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fivetoesten
08-03-2010, 09:32 AM
This is a bit of a rhetorical question, I suppose, as well as an old standby gripe. Why are we stuck with Word, and doc as a submission format? I happen to like to write with a text editor and then format with latex or docbook or html or something like that. I always thought it was best to seperate content from presentation. I'm just complaining. If anybody has any idea about how to work around this problem it would be great. If not, no biggie, I'm just venting. Feel free to complain with me! :)

MacAllister
08-03-2010, 09:43 AM
Don't look at me. I write either in Bean (http://www.bean-osx.com/Bean.html) or in BBedit (http://www.barebones.com/), and start cussing under my breath every time I have to even open MSWord.

BenPanced
08-03-2010, 09:44 AM
Because Word is pretty much standard in many, many offices around the world these days. If you send a potential agent a file in a format they can't open, it won't matter how good your submission is: it'll get deleted and an automatic rejection sent. If your text editor can save in .pdf or .rtf, you should be okay, however; many agencies ask for those formats, as well as .doc. (NOTE: Even if you send an html file and they can open it in Internet Explorer? Still iffy. It's best to stick to the tried-'n'-true submission guidelines.)

Terie
08-03-2010, 11:01 AM
Well, duh. It's because of Microsoft's megalomanic desire to rule the world and their success thereat. :D

I do accept that it's easiest to do business when we're all working with the same tools. It's unfortunate that MS won that battle. (If I'd bought a lot of MS stock early on, I might have a different opinion as regards to how fortunate it is that things ended up that way....LOL!)

kuwisdelu
08-03-2010, 12:19 PM
Don't look at me either. I use iWork with OpenOffice around just in case. I don't even have MS Office on my computer. I refuse to install it.

shaldna
08-03-2010, 05:40 PM
Because word is easiest to get, most commonly used, and pretty much every other writing software out there lets you save in word format.

Chasing the Horizon
08-03-2010, 05:43 PM
I thought .rtf was the universal format. I've never encountered a computer that couldn't open that.

stormie
08-03-2010, 05:47 PM
I thought .rtf was the universal format. I've never encountered a computer that couldn't open that.
But I've encountered many editors who want it sent in .doc

backslashbaby
08-03-2010, 05:56 PM
I always thought it was best to seperate content from presentation. I'm just complaining.

I like you a lot!! I totally could have said that myself :D

There is probably a tool that can take your code and put it into rtf quite well, btw. I'd think. Or is that one of those obvious things that's not often done? You know MS wouldn't add the obvious! ;)

fivetoesten
08-03-2010, 06:54 PM
Text (.txt) is probably the lowest common denominator, and doc is not even compatible with itself. It would seem to me that writers would be among the most ardent supporters of open document formats (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDocument).

So Word and doc have become the defacto standard. I think we should be working to change that.

Polenth
08-03-2010, 08:03 PM
So Word and doc have become the defacto standard. I think we should be working to change that.

Most of the places I've submitted to take rtf, so it is changing (to rtf). I'd prefer they didn't go to open source formats, because no one seems to agree on which open source format. That means I'd be locked into a word processor that handles that specific open source format (which is no better than people being locked into using Word).

Rtf on the other hand... I've yet to find a modern word processor that doesn't save as rtf. It's the file type I use to transfer between different word processors, because it's the most likely to work without formatting errors.

(Html is a definite no. It's designed for viewing on the web, not for attaching to emails. It'd be a nightmare for editors.)

Jamesaritchie
08-03-2010, 08:09 PM
This is a bit of a rhetorical question, I suppose, as well as an old standby gripe. Why are we stuck with Word, and doc as a submission format? I happen to like to write with a text editor and then format with latex or docbook or html or something like that. I always thought it was best to seperate content from presentation. I'm just complaining. If anybody has any idea about how to work around this problem it would be great. If not, no biggie, I'm just venting. Feel free to complain with me! :)

I'm not "stuck" with Word, I use it because I believe it's far and away the best tool for the job. As for DOC, sometimes agents and editors want DOC, and sometimes they want RTF. What's the problem? Or are you just an OpenDocumant fanatic?

You can think what you want, but you're the writer, not the agent, and not the editor, and both have sound and solid reasons for wanting the format they ask for.

Separating content from presentation is just plain silly. If you want to do this, if you want to write in a text editor and format in latex or anything else, go ahead. Who cares? It's your time, and if you want to waste it, fine. But don't waste the time of agents and editors.

As an editor, I don't care what tools you use, whether you want to separate content and presentation, or whether you want to carve the words into stone, etc. But when you send me something to read and to edit, you'd darned well better have it the way I need and want it because I have to deal with hundreds of writers, and we all must be on the same page. Word is the only tool I've found that guarantees this, though any good word processor is fine on the writing end.

But as long as you have proper format and proper file format when you actually send it, fine, however you do it.

OpneDocument has nothing to do with it. That isn't a writing argument, it's a philosophical argument, and one I couldn't care less about. And if I can't open an OD file, and you send one anyway, you're just flat out of luck.

It's silly to say DOC isn't even compatible with itself, but if you don't like DOC, send rtf. But don't send me an OD because I don't have time to mess with it.

Shadow_Ferret
08-03-2010, 08:11 PM
It is what it is.

A standard had to be decided on and that was it.

fivetoesten
08-03-2010, 08:35 PM
are you just an OpenDocumant fanatic?
Heh, no, that was kind of an afterthought.

Separating content from presentation is just plain silly
It's just that messing with one distracts me from the other.

Believe me, what you would get would be what you want. I don't really have a dog in the hunt (maybe a chihuahua). How would you feel about receiving a pdf submission? I can generate a pretty nice pdf.

willietheshakes
08-03-2010, 09:27 PM
This is a bit of a rhetorical question, I suppose, as well as an old standby gripe. Why are we stuck with Word, and doc as a submission format? I happen to like to write with a text editor and then format with latex or docbook or html or something like that. I always thought it was best to seperate content from presentation. I'm just complaining. If anybody has any idea about how to work around this problem it would be great. If not, no biggie, I'm just venting. Feel free to complain with me! :)

No.


How would you feel about receiving a pdf submission? I can generate a pretty nice pdf.

Fuck no.

I think it's key to remember: you're not submitting a BOOK, you're submitting a MANUSCRIPT.

CaroGirl
08-03-2010, 09:50 PM
So Word and doc have become the defacto standard. I think we should be working to change that.
The only way to change that is to create word processing software that's better than Word and then package it as a suite of better software, including an email client (like Outlook), slide presentation application (like PowerPoint), spreadsheet application (like Excel), and graphics creation software (like Visio). Because that's what you get with MS Office and THAT's why it's the de facto standard. Not simply because Word is the best word processor since sliced effing bread. Because it ain't. But it's darn well good enough.

Phaeal
08-03-2010, 10:00 PM
Meh, I'll send my MS in cuneiform if that's what it takes to get it read. That would be MY_MS.cun, I believe.

CaroGirl
08-03-2010, 10:02 PM
Meh, I'll send my MS in cuneiform if that's what it takes to get it read. That would be MY_MS.cun, I believe.
That sounds vaguely obscene. I like it!!

Shadow_Ferret
08-03-2010, 10:07 PM
I always thought it was best to seperate content from presentation.
?


I think it's key to remember: you're not submitting a BOOK, you're submitting a MANUSCRIPT.

This.

I'm not sure what you mean by separating content from presentation, but writing in Word is, for me, invisible. It's no different than when I used to type on a typewriter.

I type and when I'm done, I have my manuscript.

Matera the Mad
08-03-2010, 10:24 PM
It is a pity. Plain text and HTML are universal. But most people think it's "easier" to use a gargantuan word processor that they have great difficulty in learning to configure and control, and which loves to crash and corrupt data.

Also, free software doesn't make a lot of money for Micro$oft. :tongue

I love AkelPad (or gedit, or whatever).

kuwisdelu
08-03-2010, 10:32 PM
Because word is easiest to get, most commonly used, and pretty much every other writing software out there lets you save in word format.

It may be the most commonly used, but it is most definitely not the easiest to get. Far from it.

Shadow_Ferret
08-03-2010, 10:40 PM
It is a pity. Plain text and HTML are universal. But most people think it's "easier" to use a gargantuan word processor that they have great difficulty in learning to configure and control, and which loves to crash and corrupt data.

Also, free software doesn't make a lot of money for Micro$oft. :tongue

I love AkelPad (or gedit, or whatever).

I don't understand how typing in HTML is easier. You have to type < p > before every paragraph and < / p > after every paragraph. Then all the other coding. How is that "easier?"

As far as Word. What was there to configure? Sure, I created a template that I call up when I start a story, it automatically gives me 1 inch margins, 12 pt Courier type with double spacing and .5" indents. But that wasn't hard at all. Probably took me a couple minutes.

And with Spell Check, word count, headers and footers, and the ability to save in a whole bunch of different formats, I'm not sure why you'd want to use a simple text editor over Word.

Or OpenOffice, which is what I use because it's more compatible with my operating system then my archaic version of Word.

kuwisdelu
08-03-2010, 10:55 PM
I don't understand how typing in HTML is easier. You have to type < p > before every paragraph and < / p > after every paragraph. Then all the other coding. How is that "easier?"

I don't know about anyone else, but I export to html when I want to post something in SYW or elsewhere online. Adds in all the code for you.

CaroGirl
08-03-2010, 11:01 PM
I don't know about anyone else, but I export to html when I want to post something in SYW or elsewhere online. Adds in all the code for you.
Export it from what? Word? Nothing "adds" html code when exporting. What happens during export is the process exposes html code in text that's already formatted. Pure text (.txt) has no code (like in Notepad) because it has no formatting.

fivetoesten
08-03-2010, 11:01 PM
I don't understand how typing in HTML is easier. You have to type < p > before every paragraph and < / p > after every paragraph. Then all the other coding. How is that "easier?"

Inserting the tags can be automated. I can make html out of text with one or two clicks.

cwfgal
08-03-2010, 11:04 PM
I have no idea what is meant by separating content from presentation. You open a word processing program. You type. You save. Repeat as needed. Other than setting up your font, spacing, and indents initially, what "presentation" do you need?

Nor do I understand what this means:
and doc is not even compatible with itself.

Huh?

I haven't met a word processing program yet that can't do rtf, or an agent who wouldn't accept it. If you truly think Word is some big bad monster, don't use it. It's not that big a deal.

Beth

kuwisdelu
08-03-2010, 11:09 PM
Export it from what? Word? Nothing "adds" html code when exporting. What happens during export is the process exposes html code in text that's already formatted. Pure text (.txt) has no code (like in Notepad) because it has no formatting.

From Pages. I have no clue what Word does.

Shadow_Ferret
08-03-2010, 11:11 PM
Which pages? :D

Have no idea what pages is. Is it a program?

Inserting the tags can be automated. I can make html out of text with one or two clicks.

But what is the point? I mean, unless your intent is HTML output for a website or something. Creating a manuscript in HTML that you'll have to strip of all the tags to send to an agent seems like extra work to me.

CaroGirl
08-03-2010, 11:13 PM
From Pages. I have no clue what Word does.
And I don't a Mac from my elbow. :) The idea is the same, though. The export process exposes the html code in text that you've already formatted using a word processor (Pages in this case). Word processors are wysiwyg and the html code is hidden in formatted text.

kuwisdelu
08-03-2010, 11:13 PM
Which pages? :D

Have no idea what pages is. Is it a program?

It's Apple's word processor from iWork.

CaroGirl
08-03-2010, 11:14 PM
Which pages? :D

Have no idea what pages is. Is it a program?

I had no idea either. Apparently, it's a word processor for Mac. Google is your friend. :)

kuwisdelu
08-03-2010, 11:15 PM
And I don't a Mac from my elbow. :) The idea is the same, though. The export process exposes the html code in text that you've already formatted using a word processor (Pages in this case). Word processors are wysiwyg and the html code is hidden in formatted text.

Maybe convert would be a better word, then. Unless the code in all word processor's native formats is html.

ColetteStreet
08-03-2010, 11:16 PM
Microsoft has won the battle, maybe the war. Ten years ago, I was a big proponent of Wordperfect by Corel. Versions 7, 8, and 9 were pretty good by me. I enjoyed that they did what I wanted them to do but didn't try to outthink me so that I was forced to go back and constantly hit the "reveal codes" or "undo" function. WP was kicked to the curb and I was reluctantly forced to use Word. I've now been using Word for long enough that I am very comfortable in it even if it is still quirky. This doesn't necessarily make me a big proponent of Word. I have simply given in to the masses. My suggestion would be to surrender as well. Sure you may be able to get someone to take a pdf, txt, rtf or something else but why create that stress? Why, if most everyone only wants your manuscript in doc form, go through the hassle of making sure your manuscript converted properly when you can just surrender to Mr. Gates and make your life a lot easier in the long run even if the short run isn't so nice?

Bill loves all of us. He loves you and he is willing to give you eternal bliss if you will simply convert to Word. If you do convert, you can look for me. I'm in the airports dressed in white shirt, plain tie, and geeky glasses selling authorized copies of Word for Mr. Gates and handing out flowers to anyone I see.

kuwisdelu
08-03-2010, 11:25 PM
I have simply given in to the masses. My suggestion would be to surrender as well. Sure you may be able to get someone to take a pdf, txt, rtf or something else but why create that stress? Why, if most everyone only wants your manuscript in doc form, go through the hassle of making sure your manuscript converted properly when you can just surrender to Mr. Gates and make your life a lot easier in the long run even if the short run isn't so nice?

Because, IMO, it's easier to write in a word processor that I like and do those checks at the end — especially since sometimes submitting to picky places will mean reformatting stuff anyway — than to write the whole damn thing in an app that I don't like.

Besides, plenty of places also take rtf.

CaroGirl
08-03-2010, 11:31 PM
Keep in mind: You don't want to go saving every file you have in rtf. My understanding is that it's a PIG of format and takes up far more disk space than most other formats.

Shadow_Ferret
08-04-2010, 01:01 AM
Microsoft has won the battle, maybe the war. Ten years ago, I was a big proponent of Wordperfect by Corel. Versions 7, 8, and 9 were pretty good by me.

I loved LOVED WordPerfect 4.2 (when they still owned it, not when Corel watered it down). You could keep and run the entire program from a 5-1/4 in floppy disc. No bloatware. Just a wonderfully powerful basic word processor.

Only problem? You had to memorize F-key combinations to be really productive. And it was DOS-based with C:/wp

Word was linked to its new GUI operating system Windows at the time, with a common interface. And soon with mousing access.

Word won the lazy people over and the rest followed.

Hallen
08-04-2010, 01:13 AM
I'm not "stuck" with Word, I use it because I believe it's far and away the best tool for the job. ...

Wow, do you ever post without sounding like you have a cheese grater stuck up your craw? This isn't a contest, ya' know. Lighten up a bit (and this is coming from an eternal pessimist)

I use OO because I didn't have MSO on the computer when I bought it. OO works fine although it doesn't support the latest Word formats. It can take Word files back and forth pretty well though and it does seems to keep track of revisions that way, so that isn't bad at all.

For submission, yeah, if I were an agent or publisher, I'd definitely pick a standard and stick with it. I'd choose what is most often used out there and with which I could most efficiently do my job. RTF might work, but it's limited and no major product uses it as its native file (you always have to import and export). Word covers the bases, is ubiquitous, requires no computer wizardry to work well (where OO leaves a lot to be desired in that way), works on both PC's and Macs, and you know it will be available next year too. So, yeah, that's why it gets stipulated as a submission format. (and the whole crashes and lose my work thing has been gone for ages and it only happened when you had background saves turned on. I've had OO crash hard and destroy files too. I found a way around that problem too)

kuwisdelu
08-04-2010, 01:20 AM
Keep in mind: You don't want to go saving every file you have in rtf. My understanding is that it's a PIG of format and takes up far more disk space than most other formats.

Huh? My rtfs are less than half the size of my .docs.

And we're talking something like a few hundred kilobytes at most for the big ones, anyway. I'll worry about my 3 gigabyte movies if I'm worried about disk space.

Most of my writing files I have saved in .pages, .rtf, .doc, and .pdf.

KTC
08-04-2010, 02:23 AM
I'm HAPPY with word and always have been. I don't like change when it comes to what I use to write with. I don't want the distractions of learning some new fangled flibbertygibbetty type gizmotronic whatchamacallit. I'm happy as a pig in poop with word and I will always and forever remain thusly so. thusly. so there.

benbradley
08-04-2010, 03:16 AM
Well, duh. It's because of Microsoft's megalomanic desire to rule the world and their success thereat. :D

I do accept that it's easiest to do business when we're all working with the same tools. It's unfortunate that MS won that battle. (If I'd bought a lot of MS stock early on, I might have a different opinion as regards to how fortunate it is that things ended up that way....LOL!)
Yes, that's why Bill Gates is shown as a Borg in the top icon here:
http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/07/31/0456228/Microsoft-To-Issue-Emergency-Fix-For-Windows-LNK-Flaw
(in case you were wondering why Windows updated itself yesterday)

The ubiquteness of Word has as much as or more to do with Microsoft's marketing practices than technical superiority.

Because word is easiest to get, most commonly used, and pretty much every other writing software out there lets you save in word format.
It's the "easiest to get" if you get it on a Windows computer. Windows already comes with Wordpad and Notepad. I often use Wordpad in text mode (talk about limiting myself! But it makes it easy to, for example copy-and-paste into an online post and the formatting comes out exactly as I expected), something that would make a lot of people cringe. People get upset when their "word processor" won't make a daiquiri for them.

Text (.txt) is probably the lowest common denominator, and doc is not even compatible with itself. It would seem to me that writers would be among the most ardent supporters of open document formats (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDocument).

So Word and doc have become the defacto standard. I think we should be working to change that.
When/if I actually submit something, I suppose I'll open it with Word (really OpenOffice Writer), click the "double space" icon, save as .doc, and attach and send that.

I type and when I'm done, I have my manuscript.
Your typewriter had proportional fonts and Times New Roman???

Woops, I snipped out this part:

I'm not sure what you mean by separating content from presentation, but writing in Word is, for me, invisible. It's no different than when I used to type on a typewriter.
There. I don't believe it's no different. You don't have to change ribbons for one thing.

I have no idea what is meant by separating content from presentation. You open a word processing program. You type. You save. Repeat as needed.
It's actually quite simple:

This is content.

This is presentation.



Also, I've had many word processors and text editors that can't do rtf or doc, but that's effectively in a previous life. At least they all did .txt though I think some may have called it .tex. And the first .doc files I saw were actually plain .txt with documentation on how to run a program.

At least I don't go back to EBCDIC.

It is a pity. Plain text and HTML are is universal. But most people think it's "easier" to use a gargantuan word processor that they have great difficulty in learning to configure and control, and which loves to crash and corrupt data.

Also, free software doesn't make a lot of money for Micro$oft. :tongue

I love AkelPad (or gedit, or whatever).
I would not have recognized HTML on my Apple ][ but I would have figured out it was some formattting code like for a runofff program.

It may be the most commonly used, but it is most definitely not the easiest to get. Far from it.
It came with a "package" system on my Dell in 1999, so it was effectively "free" though of course the cost of Word and Windows were built into the price of the computer, and pretty much invisible. I have little idea how much it cost to have Word on that computer.

But yeah, there's dozens or hundreds of word processors you can get legally and for free on the Web.

Export it from what? Word? Nothing "adds" html code when exporting. What happens during export is the process exposes html code in text that's already formatted. Pure text (.txt) has no code (like in Notepad) because it has no formatting.
Even .txt format is a format, and has options. Do you hit return at between 70 and 80 columns, making each line printable just as you see it on the screen? Or only at the end of a sentence? One return at the end of a paragraph, or two? And don't use tabs, they're a "legit" ASCII character, but different text editors/word processors/printers format them differently.

From Pages. I have no clue what Word does.
I take it you don't use Word, but I could easily hear that from Word users...

Huh? My rtfs are less than half the size of my .docs.

And we're talking something like a few hundred kilobytes at most for the big ones, anyway. I'll worry about my 3 gigabyte movies if I'm worried about disk space.

Most of my writing files I have saved in .pages, .rtf, .doc, and .pdf.
Well yeah, if you're worried about disk space, save in .txt and then .zip it. You could even put several novels on a FLOPPY DISK doing that. It's INCREDIBLE what technology we had, even back in the late 1970's!

ETA:

I'm HAPPY with word and always have been. I don't like change when it comes to what I use to write with. I don't want the distractions of learning some new fangled flibbertygibbetty type gizmotronic whatchamacallit. I'm happy as a pig in poop with word and I will always and forever remain thusly so. thusly. so there.

I'm HAPPY with my ASR-33! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xu0UTWh-HM4)

kuwisdelu
08-04-2010, 03:37 AM
It came with a "package" system on my Dell in 1999, so it was effectively "free" though of course the cost of Word and Windows were built into the price of the computer, and pretty much invisible. I have little idea how much it cost to have Word on that computer.

*looks up*

Well, if we're talking Windows, Office Home and Student costs $149. Office Home and Business costs $279.99, and Office Professional costs $499.99. If one is looking to buy Word alone, it's $139.99.

Now one can go hunt down the various discounts and offers out there. Or one can download one of the many capable free alternatives.

Frankly, most people who don't need 100% compatibility in the corporate world don't need anything more than something like OpenOffice. And writers are not using formatting complicated enough to matter.

But to each his or her own.

KTC
08-04-2010, 03:38 AM
someone likey multi-quote bigtime clazy.

Miss Plum
08-04-2010, 03:55 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fivetoesten http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=5205745#post5205745)
How would you feel about receiving a pdf submission? I can generate a pretty nice pdf.Fuck no.You're scaring me. Someone asked me to e-mail them my proposal and they didn't specify the format. I sent .pdf. Now I'm scared.

kuwisdelu
08-04-2010, 04:01 AM
If you know the person on the other end isn't going to be editing your document, PDF is the way to go.

Phaeal
08-04-2010, 04:34 PM
Bill loves all of us. He loves you and he is willing to give you eternal bliss if you will simply convert to Word. If you do convert, you can look for me. I'm in the airports dressed in white shirt, plain tie, and geeky glasses selling authorized copies of Word for Mr. Gates and handing out flowers to anyone I see.

And when Mr. Gates buys Mars and renames it "Bill," you're going to wish you were nicer to him. That's all.