Removing Tabs

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Removing Tabs

Post by TaylorNapolsky » November 19th, 2011, 10:43 pm

I have a question about formatting a word document. I'm using Microsoft word for Mac.

I'm trying to submit a novella to a publisher and I'm confused by their formatting requirements. Here is the line that baffles me:

"Please format all manuscripts in single line with the first line indented, and no double space between paragraphs (and no tabs in the document)."

I know single line means single spacing, so that isn't a problem. But I don't know how to make it so there are no tabs. I've tried going to Format, Tabs, Clear All, then hitting OK. But that doesn't seem to do it.

Is there a way to make it so all my tabs will move left, to the beginning?

Also, does that look like what they're asking for, based on those directions I posted?

I'm under the understanding that I have to remove all the tabs, so all the tabs disappear, and then figure out how to make it so the first line of each paragraph is indented. Which to me seems the same as having tabs at the beginning of each paragraph, but I guess that's beside the point.

I might be misinterpreting the directions though. Any help would be much appreciated!

Thank you.

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Re: Removing Tabs

Post by Margo » November 19th, 2011, 11:22 pm

I have run into this before, and if they mean what I think they do, try this:

Go to the replace function in Word. Find What should be this: ^t

Replace With should be nothing, not even a space.

If this causes all of your paragraph indentation to disappear, go to paragraph format, under Indentation, Special and tell it to indent the first line. Many of them want a 0.3 indent rather than the old standard 0.5, but I don't know about the publisher you're dealing with.

Does this answer your question?
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Re: Removing Tabs

Post by cheekychook » November 20th, 2011, 12:00 pm

I don't have a Mac, so I'm not sure exactly what you'll have to do, but in general no one wants a submission with tabs in it. Try unformatting your entire piece (there should be a pulldown menu somewhere that says remove formatting or something like that). Once it's cleared of all format, highlight the whole thing, then add in their specification. In the paragraph set up pulldown select first line indent, single space, NO EXTRA SPACE BETWEEN PARAGRAPHS. When you click okay your whole manuscript *should* be okay. Hope that works. In the future, get used to typing with the paragraphs pre-set (so it will automatically indent for you for each new paragraph/line of dialogue) and don't tab to indent or to center anything, ever---you'll just have to undo it later and it can be a pain in the butt. Hope that helps.

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Re: Removing Tabs

Post by Rachel Ventura » November 20th, 2011, 11:18 pm

I don't have a Mac either but I do have Word (as probably "99 Percent" of us do, a pox on Gates of the "one percent"). /end of #Occupy rant ;)

Anyway, another thing you can do is goto Show All Characters, which (on my Windows version -- damn, another M$ product!) is on the toolbar with a little paragraph symbol (¶). If you click on that, you can see where all your tabs are, just to be more clear. Spaces look like a little dot (•) between words. Newlines (the paragraph endings you get when you hit Return/Enter) look like this (¶), the paragraph symbol, and are (obviously) at the end of a line or paragraph; this differs from "breaks," like page breaks (¬) you get from hitting Shift+Enter, or section breaks (§), not sure the keystroke on those. Finally, tabs look like a little arrow (→) at the beginning of your paragraph, that is if you've done it manually -- it could be for automatic tabs (like you get with the ruler), but I'm not 100% sure on this. (I'm kind of confused, though, as to what they are looking for in terms of "white space," or the blank line that goes between one paragraph/series of and another, like the blank line below this one...) :?

Anyway, if you click the toolbar button with the paragraph symbol (¶), it (the button) should highlight (turn another color), and you can see where all your tabs, spaces, breaks, and newlines are in the document. These symbols don't print, just like spaces and tabs don't "print" per se (they do in terms of where the actual words are positioned on the page, but the corresponding proofreader's marks don't print). They're just there onscreen as guides to let you know where all the non-printing characters are in your document. Hit it again and they'll disappear from the screen. But it might be helpful to know where they are when you're replacing them; if they begin a new paragraph it might be kind of confusing as to where one ends and another begins. When you do the "Replace All" thing that Margo pointed out (hit Ctrl+H or Cmd+H on Mac, and where it says "Replace With," whatever you're replacing with -- a teeny-tiny ruler indent or nothing at all -- instead of hitting Replace 8,000 times, just hit Replace All), you should see all the little arrows disappear if Show All Characters is on (highlighted). You can also hit Select All (Ctrl+A on Windows/Cmd+A on a Mac, or Edit > Select All), and then either do the Replace dialogue box or the "Clear All" thing you did earlier. My guess is that these were manual tabs (i.e. you hit the Tab key rather than used the ruler), so there aren't any automatic tabs in the document, and hence nothing to "clear" from that setting. In that case the Replace function would work better. :)

And you might also want to save a secondary copy of your work (File > Save As...), under a different name and/or in a different folder (i.e. Submissions instead of Stories), so that you can still retain the original with the formatting just in case you have it published some other way later on. Congrats on finding a pubber, though; hopefully this little technical blip doesn't stand in the way of your creative endeavors! :D

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Re: Removing Tabs

Post by TaylorNapolsky » November 27th, 2011, 12:47 am

Thanks to everyone for the replies. I'm stunned at how little I know about this, and also impressed at everyone's expertise. This is not easy for me to figure out. I am blown away that I wasn't supposed to use tab all this time. I always thought that's how you write. You finish a paragraph, hit return, hit tab, and continue writing.

Anyway, when I replace ^t with nothing, that removed some of the indents, but not all. Also, when I search for ¶, I see them all over the document. But when I erase them, it removes the line between my paragraphs. So let's say it looks like this:

Hi my name's taylor this is cool. ¶

I want there to be a break between these two sentences.

Okay, now when I remove the ¶, it looks like this:

Hi my name's taylor this is cool. I want there to be a break between these two sentences.
But as soon as I hit return again, to make the paragraphs separate, as they should be, the ¶ returns.

I think I need to figure out how to remove all formatting, so I will work on learning that. If anyone knows how to remove all formatting on a microsoft word document for mac, that would be awesome if you could chime in.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do? Thanks again to everyone who has helped me so far. I'm definitely going to start responding faster. I didn't mean to take such a long break in between posts. But I don't know, it is hard deciding what to do with my time and I usually end up writing instead. I really should figure this stuff out though.

Again, I appreciate it!

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