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  1. #1
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    A style tripped me up

    I received a manuscript from a friend, and put it up on Amazon's Kindle Store. But instead of having the indents that were shown in Format/Paragraph, it had block paragraphs with spaces between them. I finally saw that the style wasn't Normal, but was Normal (web), whatever that is. I don't work with styles (simple is better), but I need to know how to restore the document styles to what the Paragraph settings are (0.25 first line indent).

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    Hi Thomasja,

    I think its time you learnt to work with Styles. Simpler is not always better.

    I'm not sure what you mean by 'block paragraphs with spaces between them', so that's not so easy to address. If you mean the paragraphs have multiple spaces/tabs before the first word, that can be fixed (for all except the first paragraph in a document) by a wildcard Find/Replace, where:
    Find = ^13[ ^t]{1,}
    Replace = ^p
    You can then apply whatever Style you're using for the indenting.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

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    Styles are the absolutely the most useful feature in Word and well worth the investment in time learning about them.

    Macropod has interpreted your problem differently to me. Neither of us are exactly sure about what your problem is. If your issue is just a case of changing one style to another then you can search and replace to find all 'Normal (web)' paragraphs and replace those instances with the style with 'Normal'.
    1. Press Ctrl-H to open the find and replace dialog
    2. Click the More>> button
    3. While your cursor is in the Find what box, Go to Replace>Format>Style and double click 'Normal (Web)'
    4. Move your cursor to the Replace with box, Go to Replace>Format>Style and double click 'Normal'
    5. Now click the Replace All button
    Last edited by Andrew Lockton; 2012-04-23 at 01:16. Reason: Macropod got in first
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    Is that an echo I hear? ....

    Where a whole document's Style(s) should be 'Normal', it'd be quicker to use Ctrl-A, then apply the Style to the whole document via the Styles dropdown.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

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    Echo - even faster is

    Ctrl-A, Ctrl-Shift-N
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    Ctrl-Shift-N is good for the 'Normal' Style, but not for others. Follow-up either approach with Ctrl-Spacebar to remove all manual character formatting.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

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    Okay, let me make things a little clearer. Normally books (in this case novels) have the first line in a paragraph indented a small amount. There is no need to put a blank line between paragraphs since the indent serves to mark the new paragraph.

    But some non-fiction and non-book writers/publishers choose to use the block paragraph style, where there is no first line indent and paragraphs are separated by a blank line so that the whole thing doesn't just run together. This is unacceptable for an ebook novel.

    I use Format/Paragraph and Format/Font to set up my document. This meets my needs, but sometimes Word is recalcitrant. I suspect this is because some style from another kind of document considers itself more important than my wishes. I don't create a large variety of document types, and I use the friendlier Atlantis for letters and that sort of thing. So if Word would just follow the instructions I give in Format/Paragraph, I'd be a happy camper.

    I was hoping there was a way to disable styles so I could just get an online result that matches how my document looks before I upload to Amazon for conversion. Failing that, a way to change the style to that of documents that work well when uploaded--which is every one except the one from my friend, with the Normal (web) business going on.

  8. #8
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomasja View Post
    I use Format/Paragraph and Format/Font to set up my document. This meets my needs, but sometimes Word is recalcitrant. I suspect this is because some style from another kind of document considers itself more important than my wishes. I don't create a large variety of document types, and I use the friendlier Atlantis for letters and that sort of thing. So if Word would just follow the instructions I give in Format/Paragraph, I'd be a happy camper.
    This is called "direct formatting." It makes Word documents needlessly complex and causes editing problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomasja View Post
    I was hoping there was a way to disable styles so I could just get an online result that matches how my document looks before I upload to Amazon for conversion. Failing that, a way to change the style to that of documents that work well when uploaded--which is every one except the one from my friend, with the Normal (web) business going on.
    You may want to use a text editor rather than Word. Styles are at the heart of how Word works. You can not dissable styles in Word. You can fight against them. (Sort of like pushing string.)

    Saying I want to use Word but don't want to be bothered with learning to use Styles is sort of like saying "I want to drive a bus but I don't want to be bothered with learning to use a steering wheel, I want to just point and have the bus go where I want." For small documents, not understanding styles works OK just like pointing and having bus driver go where you want will work for a while.

    You can select all text in a document and apply the normal style to it. Then you can apply direct formatting to get that text to look the way you want. You are shooting yourself in the foot, but its your foot.

    If you are spending more than six hours a month using Word, though, I would recommend that you read the following articles. You'll save the time you spend reading fairly quickly, probably in the first six hours.

    Yet Another "Use Styles" Verbal Beating!
    Understanding Styles in Microsoft Word
    The basic way to format text in Word is to apply a style

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomasja View Post
    But some non-fiction and non-book writers/publishers choose to use the block paragraph style, where there is no first line indent and paragraphs are separated by a blank line so that the whole thing doesn't just run together. This is unacceptable for an ebook novel.
    You are quite naturally confusing the word "style" as used by an editor with the word "style" as used by Word. The first usage means (to me) the way something looks on a page. The second usage is a group of interrelated formatting commands that changes how text appears on a page.
    Last edited by Charles Kenyon; 2012-04-23 at 13:09.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Thanks for explaining, Charles. I've bookmarked the references you listed and will check them out. Word is about the only game in town where word processors and Kindle conversions are concerned, although some advocate text editors. That sounded even geekier to me, but maybe not. I'll look into it.

    I've had good results with direct formatting and Kindle conversion, with the only problems resulting from old documents, but maybe Word's guardian style angel was watching over me

    My last reference to "style" was indeed in reference to publishing, not the internal workings of Word.

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    Hi Thomas, I may have a relatively quick fix-up for you. If you apply the Normal style as suggested earlier you may lose any other formatting in your book - bold, italics etc. And it still may not work - when publishing, Word/Amazon may automatically use the Normal (Web) style instead.

    I think the quickest and safest approach is to change the Normal (Web) style to exactly match the Normal style. This won't change your existing text and should ensure you get the same output style on the web.

    1) Highlight a paragraph in your doc that has the formatting you want
    2) Get the list of styles up on screen - press Ctrl-Alt-Shift-S
    3) Find Normal (Web) in the list, right-click on it and select Update Normal (Web) to Match Selection

    Hopefully that'll do the trick.
    Marty

  11. #11
    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomasja View Post
    an online result that matches how my document looks before I upload to Amazon for conversion. Failing that, a way to change the style to that of documents that work well when uploaded
    You could try converting your RTF to MOBI before uploading--Calibre...
    http://manual.calibre-ebook.com/faq....ersion-to-from
    ...is one which will do that job nicely. MOBI converts very faithfully to Amazon formats, since Amazon own the MOBI format and it's very similar to Kindle format. This should give you a good idea of what your book will look like before conversion.

    That said, the advice you've been given about Word styles is spot on. Styles are so much simpler and more robust than the direct formatting you're trying to do.

  12. #12
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    Thomasja, I'm with you on not wishing to be "helped" to achieve the Microsoft aesthetic. I went ahead and updated the normal style to my own - goodbye, blue headings!
    In your particular situation, I'll be checking back to see what you tried and how it worked. It is nice to have the lounge as a resource, isn't it?

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    Who needs it?

    I have been using Word ever since Word for Windows 3.1, and I have never found any reason to use Styles. So far as I am concerned, Styles is just another complication. The preceding discussion did nothing to change my mind.
    Last edited by elikam; 2012-05-06 at 14:00. Reason: capitalization

  14. #14
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elikam View Post
    I have been using Word ever since Word for Windows 3.1, and I have never found any reason to use Styles. So far as I am concerned, Styles is just another complication. The preceding discussion did nothing to change my mind.
    I trust that even if you read the discussion you did not read any of:
    Yet Another "Use Styles" Verbal Beating!
    Understanding Styles in Microsoft Word
    The basic way to format text in Word is to apply a style.

    I trust that you've never generated a Table of Contents, nor used Automatic Numbering, either.

    Enjoy, and good luck.
    Last edited by Charles Kenyon; 2012-05-06 at 14:49.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by elikam View Post
    I have been using Word ever since Word for Windows 3.1, and I have never found any reason to use Styles. So far as I am concerned, Styles is just another complication. The preceding discussion did nothing to change my mind.
    In that case, maybe you should save your money and stick with Wordpad or Notepad. In any event, you cannot use Word without using at least one Style. Not using them in documents you share with others in a work environment, especially if they're using them, is just plain rude and lazy.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

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