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Old 03-25-2013, 03:52 PM   #31
exaltedwombat
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Originally Posted by canpolat View Post
If you're mostly writing in plain text, you could also use Wordpad. It comes free with Windows and the files can be saved in several formats (rtf, odt, docx, txt in Windows 7).
If you were going to write in Wordpad, you might as well write directly in Sigil.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:57 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by exaltedwombat View Post
If you were going to write in Wordpad, you might as well write directly in Sigil.
There are tools that help with version controlling rtf, odt, docx, files (I use the online editors from Google and Microsoft). If version control is not a requirement, I agree with exaltedwombat.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:42 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exaltedwombat View Post
If you were going to write in Wordpad, you might as well write directly in Sigil.
Actually I do use wordpad myself for really simple stuff like printing a text file with a little formatting. The main deficiency in word pad is you can't force a new page although if you manage to get a crtl L in the file it will honor it. While it does support RTF it does not support metadata and will remove metadata from any RTF you try and edit on it. For me those two things are deal breakers for most tasks.

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Old 03-25-2013, 05:00 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
I heard about the writer2xhtml plug-in but wasn't too sure about it. In fact, I'm not sure about the difference between LO and OO. So you compose on LO or OO, then go to the writer2xhtml, then it export what you've written into clean html (similar to Word's saving as 'web page filtered'?)? Or from Word docs?

Like I said I'm a little uncertain about all this. And I did go to the writer2xhtml site and it said the product hadn't been released in over a year and might not be maintained. (And I don't know if I was looking in the right place.)
As Ducks said, OpenOffice and LibreOffice are two forks of the original Star Office. Either OO or LO work with writer2xhtml and/or writer2epub, which are extentions to OO or LO. Not separate stand-alone programs. BTW the writer2xhtml I'm talking about is found here, and comes within the "writer2LaTex" package. (are you confused enough yet?). They do seem to release betas every so often, so I don't think development is quite dead yet.

So to use it, you install LO or OO, install the writer2xhtml extension to LO or OO, write your document in LO /OO just like you would in Word, and then do file | export | as epub or as xhtml. (Of course you could also load a .doc or .docx or rtf, etc. that was already produced in Word.)

On the other hand, writer2EPUB is a different LO / OO extension you can find out about in its own MobileRead forum here. Works similarly to w2xhtml, but produces epubs directly with the click of a button.

Either way produces a valid epub (provided you do your part), which can then be loaded into Sigil for tweaking. W2xhtml is more flexible but less user-friendly IMHO, and can be customized to reduce the amount of tweaking necessary, if you're planning to do a lot of ebooks.

W2ePub is more streamlined, but somewhat less customizable unless you're into hacking the macro code under the hood. It's great for doing one-off conversions of .docx to e-pub for personal use, where convenience is more valued than perfection.

Last edited by st_albert; 03-25-2013 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:22 PM   #35
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@Graham (post #19)

Thank you for the informations about Scriptito: I'll certainly have a look at it.

@DaleDe (post #22)

Your solution is probably the best one for Gregg Bell: nothing new to relearn or buy, a few updates and a good app to work with.

Last edited by Arios; 03-25-2013 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:43 PM   #36
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thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by canpolat View Post
If you're mostly writing in plain text, you could also use Wordpad. It comes free with Windows and the files can be saved in several formats (rtf, odt, docx, txt in Windows 7).

If you're always online, using the online version of the Office could also be an option (free of charge). If you're not using all the fancy features of MS Word (or any other word processor for that matter) I don't see a reason to pay for it (unless you want to support the development).
Thanks canpolat. I'll check out Wordpad. Sounds simple, which is good.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:47 PM   #37
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ha ha

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Originally Posted by Arios View Post
Come on Greg!

I don't want to be rude but it is not a sin to do some work, is it not!

Have you even try, just a little bit?

Maybe with Google, and scroll down?
Work--NEVER! (We're supposed to help each other here! )
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:48 PM   #38
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I tried it

Quote:
Originally Posted by exaltedwombat View Post
If you were going to write in Wordpad, you might as well write directly in Sigil.
I tried writing in Sigil. The type is just a little too faint. Just didn't work for me. I even have a hard time editing there (in book view).
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:53 PM   #39
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yes, confused lol

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Originally Posted by st_albert View Post
As Ducks said, OpenOffice and LibreOffice are two forks of the original Star Office. Either OO or LO work with writer2xhtml and/or writer2epub, which are extentions to OO or LO. Not separate stand-alone programs. BTW the writer2xhtml I'm talking about is found here, and comes within the "writer2LaTex" package. (are you confused enough yet?). They do seem to release betas every so often, so I don't think development is quite dead yet.

So to use it, you install LO or OO, install the writer2xhtml extension to LO or OO, write your document in LO /OO just like you would in Word, and then do file | export | as epub or as xhtml. (Of course you could also load a .doc or .docx or rtf, etc. that was already produced in Word.)

On the other hand, writer2EPUB is a different LO / OO extension you can find out about in its own MobileRead forum here. Works similarly to w2xhtml, but produces epubs directly with the click of a button.

Either way produces a valid epub (provided you do your part), which can then be loaded into Sigil for tweaking. W2xhtml is more flexible but less user-friendly IMHO, and can be customized to reduce the amount of tweaking necessary, if you're planning to do a lot of ebooks.

W2ePub is more streamlined, but somewhat less customizable unless you're into hacking the macro code under the hood. It's great for doing one-off conversions of .docx to e-pub for personal use, where convenience is more valued than perfection.
But your explanation helped a lot. Thanks. W2xhtml sounds really good. Appreciate you taking the time to explain things.

One question: which is better LO or OO for somebody like me just writing fiction. And (I guess this is now two questions) do you have a link for where I could download it? Thanks.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:59 AM   #40
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LO --> http://www.libreoffice.org/
OO --> http://www.openoffice.org/

As to which is better; it's a crap shoot.

Apache OpenOffice vs. LibreOffice
LibreOffice: Meet the New Office, (Almost) Same as the Old Office
A FOSS Success Story: LibreOffice Turns 1
LibreOffice vs. OpenOffice, Part Deux
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:19 AM   #41
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I used MS Office 2003 for years; finally last year I upgraded via university discounts to Office 2010. I'm using the 2010 version, but if the discount wasn't so large I'd still be using the 03 version which did everything I needed to create ebooks (and much more). I had updated 2003 as 'exalted wombat' suggested.

I've found 2010 Word to be pretty complex - I didn't like the default settings on 2010 and spent some time resetting all defaults to mimic those in my 2003 version. Many resets are not very intuitive, and I still don't know what many settings actually do.

I never try to use the html productions of Word, and manually markup all docx documents in Word. Once the xhtml is added, Sigil accepts the copy/paste docx material.
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:00 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
I tried the plain text thing. I wrote some stuff in Word, then saved as plain text. When I opened it in Sigil it had little boxes where the apostrophes were. Was I missing something? (It looked cool and very simple--and I like that.)
Encoding problems. I guess Sigil requires Unicode (utf-8) or at least properly marked-up encoding. Maybe you can set up Word (or whichever other program) to save text files with utf-8 encoding.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:06 AM   #43
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Gregg, you said the type in Sigil is a little too faint. Bump up the size to 130% and change the Standard Font to Palatino Linotype 16 pt if you have it on board in Edit Preferences, Appearance. Or use any typeface that is easy to read. The drop down box previews the typeface.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:49 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
I tried writing in Sigil. The type is just a little too faint. Just didn't work for me. I even have a hard time editing there (in book view).
You just need to use a different font in the prefs (and maybe set a default, simple style (serif or sans-serif) for your book)
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:34 AM   #45
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Thanks, Ducks, but I have to edit.

And, do you think OO or LO are as good as Word? (I'm writing fiction in Word, cleaning up the Word doc in Notepad++, then going to Sigil.)

And another thought, I don't really have a problem with what I'm using now (MS Office Word 2003). Are there any great advantages to upgrading in the MS line of Word programs or switching to OO or LO?
There's a couple of issues using OO for writing fiction. Perhaps the largest is that you generally need to go to HTML to convert to .mobi and epub. You also have to convert back to .doc to upload to smashwords. All that converting does leave lines of code that are going to require htlm clean-up. Not a lot, but some.

Some of the issues I typically see are spaces between paragraphs (no matter how you have things set. It's a two line change to fix, but has to be fixed every dang time.)

If someone needs .doc to beta read or copyedit, you CANNOT mix the two or you risk having some of the comments appear deleted, but they show back up (usually in the HTML stage). For the most part I've only seen things like italics get turned on and not off, red text -- this is from a comment that was made by someone in doc--the comment itself is deleted, but the red text can stay for paragraphs. The text may be green or blue or whatever color was used for comments.)

I've seen agents laugh at authors because they open a manuscript in doc and can see former editing. They don't realize the author can't see the same thing in the version they view.

I use OO but I never mixed .doc and OO when getting comments (I keep two files open side by side and simply never do the "accept" or "decline"). I make all changes manually.

So some of this depends on how you edit or may edit in the future. Sharing documents isn't that great unless you're willing to do side-by-side editing rather than "accepting" edits.

The issue with Smashwords is actually harder to solve. I have to go back to doc because that is all they accept. They say they accept epub, but I've never yet gotten them to accept an epub (it's never considered clean enough and the error codes are so bad, you can barely "fix" anything.) Most of error codes relate to--you guessed it, conversion. Div statements that are left in and not recognized and a couple of other html lines that cause problems. You can spend a lot of time manually editing and still not get an acceptable epub. The doc usually goes faster, but since it is a conversion, I have NEVER gotten the extra spaces between paragraphs done right without a lot of manual formatting. I have now gone to using an old version of word to create the smashwords file. For this reason, when I release Under Witch Curse, the Smashwords release will be late, but I resolve that by selling the epub and mobi files from my own blog at release. It's the best way around it for me because getting the doc file done and correct usually takes me a couple of extra days.

If you're okay with converting HTML or going in and cleaning a few things by hand, you'll be fine with OO. I know several authors hire someone for formatting because going between the formats can be a royal pain.

I haven't tried the plug-in mentioned earlier in this thread, but I will be looking into it.

If you have specific questions I haven't touched on, let me know. I'll try to answer.

Maria
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