long and heavily formatted this will be time consuming, but if it's what it takes!

Anyway, good luck!
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:20 AM   #3
Nigelinspain
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Hi Arios,

Thanks for your reply. Actually what you have suggested I have already done. I went through the document loads of times, following the instructions in Smashwords Style Guide and I did find instances where I had a text indent and so deleted them.

But every time I went to upload it I still got the same message saying there was a problem with the paragraph formatting. So after many different attempts I decided to start all over again and re format the lot.

I copied the document into a Notepad to strip out all the formatting and then copied it into a new Open Office document and re formatted it.

I can actually highlight the whole document and see that there are no paragraphs that show a first line indent and that all paragraphs have a space above allocated to them, even the headlines.

But, guess what, it still will not pass the Smashwords meatgrinder which keeps giving me the same message about the paragraph formatting being wrong and suggesting that I either have a text indent or space above a block paragraph but not both.

I´m at my wits end now because I cannot put right a problem that I cannot see exists. This is why I wish there was a community page to ask others on Smashwords if they have had the same problem.

My book is published on Smashwords itself but I want it to be distributed to all the other sites too.

Problems problems, life just seems to be full of them at times.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:23 AM   #4
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A couple of years ago J D Sawyer post a blog entry about a smashwords template for Open Doc: http://jdsawyer.net/blog/2011/03/30/...nd-openoffice/ It may be a little out of date, and you probably don't want to start all over, but you may see something useful if you examine his template.
Good Luck with your project
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:33 AM   #5
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Another option is to copy the text into sigil and then submit to smashwords as an ePub. The last I heard their ePub submission process was in beta, but it might be easier than nuking your doc over again.
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:22 PM   #6
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Too bad!

Here what is come to my mind beside the other solutions suggested here:
  • When you enable the non-printing Characters in OpenOffice, nothing wrong is reported, is it not?
  • When you save the doc you use MS 97/2000/XP format?
Last resort:
  • As you're under Windows and perhaps in a hurry, you can for example download Atlantis Word processor (trial version for 30 days, very light software: http://www.atlantiswordprocessor.com...lantis16en.exe). It is possible that it can save your doc more accurately. But be aware that AWP is unable to deal with tables, so if you have any in your document it will not be formatted correctly.

I hope you could find the solution!
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:22 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the help guys. I actually went and made an epub file in Sigil and have uploaded that and Smashwords seem pretty happy with that.

Thanks.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:16 PM   #8
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Perfect!

You have chosen the best solution!

Have fun with Sigil
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arios View Post
[*]As you're under Windows and perhaps in a hurry, you can for example download Atlantis Word processor (trial version for 30 days, very light software: http://www.atlantiswordprocessor.com...lantis16en.exe). It is possible that it can save your doc more accurately. But be aware that AWP is unable to deal with tables, so if you have any in your document it will not be formatted correctly.[/list]
Smashwords doesn't support tables anyway.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:48 PM   #10
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Thanks Elfwreck,

It is good to know.
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