Author Topic: Manuscript formatting question  (Read 1189 times)

Offline Grey Colson

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Manuscript formatting question
« on: August 30, 2011, 07:21:28 PM »
August 30, 2011...the day I finally finished the book. HAPPY DANCE....

My research regarding the proper manuscript formatting is a day late and a dollar short.  A few months ago when I realized I might actually finish my work, I began to read up on how to properly format the manuscript. My problem is no longer knowing how, but transferring the 100,000 + words to a properly formatted document.

I've seen a few software programs on line. I'm sure they work well if you start writing AFTER you install the software. I tried starting a new document with the correct font size, double spaced, etc. The problem is when I copy and paste, it doesn't work.

Does anyone know of software that will take what I have written and format it correctly? Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

GC

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Manuscript formatting question
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2011, 07:32:48 PM »
No idea about software, I do everything manually.

I had the same problem recently, no quick fix I'm afraid. I just copied and pasted it, undid all formatting and re-did all the paragraphing, then double spaced it. Ugh! >:(

Sometimes there's the odd glitch that remains on a page if you've done printing out of chapters and it remembers the page layout and setting etc. If you've had headings in your ms to navigate it on screen, these could cause a change of font/size when you remove them as the memory is still on the page.

Maybe someone knows of something simple to fix it, but that's one means of achieving the final copy. ;)
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 09:03:35 PM by 510bhan »

Offline Grey Colson

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Re: Manuscript formatting question
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2011, 07:37:42 PM »
I was afraid of that.  ::)  If that's what it takes, I will certainly do it. I mistakenly thought I'd just write away like crazy and worry about the formatting later.  I appreciate the response. I thought I'd read it before bashing my head against the wall...

 ;D

Offline Maimi

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Re: Manuscript formatting question
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2011, 12:50:24 PM »
Congratulations on getting to THE END of your manuscript. ;)

I can't tell you how many times I've had to reformat a document to comply with submission guidelines. However, I've never had to start a new document, set-up the page, and then copy and paste everything into the new document. Perhaps it's a difference in Mac's Pages and your word processor. Then again, I don't remember having the problem when using Word either.

When pasting your manuscript in the properly formatted document, have you tried right clicking--or going to the Edit drop-down menu--and selecting Paste and Match Style or the equivalent?

The other thing you might try is going to the Edit menu on your old document and clicking Select All, then change your settings. :-\

Sorry if you don't have success with the suggestions. Let us know what word processor you use and someone might be able to give you an answer geared toward that application.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 12:54:49 PM by Maimi »

Offline bonitakale

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Re: Manuscript formatting question
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2011, 10:56:24 AM »
 Geeze, how much needs doing? When I get a manuscript to edit, I highlight the whole thing, then reformat the paragraphs the way I want them--double-spaced, no extra spaces between them, indent half an inch. It's no big deal, and the writer can always reformat back, I assume.

The only thing you might have to do manually is chapter headings, and then you'd look for the word "chapter" and fix them, so you end a page at the end of the chapter, skip down to the middle of the pages, and start your new one with a centered name or number. (Actually, you can do it more easily than that, but I don't know how and haven't bothered to learn.)

I've used Word and WordPerfect, and never had as much trouble as you envision.

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Offline Vel

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Re: Manuscript formatting question
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2011, 06:41:46 PM »
It will not copy things like ident and line spacing, you'll have to change that manually when you move it over. It shouldn't require too much mucking about with your actual manuscript as it will preserve the tabs and enters, just not the values.

Font and size are also easily changable en masse. The only time you'll need to go in and edit it word by word is if you have subscript, superscript, headers or footers but you'll know where they are yourself and they're rare enough.
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Tony_A20

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Re: Manuscript formatting question
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2011, 10:13:23 PM »
Hello Grey,

One nice thing about open office "Write," is that "styles" can be defined for all parts of a manuscript, and then simply applied to text by highlighting the text and clicking on the style.

For instance, if a paragraph style is defined as courier twelve point font, double spaced, 4 character paragraph indent, 1.25 inch side margins, and "Select All" is selected from the edit menu, then clicking on the defined paragraph style will apply the parameters to the whole document.

The same sequence of defining a style, selecting text, and clicking on the style, can be used to format headers, footers, chapter titles, and first paragraphs if no indent is required.

It's relatively painless. 

Are you sure your word processor can't do something similar?

Offline Grey Colson

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Re: Manuscript formatting question
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2011, 02:13:14 PM »
Thanks to all who responded. I was able to work it out by bringing up a clean document and moving the text over. The manuscript was in 4 large sections, but now it is all together in one document and I hope, the proper format.

I am approximately half way into the first edit. I will then give it to a couple of interested members on my website for the second edit. I admier those here who have been through this process before. It is certainly quite a bit of work.