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January 21st, 2008

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07:54 pm - HTML use in Wyvern's Library
In the rejection mail of my last story, the moderator said I should not use MS Word to make HTML-files. Since I used Ms Word for all my other uploaded stories, I am a little bit confused. The lay-out of the story looked fine when I hit 'view' so I'm not sure why MS Word isn't good, but I'm sure there's some perfectly good reason I'm not aware of.

If using MS Word to make your stories into HTML-files is discouraged, I take it this should at least be mentioned somewhere in the rules. My question is mainly: I found no mention of it anywhere in the rules, the story upload page, FARP or any other place. Did I miss it? There should be some way for people to find this out, right?

Let me stress that using MS Word was not the reason why my story got rejected, there were other issues. But if a moderator finds it important to warn me off MS word, there's got to be something about it.

(4 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:January 21st, 2008 11:05 pm (UTC)
requiring the use of html to upload your stories is ridiculous in the first place. one of the reasons i stopped posting on wyverns. no one wants to have to spend the time adding in "br" and "p" throughout their work after they've done it.

then this wouldnt even be a problem.
i could understand needing to maybe copy and paste into a txt format. that takles 2 seconds, and adding in word compatability might be an issue, but still, come on thomas, stop adding all your new frillies to socialising and deal with the basics that need some serious updating

rant over
[User Picture]
Date:January 27th, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
So coding by hand really is the only 'proper' way to post stories at Wyverns?
Date:February 5th, 2008 05:44 am (UTC)

MS Word to HTML

I do not feel that coding by hand is the only 'proper' way to post stories in Wyvern's. All of my stories are switched to html via MS Word. Now, this doesn't mean that I pushed 'save as web page' and leave them at that. I believe the Mods warn you against doing it this way because MW Word gives a bunch of garbage-coding along with what you really need, which makes the files much bigger than they need to be. A simple sweep of your switched document will find these things (the Replace function in Notepad is a time and life saver). Essentially, you just have to go in an delete all the garbage at the beginning. I prefer to replace it with the following:

/* Style Definitions */
p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal
font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";}

(both above and below the < were replaced with [ and the > with ] becase none of it would show up otherwise!)

That keeps my font and paragraph formatting pretty much how it looks in the word document. It doesn't hurt to sweep through the document to find other garbage too: like the [span class=SpellE], [span class=GramE], and other such nonsense (again, 'Replace' is a best friend here). Doing these simple things can cut down a document size by nearly half, and it only takes about ten minutes if you're slow like me.
Date:March 26th, 2008 08:44 am (UTC)
Using MS Word is not against the rules, which is why it's not mentioned anywhere. The reason it is discouraged, though, is that it often creates problems when converting to HTML. I know of one issue that's created just because it's written in Word.

Some of these problems are:
Broken/messed up HTML tags.
"Smart quotes" which turn into strange symbols upon uploading.
Other auto-formatting Word does often doesn't convert well.
Random strange symbols for no real reason other than an error in conversion.
Excessive space (typically at the end of documents, though sometimes in the middle).
Double-double spacing, making a double-spaced document quadruple-spaced.

There are probably other problems it can create too. Mostly it's just the HTML conversion, though you need to be careful of things like the smart quotes.

As a previous commenter mentioned, hand coding is not the only way to get a proper looking work. Sometimes converting with MS Word magically works OK. As also mentioned, you can go over your code after you've converted and get rid of all the junk code MS Word always throws in (look especially at the end and get rid of the extra span tags - they're what cause all that space to show up at the bottom. Too much and it's a quality issue!). Though I've never sought one out myself, I do believe there are online converters as well.

It's not that you shouldn't use Word because it's against a rule, more like it generates a lot of trash code that tends to mess things up, leading to rejection (which nobody wants, of course!).

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