Author Topic: formatting with very old microsoft word  (Read 497 times)  

Offline nite hawk

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formatting with very old microsoft word
« on: November 15, 2019, 02:16:39 pm »
Hello!
I am a newbie and am experiencing some frustrations
I wrote childrens story which I started several years ago during my breaks at work, and then put down for a long time, and then picked up and finished a short time ago.
I am now at the formatting stage.. I did several  major grammar checks and then started looking into formatting the fun stuff like book gutters, margins etc. Like I said I am a newbie and the Word program that I am using is quite old, think it is a 97 word program, which still works quite well.
However when researching how to do formatting on Youtube, the Word programs are a lot newer and have features that are not shown on my old program.. I have ran onto several problems that I cannot figure out how to fix, so am looking for more experienced minds than my own.
---The first problem is that even though I set the margins and gutter, the margin on the right hand side is extremely jagged.  It is not even close to being straight whether it is in the gutter or not, and I did set it, so do not understand why it is so jagged.
-----pictures and text jump from place to place even with the pictures anchored  in formatting or not anchored. It is better when anchored, but they still move somewhat..
------Different things I have read say NOT to indent when starting a new paragraph which goes against everything I learned in school!!
I am currently not employed, so am not even considering hiring a professional to do the formatting. I am planning on self publishing so not counting on help from a publisher..
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks


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    Online ImaWriter

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    Re: formatting with very old microsoft word
    « Reply #1 on: November 15, 2019, 03:14:57 pm »
    First, are you formatting for print or ebook? They are very different and need to be formatted individually.

    Second, if you are uploading an ebook, you might run into problems using such an old program. Sometime around Word 2003 or 2007 .doc changed to .docx and that is now the format you need to upload, if uploading from Word. Or you need something that will convert .doc to epub or something else.

    May I suggest, if you don't want to use a new version of Word, you try converting to something like Open Office which is free? And from this century? :)

    Offline BillSmithBooksDotCom

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    Re: formatting with very old microsoft word
    « Reply #2 on: November 15, 2019, 03:18:22 pm »
    I'm most familiar with Word 97, but in my experience:

    1) The right hand jagged margin -- there should be an option for "justification" in the "Paragraph" section -- you want full justified. (options are left, centered, right, fully justified -- you want the last option).

    2) Not sure of the exact details, but where the picture is displayed is going to depend on how the image is anchored (top, bottom, left, right, center) and display is also affected WHERE in the paragraph you anchor it. I never learned that well enough to know all of the details (never used it much).

    Since I am assuming you are formatting for an ebook, insert the photo at the beginning or end of the relevant paragraph (just a suggestion; I defer to the more experienced opinions of others). The ebook program will render the image position differently based on the device it is being rendered on and the user settings, so you lose a lot of control anyway.

    (I can't give advice on picture placement for KDP for Print.)

    3) Pick a style and be consistent. For fiction, rule of thumb is to indent the first line of a paragraph (often .3") OR do a large "after" space on your style: paragrpah settings so paragraphs are clearly separated. Non-indents with more spacing is more common with non-fiction. Childrens' book layouts are often very stylized. I like paragraph indents, but if you don't indent, make sure there is enough space between each paragraph so that the breaks are clear.

    Best of luck!
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    Offline BillSmithBooksDotCom

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    Re: formatting with very old microsoft word
    « Reply #3 on: November 15, 2019, 03:21:25 pm »
    Amazon still accepts old Word .doc files. Smashwords INSISTS on it.

    I do give a hearty recommendation to Libre Office, though. Great program.
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    Offline nite hawk

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    Re: formatting with very old microsoft word
    « Reply #4 on: November 15, 2019, 03:53:46 pm »
    Thanks for the replies.. Like I said I am a "newbie" so formatting is a big learning curve.. I am planning on starting out with a print copy before I consider anything else like audio etc..
    I tried to copy it into Open office to try formatting there, and like a 100 pages simply disappeared!!
    So I groaned and went back to working with "Word" --And yes I have several back up copies for situations like this where pages simply disappear!
    I have a problem-- I went to word- "Format" -"paragraph" and there is NO  "justification"  or "Justify" to be found or anything similar to that.
    There is spacing and indentation left and right--line and page breaks--no justification..
    Any thoughts?

    Online ImaWriter

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    Re: formatting with very old microsoft word
    « Reply #5 on: November 15, 2019, 06:50:06 pm »
    I am planning on starting out with a print copy before I consider anything else like audio etc..


    When we talk about print we mean paper back. Are you formatting for print or ebook? Because that is an extremely crucial bit of info that we need before we can help.

    And justify/justification is the same thing. Set your text to justify to both left and right margins.

    Offline nite hawk

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    Re: formatting with very old microsoft word
    « Reply #6 on: November 15, 2019, 09:26:30 pm »
    I found the "justify" button! it is beside the align right-center-and left buttons on the top.
    Now I have to figure out how to stop the text  and pictures from "jumping" all over the place even though "anchored."
     I plan on putting the book into paper back before doing anything else...

    Offline Doglover

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    Re: formatting with very old microsoft word
    « Reply #7 on: November 15, 2019, 09:52:09 pm »
    Your easiest option might be to go on Ebay and find a more up to date version of Word.


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    Offline WegR

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    Re: formatting with very old microsoft word
    « Reply #8 on: November 16, 2019, 02:07:35 am »
    Old versions of Word suffer from pictures jumping around when you close and re-open - you won't solve this unless you get a newer programme.

    If you have the internet connection then I recommend downloading LibreOffice because it is better maintained than OpenOffice. https://www.libreoffice.org/


    If opening your document directly in OpenOffice/LibreOffice doesn't work (you mention losing text), then you can still save from your MS-Word to RTF (Rich Text Format).

    File -> Save As -> choose RTF as document format

    LibreOffice can open RTF with no problems. Old versions of Word screw up the formatting when saving to RTF, but you shouldn't lose any content.

    Once you've got it open in LibreOffice, you can put the pictures in the right place and generally tidy up your formatting.

    Good luck!

    Offline CaptnAndy

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    Re: formatting with very old microsoft word
    « Reply #9 on: November 16, 2019, 10:37:59 am »
    I too recommend Open Office, which I have used for several years. It will convert from its .odf format to .docx format for Amazon KDP, or .pdf for print versions. The only format problem I have been unable to solve, is the loss of the auto first line indent when converting to .docx format. It happens on both the Apache and Libre versions. If anyone has solve this issue, I would love to hear how.
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    Offline nite hawk

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    Re: formatting with very old microsoft word
    « Reply #10 on: November 16, 2019, 02:52:20 pm »
    I didn't know you could get newer versions of Word on ebay,, never heard of such a thing before!
    Comparing open-office and Libra-office which would one would you rate as number one?
    Am seriously considering downloading Libra and trying it out..
    thanks..

    Online ImaWriter

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    Re: formatting with very old microsoft word
    « Reply #11 on: November 16, 2019, 03:38:08 pm »
    I didn't know you could get newer versions of Word on ebay,, never heard of such a thing before!
    Comparing open-office and Libra-office which would one would you rate as number one?
    Am seriously considering downloading Libra and trying it out..
    thanks..

    Buying software like this on eBay is never a good idea. The chances it's authentic MS software and not a knockoff stuffed full of malware are pretty slim.

    Offline Doglover

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      • Margaret Brazear Author
    Re: formatting with very old microsoft word
    « Reply #12 on: November 16, 2019, 08:17:15 pm »
    Buying software like this on eBay is never a good idea. The chances it's authentic MS software and not a knockoff stuffed full of malware are pretty slim.
    I must be lucky then. I have often bought second hand versions of Word, Money and Photoshop and never had a problem. Of course you need to be careful, but to say the chances of a genuine version are slim is going a bit far.

    OP, you can also get Word on subscription; costs about five pounds a month and you always get the latest updates.


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    Online Decon

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    Re: formatting with very old microsoft word
    « Reply #13 on: November 17, 2019, 04:26:50 am »
    ]For the ebook try AMAZON'S KINDLE KIDS creator tool. Amazon have templates to download for print books once you have an updated Word version that will sort out your formatting with pre-defined margins, page numbering etc.

    Microsoft Office 2010 professional on eBay which includes Word 2010 is only 5.99 euros around 9 dollars with activation key via PayPal. Just make sure it is the correct one for your computer ie, 32 or 64 bit and windows 7, 8, 10 etc. Make sure your anti virus/malware is activated, though I'm sure ebay would bar a seller account reported for sharp practice.
    « Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 04:56:41 am by Decon »


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    Offline Evenstar

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    Re: formatting with very old microsoft word
    « Reply #14 on: November 17, 2019, 04:59:33 am »
    I'll take a look at it if you want. I use word XP (2003?) so if you send me a .doc then it should open the same on mine as on yours.

    I can't guarantee to make your formatting perfect, especially if you have images, but I'm sure I can do a few quick things to straighten most of it out for you.

    Drop me a pm if you want my email.

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