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 Typography: Two-Dot Workaround & Styles

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Jae Baeli
Jae Baeli

Number of posts : 103
Age : 56
JOB/HOBBIES : Author, Editor, Artist, Webmaster, Singer-Songwriter
FAVORITE AUTHORS : Dean Koontz, Jeff Lindsey, Laramie Dunaway,Darian North, Richard Dawkins, Raymond Obstfeld
GENRES IN WHICH I WRITE : Novels, Stories, Technical, Business, Academic, Scientific, Copy, Scripts, Journalism, Memoir, Humor, Essay, Blog, Reviews, Poetry, Lyrics
Registration date : 2008-11-22

PostSubject: Typography: Two-Dot Workaround & Styles   Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:06 pm

The American Heritage Dictionary defines typography as “the arrangement and appearance of printed matter.” That’s what I’m referring to, when I say typography. I suppose you have to possess at least a smidgen of geekiness to be interested in this discipline at all. I happen to like the feeling of power and control it gives me (I’ll speak to my therapist about that).

The Two-Dot Workaround.
While tutorials will often tell you that you can change the formatting of an entire paragraph without selecting it—only by placing the cursor anywhere in it and pressing “center” or whatever, this often does not work. Most of the time, this will change more than that one paragraph.

In this regard, I discovered two workarounds. The first is just a trick which has saved me many hours of hair-pulling and teeth- gnashing. I call it the Two Dot Workaround. When you begin to format the typographical elements of your manuscript, you’ll run into this snag. You highlight a line and change something about it, like the font size, or the indent, or the margins, and suddenly, Word is doing that to the entire document. Manuscripts are large documents, and this is maddening when you have to sit there and wait for it to finish grinding so that you can hit the undo button. Better to just use the Two Dot Workaround:

At the end of every line/sentence that is to be different than the sentence below it, a chapter heading and the beginning text of that chapter, for example—hit the space bar once or twice and then type two dots (periods). Then, when you select the line, you can select up to the space and dots, and change the formatting, without it changing everything after it.

Later, when you do your search and replace clean-ups, you can search for two dots and replace them with nothing to remove them.

Also, to center one line, such as a chapter heading, highlight only a portion of the line, and then hit CENTER, and it won’t center all the rest of your text. Same method goes for paragraphs you may need to change anything on. Just add the two dots and leave them orphaned when you highlight, and then it won’t screw up your special formatting.

Styles and Formatting Feature.
Even better than the Two-Dot Workaround is the Styles and Formatting feature in Word. You should place the shortcut for this feature on your toolbar, as you will be using it frequently, if you choose this method.

Choose this feature from that shortcut on the toolbar, or by clicking “Format” and choosing it from the list. A control panel should open at the side of your screen.

There will probably be a list already there. But you want to choose one according to what you want to modify. For instance, I might choose “body text” by moving my mouse over it, and then clicking the drop down box and clicking “modify.”

Modify Style.

  • Name your style, or leave "body text" in the name box.
  • Choose which style to base it on, or start from scratch by using "no style."
  • Select from Formatting the font you will use, and the font size.
  • Click the "justify" option beneath the font box, as this is the proper format for a book manuscript for publication.
    Add any other tweaks from the FORMAT selection at the bottom of the window.
  • Select "Add to Template" and "Automatically update." These features insure you can access your settings later, and the Automatically Update will do just that to selections you have assigned as Body Text
Select okay, and you now have a style set up for Body Text.

To change any text in your document to this style, select it and click on "Body Text" in that Styles and Formatting box to the side.

Use this same procedure to set up all your styles, such as for headers and footers, headings, quotes, or block text and so on.

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