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Old 02-20-2016, 12:45 AM   #1
FantasyXY
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Story Submission Question

I have a story sitting on my computer that is ready to submit, but I have avoided posting it because of a sticking point I found in the submission instructions. Instruction number 5. (shown below), says that if your story had bold or italics, you must use either MS Word or the Rich Text File format.

5. All manuscripts must be submitted as via the site scripts as Word files (.doc), text files (.txt) or Rich Text Files (.rtf), or pasted into the submission form. If your story uses bolds ot italics, you will need to submit it as a .doc or .rtf.

The story I wish to submit does contain italics so I am going to submit a MS Word document. The question I have is what version of MS Word file should I use. I write in MS Word 2013, but I believe that the most common MS Word version out there is 2003. In fact all versions of MS Word after 2003 allow saving files in the MS Word 2003 format.

Should I save my file as MS Word 2003 before I submit, or does it matter?
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Old 02-20-2016, 12:54 AM   #2
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It also says "or pasted in the submissions form" (box in this case)

Just manually put <i> in front of and </i> behind whatever you want italicized and copy and paste the whole thing in the submissions box. You will receive back a preview copy to check over and then submit. Very easy. I have no idea why folks struggle with any other submission methods. It seems the more you know about what is technically possible, the harder you make it on yourself.
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Old 02-20-2016, 02:36 AM   #3
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If you're submitting as Word, it needs to be in .doc and not .docx; "Word 2003" probably means .doc (just check the filename extension when you've saved).

You can also use SR's method.
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Old 02-20-2016, 05:48 AM   #4
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I use SR's method, copying and pasting as plain text, then adding bold <b> bold </b> and italics <i> italic </i> by hand once pasted before previewing.
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:33 AM   #5
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DON'T submit as a .rtf or .doc file. I learned this the hard way. Someone on the site goes through by hand and puts in the <i> and <b> markings for you. They often do it wrong, messing up word breaks and worse. Once a </i> tag got left off and a third of the story was in italics.

If you dig into Word you can manufacture a special search and replace that converts xyzzy into <i>xyzzy</i>. This is handy if you have a very long story. Then it's copy and paste into the submission box and you're home free.
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:58 AM   #6
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Yep, copy and paste, then you have control over your product. And if anything is messed up, it's your fault and you know it's your fault. Then you fix it and move on.
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Old 02-20-2016, 01:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsInTheDark View Post

If you dig into Word you can manufacture a special search and replace that converts xyzzy into <i>xyzzy</i>. This is handy if you have a very long story. Then it's copy and paste into the submission box and you're home free.
How do you do the special search? I know how to use search and replace for special fonts, like italic or bold. But then I add the opening and closing HTML tags (<i>xyzzy</i>) by hand. I'm not sure where to find the square bracket tags in your message.
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Old 02-20-2016, 02:45 PM   #8
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In word, under the find and replace click more, then click format, then click font. When the dialog box appears click on italics or bold or underline, then click ok. That will apply to the find text.

Put the same text in the replace field with the html tags and click replace all.

text before in the find field

<i>text after in the replace field</i>

Square bracket tags? Those are strictly forum tags.

Last edited by Zeb_Carter : 02-20-2016 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 02-20-2016, 03:00 PM   #9
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yep, that's pretty much what I do now Zeb. I think I may have misunderstood HandsInTheDark was suggesting. It's not too hard to get the stories posted here, just a little prep work. But I do remember being confused at first by the same exact line and uploading a doc file the first few times until I figured it out.
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Old 02-20-2016, 04:37 PM   #10
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Some here exclusively upload .DOC or .RTF files. I never do. I've only been coding HTML since about 1991 so I have no trouble inserting tags into .TXT files. All my LIT submissions have been HTML-tagged copy-and-pasted texts; I preview them to make sure I haven't fucked up yet again. This gives me a pretty good (but imperfect) idea of what the posted story will look like. (Line spacing gets a bit wonky.) But do whatever works for you, hey?
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Old 02-20-2016, 08:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypoxia View Post
Some here exclusively upload .DOC or .RTF files. I never do. I've only been coding HTML since about 1991 so I have no trouble inserting tags into .TXT files. All my LIT submissions have been HTML-tagged copy-and-pasted texts; I preview them to make sure I haven't fucked up yet again. This gives me a pretty good (but imperfect) idea of what the posted story will look like. (Line spacing gets a bit wonky.) But do whatever works for you, hey?
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:27 PM   #12
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Pasting works best for me.

I find that I am annoyed at putting the italics tags around it while I'm writing it though. I have no clue why. So I make it this little mini challenge, and see if I can word the sentence in a way that will convey the same emphasis without using the italics. (Which actually takes more effort than doing the italics tags. Kinda silly really. But then, I don't make much sense anyway.)
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCircle View Post
Pasting works best for me.

I find that I am annoyed at putting the italics tags around it while I'm writing it though. I have no clue why. So I make it this little mini challenge, and see if I can word the sentence in a way that will convey the same emphasis without using the italics. (Which actually takes more effort than doing the italics tags. Kinda silly really. But then, I don't make much sense anyway.)
I don't put the tags in as I'm writing it. I do that in the review phase. I put in real italics when I write it (among other reasons, most of it is going to be published to the marketplace, which takes real italics). I could do it even beyond the review phase. I do a separate search review for quotes. I could use the "find" function for italics and do them all that way after even the review.

Lit. is better than another Web site I submit to. It doesn't accept either tags or real italics. You have to just find them after submitting to the submission box, highlight them, and set them as italics.
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:50 PM   #14
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We only use bold for the story title in the story lead text. Bold is not a good idea in the story itself. When Sandy wants to emphasize a word, she writes it all in caps. When I edit, I convert it to lower and add the tags. That works best for us.

Her novel used Word formatting because Smashwords handled it smoothly.

I want to mention something that might happen to another author to be helpful. Sandy's recent story had large blocks (10-15 paragraphs) of italicized text to indicate reminiscing thoughts to tell significant amounts of back story in first person. After copy-and-paste, our review caught a odd effect when the second block extended over the first page break. The italics didn't restart on the second page. So we went back to edit the story to put in end and start tags to fix the bug.
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:52 PM   #15
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Fixing italics for posting

Quote:
Originally Posted by HuckPilgrim View Post
I think I may have misunderstood HandsInTheDark was suggesting.
You don't have to retype the text in italics. In my version of Word, and I think this is standard...:

control-H to bring up the Replace dialog box. Click on More>> to get the rest of the options visible.

Click in Find What, but don't type anything. Then click on Format (at the bottom) and Font...
Then click on Italic so it's highlighted. Leave the rest alone and click OK. The Find What: box will get annotated to show it's going to select italic text.

Click in Replace with: and insert this text:
<i>^&</i>

Then click Replace All. The ^& gets replaced with whatever the search found, each time, so the right thing happens. If you don't want to remember ^&, you can get the same effect by clicking on Special and choosing "Find What text".

Unfortunately this keeps the text italic in Word. Keeping it italic isn't a problem unless you want to do this Replace All again after adding more text. The <i>'s start to stack up. So after you do the replace you want to remove Word's memory of italics. The simplest way I know around that is to select the whole document, select Font and take off the Italic attribute.

The same trick works for bold and <b>. People with real copies of Word can make these macros.

Other text editors will have similar tricks.

Edit: Oh, and replace paragraph breaks with two manual hard returns. ^p and ^|^| are the symbols for those.

Last edited by HandsInTheDark : 02-20-2016 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:59 PM   #16
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I tried uploading a word file back when I started posting here and never did it again. It's just easier to insert the code for what little I use italics.
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsInTheDark View Post
You don't have to retype the text in italics. In my version of Word, and I think this is standard...:

control-H to bring up the Replace dialog box. Click on More>> to get the rest of the options visible.

Click in Find What, but don't type anything. Then click on Format (at the bottom) and Font...
Then click on Italic so it's highlighted. Leave the rest alone and click OK. The Find What: box will get annotated to show it's going to select italic text.

Click in Replace with: and insert this text:
<i>^&</i>

Then click Replace All. The ^& gets replaced with whatever the search found, each time, so the right thing happens. If you don't want to remember ^&, you can get the same effect by clicking on Special and choosing "Find What text".

Unfortunately this keeps the text italic in Word. Keeping it italic isn't a problem unless you want to do this Replace All again after adding more text. The <i>'s start to stack up. So after you do the replace you want to remove Word's memory of italics. The simplest way I know around that is to select the whole document, select Font and take off the Italic attribute.

The same trick works for bold and <b>. People with real copies of Word can make these macros.

Other text editors will have similar tricks.

Edit: Oh, and replace paragraph breaks with two manual hard returns. ^p and ^|^| are the symbols for those.
That's pretty much what I mean about technophiles insisting in doing something complicated and problematical in procedures for site submissions when just putting in a few tags (and you should only be putting in italics tags in a story--going crazy with designing is another technophile overkill habit) manually and copying and pasting to the submissions box is so easy, uncomplicated, and sure.
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
That's pretty much what I mean about technophiles insisting in doing something complicated and problematica...
Huh? In a typical long story I'll use italics dozens of times. Sometimes for single words and emphasis (I write young 20's characters and they tend to be dramatic), sometimes to call out diary excerpts and other quotes, or for inner thought passages.

I can find them all and remove the italics and add the annoying tags by hand. Time spent, and every possibility I'll screw up a tag (and likely not find out until I preview at Lit).

Or I can do ONE search-and replace, ONE font fix, and be done. Complicated? It takes ten seconds tops. Problematical? No, it works correctly every time, unlike typing dozens of tags by hand.

Do it the hard way if you like. I personally prefer to make a machine do the repetitive work. It's already absurd that Lit hasn't automated this long ago, and can't be trusted to do the right thing with .rtf files, but since they can't automate I'm surely going to.

Technophile? Do you use a hand saw to cut dozens of 2x4 when you have a table saw? Gosh that darn electricity is so techy...
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsInTheDark View Post

Click in Replace with: and insert this text:
<i>^&</i>
Hey, wow! That's pretty cool. I make my living writing technical documents, and I've been humping docs in Word every day for a long time now, but I didn't know the thing with "^&".

That's pretty nifty. I can't wait to give this a try. Thanks for sharing your info!

Typically for prepping a file for Lit, I open the story in Word and do all the things I need to do to it to get it to work on Lit (need to add a an extra ^p, add html tags for italics and center tags around asterisks if there are significant breaks, etc.), and then I copy the whole thing into the Lit editor and just close the Word document without saving it -- whoosh, my file goes right back to how I had it.

And then I preview the text I created on Lit.

Since I rarely edit stuff I post on Lit, it works for me. Now I'll be able to do my prep just a little bit faster.
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsInTheDark View Post
Huh? In a typical long story I'll use italics dozens of times. Sometimes for single words and emphasis (I write young 20's characters and they tend to be dramatic), sometimes to call out diary excerpts and other quotes, or for inner thought passages.
You covered more than italics. And if you're so techno savvy, you know how to quickly get to all italics in a document with the find function.

There's no reason to use anything but italics in a Lit. story. Lit. has a simple format and the stories across a file should all be uniform for easy reading across the file. The writer is not the book designer. There's no need in a Lit. story to use anything but italics.

Also, there's no simpler, surer method to submit to Lit. than the simple cut-and-paste transfer. Anything else is trying to use a bulldozer to clip a twig off a branch.
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Old 02-21-2016, 05:11 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HuckPilgrim View Post
Hey, wow! That's pretty cool. I make my living writing technical documents, and I've been humping docs in Word every day for a long time now, but I didn't know the thing with "^&".

That's pretty nifty. I can't wait to give this a try. Thanks for sharing your info!
I second this! Great job, Handsinthedark! Now that I have learned my one thing for today, I shall go back to sleep.
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Old 02-21-2016, 12:06 PM   #22
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Trying to avoid my own mistakes

Thanks for all of the input. It seems we all appreciate everyone sharing the knowledge that comes from their experience. I know I do.

I've posted stories using both the cut and paste method and the .doc method. The .doc submitted stories always came out formatted correctly, but these were short stories without much in the way of special formatting.

The stories I have submitted using the cut and paste method never had special formatting (because I was following rule number 5). Once I cut and pasted these stories I spent hours fixing the paragraph breaks because all of the text got jumbled together without the extra line-space between paragraphs.

The story I want to submit is in excess of 30,000 words and it doesn't lend itself to being broken into chapters. I don't want to take on the massive amount of wok that would be required to process it by hand in the Lit submission box.

There is also a good bit of italics spread throughout the story as I use this to show blocks of thinking and self questioning by the main character. (I started a thread on this "showing thinking" a while back and the use of italics seemed to be the consensus) I know if I process this one by hand, I will miss things and basically clobber my own story.

So if the work needs to be submitted in an HTML coded format, isn't there some sort of tool out there to convert .doc or .rtf into HTML coded text? I always assumed that Literotica would use that sort of tool as the cost of processing .doc files by hand could be prohibitive.

And for those who have had issues submitting MS Word files, is it possible that the version of the file was incompatible with the Lit conversion process? (MS Word adds all sorts of formatting widgets into every file)
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Old 02-21-2016, 02:41 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FantasyXY View Post
Once I cut and pasted these stories I spent hours fixing the paragraph breaks because all of the text got jumbled together without the extra line-space between paragraphs.
In Word, if you search for ^p and Replace All with ^p^p, then you will get a version of your story that will post with appropriate paragraph breaks.

You'll have to use the trick that Handsinthedark posted above to do the italics.

Good luck!
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Old 02-21-2016, 03:07 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HuckPilgrim View Post
In Word, if you search for ^p and Replace All with ^p^p, then you will get a version of your story that will post with appropriate paragraph breaks.

You'll have to use the trick that Handsinthedark posted above to do the italics.

Good luck!
Or set up word properly...



Your paragraph setup should look like this. Then just add an extra return between paragraphs.
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Old 02-21-2016, 03:49 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oggbashan View Post
I use SR's method, copying and pasting as plain text, then adding bold <b> bold </b> and italics <i> italic </i> by hand once pasted before previewing.
Same here, it seems easier, especially since I'm starting to write stuff on my phone, and that uses Kingsford Office.
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