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Old 03-26-2013, 12:06 PM   #46
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I still fail to see why anyone writing a book which will ONLY be published as epub would go anywhere near Word, or any other page-layout orientated program. You'll just be putting in stuff which has to be stripped out, and frustrate yourself attempting layout features that epub doesn't support.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:23 PM   #47
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thanks

Thanks much for all the links. (You're saving me hours Googling.) I appreciate it greatly.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:45 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exaltedwombat View Post
I still fail to see why anyone writing a book which will ONLY be published as epub would go anywhere near Word, or any other page-layout orientated program. You'll just be putting in stuff which has to be stripped out, and frustrate yourself attempting layout features that epub doesn't support.
Because we may change our minds later and right now the format most "required" is Word. I wasn't going to do print versions when I started out, but there was enough demand. I used OO saved as doc, but didn't realize that when saving to PDF, it stripped my formatting each time (because it wasn't in OO before conversion.) There are always going to be gotchas, but a program that outputs multiple formats is helpful and probably mandatory for a lot of us. Word isn't all that and more, but neither is OO. In the end I think we have to be prepared to so some manual formatting.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:47 PM   #49
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okay

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Originally Posted by exaltedwombat View Post
Google for something like "Open docx in Word 2003". You'll be taken to the free Microsoft download page for the addon that does this. Once installed it's completely transparent.

The Office applications get updates the same way as Windows does, through Windows Update. Tick the box to receive updates for "other Microsoft programs".
Did this. Thanks.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:51 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by bobcdy View Post
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.
Yeah, I had an occasion to use Word 2010 and was not thrilled. I guess I could've gotten used to it. Curious. If you don't use the Word html (I use save as 'web page filtered'), how do you do it? I mean, I know you said you manually markup all docx documents in Word but how do you do that? And what's the difference between docx and doc? Thanks.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:53 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Jellby View Post
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.
If I go that route I will give that a shot. Thanks a lot.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:47 PM   #52
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Did it!

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Originally Posted by mrmikel View Post
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.
Wow. What a difference your suggestions made. Thanks. A couple things (no biggies really) but no spell checking as you type. And the emdashes don't convert (from the double hyphens) so I'd have to go into code and change them over to — . Other than that, I don't know, this looks really good.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:52 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by theducks View Post
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)
Thanks Ducks. I kind of liked mrmikel's palatino linotype in the preferences. But what do you mean by setting a default, simple style for the book?
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:54 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by BearMountainBooks View Post
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
Thanks for the great explanation, Maria. Sounds like with everything available, and all the different formats, keeping it simple is a plus. Appreciate it.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:32 PM   #55
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One thing to keep in mind Gregg is that this is not necessarily how the book will look in a reader. That will be up to the reader software, unless you embed a font, which can be some amount of work and bloats the book.

Sigil, in its older versions, did not show some embedded fonts in book view, so don't blow a gasket if you try to put it in and don't see it in Sigil. You'll have to check it in ADE or other device related program like for Sony or Nook.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:01 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmikel View Post
One thing to keep in mind Gregg is that this is not necessarily how the book will look in a reader. That will be up to the reader software, unless you embed a font, which can be some amount of work and bloats the book.

Sigil, in its older versions, did not show some embedded fonts in book view, so don't blow a gasket if you try to put it in and don't see it in Sigil. You'll have to check it in ADE or other device related program like for Sony or Nook.
Not embedding any fonts! Phew! Life is complicated enough as it is. And I really think I'm going with 7.1. What the hell. Thanks for all the advice.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:50 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
And the emdashes don't convert (from the double hyphens) so I'd have to go into code and change them over to — .
Or use the character map, or learn how to type them (probably alt+151 in your computer), or just write two hyphens and do a replace-all when you're finished. Or better yet, get a keyboard layout that lets you input them with a single key
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:03 PM   #58
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Thanks Ducks. I kind of liked mrmikel's palatino linotype in the preferences. But what do you mean by setting a default, simple style for the book?
Have a default, basic stylesheet that you use for your books.
Sigil starts with None

Note Sigil only assigns Tags with many buttons.
Font-face, alignment buttons create SGC (inline) codes.

One of these days, we might get the option to configure (? pull down of current CSS selectors or a type in box) the H and P buttons
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:50 PM   #59
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I don't think the following has been mentioned and it may make your decision to move away from Word 2003 easier.

Microsoft is scheduled to end all support for Word 2003 in April next year (Windows XP and other Office 2003 products too, for those with them). Mainstream support ended over 3 years ago but security updates end too next year.

This may not be a concern if one operates a closed environment where only ones own documents are ever used, but will be a concern if documents created by others are ever opened.

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Old 03-26-2013, 09:01 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
Yeah, I had an occasion to use Word 2010 and was not thrilled. I guess I could've gotten used to it. Curious. If you don't use the Word html (I use save as 'web page filtered'), how do you do it? I mean, I know you said you manually markup all docx documents in Word but how do you do that? And what's the difference between docx and doc? Thanks.
Greg,
Docx is the 2010- equivalent of the old Doc file. I don't think it is readable/writable in 2003 version unless it is upgraded as described in the post (exaltedwombat) I referred to.

As for manually adding the xhtml code to a .docx or .doc one can add all the code using standard symbols., as for example: <p class="indent">paragraph</p> etc, etc. easily in Word. One doesn't need to create a .txt file for Sigil to correctly accept material from a native Word format. To learn I think the best way is to download a few epub files from MR into Sigil and study how the coding is done and see if you can apply similar coding a to short Word test document and then copy/paste it to a Sigil document in order to find if it works ok in ADE. I especially like using the Word editing options to auto-code all paragraphs correctly, and then slightly modifying the resulting markup where paragraphs need special formatting such as centering. I strongly recommend giving it a try because it isn't difficult to learn.

On the internet there are many resources you can find to explain various xhtml tags. There are also numerous books that can be found in libraries, bookstores, and Amazon

Bob

Last edited by bobcdy; 03-26-2013 at 10:27 PM.
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