Advanced Features

NOTE 1: Make a safe backup copy of your original file first, in case anything goes wrong! :)

NOTE 2: These advanced features only work on a .DOC (not .docx) format. If you have a .docx file, use save-as to create a 'Word 97-2003' .doc format.

If you want to put in some time up front to mark the existing formatting, the Nuclear Assistant can do a much better, more reliable job.1

If you mark your existing italics by placing {{i}....{i}} characters around them, they will all get correctly formatted in the output. You do this using Find/Replace, as follows:

  • Find what: empty box, and hit the Control-I key -- below the Find box it should say "italics" now (and nothing else).
  • Replace with: {{i}^&{i}}    (suggest you copy & paste that.)
  • Do Replace All
  • Your italicized text should now look like: {{i}blah blah blah{i}}

You can do the same thing for Bold, if you like, using control-B instead of control-I in the Find box to select bold (turn off italics in the Find box by typing control-I another time or two until "italics" goes away), and a replace text of: {{b}^&{b}.

If you have Underlines, same as above but Find with control-U and replace with: {{u}^&{u}}

IMPORTANT: If you mark italics/bold/underlines with {}, then you must mark them all, as the software will ignore any other italics/bold/underlines and apply only the ones you've marked. This is to prevent multiple sets of formatting tags that can cause confusing, improper results (like italics that never get turned off so huge chunks of normal text come out in italics, yuck). So mark them all with {}, or don't mark any.

Centering: Use control-E in the Find box to find centered lines, and replace with: {{c}^&{c}}

Right justified lines: Use control-R in the Find box to find right-justified lines, and replace text of: {{r}^&{r}}

Superscripts & subscripts: In the Find dialog box, possibly under "More" or something like that, is "Format". With the cursor positioned in the Find-what box, click Format, then Font, then select superscript or subscript. Replacement text: {{sub}^&{sub}} or {{sup}^&{sup}}

Headers: Chapter headings, subheadings and such can be marked with {{H1}} , {{H2}}, etc. at the start of the line. Like above, with the cursor in an empty find-what box, click More, Format, Style, then choose "Heading 1" (or 2, 3...) from the list. Use a replacement text of: {{H1}}^&

Indented text (that is, an entire left indent, not just first line): Place {{s}} at the start and {{e}} at the end of the indented area.

It might also look better to have a blank line before and after the indented section.

(Note that these are hard to find easily or reliably with Find/Replace so best done manually.)

It also honors the "table of contents" markup as described here.

Now that you have all your formatting marked up, submit your .doc file into the Nuclear Assistant. Our software will remove all formatting (the so-called "nuclear option") then put back all the formatting you marked. This file should be all set for uploading to Smashwords (or at least much closer than it was).

1 Notes:

The Nuclear Assistant tries to preserve most of these format elements without the markup, but it can be fooled; and it doesn't always detect centered/indented/right-justified text in any event. You can try your file without doing all the markup, and just put in the markup it doesn't find.

Things this may not handle properly:

  • Tables just get flattened into text; that may not look very good at all. (However, Smashwords forbids tables, so you have to do something. They recommend images [ick]. You can also upload your own .epub file, which can contain tables, but make sure it passes "epubcheck" or they'll reject it.)
  • Word-automatic bullet points and automatically numbered paragraphs may come out ok, or may not. Smashwords forbids these too. Trying to fix them in the software may cause a bit of a jumble, so best to replace them manually if this doesn't do it right.
  • Our software also may not handle images right, or footnotes; it tries, but no guarantees.
  • Images that aren't "in line with text" may end up in random places in the text, or may not convert at all. (Smashwords requires all images to be "in-line" anyway.)
  • Text inside "text boxes" will likely end up in the wrong place, like at the end of the file. (Smashwords balks at text boxes anyway, so first move the text out of the boxes and put it where you want it.)

The Nuclear Assistant also removes more than three blank lines in a row (because Smashwords doesn't like that).

The Nuclear Assistant removes all {} markup when it's done. If you want to keep it for any reason, the form has an option to do that. (Definitely keep your original version as a backup, and a backup of your marked-up file in case you need to run it through again.)