Using Windows Word  97 for Internet Drafts

 There are two cases -- starting from scratch, and converting an existing document.

For existing documents, do these first:

  1. Turn off "smart quotes" (Tools/Autocorrect/AutoFormat As You Type)
  2. Find all "smart quotes" and change them to ordinary quotes. Copy and paste a smart quote into the Replace dialog box (^H) and an ordinary quote into the Replace With edit box, then click Replace All.  You have to do this twice, once for left and right double quotes.
  3. If the document has frames anywhere, then you may have to remove them. For sure, a frame in a PRE style (used in Internet Assistant for Word) at the beginning of the document will have to be removed.
  4. If there are tables or drawings, etc., in the document, they need to be converted to some ASCII equivalent by hand. If the vertical spacing isn't right for some styles, be aware that the "Space After" needs to be at least 12 points to cause a blank line in the fixed width output.
  5. Don't use numbered lists -- they cause the generation of a garbage character. (If you really want them, be prepared to hand edit the output.)

  6. Replace numbered list with bulleted lists.
  7. Set ALL styles' paragraph settings to have multiples of 12 pts before and/or after it. (Format/Style/...)
  8. If you are smart, you'll save an intermediate file at this point for later, as Word may crash, and you don't want to have to do this work again.
  9. I had much less trouble this last time, as I turned off all fast saves in Word, and also installed the Generic/Text printer as my system default printers; I don't know which was most important.

 For both cases:

  1. Install the Generic/Text Only printer driver, and use it to print to a file (there's a check box in the print dialog). It will use CR LF as the line break, and FF as the page break. Select the Generic/Text Only print from the File/Print dialog box, then select close (don't print yet). The on-screen display will change to a fixed width font. (In page view mode, there will be extra vertical white space at the end of each paragraph -- don't worry about it, it doesn't print that way).
  2. Set the left margin to 0" and the right margin to 1.3"; this leaves 7.2" for text, which is 72 characters in the 10 character per inch font supported by the Generic/Text Only printer. Be extremely careful that you "apply to" the "whole document" in Word 97 anytime you are in the page setup dialog, or you will die (possibly later)!
  3. Set the Page size so that the page is 10.5" -- this makes the page have 58 lines.Be extremely careful that you "apply to" the "whole document" in Word 97 anytime you are in the page setup dialog, or you will die (possibly later)!
  4. Set tab stops at .8" (Format/Tabs/Default tab stops)
  5. You may want to go into your table of contents, if any, and select the table of contents and set the right tab stop to 72 columns.  This will make it more likely your table of contents lines will fit on the page and less or no hand editing will then be needed.
  6. To generate the Ascii version, just print it to a file, and then use Word or WordPad to look at it. A dialog box will pop up to ask for the name of the file -- it will have a ".prn" extension, you'll probably want to rename it to a ".txt" extension.
  7. Set the default paragraph style to be 3 characters .3" indented, similarly for various other styles.  Don't forget to set the styles for the header and the footer as well.  The centering of the headers and footers should also be set appropriately.
  8. Manually cleanup everything that looks bad.
  9. You can switch back to the postscript or LaserJet printer: open the print dialog again, and select the desired printer, and click "Close". You need to change the paper margins to .7" and .6" for laser printers, otherwise it will complain that you're trying to print outside the printable area. You can go back and forth between the laser printer view and the ASCII view at will.

 For new documents:

 Again, two cases: if you want to create HTML, or not.

 For HTML:

  1. Use Internet Assistant for Word -- be aware that many of the HTML styles do not have enough vertical space after them (H1, H2, H3, etc in particular) to cause a blank line. Modify them to have 6 points of "Space After". Remove the frame in the PRE style.
  2. There are alleged to be problems generating the HTML using IA -- but it's far easier to start using the HTML styles and wait for IA to be fixed than to convert later.

 For non-HTML:

  1. Create a "Code" style based on "Normal" that uses the Courier New 12 point font; use this for BNF, tables, etc. that need fixed width characters.
  2. Create a "RFC" style based on "Normal" style that uses Times New Roman 12 point, and has an indent of .3". Use this for normal text. (You can use other fonts, too; they will change the way that the draft looks when printed using a postscript or LaserJet printer driver, but not when printed to a file using the Generic/Text Only printer driver, as all fonts are mapped to a fixed width one.)
  3. Use the styles for Title, Heading 1, etc, and the table of contents as you normally would. You can change the font on these to suit your taste; just as for the "RFC" style, they change the laser printed output, but not the ASCII text.
  4. Set headers and footers as you normally would. Note that tabs work differently in headers and footers: the first tab stop is at a center aligned section and the second at a right justified section.
  5. To see what your document will look like as ASCII text, open the print dialog and select the Generic/Text Only printer, then click "Close" without printing.  It takes a while to reformat for the new printer. You'll see everything in a fixed width font; some paragraph styles (title, headings) have bolded and/or underlined characters -- don't worry, these get transformed into regular characters when printing to the file.