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Level 5 14,268 posts since
Sep 5, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Oct 21, 2011 9:54 AM

Warning: Use CS Templates with Caution

Do not use CS templates without caution. Have a backup of your files before you start working with a template. Keep backups in various states.

 

I have two clients who have had identical problems:

  • Huge headers that occupy 1/3 to 2/3 of a page, pushing the text down
  • Text trapped in a huge header

 

Some of these large headers found their way into other sections of the books. Some can be resized temporarily, but not permanently.  I have tried various techniques to resize them:

So far, nothing has worked, except copying through Notepad to remove all formatting, and pasting into a new document. (Between my two clients and me, we have spent hundreds of hours trying to solve this.)

 

I have only looked at 2 templates, CreateSpace Formatted Template - 6 x 9 and CreateSpace Formatted Template - 6.69 x 9.61. I have opened them in Word 2003 and Word 2010. As captured above, you can see the large headers.

 

The text section of these templates seems to have normal size headers.  But in the books I've been working on, these headers have appeared elsewhere, including the text sections. On several pages text has found its way into the headers.

 

I cannot say what either person did in terms of adding or removing sections or pages, or copying and pasting text.  But I have the results. If I can draw a conclusion from these two books and these two templates, I would advise members not to use the the templates.  If you do, do so with caution.

 

If, however, I and my clients are doing something wrong, or if you know how to fix this, please let me know.

 

Walton

Mechanics & Punctuation, free, 20 page guide to everything punctuation  Build Your Book, a free, 98 page guide to designing your book;  CS Digital understand CS digital possibilities; GIMP, free, tutorials, GIMP, GIMP Help, excerpts from GIMP Supremacy Supremacy;  Bleeds, free, 19 page, illustrated guide to bleeds and margins, do's and don't's for CreateSpace;  Contact for graphics, design, and typesetting help. Disclaimer: all statements of apparent fact in this post are empirical inferences based on observational data. These are idiosyncratic in nature and have not necessarily been subject to verification.

Level 5 13,397 posts since
Mar 8, 2009
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1. Oct 21, 2011 10:22 AM in response to: walton
Re: Warning: Use CS Templates with Caution

Walton,

 

It fascinates me that someone with your experience would spend so much time trying to figure out the CS templates just so you can help CS members rectify the problems they are having with MSWord of any version. I applaud you and this is one of the reasons I highly recommend your two PDFs - Build Your Book and Bleeds - as often as I do. If I could send it through the keyboard, I'd give you one big healthy pat on the back.

 

Seal

Level 5 13,397 posts since
Mar 8, 2009
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3. Oct 21, 2011 10:44 AM in response to: walton
Re: Warning: Use CS Templates with Caution

I agree completely and that is one of the reasons when someone is asking about a template for OpenOffice I have no problem with sending them the one I created and use for every book I publish. Of course if they are asking about a 6x9 then I also include the instructions on how to modify it for that format. It gives them not only a better feel for the template, but a feeling of accomplishment that they were able to do it themselves.

 

Seal

 

Oh, check your PMs

Level 4 4,458 posts since
Feb 1, 2008
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4. Oct 21, 2011 11:07 AM in response to: Seal
Re: Warning: Use CS Templates with Caution

When I first joined CS, I downloaded all of Walton's documents and they taught me everything I needed to set things up. I agree wholeheartedly that he is one of our best and most helpful members. When Walton talks, I listen. If I could reach him through the screen, I'd give him the biggest smooch he's ever had.

 

I've tried the CS template but I couldn't get on with it so I deleted it again. My books were formatted from scratch and I've never had a problem in getting them accepted.

Level 5 9,280 posts since
Aug 22, 2008
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6. Oct 21, 2011 11:38 AM in response to: walton
Re: Warning: Use CS Templates with Caution

Good advice, and to it I would add that one should use caution when saving page layouts as .docx files (the default Word 2007/2010 format) -- or better yet, just avoid the extended formats (instead, save in the .doc Word 98/2003 format).

 

I wrote in an article awhile back that self-publishing authors need a MacGyver-like resourcefulness, and that Microsoft Office can be the equivalent of a Swiss Army knife.*  However, if one doesn't know how (or is afraid) to open and use the tools that the knife contains, then it doesn't do much good to have it.  It may even hurt you.

 

Anyone who does know how to use the software can generally do a better page set-up for his/her book that the templates will provide.  So I think it may be the less experienced or less confident Word users who download templates and begin importing their manuscripts with a false sense of security (that unfortunately turns into frustration for many).

 

 

* You probably already know that Adobe Acrobat Pro serves as the "roll of Duck tape" for me.

Level 5 9,280 posts since
Aug 22, 2008
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8. Oct 21, 2011 1:04 PM in response to: walton
Re: Warning: Use CS Templates with Caution

I understand.  I've dealt with this on layouts from other authors (yet never had this occur on any of our own workbooks or learning instruments, which has made me hesitant to blame Word, and more suspect of the templates and/or the author/user).

 

In the handful of template-based documents I've received to troubleshoot, the problem has always been the formatting hierarchy (someone along the way didn't understand the interrelationships of Word's document resources, document content, containers, and formatting flow).  Things like eighteen nested layers of contradictory commands and overrides -- and as you've indicated, there's just no fixing that in a book-length document.

 

When I get those, I break it up into multiple documents to isolate the problem sections/paragraphs/codes, repair those so each part is okay in and of itself, then duck tape them all back together into a page layout with Acrobat.  That yields a trouble-free print-ready PDF, and from it, things like typos that the author/editor overlooked can be easily corrected later -- but if the author needs to incorporate a major revision that's too involved to make (attractively) in Acrobat, then it's the same thing all over.  So not the ideal situation, but a workable one if the goal is to get the book printed/published.

Level 1 96 posts since
Mar 27, 2011
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9. Oct 26, 2011 1:49 AM in response to: walton
Re: Warning: Use CS Templates with Caution

thanks for posting this. I had all sorts of these stupid things happening when I was using word and the .doc format. My first book was a pain in the proverbial - I do not have a complete correct copy other than the PDF because each time you loaded it it went haywire.

 

Then I deleted MS Office completely and moved to Libre Office. I never use .doc format and never have a problem anymore. Note that if I DO save a template book in .doc, it does funky things. not so bad, but not correct for sure. Saving in Libre Office using the odt format, I absolutely NEVER have any of these problems anymore.

 

I still use the CS templates every time and never have an issue, because the FIRST thing I do is resave as an ODT file. the problem is entirely related to the doc format. Sadly saving an allready bodgy file as odt won't correct what is wrong, but you will be able to fix it without it recurring.

 

Simplest answer as usual is don't ever use word.

Level 1 145 posts since
Sep 23, 2010
Currently Being Moderated
11. Oct 26, 2011 7:30 AM in response to: walton
Re: Warning: Use CS Templates with Caution

I noticed this problem with CS formatted files. I had deleted one chapter and then tried to add a new one, and the next thing was just like you showed here: huuuge headers in the middle of the book. I checked all the settings and formatting. I could not find where the problem originated. Everything looked just fine. The same problem happens if you try to add a page in the formatted file (e.g. at the end of the book)

Level 5 13,397 posts since
Mar 8, 2009
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12. Oct 26, 2011 9:32 AM in response to: DrMclony
Re: Warning: Use CS Templates with Caution

And this is the reason i wrote Need A Job? Publish A Book! with OpenOffice over a year ago. While I prefer to work in Pagemaker I found that OpenOffice and its various forks is so much easier for non-professionals to understand and the problems I was having with MSWord2003 disappeared - especially the page numbering problems.

 

Seal

Level 0 1 posts since
Dec 22, 2011
Currently Being Moderated
13. Dec 29, 2011 8:49 AM in response to: Seal
Re: Warning: Use CS Templates with Caution

The header issue has a simple solution - although not an intuitive one because it isn't in the Header/Footer options and instead is in Page Setup under Layout.

 

It's one of those situations where a format choice has a ripple effect and the source isn't in an obvious place because of the changes it causes - in this case oversized headers.

 

Here is the solution page from Microsoft:

 

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/office_2007-word/header-area-is-too-large-and-will-not-change/7bfcbdfe-5868-4061-a9ea-bb5af4d74190

 

But basically, follow these instructions:

 

1) Click anywhere on the page where there is an oversized header

 

2) If you're using Word 2007/2010 (I believe they're pretty much the same, but I'm using 2010), select "Page Layout" on the ribbon bar

 

3) Go to the "Page Setup" section under the "Page Layout" tab, and click on the small arrow in the lower right of the section to bring up the pop-up "Page Setup" dialog box

 

4) In the pop-up "Page Setup" dialogue box, go to the "Layout" tab

 

5) Under "Page >> Vertical Alignment" you will most likely see that "Bottom" or "Center" has been selected in the dropdown.  When a page is vertically aligned to "Bottom" or "Center" the Header appears inordinately huge until you enter enough text to push it up.

 

Frankly, I would probably recommend choosing "Center" for the copyright page in the Template unless an author has a lot of text to put on that page.  In traditionally published books, it is bottom-oriented because there usually is a lot of text by the time the publisher has filled in everything needed on that page.

 

One thing to note, the CreateSpace Templates appear to have individual sections for each page at the beginning (Title, Copyright, Acknowledgements, Table of Contents, etc.) while the body of text resides in another section.  When you change alignment using the above steps, it will usually affect all pages within the same section.  As long as the copyright page is its own section, it shouldn't affect the other pages.

 

I don't confess to being an expert on sections and headers, but this is what I found playing around with them.

Level 0 84 posts since
Apr 10, 2011
Currently Being Moderated
14. Mar 21, 2012 6:27 PM in response to: walton
Re: Warning: Use CS Templates with Caution

crikey.. I feel completely lost now lol.

 

I downloaded their 5.5 x 8.5 template it looked great to have everything so nearly laid out, you know title page, chapter page, copyright page, numbering, title and author. ( though it was missing an option to put a prologue which I haven't figured out, or how to adjust the chapters page to include that )

 

I want to start writing but I know I need to sort this out first

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