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Old 05-21-2019, 11:16 AM   #1
jray9242
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MS Word vs Open Office Word

I am tired of using Word and how it messes up the format of my eBook. I can export to Open Office and keep the current format but is it worth the effort.

Is Open Office better to use for writing my book? If so why?

I really need to understand the benefits of using Open Office and if there are templates for us creating eBooks and well as Paper books.

Thank you.

Jim
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Old 05-22-2019, 03:41 AM   #2
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Try Atlantis Word. It generates a good epub directly from the program.
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Old 05-22-2019, 09:36 PM   #3
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I would recommend LibreOffice over Open Office:

https://www.libreoffice.org/

LibreOffice is actively developed, while Open Office has pretty much been abandonware for years.

Note: In 2011, the LibreOffice developers split from Open Office. LibreOffice went their own way, and have been fixing thousands of bugs and adding more functionality. OpenOffice has been rotting on the vine.

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Originally Posted by jray9242 View Post
Is Open Office better to use for writing my book? If so why?

I really need to understand the benefits of using Open Office
Anything you can do in Microsoft Word, you'll be able to do in LibreOffice Writer.

The largest advantages are:
  • Free.
    • No monthly fee, no expensive purchase to read/edit/access your documents.
  • It works on any OS (Windows, Mac, Linux).
    • Microsoft Word on Mac =/= Windows version... Mac is a considered a second-class citizen.

The rest of the pros are mostly technical/philosophical (open source, open formats, following the standards, being able to cleanly open much older documents, future-proofing, [...]).

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if there are templates for us creating eBooks and well as Paper books.
I don't mess with templates, but some might exist somewhere. But honestly, once you learn how to use the tools at your disposal, you'll be much better off than relying on others.

I believe one of the biggest skills to learn is how to use Styles:

Word 2013: Use Quick Styles
How to REALLY use Microsoft Office: Word Styles 101

Note: These two videos deal with Microsoft Word's Styles, but the same logic applies across the board.

Once you learn to use Styles, you can easily adapt the text to any page size, font size, [...].

Making an ebook then requires much less cleanup, and it becomes much easier to export and convert text cleanly.

Note #2: There's also the LibreOffice Writer User's Guide which explains anything you would want to know in detail. Or a helpful community over at the LibreOffice subreddit.

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Originally Posted by elchamaco View Post
Try Atlantis Word. It generates a good epub directly from the program.
LibreOffice 6.1 introduced EPUB export, and it's getting better all the time.

It still requires some cleanup using Sigil or Calibre's Editor, but if you use Styles, you'll need to put in much less elbow grease.

And if anything, you can still rely on Calibre to convert ODT or DOCX -> EPUB.

Last edited by Tex2002ans; 05-23-2019 at 04:34 AM.
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Old 05-23-2019, 03:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tex2002ans View Post

LibreOffice 6.1 introduced EPUB export, and it's getting better all the time.

It still requires some cleanup using Sigil or Calibre's Editor, but if you use Styles, you'll need to put in much less elbow grease.

And if anything, you can still rely on Calibre to convert ODT or DOCX -> EPUB.
I think i tried some time ago and i prefered atlantis export to epub, it generates a very clear result. Also i pulish it with sigil.

I'll try with libreoffice to see updates. But I like atlantis a lot it's a very small program, but full of functionality, and does a great work as a word processor.
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:31 AM   #5
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I think i tried some time ago and i prefered atlantis export to epub, it generates a very clear result.
It's a $35 program and only runs on Windows.

Learning Styles to create clean documents, and using the free tools already available, can give you clean EPUBs with little extra effort.
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Old 05-23-2019, 11:38 AM   #6
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I recommend Freeoffice:
https://www.freeoffice.com/en/
It handles MS Office files very well.
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Old 05-24-2019, 09:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jray9242 View Post
I am tired of using Word and how it messes up the format of my eBook. I can export to Open Office and keep the current format but is it worth the effort.

Is Open Office better to use for writing my book? If so why?

I really need to understand the benefits of using Open Office and if there are templates for us creating eBooks and well as Paper books.

Thank you.

Jim
Speaking honestly, that makes no sense. Word versus OO versus Atlantis versus whatever is irrelevant. Word isn't "messing up" the format of your eBook--if it is, that's because you're trying to do something that isn't supported in eBooks, or you aren't using Styles and headings.

Bluntly, there's no such thing as a perfectly-exported ePUB from a word-processor, unless the book is EXTREMELY simple. Plain headings, either left-aligned or centered, and relatively plain body text with simple, basic paragraphs. The moment you get "fancier" than that--embedded fonts, fleurons, etc., you have to dive into the HTML to make it come out "right."

So, it's not Word that isn't doing the job. You either need to dive into the HTML and CSS, or you need to change what you're doing in the eBook.

If you want to post an example of what's being "messed up" someone here can probably tell you how to fix it, but it's not Word that's messing it up.

I see these posts all the time, as if there's some magic word-processor that will always export some perfect eBook, no matter how badly or incorrectly the intended book is typed, but that's a Holy Graily Unicorn that doesn't exist. To get a viable, usable ePUB from a word-processor isn't hard; it simply takes a few hours of effort in learning how to properly use Styles and Headings. I can clean up almost any Word file (I am a big fan of Toxaris' Tools for the job) and export it to HTML, open it in Sigil and have a near-perfect eBook, especially for fiction or simple non-fiction.

I've used OO and LO and Atlantis and Word Perfect and Word and Bob's Big Word Processor and the results are always the same. Sure, people have their preferences, but the reality is, as in all things computer, Garbage In, Garbage Out. None does a hugely better job than the others, and really, I oughta know. (My company has formatted >4,000 eBooks.) Tex2002ans also knows his stuff.

And templates really have nothing to do with any of this. To me, it sounds as though you type something in your word processor, perhaps using TABS, or multiple spaces, or columns, and don't understand that those things don't exist in eBooks.

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Old 05-24-2019, 02:15 PM   #8
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Bob's Big Word Processor
Where can I download Bob's Big Word Processor?
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Old 05-24-2019, 04:14 PM   #9
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Where can I download Bob's Big Word Processor?
From Bob's Big Bum, actually. :-) (rolleyes back atcha)

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Old 05-24-2019, 05:26 PM   #10
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I'm always somewhat bothered when people use a WYSIWYG program for editing what's definitely not a WYSIWYG end result; i.e., HTML. It seems like they're setting themselves up for false expectations. But I can understand them not wanting to see all the HTML tags gubbish.
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Old 05-24-2019, 06:05 PM   #11
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I'm always somewhat bothered when people use a WYSIWYG program for editing what's definitely not a WYSIWYG end result; i.e., HTML. It seems like they're setting themselves up for false expectations. But I can understand them not wanting to see all the HTML tags gubbish.
Well...I mean, if they don't want to see all the HTML tags and gibberish, what on earth WILL they use? In 10 years, and 6,000 quoted files, (yup, Six THOUSAND quotes have gone out of this joint), you know how many files I've seen, that actually use Styles and Heading? I can tell you right now, it's fewer than 50. Hell, it might be fewer than 30, quite seriously. I still see at least 1-2 files EVERY week that have major, serious issues--today, I'm dealing with one where at the end of every paragraph, the typist held down the space key, until it line-wrapped to the next line and started his new block-style paragraph. Yup, used the space bar and there are NO spaces between the block-style paras.

I mean, that doesn't even surprise me any longer. SEEING styles, headings, etc., does shock me.

People are spoiled. They want everything to be WYSIWYG and the reality is, there's no such thing for eBooks. Some who've already bothered to learn how to make a word processor work can do their own stuff. Those who don't, can't, and they either publish total garbaged files, or they pay someone else.

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Old 05-24-2019, 08:39 PM   #12
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Well...I mean, if they don't want to see all the HTML tags and gibberish, what on earth WILL they use?
That's what I was thinking when I wrote my response.

The one about the person holding down the space bar made me laugh. Every time I think about it I giggle.
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Old 05-24-2019, 11:00 PM   #13
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That's what I was thinking when I wrote my response.

The one about the person holding down the space bar made me laugh. Every time I think about it I giggle.
Oh, y'know, after you've seen it over and over and over for a decade, somehow, all the funny just goes right out of it. :-( There are days when, if my keyboard wasn't occupying the space right in front of my hands, my forehead would quite literally clunk the desk.

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Old 05-28-2019, 01:29 AM   #14
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Hitch, the multi-spacebar reminds me of an incident long past, back in good ol' DOS days. Our office (US base here in Japan) purchased a Zenith computer with TWO floppy drives. (Such swank!) Our software was "Peachtext" Office Suite (similar to version of MS Works /MS Office, they later became Peachtree accounting software).

They decided the secretary needed to learn to use it, and sent her to Korea for a 2-week school. After she had all the special skills, she was tasked to type up all the military-type regulations that applied to our operation. Skip forward 3 years, she has departed, I am delegated to edit the Operating Instructions. Each of these is multi-page, sometimes 15 to 20 pages each. Plain vanilla text, with footers for page numbers.

She made a separate file for EACH PAGE because she did not know how to add a page break.

So, about 1200 files...

Last edited by GrannyGrump; 05-28-2019 at 02:44 AM.
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:36 AM   #15
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She made a separate file for EACH PAGE because she did not know how to add a page break.

So, about 1200 files...
Well, that's how you'd do it with a typewriter.
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