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HELP...genius needed.

Chris James

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Okay, here we go again. To me a computer is a fancy typewriter with a memory and software...groan, its like paying big bucks for something I don't understand.

Everything I've ever written is in Word. Simple program for simple people like me. I bought a new PC this past summer, it came with Windows 7 and I installed Word 2010.

The first thing written on this device was that quick little Fringe Benifits story which I sent to Mike and he posted it. I looked at the posted copy and saw a few problems. In seven pages of writing there were seveal instances of words slammed together, things like "I wentcrazy with that..." and one instance where an entire line of copy was dropped out of a paragraph.

I mailed Mike blaming his formatting program, he said it was in the original so I checked, it was not, the spacing was perfect. Then he send me back my original submission telling me it was in the copy, again when I opened his document it was perfect.

Now I am posting this multi-chapter story, Woodlake House, and already I find five instances of words run together. By comparision I can say it is not in the Word document I submitted, and we are at that WTF moment.

The two longer stories I have submitted (Marathon Gold and Warrior's Promise) were written some time ago and that was in Word 97-2003 the file tells me. They open in this computer in compatibility mode so I have no problems making corrections in my older files. But neither of those stories suffered with this current malady, there were no dropped lines or wordwrecks.

Suggestions...comments? I figure none of this is Mike's fault, it must come from the source and that is me. Whatever Word 2010 is sending him to re-format for the site must be creating this hiccup. I do hope there is a fix, something simple for this geekless author to handle. Thanx.

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Ah ha...I just read that .docx is a normal format for Word 2010 because it has added graphics capability...that I will never use.

They suggest converting back to 2007 which will make it a plain old .doc and might replace the bottles of headache pain medication I now owe Mike.

Does this make sense? Not like it is any huge problem for me. Kinda like changing the oil in the car before they added all those emissions controls and moved everything else out of reach for us common folk.

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If you just save them into 2007 or 2003 files... it should work fine. And although we struggled with word files with embedded pictures in the past... we no longer accept them.

Microsoft.. for all the money they have... often has no idea what the public want and incorporate stuff just for the sake of making a new version which they can sell for more.


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Bit of a puzzle, this one. A few of the space characters in your .docx file, which function fine as spaces in your document on your machine, are being ignored when viewed on Mike's machine. The only thing I can think of is that they're not, actually, 'standard' space characters, and different generations of Word are treating them differently. You can create 'non-breaking space' characters, using ctrl+shift+space, I think; maybe in Word 2010 you can create other special kinds of space too. Is is possible you've accidentally inserted a few of these special kinds of space in your document, and they're being treated differently in different editions of Word? You could diagnose it by taking one of the spaces which looks right on your machine but not on Mikes, deleting it and re-entering it, ensuring you just press the spacebar, nothing else, and then sending the document back to Mike and get him to check if it looks right now. There's also a 'show all characters' function which displays spaces, tabs, carriage returns etc with visible symbols. That might show if there's anything different about some of your space characters.

I've known similar effects from spurious tab characters in documents, those would probably show up with the 'show all characters' function.

Of course another approach to the problem would be to desert Word 2010 and use OpenOffice or LibreOffice instead, free open source subtitutes which are fully compatible with MS Office, and took and work more like Word 97/2000 than Word 2010 does!

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Yes, please.... unless you're experienced at producing html files from Word... DON'T! And while we're on the subject... if you have pictures to include in your story, please send them along separately as attachments... not embedded in Word documents.

Many thanks!

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FrontPage is a dead product, no longer supported by Microsoft. FrontPage 2003 wis the last ever version of FrontPage. The last version of FrontPage that was part of any Office suite was in Office 2002 Special Edition Upgrade. The replacement for FrontPage is Expression Web. Note that this is a replacement, not an upgrade, although upgrade pricing is available. Expression Web is similar to Dreamweaver, and requires some knowledge of HTML and CSS. I use Dreamweaver and find it an outstanding tool for developing websites. Unlike FrontPage, Dreamweaver doesn't stick any garbage in the generated code; it's 100% clean HTML5 and CSS3.

Colin :icon_geek:

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Yeah, .docx has some screwy issues. What I usually do is open up Dreamweaver (I have an old copy lying around), then either cut and paste or import the story from the MS Word file. I stick with the older .doc format, which is more compatible with open-source software. That will generally work, but if it's a long chapter (over 5000 words), I generally have to break it up into two smaller pieces.

I agree with Bruin above: I think the culprit is a non-standard space. Note that there are em-spaces, en-spaces, non-breaking spaces, all kinds of stuff that doesn't translate well to HTML. And HTML files created directly from Word inevitably have a lot of Microsoft-specific crap in them that hugely inflates the files, often doubling or even tripling what they should be.

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The advantage of the .docx file format is that the files are much smaller and load much faster. They also import into Dreamweaver without any of the artifacts caused by the ancient .doc file structure.

Colin :icon_geek:

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Yeah, I seem to recall there are XML hooks built inside the .docx format. Tell you what: next time I finish a chapter (like that's gonna happen soon), I'll re-safe the file as .docx and see what happens with Dreamweaver. I never used it for anything more than carriage returns, boldface, and italics, so I wasn't really doing any heavy-duty formatting. But it's nice not to have to recreate it in HTML.

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