Fixing Those $%#*! Software Problems

Software, as everyone knows, is written by obsessive-compulsive UberGeeks who take some bizarre delight in making them as complex and convoluted as possible. So in the course of your writing, you have / will stumble into seemingly inexplicable problems. This page focusses on how to clean up some of the more common headaches.

Pages (Mac OS Word Processing)

To eliminate the 'helpful' automatic features which can make a fine hash of your page setup, go into the Inspector and do the following:

  • in Document (first icon on the top bar) go to the Document tab and set headers or footers to Zero before clicking them off. Even unused headers will interfere with margin settings.
  • In Wrap Inspector (third icon on the top bar) set any images to Floating, to make them independent of the text. Also uncheck the 'Object Causes Wrap' checkbox.
  • In Text (fourth icon in the top bar) go to More and uncheck the 'Preserve Widows And Orphans' checkbox. This keeps paragraphs from being split onto two pages, which can make a mess of your text layout.
  • In the Preferences menu (under 'Pages' in the top menu bar), open the 'Autocorrection' window and uncheck ALL the Autocorrection options. That way you will be writing your story, not the computer.

    MS Word

  • Word is notorious for its 'helpful' automatic features, which unlike Pages, are hidden in various spots thruout the pull down menus. Essentially you need to do the same settings given above, but Word will make a regular Snipe Hunt of it. Good luck.


  • One of the few problems with Photoshop (at least for CS4 for Mac, which I use - I can't say about later versions) is the 'fully justify' setting doesn't work. In order to fully justify text, you need to resort to using your word processing program (Pages in my case) to write out and justify text. Be sure to select the font, size and color you want at this point. Then export it as a JPEG. Then pick it up and insert it into your Photoshop document. Finally, use the Magic Erase function (click the erase icon to get the selections) and use it to erase everything you don't want, including the filled in areas of enclosed letters like 'A' and 'O'. It's tedious, but it works.

    Note that many word processing programs export to JPEG at 200 DPI, which will affect the final image size in your Photoshop document. You will either have to modify the DPI in Photoshop, or use the drag size change feature to adjust the text block to the area you want it in. Do this after erasing the unwanted material, as changing size will cause some blurring.


    Adobe Acrobat / Jutoh

  • One easy way to offset Acrobat's tendency to override the HTML settings is to insert a small image right at the top of the page. This can be a blank rectangle - it's only there to be the first thing Acrobat sees when it does the HTML transformation. Acrobat tends to look at the first line on the file, and transpose those settings on the rest of the document, so that if you have BOLD title headers, the entire document comes out Bold. By putting an image at the head of the page, and leaving it with normal font settings, the impact is greatly lessened. It won't solve all the formatting problems, but it makes a difference. The blank image can be removed once the file is loaded to Jutoh.

    Related Topics:

    Prepping For Print
    Cover Art
    Basics Of E-publishing
    Prepping To E-publish - Jutoh For Mac
    Prepping To E-publish - Legend Maker For Mac
    Roll Your Own - CD Books
    Spread The Good Word - Audio Books
    Fixing Those $%#*! Software Problems

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