AddIn_SendTextAway

This is a formatting tool that takes plain text and converts it to other file formats.


Prequisite

Requires the YourOtherMind Markup Language AddIn.


Page Index

Here’s the topics available on this page.

  • Basics
  • Advanced Customizing
  • Exporting to ePub format

Basics

To use the tool you first create a SEND AWAY INDEX note. When created it will look like this:
capture0000393

This note controls the various settings to use when configuring the appearance of the exported text.

Here’s some examples of how to make this work:

  • If you specify the name of a subpanel, Sendaway will (in alphabetical order) export every text note in the subpanel. (I’ve found this to be most flexible long-term solution to managing large texts. Storyboards are useful but they require the caption on the Storyboard to match the name on the note itself and if these are ever out of synch, the note won’t be exported.

Advanced Customizing

Custom Tags

If you include [[words]] in any line (by itself) it will switch word counting to true (once process is ended the word report it pasted to the clipboard).

Likewise if you include [[end]] it will stop adding any further layouts to the process. This is useful when users have a sendaway index but like to keep notes on it (such as past word counts or what not). Users put the text they do not want processes below the [[end]] tag.

MULTILINEFORMATS – Custom Multiline Tags

Users may also add multiline tags.
For example, I commonly modify MULTILINEFORMATS so that any text I enclose like so:

Has a particular formatting, to set it apart from standard text (this would be used in flashbacks). When writing code examples I do the same but with a tag.

EXPORTING TO WORD DOCUMENTS

First, to allow this, requires Microsoft Word to be installed on your system.

(More details forthcoming soon!)

EXPORTING TO EPUB FORMAT

How To

ePub books can be a bit tricky. YourOtherMind takes care of about 90% of the effort, exporting the text the user has written (as long as they used the YourOtherMind markup language) and generating a series of files, including a linked Table of Contents page, the Table of Contents ncx, the opf file and a default style sheet.

DISCLAIMER: This requires the most up to date version of YourOtherMind (1.4.7 or later) and Calibre installed.

The ePub requires certain template files that are used to assist with building the structure of the ePub file. You will need to download these manually (here: YourOtherMind SendTextAway AddIn Template Files (ePub) (442)). Extract them to a suitable location (I recommended under Files, within the YourOtherMind directory structure, to keep everything together) and then reference them in the options panel of the SendTextAway note.


Options

  • Template Directory. This is where the files the users downloaded are. These templates are used to build the framework for the ePub.
  • Output Directory. Indicate where to put the files generated. They will be placed in a date-stamped subfolder at this location.
  • Starting Chapter. Generally the first chapter encountered will be labeled Chapter 1. User may start counting at any number they choose.
  • Zipper. This is the path to 7-zip, which is used at the end of the building to construct an ePub. If this is left blank, this step will be skipped. Using also requires (Users do not need to edit lastzip.bat, this is automatically generated during the building process).
  • CopyTitleAndLegalTemplates. If true will copy templates over for copyright, legal, and title page. User must add them manually to the .opf file however. These files are not requires, so only set this option if you really want them. These files must also be edited before final ePub generated because they contain the author’s information. Users will want to personalize them.

Formatting Tips

The [[title]] code can be used to create separate chapter filese (which helps with building the Table of Contents). Doing the following:
<t>[[title]] Name of Chapter</t> This will automatically label the chapter, and incrememnt, as new [[title]] tags are found. Basically, title each new chapter like this and, if exporting through the SendTextAway plugin, each will be placed in their own chapter file.

This means the user does not need to manually number their chapters. They will be numbered when exported into the ePub format.

Table of Contents

Use the heading markup (i.e., =This is a Heading 1=). It will help later. Much of the heavy lifting for the table of contents is handled by how the user writes (using appropriate markup) and what YourOtherMind generates. Calibre is used at the end to fine-tune the table of contents.

Author Information

Remember to refer to the YourOtherMind Markup page for further information, but there are author tags available. Just insert these into any file you are exporting — they won’t appear in the final output but they pump information into the ePub files.

[[~id title|Ice Onion version 1.0]]
[[~id creator|Brent Knowles]]
[[~id copyright|(c) 2010 Brent Knowles]]
[[~id publisher|Review copy only, not for public viewing]]

Workflow

  1. Write your text
  2. Verify SendTextAway templates have correct licensing, copyright, and author details
  3. Generate the ePub using the SendTextAway plugin
  4. Manually verify each .xhtml file (one generated for each chapter) opens correctly in a browser.
  5. If usersewant a proper table of contents, it is recommended you move the generated .epub file into Calibre. Export the ePub as an ePub. Double check author information and on the Table of Contents page select the Manually Fine-Tune the Toc after conversion is completed option. This gives the user the option to tweak the final table of contents.
  6. Upload the file to appropriate service. If using Amazon, I recommend downloading the external Kindle previewer, as this assists with finding errors in the text across all of the Kindle devices.

TIP: If you need to create your own .zip file to import into Calibre, change the file extension to .EPUB otherwise the converter — when you go to export it FROM calibre — spits up errors that it should not.

WARNING: If you use the greater than or less than signs (< or >) in your text you need to “escape” them. For YourOtherMind type [< instead of < and type >] instead of >.

Issues.

Bullet lists cannot embed a 3 deep list in the middle of another list. The 3 level item must be at the end of the 2 level items

That is:
*Item 1
**Item 2
***Item 3

Will work.

This will not:

*Item 1
**Item 2
***Item 3
**Another Item 2

To fix it, reorder the list or terminate with an empty * like so:
*Item 1
**Item 2
***Item 3
**Another Item 2
*

The blank * will not be output.

Bullet lists may only be nested three levels deep.

That is:
*Item 1
**Item 2
***Item 3

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