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StoriesOnline Markup documentation?

pangor

Hi!

I was thinking about doing some editing work, and it would help if I knew how the StoriesOnline markup language works. But I could not find any information on that - where would I start?

Pangor

Michael Loucks

@pangor

https://storiesonline.net/doc/Text_Formatting_Information_Guide

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@pangor

If you want to submit stories using html code I did an extensive help guide on using html at SoL / Fine Stories / SciFi Stories which is available at:

https://storiesonline.net/article/Text-formatting-guide-for-WLPC-Sites

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

Dumb question, but why is an editor interested in formatting posts? That's the concern of the poster (i.e. the author). If you're doing the posting for new authors, then you might as well write the story for them, sign their name, and read their reader responses. That's not the responsibility of an editor.

Replies:   robberhands  pangor
robberhands
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Did you read the job specifications of his contract? As a volunteer editor he most probably doesn't get paid, so I think it's only consequent to ask as much of him as possible.

ETA: Of course, another possibility is that he wants to edit his own stories.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

Did you read the job specifications of his contract? As a volunteer editor he most probably doesn't get paid, so I think it's only consequent to ask as much of him as possible.

ETA: Of course, another possibility is that he wants to edit his own stories.

It's not unusual for experienced authors to volunteer to help new authors, but merely to show them the ropes, help them organize, know what to expect, where to turn and how to communicate with authors. But NONE of that is technically editing.

Also, an author wears many different hats: author, editor, designer, marketer, formatter, etc. However, since each is a distinct skill set, and often gets in the way of the others, it's best to separate one from the other. Thus you focus on editing when you edit, and writing when you write. If you fret about posting while you write, you'll never produce your best work. If you worry about posting when you edit, you'll only consider what's simplest to post, not what's best for the story itself.

But more than that, I was what pangor's intent was. Is he interested in posting for postings sake? Is he helping an author who's too terrified to ask himself? Is he considering writing himself? If we understand what he's looking for, we can supply better advice. But as it is, his request is a little baffling, as it's like asking a bricklayer what's the best shoe to buy for basketball.

Jack Green

@pangor

I am neither bricklayer, basketball player nor shoemaker, so my input is probably worthless. However, two words struck me in your post -- 'editing' and 'mark up'.

My editor, the illustrious oldrotorhead, edits my stuff, and 'marks up' my draft Word document by using the mark up facility in Word 10 to add his comments, suggested amendments, spelling corrections, and grammar corrections. It is then up to me if I follow his advice and 'Accept' the changes to my original document.

Maybe I picked on the two words that just happen to fit my 'answer' and I'm completely off target, but I couldn't see any reference to you wanting/needing to upload anything on Sol in your post, and no reason for you to use the text formatting guide.

Jack G

Ernest Bywater

@Jack Green

Maybe I picked on the two words that just happen to fit my 'answer' and I'm completely off target, but I couldn't see any reference to you wanting/needing to upload anything on Sol in your post, and no reason for you to use the text formatting guide.


The issue arises around the OP saying 'markup language' which is a way of coding text to include display instructions to the browser the way html includes display instructions. In written manuscripts editors 'markup' the manuscript by writing edits and notes on it, in word processors editors do the same thing electronically, except the software calls the Changes and Tracking Changes and Comments and Notes - depending on which they are and the software involved.

Crumbly Writer

@Jack Green

My editor, the illustrious oldrotorhead, edits my stuff, and 'marks up' my draft Word document by using the mark up facility in Word 10 to add his comments, suggested amendments, spelling corrections, and grammar corrections. It is then up to me if I follow his advice and 'Accept' the changes to my original document.

Ah, I see the relationship now. Thanks for suggesting the need to add comments in Mark Up. That explains what I couldn't figure out (and what I never thought of).

Replies:   pangor
pangor

@Crumbly Writer

Dumb question, but why is an editor interested in formatting posts? That's the concern of the poster (i.e. the author).


Well, there is an author with great some stories on SOL but no editor - and it shows. The typos and layout errors irk me so much, I offered to help. Well, even if I don't get the "job", I see this as a kind of training ground for me.

I have a lot of experience editing large texts in plain text, LaTeX, HTML, and Word, and I use a collection of self-written tools to help me there.

To ease the authors burden, I'd like to present my output to her in a way that can basically be copied and pasted into the system, primarily to prevent that the author introduces new errors at that stage.

So I need to know how to markup things on this system. Things like: how to separate paragraphs, introduce horizontal rules, make things bold/italic/underline, etc. Very basic stuff, but those are handled differently by different systems.

Internally, I will probably use basic HTML in my editing process, but I need to write an export filter that basically converts my HTML file into whatever files are needed to post it on SOL.

Replies:   REP
pangor

@Crumbly Writer

Ah, I see the relationship now. Thanks for suggesting the need to add comments in Mark Up. That explains what I couldn't figure out (and what I never thought of).


Oh, there is no comment/attention code in the markup language? Then it would be a very good idea to add it. Maybe with a "severity" parameter.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
pangor

Thanks to all the posters. I saw in the documentation that SOL supports basic HTML formatting. That is wonderful and will make my part of the job easier.

Now all I need is to get the author on my side...

Ernest Bywater

@pangor

Now all I need is to get the author on my side...


Some mind control drugs and lots of super glue can handle that for you.

Ernest Bywater

@pangor

I saw in the documentation that SOL supports basic HTML formatting.


Remember it's very basic as there's a lot of basic html code the SoL Wizard strips out.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@pangor

Now all I need is to get the author on my side...

Imagine the reaction you'd get if you, an anonymous stranger on the internet, offered to perform surgery on a child to its parents. That's the kind of response I think most likely after reading your intentions.

As a good editor who struggles to find authors interested in what I can do for them, I can tell you that you must take it much slower than you're currently planning. And you can be certain of this: no author will ever relinquish control of the final version of their stories - their babies - to anyone else.

Start by copying one chapter from the site into Word. Set the 'Track Changes' under 'Review' on the top-most line of options. Make the changes to their text as you would recommend. Word shows both the deleted text and what it was replaced by. There is an option to add comments to the changes you make.

Personally, I dislike the way Word displays comments when Track Changes is used. I favour highlighting an entire chapter and converting it into a table using Insert > Table > Convert Text to Table (with divisions at end of paragraphs). I then add a second column to the table in which I write comments on my changes to the adjacent paragraph.

Show the author the standard of work you can do. Play it by ear after that - remembering always it is the author who makes all the final decisions.

I do not think you should bother about trying to help an author with layout issues until after you've come to an understanding about what to expect from each other.

I strongly urge you to never give advice you're uncertain about. Authors prefer you say you're not sure when that is so. You can post questions here when in doubt. You are welcome to send me SOL messages asking my advice on technical questions. Don't be afraid I might consider that a burden; I actually enjoy answering anything like that.

Finally, welcome aboard and good luck. :-)

Replies:   pangor  Crumbly Writer
pangor

@Ross at Play

You are welcome to send me SOL messages asking my advice on technical questions. Don't be afraid I might consider that a burden; I actually enjoy answering anything like that.

Finally, welcome aboard and good luck. :-)


Thank you very much!

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@pangor

Thank you very much!

You're welcome. Please do make contact with me. It would please me to help you get started off on the right track.

Crumbly Writer

@pangor

Oh, there is no comment/attention code in the markup language? Then it would be a very good idea to add it. Maybe with a "severity" parameter.

Markup has repeatedly been sold as 'just writing' apps, with NO bells and whistles. Their formatting does little besides bolding, italics, indenting and adding special characteristics. It's also NOT a collaborative tool, but I believe there are collaborative Mark Up apps. That means it was never intended to be used for authors and editors to work together (they're supposed to do that via another app on their phones/tablets).

But there are several authors here who frequently work in Mark Up, so they should be able to help you with their current capabilities. Since I design and format my own published books, I'm very aware of design and formatting considerations, so although curious where it's going, I've never found the various 'bare knuckles' products very appealing. :(

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I saw in the documentation that SOL supports basic HTML formatting.

Remember it's very basic as there's a lot of basic html code the SoL Wizard strips out.

In that, the SOL html handling is very much like Mark Up, in that it strips out everything supporting individual Styles. On SOL, no one is supposed to have their own styles (presentation of material), so those get tossed whole scale out the window. But, it is excellent for allowing alternate and publishing characters, including foreign languages. It works well, but if you work in a Word Processor like WORD or OpenOffice, you'll need to pre-strip all of your paragraph designations out.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Personally, I dislike the way Word displays comments when Track Changes is used.

You can change that. Instead of displaying comments off the right-hand margin where it can't be seen (the default behavior), you can select to have it displayed as a series of 'notes' at the bottom of the page, so you can walk thru them one at a time.

As always, for all it's negatives, WORD offers a LOT of different options (which has always been it's main failing too)!

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

You can change that.

Thanks. It's nice to know it exists.

I can see how the standard way Word handles comments would work when the author wants to process a proofreader's changes, accepting or rejecting them as they go.

That's not suitable for what I do. I'll stick with putting everything into a table so the altered text and comments are displayed side-by-side.

richardshagrin

Markup

"Markup is the ratio between the cost of a good or service and its selling price. It is expressed as a percentage over the cost. A markup is added onto the total cost incurred by the producer of a good or service in order to cover the costs of doing business and create a profit. The total cost reflects the total amount of both fixed and variable expenses to produce and distribute a product.[1] Markup can be expressed as a fixed amount or as a percentage of the total cost or selling price.[2] Retail markup is commonly calculated as the difference between wholesale price and retail price, as a percentage of wholesale."

Since SOL stories are free, you can't markup the price.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@richardshagrin


Since SOL stories are free, you can't markup the price.


Are you kidding? Since they're free, I can mark them WAY up, to double, triple or quadruple the price and readers will still snap them up. That's the perfect economic market, as it's extremely price inflexible. I can boost the price however much I want, and it won't impact the sales in the least!

However, if I mark the price up an infinite amount, say to as astronomical price like one cent USD, then I'll pay the price. :( As they say in economics: "Nothing is ever free!" 'D The pricing is inflexible, but once you reach a certain point, the entire 'free' story market collapses!

REP

@pangor

There is a part of this discussion that seems to have been overlooked.

Let's say your author is like me, a person who uses a word processing system but has limited or no understanding of HTML.

1. The author sends you a chapter to edit.

2. You edit the chapter and embed HTML formatting codes and send it back to the author.

3. The author starts reviewing your edits and strips out part of your coding intentionally or accidentally. The author decides to modify the chapter. Eventually it gets posted.

4. The chapter displays improperly or crashes in some way because the HTML coding was corrupted.

Ernest Bywater

Over the years I've helped other authors with both aspects. When in story edit mode I edit the work using a word processor and send it back to the author with the suggestions I've made and let them decide on what they want to do.

If they also want my help to prepare it for SoL they send me a copy of the finished chapter or story in a word processor and then I create a new file with the proper html code suitable for SoL for them with the extension .html which I send to them. They then upload that file to the SoL Wizard and all is well (unless the wizard has indigestion that day).

Editing and preparing for posting are 2 different processes and should be handled that way.

Replies:   Ross at Play  pangor
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

If they also want my help to prepare it for SoL they send me a copy of the finished chapter or story in a word processor and then I create a new file with the proper html code suitable for SoL for them with the extension .html which I send to them. They then upload that file to the SoL Wizard and all is well (unless the wizard has indigestion that day).

That sounds pretty complicated. I've always posted txt files myself, but I'd have thought posting html files was very easy for those who only need basic formatting features.

What features require nothing more than seeing what you want in Word and then 'Save as' a html file?

My guess is that italics, bold, and scene breaks all post correctly provided they appear correct in Word. Do chapter titles and other headings only require you to use the 'Heading 1', etc. option in Word?

Is there anything else someone needs to know, or other format options that will work, if all they are willing to do is saving as html once they see what they want posted in Word ?

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Ross at Play


What features require nothing more than seeing what you want in Word and then 'Save as' a html file?


That process results in every paragraph having a full set of format coding for it when none of the paragraph coding is needed or used at SoL. yes, it needs the bold and italics and a few others, but Heading 1 and Heading 2 are reserved for other things on Sol, so you need to change them to H3 and H4. The link I gave earlier, and is below, explains it all.

https://storiesonline.net/article/Text-formatting-guide-for-WLPC-Sites

Essentially, once you do the save as you reduce the size of the file a lot by removing all of the excess code and by making the needed changes to the headings. You can leave the excess code in and let the SoL Wizard remove it, but that means you risk having the Wizard make a mistake and mess it up. The cleaner the submitted file is the less chance of trouble with the Wizard.

The Sol Wizard will accept and process a variety of text files, but it will strip out code it doesn't like and will sometimes have problems with it. If you want to use the Wizard and SoL facilities to the maximum extent you can you need to provide the file as either Tagged text or the allowed html code as set out in the help files.

typo edit. in for it

Keet

Are any authors using just a html editor? You could use the SOL css file and see exactly what it will look like on SOL in your browser as long as you just use the markup that SOL allows.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Keet


Are any authors using just a html editor?


SoL has very tight restrictions on what you can use and what you can put in a css. However, I do have a css that's about the maximum you can have on SoL and it does help with the html code for the story file by keeping it as small as it will go. My css is (with extra spaces to stop it running):

< style type = "text/css" >

. center { text-align: center }

. red { color:red }

. blue{ color:navy }

. green {color:green }

< /style >

These allow me to add the color and centering to the required parts. I don't use all of the colors in each story, but I do just copy the css across as is. The only other code I use is the in-line code for paragraph, italics, bold, and headings as well as the code for the images when I have them in a story.

However, I use the html editor Bluefish on the file I converted from the word processor Libre Office which I find is easier to write in.

edit to add: Since I've been doing it this way I've had almost no need to repost a story to fix a format error created during the SoL Wizard processing.

Replies:   Keet
robberhands
Updated:

@Ross at Play

What features require nothing more than seeing what you want in Word and then 'Save as' a html file?


Blank lines can be tricky, especially if you don't want them, as I've painfully noticed. For example:

In the town where I was born
Lived a man who sailed to sea
And he told us of his life
In the land of submarines.


I was unable to fix it without additional and correct Html codes. The Wizard would present the text either like this:

In the town where I was born Lived a man who sailed to sea And he told us of his life In the land of submarines.

Or this:

In the town where I was born

Lived a man who sailed to sea

And he told us of his life

In the land of submarines.

Actually, Lazeez fixed it for me when I whined about it but was unable to fix it myself.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Keet

ETA: Sorry, Keet. I intended this as a response to EB.

@Ernest Bywater

If you want to use the Wizard and SoL facilities to the maximum extent

No, I don't! That's why I asked. I want to know only a subset I can use safely, confident the Wizard will get it right if I just save my draft as html. I want a "quick and dirty" guide to using html instead of txt. I'm sure many others would like that too.

I acknowledge the effort you have put into producing your formatting guide for the site. I'm sure it's not easy to produce, as I imagine, master copies of your stories which come out with a sophisticated and professional look not just on SOL, but when published in dead-tree and electronic formats too. I'm sure those with ambitions to self-publish their stories very much appreciate your efforts.

Sorry, I have never read your guide and I doubt I ever will. I'd like to know how to avoid the tedium of things like hard-coding italics with angle-bracket commands but I'm not going to learn how to manually clean up html files to do that.

These are what I understand are some points for the "quick and dirty html guide" I would be willing to use:
* italics and bold: Use the options Word provides for those formats
* scene breaks: Enter a line with three asterisks
* chapter titles: Use the Heading 3 format
* subtitles: Use Heading 4, 5, etc. formats
* special characters: Ellipses, en- and em-dashes, etc. are okay as long as Word displays them correctly

The questions I have left regarding formats I may conceivably want to use in the future are:
* colour: Can I use the 8 Standard Colors provided by Word? Or is that any colour?
* background colours: Can I use the Shading option under Paragraph settings in Word? Can I control how pale the background colour is?
* paragraphs: Should I use single spacing between paragraphs in Word and include a blank line between paragraphs?
* block quotes: Does indent work for that? Do I need to hard-code quote commands in curly brackets for that instead?
* links: Is it okay if Word is showing a link to the internet in blue and underlined?

I trust you understand that some of us do not want to be bothered with anything more than a dozen or so dot-points with single-line instructions.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Keet
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

In the town where I was born
Lived a man who sailed to sea
And he told us of his life
In the land of submarines.


Usually the above will show each line as a paragraph which when converted to html will have (with extra spaces to stop it running) < p > at the start of each line and < / p > and the end of each line. html will display each paragraph with a line between them. Some systems will strip out the line feeds and show the lot as a single line paragraph. The two results you show are due to these processes.

To display the above on different lines in the way you want you need them all to be in the same paragraph, but with line breaks, thus the code would be:

< p >< i >In the town where I was born< br >
Lived a man who sailed to sea< br >
And he told us of his life< br >
In the land of submarines.< / i > < / p >

the br is the line break to give a new line and the i commands are for the italics.

Replies:   robberhands
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

No, I don't! That's why I asked. I want to know only a subset I can use safely, confident the Wizard will get it right if I just save my draft as html.


follow the guide in the link as it has what you need.

all the colours at SoL are set by the system, and you can't change any of them except for the three colours listed for text of red, green, and blue if you want anything other than the default black text.

the html blockquote commands will give blockquote format but it will use a font and style preset within the Sol Wizard, that's why I use colored text in place of it.

Embedded links often have issues, which is why I usually have them as normal text and not a link.

You need to fully read the contents of the two help guide links at:

https://storiesonline.net/doc/Text_Formatting_Information_Guide

https://storiesonline.net/article/Text-formatting-guide-for-WLPC-Sites

If you want to change how you see the background colour you can do that in your personal SoL settings, but you can't set it for a story to be viewed by another as their SoL settings will be used.

Keet

@Ernest Bywater

SoL has very tight restrictions on what you can use and what you can put in a css

That's part of the reason why I asked the question. I think your method makes it very easy to create just that what is required for posting stories to SOL. I like that you use LibreOffice and Bluefish. I'm 100% on Linux and I use them too.
LO can do almost anything Word can do and it's free, which for some authors might be important (Bluefish too for that matter).

Keet

@Ross at Play

I trust you understand that some of us do not want to be bothered with anything more than a dozen or so dot-points with single-line instructions.

I read both the SOL instruction page and the page created by Ernest. I thought Ernest did create a simplified, more readable instruction set for those not familiar with html. If you know a little about html then you would come to the conclusion that what is allowed to use for posting stories is really a very limited set of options but sufficient at the same time.
Because of that limited set I wondered if more authors used a html editor, optionally combined with a text editor like Ernest does.

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

Thanks. I figured it out later, or at least I hope I did. Whenever I have such 'unusual' formatting demands, I now submit plain text files with the necessary html coding.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Keet

If you know a little about html

No, I do not. The guides EB linked to listed features which are available. I can understand the html commands and can cope with inserting those into my doc files to force the formatting I want.

I still have no idea what is different if I save to html instead of txt before submitting a file to the Wizard, and what, if anything, needs to be different in my doc master file.

Replies:   Keet  Ernest Bywater
Ross at Play

@robberhands

Whenever I have such 'unusual' formatting demands, I now submit plain text files with the necessary html coding.

That looks like a good plan to me. I've yet to see a reason for not doing the same when I have 'usual' formatting demands too.

Replies:   robberhands
Keet

@Ross at Play

I still have no idea what is different if I save to html instead of txt before submitting a file to the Wizard, and what, if anything, needs to be different in my doc master file.

The difference is that a file saved as html has the html markup inside the file and a regular text file has none. You can check that yourself by opening the html file as a text file after all a html file is just a plain text file with a little markup added in.
For posting to SOL it might make no difference, I don't know about that but it might give you a little more control over the markup that is accepted by the SOL wizard. If you upload plain text you have no control at all and the wizard will add it as it thinks best.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Keet

Plain text gives me enough control. I'm happy to have a limited set of commands which I know will work and leave everything else to the wizard.

Replies:   Keet  Ross at Play
robberhands

@Ross at Play

I've yet to see a reason for not doing the same when I have 'usual' formatting demands too.

I don't know about you but I have farily often words in italics and I don't want the hassle to code for every occasion. That's why I usually submit MS words html files (saved as website, filtered - on Lazeez suggestion).

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

I still have no idea what is different if I save to html instead of txt before submitting a file to the Wizard, and what, if anything, needs to be different in my doc master file.


First - you do not need to change anything in your actual .doc master file, everything that needs to be done is added to the .html file created after you use the save as html function.

OK. I don't normally promote any of my Lulu books here, but this one is a freebie and available via apple etc. as well:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/ernest-bywater/fiction-writing-style-guide/ebook/product-23723415.html

in the chapter titled Convert to HTML Format toward the back of it I go into a lot of detail about what happens when you save a word processing file as 'save as html.' The key part is copied below. However, you do not want to insert html code into the text of the story before you save it as html, what you want to do is save the story text as 'save as html' then use a program like Bluefish or Notepad to clean up the html code by removing the excess code.

example of text as in word processor, except the cut and paste into her does not show the Sub-chapter Title and Paragraph Title are centered, nor does it show the Sub-chapter Title and the note is in blue text (I had to use the forum commands to add the bold and italics here, and I also added extra spaces in the html code to stop it running):

quote

Sub-chapter Title

The quick brown fox is in normal paragraph text.

Paragraph Title

Note: Special notation text instead of a quote.

end quote

below is what you'll see after you use save as html:

quote

< h2 class = " western " style = " page-break-before : always " > Sub-chapter Title< / h2 >

< p class = " western " style = " margin-bottom : 0cm ; line-height : 100% " > < br / >

< / p >

< p class = " western " style = " margin-bottom : 0cm ; line-height : 100% " > < font face = " Palatino Linotype, serif " > The
quick brown fox is in normal paragraph text.< / font > < / p >

< h3 class = " western " > Paragraph Title < / h3 >

< p class = " western " style = " margin-bottom : 0cm ; line-height : 100% " > < br / >

< / p >

< blockquote class = " western " > < b > Note: < / b > Special notation text instead of a quote. < / blockquote >

end quote

Please note the code about class, margins, line-height, fonts, and page breaks which aren't needed for each paragraph.

the same text cleaned up for basic html or use at SoL with the excessive code removed:

quote

< h2 > Sub-chapter Title< / h2 >

< p > The quick brown fox is in normal paragraph text. < / p >

< h3 align = " center " > Paragraph Title < / h3 >

< blockquote > < b > Note: < / b > Special notation text instead of a quote. < / blockquote >

end quote

The clean code is only 237 characters while the save as html version has 632 characters and the displayed text has 209 characters. That shows the save as html has added 395 extra characters that aren't needed. It's this excess code you need to scrap off.

...........................

while I'm cleaning up the code by using global replace commands to delete the excess code I also use it to change the headers to the correct ones for use on SoL.

I hope this helps you to understand the issue.

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

Because of that limited set I wondered if more authors used a html editor, optionally combined with a text editor like Ernest does.

Actually, I think more uses use a simple text editor (text only) like Notepad on Windows when they code for html. That keeps it simple and isn't as distracting.

Replies:   Keet
Ernest Bywater

OK, now for some general information about files, then some info from Lazeez.

The files created by most word processors are not standard text files, although they display as text in the program. There's a lot of extra code and info in the background that needs special code to display, otherwise it looks weird with all sorts of odd characters. the .doc and .docx files fall into this group.

Any file that can be opened up in a program like Notepad or Wordpad to show all of the code in text characters is a Text file - the .html, .txt, .asc, .rtf files are of this group. Where the .html is different is some of the text is instruction to the program to do things when you open the file with a program that's a browser.

The down side of .txt files is there's no bold or italics in them. You can use them in .rtf files, and you can use the instructional code to use them in .html files.

Now for stuff from Lazeez. From the following page in the section marked File Formats, you have:

https://storiesonline.net/author/posting_guidelines.php

File formats accepted for submission of works through the site are: Plain Text (.txt, .asc) and HTML files. (All open formats, no proprietary formats are accepted -- No Word, Wordperfect, MS Works, AppleWorks, or Lotus Word) If you need to submit styled text like italics and bold, convert your document to HTML. All the popular word processors support one of these two.

Keet

@Ross at Play

Plain text gives me enough control. I'm happy to have a limited set of commands which I know will work and leave everything else to the wizard.

No problem with that is there? If it's good then it's good and you don't have to bother with anything else. I can see where that is a desired way to work with the desired result.

Keet

@Crumbly Writer

Actually, I think more uses use a simple text editor (text only) like Notepad on Windows when they code for html. That keeps it simple and isn't as distracting.

Really? Just a plain text editor, not even basic spelling control? I agree it's simple and very light on your system but isn't it a pain to work with?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Keet

Really? Just a plain text editor, not even basic spelling control? I agree it's simple and very light on your system but isn't it a pain to work with?

Sorry, I wasn't clear. That's how many here edit html files. They write in another program, but when they transfer the files to html, they simply do it in a text editor.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Crumbly Writer

Sorry, I wasn't clear. That's how many here edit html files. They write in another program, but when they transfer the files to html, they simply do it in a text editor.

Ah, I misunderstood, that makes more sense, thank you.

pangor

@Ernest Bywater

Editing and preparing for posting are 2 different processes and should be handled that way.


Fine with me, my tool permit me to create the variant for posting and derive a comprehensive list of changes (a bit like "diff") from that for "just editing".

In this case it makes a lot of sense to use a different approach. There are a number of formatting errors that can be done with by using one of my scripts. It would not make any sense to suggest them as changes individually. After reaching that stage, a proper editing process can start, with points like proper capitalization, consistent term usage, paragraph breaks, etc.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@pangor

Perhaps you should consider writing a story for SOL, then you'll be able to show authors what you can make their work look like.

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Perhaps you should consider writing a story for SOL, then you'll be able to show authors what you can make their work look like.

Better yet, simply point out which authors have 'their acts together' as role models, so they can observe what works and what doesn't. You don't need to be an excellent writer to observe what succeeds and what doesn't.

PotomacBob

@awnlee jawking

Perhaps you should consider writing a story for SOL, then you'll be able to show authors what you can make their work look like.


I've seen editors elsewhere who couldn't write a story if their life depended on it, but they can take someone else's piece of trash and make it shine. That you are a good editor does not necessarily mean you are a good writer, and vice versa. I've never seen a writer yet who could edit something he or she had written. THeir mind sees what they MEANT to write, not what they actually wrote.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  pangor
awnlee jawking

@PotomacBob

Amongst other things, the OP is concerned about improving the presentation of a particular author's story, including italics, bold, underline etc. In a sense, the writing quality of the OP's story isn't as important (although it would be nice if it was a cracker) as showcasing examples of the formatting they want to include.

AJ

Replies:   pangor
pangor

@awnlee jawking

Perhaps you should consider writing a story for SOL, then you'll be able to show authors what you can make their work look like.


While I've got a lot of experience with editing and getting a large number of texts in style in a hurry if needed, my writings skills are usually aimed at technical documentation. You would not like my style.

pangor

@PotomacBob

I've seen editors elsewhere who couldn't write a story if their life depended on it, but they can take someone else's piece of trash and make it shine.


That describes me quite well.

pangor

@awnlee jawking

Amongst other things, the OP is concerned about improving the presentation of a particular author's story, including italics, bold, underline etc.


Yep. The stories are nice and well done, but there are literally thousands of small but annoying typographical errors in them. The overall story quality is good, if it wasn't, I would have abandoned that authors works after reading the first few chapters, and not have wasted a thought about fixing it.

Ross at Play

@Ross at Play

Plain text gives me enough control. I'm happy to have a limited set of [html] commands which I know will work and leave everything else to the wizard.

Not quite. There's no way to get non-breaking spaces on SOL when posting plain text. I prefer spaces on both sides of ellipses and dashes but I want the space before those to be a non-breaking space so lines will not start with an ellipsis or dash.

Can non-breaking spaces be created on SOL by having them in a Word document which is then saved in html format for posting?

Is there any difference for other special characters, for example the symbol for degrees?

My guess is the SOL wizard accepts displayed special characters in text format, e.g. it accepts ellipses and en-dashes, and it converts all non-display special characters into spaces.

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

Can non-breaking spaces be created on SOL by having them in a Word document which is then saved in html format for posting?


I think that's a question for Lazeez, but here's the various codes on the Wikipedia page on the issue

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-breaking_space

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Ross at Play

Can non-breaking spaces be created on SOL by having them in a Word document which is then saved in html format for posting?


No.

Is there any difference for other special characters, for example the symbol for degrees?


Yes, all display characters are left alone.

Tabs, non-breaking spaces and other invisible characters are replaced with normal spaces.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

all display characters are left alone ... invisible characters are replaced with normal spaces.

Thanks. It's nice to have it stated so simply. I will cope with it.

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