23 November 2011 @ 09:24 pm
Formatting and formatting problems online  
We got to talking, at our little get together on Saturday, about smart quotes and fucked up formatting when posting here, on DW, LJ and AO3 - but it actually goes for anywhere where you post online. Smart quotes tend to screw up how your document looks to others - you may think it looks fine (especially if you use internet exploder which tends to correct 'problems' - not because it's a good browser, but because Microsoft seemingly likes to cover their own formatting problems).

Now, if you write your texts in Word, like I do - you may or may not have noticed that the program tends to make corrections. Sometimes it's good. We like when word remembers to capitalize someting at the start of a sentence (this is however also why some people get lazy and FORGET to do so when they're not writing in word XD)

Well, there are ways around it. You can save your document as RTF, or TXT (I err towards TXT, because I've occasionally caught RTF screwing up the formatting as well), I then tend to shut the document down and reopen it. If you've saved it as RTF or TXT you should have weeted out the worst crap. Of course, it's not bad either to actually switch as much smart quote correcting off as possile, as well. Mind, I'm using 2007, so not all word versions will have the menu in the same place. The older ones, I believe, are under files - options or possibly edit and then options. One of the two, anyway.

And before you ask what smart quotes are, have you ever opened a web page and met gibberish? I don't mean how people write - I mean euro signs, weirdly inserted letters and numbers and so on. That's a smart quote at work. And while I can copy the text and use search and replace to get through it, I have to care a lot to do so. 99% of the time I just growl and shut the window down. You may have written a story worthy of winning a Nebula, but if I can't read it, I don't care.

How to at least get word 2007 to switch off smart quotes:

1. click the office button to open the main menu (top left corner if you have a standard layout or hit ALT+F) At the bottom is a button saying *word options*

2. in the new window is a topic on the left saying "proofing" - click this

3. At the top is a button saying "Autocorrect options..." - click this

4. there are three tabs you need to work with "Smart Tags" and "autoformat as you type" and "autoformat"

a. Smart tags tab: remove tick at "label text with smart tags"

b. Autoformat as you type: remove ticks at:
i. "straight quotes with smart quotes"
ii. "hyphens with dash"
iii. "*Bold* and _italics_ with real formatting
iv."fractions (1/2) with fraction character"
v. "Ordinals with superscript"

c. Autoformat: remove ticks at:
well, just remove every damned tick under "Replace"

Click "OK" until you're out of all sub and main menus.

Thanks to [profile] nialla42, here's the 2010 version

To turn off smart quotes in Word 2010:

Click the File tab, then select Options > Proofing, then click the AutoCorrect Options button. Under AutoFormat you'll see all the ticky boxes for straight/smart quotes, ordinals, fractions, etc.

Automated replacing

If you've got a problem in your text that you'd like to get rid of, say, when word makes those pesky euro signs anyway or you just realized your italics were done by using the italics button in word (bad webuser, BAD, no virtual bisquit for you) then what to do? Well, some of you guys may know who [personal profile] astolat is - if I were a zombie, I'd eat her brain. It must be delicious. She created macros for Word and OpenOffice that can do this for you. They can even replace the italics with the right kind of HTML, you know <b> for bold and so on.

OpenOffice Macros for fannish use

Word Macros for fannish use

Also, seriouslly, get used to writing in your italics and bold codes in HTML when you write fic - in the end it makes your life so much easier (no ripping out hair when trying to fix formatting errors when you put it up on LJ and archives etc.)

For those who need a few basic ones - encase your word/sentence whatever it is you want italic with <i>word or sentence you want italized</i> - open and close tag like this and once you get the hang and habit of it... you'll see, that takes care of some of the formatting headaches you might encounter.

scroll down on this page for some basic text formatting HTML

Repeat after me: we do not use the Rich Text posting interface on LJ or DW - we use the HTML posting interface

(I've just alienated a great large chunk of the users, huh? *snorts*)

This entry was originally posted at http://ximeria.dreamwidth.org/649565.html. You are welcome to comment wherever you want to (DW can be accessed by OpenID).
Current Location: home
Current Mood: sleepy
26 March 2009 @ 10:59 pm
I thought...  
...people could read.

If it says, in the posting rules of a community "Do not hard code html, stick to the community layout" why on EARTH is the following in front of your entry: <font size="-2"><font color="#999999">?

As much as LJ occasionally does something that annoys me, there's also the two brilliant codes to paste in behind the url when you come across some spaztastically bad taste in LJ layouts:

?format=light -- strips the LJ entry of the CSS setting, giving you white background, standard font size, black. Which unfortunately doesn't help with the hard coding

?style=mine -- which gives you the entry with your own layout -- you need to be logged in for that to work.

Unfortunately? Doesn't work when someone ahem, less observant of the rules, uses hard coding... *headdesk*

I'm not going to read your entry which is now, FYI, light grey font, squintingly small on white background...
Current Mood: quixotic
Current Music: Volbeat - The Garden's Tale
22 January 2009 @ 12:34 am
Note to self...  
Because I can never seem to find it when I need it, the list of special html codes like

html special codes )
Current Mood: sleepy
Current Music: celtic
29 December 2008 @ 07:21 pm
do some asshats think it's a good idea to code the colour of the text of their posts on communities? Bloody, friggin' idiots!

I'm sorry, I don't see any redeeming value to something like that? And I love the merlinxarthur community for STATING in their rules of posting that you are not allowed to re-code the text -- only, of course their text settings stink (who the hell sets the italics code to show as light grey text when the background's white?), but apart from that, just the fact that they state it.

Now then, why do people force the font colour or size? I mean, you're not going to be reading your own post, are you? I mean, not as closely as everyone else is. So why, oh why, do you fuck it up by setting your text as light grey/white -- you know, I have grey background on my friendspage as well as my mainpage. It means your post shows up as something REALLY wonky looking.

*smacks people over their heads*

Really, if you don't know what you're fiddling with, keep you sticky bleedin' fingers off the code!