Category Archives: Program

My top writer phone apps

I finally updated to an iPhone 7 Pro from the iPhone 4S. The size difference is considerable. I thought it would bother me more, but between the much improved camera and larger screen (my eyes are not so great) I’m adapting quickly to it.

So I though I’d share with you some of my top apps that I think writers might like;

mswordMS Word app– A full word processor, I would also note this does not include the fonts you would have on your laptop/desktop computer. You can however open and save DOC files, typing up novels no matter where you are at the time.

Cost: Trial period for 30 days then various monthly cost with Office 365 subscription. This is $6.99 – $99.99 depending on which plan. I already have a subscription so this was free for me.

openofficeOpenOffice App– Unlike  MS Word, this app includes the ‘suite’ of Openoffice software. This means you get the word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation elements of OpenOffice.

Cost: $5.99. This is a flat cost not subscription.

googledocGoogle Docs is a free word processor app that connects to your Google Drive account. This connects to your Google account, so links with the Google Drive.

Cost: Free

***The iPhone comes with a robust Notes app already installed.

 

iDeasiDeas for Writing is a fun app that helps you with ideas with prompts. This includes First Lines, Title, Character, and Five Words. I’ve used this my writers group. The app looks good, provide ideas, workshop (writing techniques challenges), and a built-in notebook so you can jot down ideas or take on the writing prompts.

Cost: $2.99 for the app.

storyplanner

Story Planner enables you to outline plots, characters, locations, scenes, and more. This exports to Scrivener, Final Draft, into PDF or DOCX formats, or just plain text. This app syncs with iCloud so your work is backed up,

Cost: $3.99

Writer Lists includes tons of lists for ideas. You can pick names, roles, body types, appearance, personalities, plots, setting, and more.  I use this to look up elements of a story or browse for ideas.

Cost: $2.99

canvaCanva is the official Canva.com app. Here, you can create designs such as book covers, but also design graphics for Facebook, web sites, Twitter, business cards, and more.  You can create an entire media kit for your author brand.  You can save designs as PDF or PNG formats.

Cost: Free

What are your favorite apps? Ever considered writing a novel with your smartphone? Comment below.

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Word Processing: 10 Cool Keyboard Tricks

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While editing a manuscript, I found a need to make the process faster with the use of hotkey (keyboard shortcuts), wildcards, and some keyboard tricks to get things done.

These work only in MS Word.

Doing this

Does this

Pressing the dash key 3x will create a horizontal line in your document

== =

Pressing the equal key 3x creates a double line in your document

Ctrl   H

Opens the Find/Replace feature.

Ctrl  E

Aligns text and graphics to center

=rand(08,10)

Type this in your document creates random text if you ever need to add random text.

^p^p

^p

Using Find/Replace, put ^p^p in Find and ^p and this removes manual spaces between paragraphs

Ctrl  SHIFT  m

Inserts a comment where you put your cursor in the document.

SHIFT  F7

Pressing these two keys open the built in Thesaurus. You can often find synonyms by RIGHT-CLICKING over a word. You will choices of words to use.

LEFT CLICK

The mouse

Clicking a word twice will highlight the word. Click three times, and you select the entire paragraph.

 

Find these useful? Share with your friends, subscribe, or leave a comment to let me know. If you have any questions or ideas you’d like me to post a blog about, leave me a note.

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Google Drive for Writers

driveforwritersToday I want to share with you some elements of the free Google service known as Drive. This is something like a cloud drive (you can backup files) but also an online program suite. I will be discussing mostly the Docs features.

Google Drive includes:

Docs– This is an online word processor that is compatible with Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, and even Microsoft Works.

Sheets– A spreadsheet compatible with Office, Open office, and Works.

Slides – A presentation service that easily integrates into web sites or shared with others. Compatible to open files from Office and OpenOffice.

Forms – A service to create and compile information from forms. Includes easy to use templates, click and build features, and saves data to the drive for access later.

Drawing– This includes an online service to create or edit graphics. Saves as PDF, JPG, SVG, and PNG.

docs

Google Docs works similar to most word processors, including formatting, templates, and printing. You can open and save, change file formats, and share/collaborate with others online. This also includes revision history. (Saved my butt when I ‘lost’ an entire chapter of a book I was writing).

You can also add ‘add-ons’ which improves function;

Table of Contents – Creates a table of contents that runs as a sidebar.

EasyBib- Bibliography creator

Speech Recognition- So you can talk instead of typing. This works great for those who have issues with typing for long periods of time.

Mind mapping- This is a great tool to plot stories or brainstorm ideas.

ProWritingAid- This is not free, but as an add on that works in the Docs. It corrects grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Screenplay formatter- For the script writers out there, this add on helps with formatting your doc.

Saves in these formats:

DOCX – Document Microsoft Word file

ODT – OpenOffice Document Text file

RTF – Rich Text Format, works with any word processor

PDF- Portable Document Format, used for downloading files and eBooks

TXT – Text. Very simple with very little formatting but can be read by every word processor.

HTML/ZIP – Hypertext Markup Language is what web sites are built. Often used to upload to publish books.

EPUB – EBook file format that can be read by tablets and smart phones. This is new and is an industry standard.


Google drive can also

Cloud Storage– Back up photos, documents, etc. to your cloud drive. This includes 15 GB free, and you can pay $1.99 monthly for 100 more GB.

Collaborate with others–  Not only can you share files with others, they can view or even edit them. You can also share LIVE with others. Some authors now share their writing in real time for fans to check out their process. Share via email or link on your blog. You can even embed files too

Share anywhere– Google Drive works on PC, Mac, smart phone, and tablets.

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Formatting Manuscript and Helpful Writing Links.

SimpleLPCLogo copyWith my writer’s group, I often write up a newsletter for the members so they get the information we covered, but also to share with the members who couldn’t join, to catch them up on the topic.

Today’s meeting was all about manuscript formatting.

Manuscript formatting for standard publishing:

Always remember to follow guidelines, but these are the suggested standard formatting list of your manuscript.

Writer’s Digest: What Are the Guidelines for Formatting a Manuscript? This covers some of the basics to formatting your document. Remember, you’ll also need a synopsis and letter if you want to publish through a publishing company.

A Step-by-step Guide to Formatting Your Book’s Interior (Createspace.com) E-publishing and print-on-demand for Amazon marketplace. With e-publishing, you need to format correctly in order for the pages to view correctly on e-readers. Createspace also provides templates specific to the size books you want to use.

Click here to view templates you can download.

The Basics of DIY (Do It Yourself) E-Book Publishing by Writer’s Digest provides lots of tips to follow for publishing, to help decide how to publish but also the basics on how to publish.

Find and Replace Tips for MS Word- (Includes how to find and replace manual indents, double spaces, and more)

Find: ^t (this code will find all manually indents in your manuscript)

Replace (leave blank)

This will delete all manual indents

Want to know more things you can do with Find/replace? Click here.


Programs:

Chapter-by-Chapter:

This program provides a way to organize your MS Word documents (also works with OpenOffice) to sort files into chapters. You can then have the program assemble all files into a single Word file to publish. Unfortunately, this does not work with Mac computers.

https://sites.google.com/site/sebberthet/chapter-by-chapter

Need a quick tutorial on how to use the Chapter-by-Chapter? Check out my YouTube Video;

  Dropbox.com

Dropbox is one of many ‘cloud drives’ which are used to back up and share files. What I love about Dropbox is that it is easy to use and can synchronize files between smart phones, computers, and the Internet so you can always get your files.

http://www.dropbox.com

Want to learn more about the other cloud drives? Here is Top 10 Personal Cloud-Storage Services you can choose from. 

Web Site: https://www.openoffice.org

OpenOffice is a free software suite that includes a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation programs. This is free and works with MS Office documents.

“Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row”- Ray Bradbury

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