Friday, October 27, 2006

Sound the Trumpets -- Pagination Solved

Immediate digression: I just dropped the younger off at her karate class. As I returned home, I walked past an old car, an 80s-era GM clunker. A father was trying to hustle his boys out of the back seat, the back door wide open. We nodded to each other, and I caught a whiff of the car's interior -- that old car upholstery smell -- and it was like I'd been thrown into the back seat of the family car of my youth (my grandfather's old Cutlass Supreme). Memories, emotional associations ... whoah.

Alright: everyone using Mac Write or MS Word legitimately wonders, "What's the big hairy deal with this guy and pagination?" Well, I did use Word at first, but after experiencing less-than-stellar results in layout, I decided it might be a good time to learn the fine points of Open Office Writer -- the Open Source word processor preferred by most Linux users.

I didn't think pagination would be one of those fine points, but that was just my own naivete. Are you a Word user, accustomed to just click - and - pasting your page numbers? If so, are you curious to see how the other "half" lives? This is probably the most straight-forward tutorial on Writer pagination. I read it and took a stab at it. I repeated the process. And did it again. And again. It took me several hours and some gentle clarification from senior members at the Open Office Forum, but by golly, I finally got it.

I can now see exactly what the "problem" was: I was searching for Microsoft answers. I thought, Page numbers -- how hard can that be? The difficulty with OOo Writer is that it's not simply a matter of inserting page numbers: as with most Linux ware, it's a matter of configuring your initial template the most efficient way possible. For a newbie like me, this meant I had to bone up on OOo Writer structure and start from the beginning.

Not so MS Word. MS allows you to dive right in, follow your whims and throw a page number wherever you please. Middle of the page? Go ahead! Top left on the next page? We can do that too!! If the result is a document cluttered with code, some of it conflicting, well ... that's what the 1-800 number is for.

ANYWAY, if I get a little time tomorrow afternoon to work on the doc, I do believe it will be ready for public consumption. In the meantime, in anticipation of the blessed event, I'll post a story title and a snippet of prose in the days leading up to release.


DarkoV said...

Dear Mr. WP,
The candles worked! Did you see them from Totonto? I think I had 1,000 lit.

Anxious in Delaware

Whisky Prajer said...

Those 1000 candles must account for our unseasonably warm temperatures up here (thank you).