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For your convenience, here are some settings to use and methods of saving text files for commonly-used word processors. Before you attempt to save the file in plain text, please make sure that you save the file in at least two different places. Not that we think you'll mess it up, but it's better to be safe than sorry!

Converting Your Story To Plain Text

Microsoft Word (on a PC)

1. Save your story as you normally would, but do NOT close the window.
2. Change the page setup so that the lines will wrap at an appropriate place. I use 1" margins for top, bottom, and left and 3" for right. Also change the font for the entire document to a fixed-width font such as "Courier." This configuration seems to generate files with about 70 characters per line.
3. Choose "Save As" from the File menu.
4. Type a different name for your file (I usually use title.txt) in the file name box.
5. From the pull down menu below the file name field, select the "Text Only with Line Breaks (*.txt)" option. If this option is not available, look for other similar options such as "Text with Layout" or "MS-DOS text."
6. Now you can hit the "Save" button and you will have an ascii version of your file which can be uploaded via your favorite terminal program.

Microsoft Word (on a Mac)
1. Save your story as you normally would, but do NOT close the window.
2. Choose "Save As" from the File menu.
3. Type a different name for your file (I usually use title.ascii) in the document name box.
4. From the pull down menu below the document name window, select (and this is extremely important) the "Text with Layout" option. This will be available on properly installed versions of Microsoft Word 5.0 and 6.0. IT IS NOT AVAILABLE ON MS Word 5.1!!! for reasons known only to God and Bill Gates. For Word 5.1, I'm at a loss. I have not found any other text format than "Text with Layout" which produces decent, readable ASCII text.
5. Now you can hit the "Save" button and you will have an ascii text version of your file which can be uploaded via your favorite terminal program. As SUe noted, it is wise to chop up a long document into several shorter segments, labelled "01/05", "02/05", etc.

Word 5.1 on a Mac
How to format ASCII text from Word 5.1/Macintosh to 70 character width...it's possible, it just takes a little more effort. Here's what you do.

1. Select all the text in the document and convert it to Monaco 12 point (which every Mac owner has available).
2. Go to the Format menu and select Document.
3. Change the left and right margins to 1 inch.
4. Now, do a Save As and select Text Only With Line Breaks from the File Type popup menu.
5. Enter a new file name and click Save.

That's it. Complex paragraph formatting like indents will be lost, but it works.

WordPerfect (tested on 5.1)
Retrieve your story into a document screen in WP as usual. Then use [CONTROL + F5] (Text In/Out). Choose [1] (Save As), then [1] again (ASCII). Give it a separate name so you know that's the ASCII version. When importing it into your newsreader or whatever, that's the filename you need to bring in.

WordPerfect 6.0 for Windows
Well, it's really quite easy. Type your heart away, then, when ready to save, select "file" then "save as" (or F3). A window box will open and at the very bottom is "format" and will generally say "Word Perfect 6.0 (*.wpd; *.wpt; *.doc; *.wp)". Scroll up until you see "ASCII (DOS) Text (*.*). Select this one, then hit "ok". This saves the document as a normal ASCII file, and not a high ASCII file.

Sounds and looks a lot more complicated than it really is. Anyone familiar with windows will have no problems. When you finally exit the document, insure that you are still saved as an ASCII file using the "save as" command (above) THEN exiting.

BTW, if you don't wish your lines to be all messed up when posted, do the following: If the ruler bar is not already present, select "view" then "ruler bar" and the ruler bar will appear. On the right hand side of the rule are two little triangles. Move BOTH to 5.5 on the ruler (this usually works for me) or 5.25. MAKE SURE YOU ARE AT THE TOP OF YOUR DOCUMENT WHEN YOU DO THIS!!! If not, half your document will have one set of margins and the remainder another.

ClarisWorks on a Mac
Perhaps I'm the only person in fandom with a Mac/ClarisWorks combination, but in case someone else has this combo, this is what works. (After much trial and error...)

1. In ClarisWorks, select Helvetica as the font. As the style, select Plain Text. Go into the edit menu and disconnect Smart Quotes. (Do not use [Option]/anything combinations.) Type your document and save.
2. Make a new folder and put it on the desktop. (I labeled mine "ng.")
3. Close your document and drag the icon to the folder to be copied.
4. Open your newsreader. Click on "Mail to: News" or whatever your reader uses.
5. Open the document from the desktop folder. Use the mouse to highlight all of the text. Cut ("command"+X).
6. Click on the mail body and copy. ("command"+V)
7. Put the title in the subject header and send.

Other Programs
If you're using Windows, try using copy-and-paste to paste your story into Notepad and format it there. If you're using a Macintosh, try editing your story in Simpletext. (Sorry, I don't use a Mac so I can't tell you more!) On unix, I would recommend Pico. If you don't have access to Pico, Emacs and several other editors can be used as well. Have fun editing a 30-chapter series in vi. :-)

(Information on this page was copy/pasted from The Gossamer Project)

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So that your fanfic is readable to everyone, please follow these rules when composing the work:



3. Single space your text

4. Left justify your text (as opposed to right, center, or full justification)

5. Do not use the TAB key for indents. We recommend that you use a blank line to separate paragraphs instead of indenting, but if you prefer to indent, please use the space bar to create the indentation.

6. Do not use smart quotes (quotation marks that curve, rather than straight ones that I have here around the words "smart quotes")

7. Do not use high ASCII characters - those characters made by using various key combinations, such as [ALT] and a number for PCs, or [Option] and a letter for Macs

8. Do not use HTML; all stories on Gossamer are plain text - no exceptions

9. Do not use bold, italics, or any other special formatting; most of this formatting will be stripped by your word processor when you save your story as plain ASCII text.

10. If you use Eudora, Outlook, IE or Netscape Mail for e-mail, TURN OFF QUOTED-PRINTABLE.

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