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Type, Design & Layout

  Strictly adhere to styles

This will become of particular importance if/when you decide to convert your book to an e-book format such as Kindle. (We describe this process in some detail in the book.) In e-books, how letters and symbols are displayed is coded into the file using what is called a mark-up language. Web pages use this in just the same way. Here they use html, or Hyper Text Mark-up Language. The text styles (in MS word) translate smoothly into html and similar formats.

If you wish to change the way a font displays in your document, then modify the style. This will automatically change each occurrence of this style – saving you a lot of work. Note, however, that this change may or may not be picked up by the Kindle device, or other viewer.

If you apply formatting or text effects other than bold or italic in the document, these will be ignored in translation to an e-book. In many cases they will also not print out the same way as they appear on screen. WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) does not always apply.

Similarly, avoid using fancy, non-standard fonts. First of all, they do nothing for your book. More importantly, they often do not have proper font metrics – descriptions on how the font should print. And finally, the e-reader (kindle or other) will, in all likelihood not have this font loaded and will thus not be able to display it.  

Avoid using wingdings or other art fonts

Above all, avoid using wingdings or other art fonts. The reason for this is that the individual elements of all (computer) fonts are described by the numeric ASCII code. ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. It's a 7-bit character code (7 digit boolean number), where every single bit represents a unique character.

ASCII printable characters (character code 32-127) Codes 32-127 are common for all the different variations of the ASCII table, they are called printable characters, represent letters, digits, punctuation marks, and a few miscellaneous symbols. You will find almost every character on your keyboard.

The first 32 characters (codes 0-31) in the ASCII-table are unprintable control codes and are used to control peripherals such as printers. Codes 128-255 contain the extended characters. These include elements such as the Euro, pound and other currency symbols, left and right quotation marks (as opposed to the straight quote marks), and many more.

Art fonts are just that. They are fonts, where the letter of the alphabet are replaced with a symbol. This may look nice on the screen and may even print, but when converting to a digital e-book format the underlying ASCII information will be used and the symbol will revert to the letter.

To get around this, if you really want to use a given symbol, us an art programme such as Adobe Illustrator to create an art file. Type in the symbol as usual, convert to outlines, and save out using the “save for web and devices” feature. Here you may create a .jpeg, .gif or .png art file.

 


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