Sunday, March 26, 2017

Choosing Fonts and Wordprocessing Software

Light-up computer keyboard

A couple of weeks ago, I was about to format the print version of “Circa Sixty Years Dead” but ran into a software compatibility problem. When I tried transferring the text of my manuscript to the Word-based formatting template, offered for free by Kindle Direct Publishing, my word processing software, Libre Writer, by default used a sans serif font in place of the template's serif font. Sans serif is a font-type that does not have the elaborate design, such as extra curves and “tails”, that serif font has. It is strongly recommended to use serif for formatting a fiction book. I had to open the template file with Libre since my laptop doesn’t have Microsoft Word. At the time, my desktop, which had Word, was not working.

Libre Writer offers plenty of serif fonts but I wanted a  style most fitting for fiction. I looked at some articles about fonts. One of the articles recommended as a source for free fonts. So I looked at the various serif styles there, and found one that one of the other articles recommended, Crimson (which is simply the name of the style, not the color), and downloaded it.

It was only last Sunday that I picked up my desktop from the computer repair service, but it no longer had Office on it. The repair technician had to remove Office in order to fix the computer. There's a more logical explanation to why he had to do that, but it's a story for another time. Earlier today, I was debating whether to download a copy of Libre Writer to my desktop or to use the text editing software, WordPad, that came with the Windows 7 OS that the computer repair tech installed.

Even though WordPad is a more advanced alternative to Notepad, and so is a text editor and not word processor, it has many of the same functions that word processing software has. Unlike Notepad, it has many of the same standard fonts, such as Times New Roman, as most word processing software. So I thought I would try it as an alternative to Word and see how it worked out. However, I just now found out that it may not be as compatible as I thought, at least not for using Word-based templates. One of the problems is that it does not divide the document up into pages like word processing software does. So I guess I'll be downloading a copy of Libre Writer after all. 

I hope to have the print edition of "Circa Sixty Years Dead" available on Amazon by the next post. 

Until next time . . . 

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