Publishing Tips

Formatting: Word vs. OpenOffice

Before launching Darkness Falling: Soldiers and Slaves, I made a post about reformatting my OpenOffice document for uploading as an eBook, specifically for Kindle. In that post I said I might do a tutorial on how to reformat with OpenOffice since all of the tutorials I found were for Word. In the end I ended up getting the free trial of Microsoft Office for Windows 10 to finish up the process.

I have used OpenOffice for a long time for my writing. I don’t have the money to run out and buy the Office software. Plus, it really isn’t that different. All of my projects up to this point, however; have never left my PC.

I’m not a programmer. I can’t tell you exactly why something works on a computer that I use every day. What I do know is that although OpenOffice seems to have the same functionality in the interface, there is something different going on in the programming that causes it to function differently.

It really wasn’t a difficult process in the reformatting within the document itself. It’s easy to set up the margins and indentations to the proper specifications. Everything would look great. Then I would convert it to html to look at it on the Kindle Previewer and Sigil. Although there was no reason for it in the formatting, extra space was added between every line every time.

I couldn’t figure it out. I searched on Google, learning I needed to add lines to the html. I tried to figure out how to add these lines in Sigil, which is a fine program but confuses me personally.

Besides working on my book, I work full time and I have my family. The whole thing started to be overwhelming. That was when I downloaded the free trial of Microsoft Office and discovered that once you set up all of your indentations and styles, that’s all you need to do. You don’t need to learn html. You don’t need to convert your files. You just need to upload your documents and preview it and you’re   done.

As I said, I don’t have the money to purchase the software, but they now have a program that allows you to “rent” it by the month. That’s what I’ve done.

Here is my final opinion:

If you already know how to work with html or have the time to properly learn, then using OpenOffice is perfectly fine for writing your eBook. If you’re not, then Word is the better option and it’s worth it to rent it to make your life easier.

Thank you as usual for reading. Let me know your experiences with formating in the comments!



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