EPUB Conversion: Style-Based Formatting

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Format is as Important as Grammar

When creating your unique work, you spent endless hours writing and rewriting, ensuring your spelling was correct, your subjects and verbs agreed, and that your work had a consistent voice. Now, you should spend a little time making sure it is consistently formatted.

In general, word processing programs provide two methods for formatting text and paragraphs:

Direct (or Inline) Formatting:

Creating a chapter title by manually changing the font type and size of the first line in a paragraph that otherwise uses the Normal style is an example of Direct Formatting. While the Lulu EPUB Converter maintains this type of formatting, it cannot identify it as a new chapter. Other examples of direct formatting include creating indents using tabs or the space bar, or inserting additional spaces between paragraphs using the Enter key. Our converter will automatically strip direct formatting of extra spaces (manual indents and manually entered paragraph spacing) from your document during conversion.

Direct formatting can be used for bolding or italicizing certain words in a paragraph. If the whole paragraph needs to be formatted uniquely, you should apply style-based formatting to the entire paragraph as discussed below.

Style-Based Formatting:

Selecting a text and applying a defined style from a menu, such as Heading 1, is an example of Style-Based Formatting. If your editor does not have a Styles menu, it will not support applying an RTF style sheet to your file.

TIP:   Apply a style to some text in your manuscript. Does the Styles menu display the style you applied? If yes, then your editor supports applying a style sheet to your file.

The Lulu EPUB Converter easily recognizes styles. It uses Heading styles to automatically create page/section breaks and to auto-generate the EPUB Table of Contents (TOC) in your eBook. For more information on how the TOC is generated see EPUB Table of Contents.

Do I Have to Use Styles?

We know many of you are groaning right now at the thought of using the Styles menu to format every paragraph in your book. We hear you, and have provided tips for quickly applying styles in other articles. The good news is, you only need to use a few styles and most are available out-of-the-box in popular word processing programs. The most important thing to remember is that every chapter or section needs to use a Heading style, so we can ensure it shows up in the EPUB table of contents.

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