So, Mr. Text Format, We Meet Again. Or Can I Call You “Rich”?

My old nemesis, rich text format, has struck again, I fear.  I’m sympathetic with the general goal of text formats being as simple as possible, and I try to keep manuscripts as unadorned as possible anyway, so you’d think we’d get along quite nicely.  For some reason, though, despite my degree in computer science, I can’t get the damn format to work properly.

No matter how I perform the conversion of a manuscript from some other format, and no matter how many times I check and re-check how it looks in various editors, it always seems to end up looking weird in some other editor, which of course I don’t discover until after I’ve received a terse rejection and I’m fixing to send it somewhere else.  For some reason, the formatting is always inconsistent, too.  A typical game is for the first paragraph to be double-spaced and look tickety-boo (I assume this is so if I glance at the first bit in a given editor nothing will seem amiss), then subsequent paragraphs change to singe spaced, with paragraph indents sort of wandering hither and yon as they please.  I’d show you, but WordPress is very skilled at cleaning up formatting, so I can’t rec-create it easily.

I have no idea why this happens, despite my aforementioned expertise in all things computational.  It isn’t like I’m going hog-wild in my word processor, using headers and different text colors and so on.  But now I get very nervous when I see a magazine that demands rtf attachments for their submissions.

~ by smwilliams on August 16, 2011.