Saturday, April 11, 2020


Topic questions:
1) How do you import text in MS-Word from one file to another file with a different page format? If you import it with formatting, it overrides the page format of the new document. If you import it without formatting, it loses things like italics and paragraph formatting. How do I preserve the latter without overriding the former?
2) How do you tell it not to print page numbers on particular individual pages, like the beginning of chapters, or to put them in the footer instead of the header?

I learned desktop computer layout in 1987 on a wonderful program called Ventura Desktop Publisher, which was a pure layout program of supreme flexibility. You'd set up your page and then drop text files from your word processor (in those days I used WordStar) into it. Then you could move them around and add headers and box illos or whatever. Page numbers, too, were handled entirely separately from the text files. You could edit the text in Ventura as well, but it wasn't designed for that, and I used that function only for touchup. (Fixing awkward page breaks, widows and orphans, that sort of thing.) Otherwise it preserved the text as you'd written it in the word processor; italics and paragraph formatting were taken from there. All the later issues of Mythprint under my editorship were prepared that way.

When Ventura went obsolete and we had to do everything in MS-Word, I gave up on layout, because Word was poorly designed for it, as Ventura was not designed for word-processing, and I couldn't figure out how to do it. I reverted to plain text documents, with nothing fancy except maybe a bold-faced centered header, indented quotes, or footnotes which it does handle well.

More recently I've prepared a couple booklets, including last year's Mythcon program schedule, in Word, but those were single files written in the format I intended to finish with, and with no page numbers. I'm trying to do a more complex booklet now, made up of existing documents, and it's a struggle.

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