Tag Archives: typesetting

Create Uncommon Fractions

Type 1/2 in a Word document and Word with automatically change that to stacked fraction, if you haven’t changed the default autocorrect settings. But type 2/3, and nothing happens. How can you get all fractions to match? It can take some expert typesetting.

In Word’s Preferences (Mac) or Options > Proofing from the File ribbon (Windows), go to the AutoFormat tab to set whether or not fractions will be replaced with a character when one exists in that font family.

The problem is that not all fonts contain a full range of fractions, so you might not be able to insert even a common fraction like two-thirds. The character viewer in the operating system and in Word’s “insert symbol” option on the Home ribbon used to show 1/4 and 1/2 characters, but those are not appearing at the moment.

Typography experts have explained elsewhere that sometimes we just have to insert a note to the typographer in a manuscript, saying that we want a true fraction. The typographer then has to create a kind of glyph (or maybe a ligature) from scratch.

It’s weird that 2/3 isn’t built in, but odd fractions like 4/9 or 11/5 will always have to be created from scratch.

Option 1: Leave a Note to Production

Be sure to tell your compositor/typesetter in a cover letter that these fractions need to be created. Also specify whether they should be stacked with a horizontal line or a slash. In the manuscript, you might help these stand out by setting them in double [[ ]] square brackets (which is easy to search and will most likely be queried by the proofreader so they don’t make it into print).

Option 2: Create Fractions with Equation Editor

Create your own fractions in Word using the Equation icon on the Insert ribbon. Just select the stacked fraction option, then click on each box (above and below the line) to enter the numbers. This does, however, create uneven line spacing.

Clicking Word’s Equation icon on the Insert ribbon opens this Equation Tools/Design tab on a Windows computer. (The Mac version is simply titled Equation. Click the Fraction icon to start.

Option 3: Brute Force Equations on Your Own

If creating a special character from scratch isn’t an option (e.g., this text is being typeset for the web) then you might choose to make all fractions plain old in-line numbers separated by a solidus/slash. Or, fake it:

Through a combination of super- and subscript with a slash, it is possible to fake your own fraction ligature. To set a fraction so that it looks like a character, set the 4 as a superscript and the 9 as a subscript (using the icons on the Home ribbon).

The good news is that this “works” in any font, and survives changes to the font and probably can be imported into design software with minimal fuss and/or formatting loss. The bad news is, this can look really weird in some font families.



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© This blog and all materials in it are copyright Adrienne Montgomerie on the date of publication. All rights reserved. No portion may be stored or distributed without express written permission. Asking is easy!

Eliminate Paragraph Breaks at the End of Every Line With This Find & Replace Sequence

Remember that satisfying gear-wind and ding of shoving the carriage return back to the left of the page at the end of every line? Some writers do! But Word is not a typewriter. There should be a little pop-up confirmation box when a writer tries to hit the return key at the end of every line. And if they try to hit it twice to create double spacing, a captcha should pop-up, asking if they really want to insert two manual paragraph breaks.

Unnecessary manual line breaks wreak havoc in editing because the words don’t reflow automatically, and you end up with weird mid-sentence paragraph breaks. And treating Word like a typewriter makes it impossible to change the font or margins, page size, headers and footers, or a myriad other attributes without messing up all the alignment.

But you don’t have to fix these with brute force: hunting and destroying each errant line break one at a time. Find and replace will fix this globally, throughout the document.

It just takes a few steps to do this well. First, figure out what you’re dealing with:

  1. Reveal non-printing characters by clicking the ¶ icon on the Home ribbon.
  2. Examine the manual formatting: Is there a ¶ or a ⏎ at the end of each line? Are there two ¶ between each line, creating double spacing? Are three ¶ used to create paragraph breaks? Is there a space before each manual break (•¶)? Is there a tab mark (→) at the start of each paragraph? Are the first lines indented on the ruler instead?

The following steps work for lines that end in ¶¶ without a space before the break, and where ¶¶¶ is used between paragraphs. Additional or different steps are required for other situations.

The blue, non-printing characters reveal the many ways that Word was used as a typewriter in this random text Google translated into Afrikaans.

PRO TIP: Before you do these steps, start recording a macro and save it for use next time. Then, in future, you’ll just have to run that macro rather than doing this 16+ step Find & Replace sequence.

Now, search and destroy

  1. Open the Find & Replace panel by keying ctrl + H. This is the same on both Mac and Windows computers.
  2. Type ^p^p^p in the Find field.
  3. Type ^l in the Replace field.*
  4. Type ^p^p in the Find field.
  5. Type a space in the Replace field. It will look blank but you can move the cursor across the space to verify that it is there.
  6. Click Replace all.
  7. Repeat the previous step until Word says that zero replacements were made.
  8. Type ^p^p in the Find field.**
  9. Type a space in the Replace field. It will look blank but you can move the cursor across the space to verify that it is there.
  10. Click Replace all.
  11. Repeat Step 10 until zero replacements are made.
  12. Type ^l in the Replace field.°
  13. Type ^p in the Find field.
  14. Click Replace all.
  15. Repeat Step 14 until zero replacements are made.
  16. Save!

*Steps 2–3 mark the paragraph breaks and Steps 5–7 replaces them with a manual line break.

**Steps 8–11 consolidate paragraphs.

°Steps 12–15 turn the line breaks (from Steps 5–7) into proper paragraph breaks.

As a final step, you could replace all two-spaces with just one space, in case some ¶ marks were, in fact, preceded by a space. You might also want to replace all tab marks (^t) with a space (and then check for two spaces again).

Troubleshooting

Save the original file as a backup! You may need to refer to it in places that get messed up (e.g., lost paragraph breaks or manually set tables).

To start each paragraph with an indent, set the ruler (or change the Style).

To get more space between paragraphs, don’t place two paragraph breaks, set the spacing for that Style instead.

If there were even more ¶ marks, you might have to again replace all ^p^p with just a single ^p, as a last step.

book cover cropped to banner size
For more tips on working with Find and Replace, start on p. 47 of the book.


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Word’s Style Gallery

Along the Home ribbon, if the window is wide enough, you can see several Styles for words and paragraphs. Unlike the font and size selections at the left edge of the ribbon, Style sets standard attributes for each kind of text: normal, body, headings, footers, and even comment balloons. And those attributes can be changed throughout a document with a single modification to the style.

But the real use of Styles goes beyond making sure each element of a document looks consistent. Styles can be used to rearrange your document (via Outline view) and by the designer, compositor, and other production crew to seamlessly apply the final design to the product. MS Word creates XML tags for each style in the background that InDesign, WordPress, Desire 2 Learn, and other production software can interpret. The compositor or designer can then use automation to set their project’s design to those tags. So even if you like editing with subheads styled in 24pt Comic Sans in teal, WordPress will apply the theme’s formatting thanks to the XML tagged elements, ensuring a consistent look on the website. And when the designer wants to change the look of an element, those tags make it possible to do so globally rather than one by one, using brute force and inevitably missing some.

When a publisher says they want you to “style a document,” this is what they mean. They don’t mean “Select All and change the font.” They want you to make sure every single character and paragraph has a style applied so that the production team’s output will be closer to perfect.

With the Styles Pane open, we can see that the text the cursor is placed in is styled as Comment Text. The Styles Gallery on MS Word’s home ribbon is still visible at top.

Troubleshooting

To see which Style is applied to text, place the cursor in the text, then check the Styles Gallery to see which style is selected (outlined with a faint blue border).

Not every style appears in the Styles Gallery on the ribbon. If you can’t see which style is selected, launch the full Styles Pane. Mac users just click the icon beside the Styles Gallery. Windows users, click the little angle arrow at the right bottom edge of the Styles Gallery. The top bar of that pane shows the Current style that is applied wherever the cursor is currently placed.

Modify styles, don’t just manually change the look of an individual item. Place the cursor in text you want to modify, then right-click on the style it is set to in the Styles Gallery and select Modify… (or click the drop-down menu arrow on the Current style field at the top of the Styles Pane and select Modify Style… from there).

For best results, create new, custom styles for the project. Word’s built-in styles can wreak havoc with design as they change to reflect each user’s settings. More on that in another post.

book cover cropped to banner size
For more tips on working with Styles starting on p. 60 of the book.


Got a gnarly Word problem? Submit your problem and we’ll try to answer it in the new Q&A thread.


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© This blog and all materials in it are copyright Adrienne Montgomerie on the date of publication. All rights reserved. No portion may be stored or distributed without express written permission. Asking is easy!

Image of art media by Gábor Adonyi from Pixabay

Fix Extra Line Spaces

pretzel shaped as a reverse P, the pilcrow paragraph mark

Extra line spaces in a manuscript create layout problems. Whether they were used to create paragraph spacing or start a new page, manual line spacing just isn’t the best practice. What works more elegantly in the workflow is setting the paragraph spacing and using manual page breaks. But first, get rid of those extra line breaks and hard returns!

Just like the extra spaces in last week’s post, there’s no reason to be hunting and destroying extra line spaces by eye, one at a time. With a simple find and replace, MS Word can rid the file of these unwanted artifacts with just a click (or two).

Easy Steps to Rid the Manuscript of Unneeded Line Spaces

  1. Open the Search (Navigation) panel and in the Find field, simply type ^p^p. That’s two special codes for a hard return. These can also be selected from the dropdown menu beside the find field.
  2. In the Replace field, type just one ^p.
  3. Click Replace All. Then click OK when Word brags about how many replacements it made.
  4. Keep clicking Replace All until Word tells you that zero replacements were made.

Troubleshooting

You may have to repeat this Find & Replace many times until Word reports that zero changes were made. You may even want to start by putting many more ^p in the Find field.

To see what kind of break was used, click the ¶ on the Home ribbon.

Sometimes the line breaks are made with “soft” returns, not “hard” ones. When you reveal the non-printing characters, soft returns look like this ⏎ instead of a pilcrow (¶). To find and replace those, type ^l in the Find field and a space in the Replace field. (Just click the space bar.) If this creates two spaces, the fix for that is just as easy.

Windows users will need to go into Advanced Find & Replace to select either Paragraph Mark for ^p or Manual Line Break for ^l from the dropdown list opened from the Special button.
Mac users can select either Paragraph Mark for ^p or Manual Line Break for ^l from the dropdown list arrow beside the Find field.
book cover cropped to banner size
For more tips on working with Find and Replace, start on p. 47 of the book.

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cover of editing in word 2016 2nd edition

Turn Double Spaces into Single with Just a Click

Whether it’s a holdover from the old days or someone following APA’s guide from a few years ago, every editor will eventually see a manuscript that has two spaces after every period. Because modern layout software handles sentence spacing better than typewriters did, these double spaces are no longer necessary and can, in fact, create weirdly large spacing. One of the routine things an editor (or compositor) does is strip out those double spaces. But there’s no reason to be doing this by eye, one at a time. With a simple find and replace, MS Word can rid the file of these ancient artifacts with just a click.

How to Turn Two Spaces into One

  1. Open the Search (Navigation) panel and in the Find field, simply type two spaces. They’ll look like nothing on screen, but you’ll be able to move the cursor across them using the arrow keys.
  2. In the Replace field, type a single space.
  3. Click Replace All. Then click OK when Word brags about how many replacements it made.
  4. Keep clicking Replace All until Word tells you that zero replacements were made.

Troubleshooting

Turn off track changes before doing this and just leave a note that the change was made. Otherwise the tracked deletions will overwhelm the writers and hide substantive changes you’d actually like them to check. Of course, if your client forbids untracked changes, they’ve designed their own hell and are welcome to it.

If multiple spaces have been used to create paragraph indenting or (lord forbid) table alignment, all of that will be lost. Skim the original document (two-page view is great for this) or search it for three spaces to find any problem areas that you’ll have to reset with proper tab marks or hanging indents, or set as a proper table.

book cover cropped to banner size
For more tips on working with Find and Replace, start on p. 47 of the book.

Never miss a Word-Wrangling Wednesday tip. Sign up to get them by email. By practicing one tip each week, you can invest 13 hours this year into professional development. To search the blog, use the red-orange bar just above this paragraph.

cover of editing in word 2016 2nd edition

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