Journal News 2015 – Step 2 – copying files to a single document

Now all the entries are collected in the Dropbox, it’s time to download them and squash them all into one B-I-G file. Here’s how.

  1. Create a directory for each section of the journal.
  2. Download each document and picture into the appropriate directory.
  3. I haven’t decided yet what order the sections will be in, or what order the entries will take within the sections. Avoid the temptation to think about this. It’s way toooooo soooooon.
  4. Create a new word document. Type the magical words, “Writers’ Mill Journal Volume 4 2015” at the top.
  5. Then type the name of the first section.
  6. Then open the folder for that section. For each document in the folder:
    1. Type the name and author of the entry on a new line of my Writers’ Mill Journal doc. Add any necessary information about pictures etc.
    2. Cut and paste the contents of the document below the name of the author and entry.
    3. Move on to the next document… and then the next folder.
  7. The documents are written in different fonts, with different formats, headings used differently, hard and soft returns, tabs, page breaks, double spaces, and a ton of other stuff. The resulting B-I-G document both looks and is a mess. So what next?
    1. I’d like to remove all control characters – e.g.
      1. Hard returns. These are where the author hits Ctrl-return to break a line, instead of just return. They really mess up the formatting.
      2. Page breaks. The page will change in size. I need control over where they break.
      3. Double line breaks after every paragraph. I want to decide how much space (usually around 1/2 a line) is between paragraphs.
      4. Double space breaks after each sentence. I want to decide how much space is between sentences too (or rather, I’d like to let Word decide since it does such a good job).
      5. Those random characters that have turned random sections of some stories into bold. (What on earth is going on?)
      6. etc. But…
    2. The easiest way to remove all control characters is:
      1. Ctrl-A Ctrl-C to copy the whole document.
      2. Open a new Notepad file, and Ctrl-V to paste the document.
      3. Ctrl-A Ctrl-C in Notepad to copy the copied document.
      4. Open a new Word file and Ctrl-V to paste. But…
      5. This removed all italics and intentional bold fields too. It’s great if I’m just trying to clean one of my own pieces. I can reinsert everything I lost. But this is a document full of other people’s writing and I mustn’t lose their choices of italics and bold. So…
      6. I tried using Wordpad instead. This left things looking pretty much how they did originally, so no help at all.
    3. An alternative, less clean and convincing method, is to select the whole document and choose “style-normal.” The resulting document is still a mess, since this didn’t remove hard line and page breaks, didn’t fix all the fonts, and unnecessarily un-bolded everything. It did leave italics the way the writers intended though. Repeating it fixed the fonts too. Don’t ask me why.
  8. So now I’m up to Step 3 and wondering why everything takes so long!

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