Please help with formatting issues when posting, I am losing my mind

Hey all,

So I’ve revived the Great Fire and Ice Fic Exchange of Song and Legend after almost three years of it not happening. The amount of work involved is kind of mind-numbing, but I can handle it all… except for ONE THING, which may the one that drives me completely nuts.

You see, they always had it on LJ, so that’s where I had to have it this year. (Livejournal is so prehistoric that it may actually become a hipster thing, but that’s another issue.) After this, the exchange is never ever ever ever going to be there again. And here’s the problem at hand. Everyone sends their writing to me; I cut and paste and post it on LJ as separate posts. HOWEVER… about half of the fics are coming through fine. BUT about half of them looked good in word/odt but become completely

when pasted in LJ.

If the files were originally in html, they’re always fine, but very few authors have done this.

Please, PLEASE, if anybody knows how to fix this, PLEASE tell me. I don’t know if I can take any more. I’ve had to go through each one of those fics and hand-reformat it by pressing enter twice after the end of each paragraph-- I can’t find any other way. (Selecting all the text and then auto-increasing space above and/or below each paragraph has no effect at all.)

HELP!!! While any of my mind is still left!!!

I use Notepad to strip away any formatting.

Paste your story into Notepad
Select it, copy
Paste into LJ

Works great. But it also removes bolding, italics, and underlining too. However, there are times getting clean text is important and Notepad works really well.

If the post pastes correctly out of Word except for the squished-together paragraphs, you can correct this pretty easily. I’m assuming that the paragraphs do have one line break between them, but you want two, as in the following example:

But you want them like this…

If so, one of the following will cover you — if the first one doesn’t work, try the second. While you have the post in Word, press Ctrl + H to bring up Find and Replace, and then:

  1. In the Find box, enter “^p” (without the quotes). In the Replace box, enter “^p^p” (again, without the quotes). Press Replace All.

  2. In the Find box, enter “^l” (that’s a lowercase L; enter that without the quotes). In the Replace box, enter “^p” (again, without the quotes). Press Replace All.

If you’re curious why this works, “^p” is Word-ese for “paragraph break,” and “^l” is “line break”. If the post uses paragraph breaks, but the spacing is wrong, method one replaces every single paragraph break with a double. If it uses line breaks, the second method replaces them with paragraph breaks, which should increase the spacing automatically.

Missed the edit window…after re-reading the OP, it’s not clear on whether there’s a single line break, or none at all. If there aren’t any, there still may be something you can do; it depends on whether any coding at all comes across in the paragraph breaks. If you’ll email me a sample in Word format (my email’s in my profile under Contact Info), I’m happy to have a look and let you know.

The Notepad trick didn’t work. It still came out the same on LJ.

And for the other thing… Um… I’m afraid that this is what happened. (This is from one of the prompts for the fic entries, btw, not mine.)

Roland, did I do something really wrong that’s really obvious, or… ?? (And thank you for your help! :slight_smile:

That’s odd. Did you enter the carats (^)? Also, what version of Word are you using? The offer to troubleshoot still stands if you shoot the doc over. :slight_smile:

ETA: What you got is what I’d expect if you replaced “^p” with “^pp” (a paragraph mark followed by a plain ol’ lowercase p). What you want is “^p^p”.


(runs around yelling)

I’m getting kind of loopy by this point. I think I’m starting to understand why they didn’t run it for almost three years. But it must be done for the community!!

I think I didn’t enter the first ^. So, you see, it’s all about peas and carrots.:stuck_out_tongue:

Hehe…yeah, p^p or ^pp would have given you (mostly) the same result…too many peas, not enough carrots.

Glad it ended up working. And don’t feel too bad, only reason I know any of this is from beating my head against various formatting issues for years, a path I can’t in good conscience recommend (at least not if you value your sanity). Happy re-posting! :slight_smile: